Skip to Main Content

July 11, 2023, Board Meeting Minutes

Winter Park Housing Authority Board Meeting Minutes
Monday, July 11, 2023
8:00 AM
Tranquil Terrace
845 Swoope Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789

Commissioners Present: Board Chair; Hal George, Vice-Chair; Kenneth Goodwin, Commissioner Tammie Holiday, Commissioner Dawn Ofodile, Commissioner Karen Jacobs, and Commissioner Kevin O'Rawe.
Commissioners Absent: Commissioner Joe Regner.
Staff Present: Lashanda Lovette, Executive Director, Amaris Hunt, Executive Assistant, and Tarena Grant, Resource Coordinator

  1. Call to Order
    Chair George called the meeting to order at 8:06 AM and announced a quorum.
  2. Public Comment
    There was no public comment bought to the board.
  3. Consent Items Approval of May Minutes 
    Commissioner Jacobs moved to approve the June 2023 board meeting minutes.
    Commissioner Holiday provided a second. The motion was accepted unanimously.
  4. Actions items 
    1. Discussions and/or Direction
      1. Management Company Transition
        • Executive Director Lovette explained the second draft of the contract has been given to NDC. She is currently waiting on them to respond with additional questions, comments, or an executed contract. Once received, she will advise commissioner Jacobs and legal counsel. Chair George asked what area the highlight of their concern is. Executive Director Lovette explained that the indemnification clause is the major concern, along with the cost of the compliance employee not coming out of the management fee and the order in which bills are paid if there is a cashflow issue. As it stands, NDC would be escrowed and paid once we're in a positive cashflow position. Chair George asked if the compliance person has always been a position provided by a third party. Executive Director Lovette confirmed. She went on and explained they would need to have a dedicated person for compliance to handle our portfolio. Chair George asked for clarification as to when the transition would happen. Executive Director Lovette explained that once the contract is signed, we can transfer over operational things. Financials can be transferred over September 1st, after we close out the month of August.
    2. Switching Financial Institutions
      1. Executive Director Lovette explained that found research stating that an RFQ would be required to solicit financial institution services. The RFQ was put out June 17th and we've received great interest. She is currently working on answering the questions that those institutions provided. Once we receive all bids, we will formulate a committee to review the bids and provide a recommendation to the board.
    3. WPD Investigation Status
      1. Executive Director Lovette explained she reached out to officer carpenter. He advised that the case had been forwarded to California. He also stated the affidavit submitted by SemTech, our IT department, will need to be signed. Once received he will forward it to California as well. Once this has happened, he will provide the director with where the case is being transferred to. Chair George asked for clarification as to when the incident took place. Executive Director Lovette clarified that the incident occurred in February and that she would follow up as further details were received. 
    4. Forensic Investigation Company
      1. Executive Director Lovette explained she's reached out to 3 companies, North South Law Group, E-Hounds and ESI Consulting Inc. ESI has responded that he will retire at the end of the month and cannot assist us. Of the additional two proposals, the intent is the same, but the approach is different. She went on to explain that she's asked some additional questions of North South Law Group, which is made up of Ex-OIG employees. She's asked them for clarification on their pricing. Executive Director Lovette called the group's attention to the scope of services included in their proposal. It reflected that North South Law Group will look at bank statements, financial records, withdrawals and money transfers and any additional areas if needed. Overall, their scope of work is more comprehensive. Chair George agreed that North South Law Group sounds like the best option. He proposed that the board give Executive Director Lovette permission to move forward with a do not exceed amount. Commissioner O'Rawe asked for clarification as to if the third-party management company would take over the forensic review. Chair George clarified that the company the board chooses to move forward with reports directly to the board. With no further questions Commissioner O'Rawe motioned for the board to select North South Law Group as the forensic investigative firm, subject to a fee not to exceed $30k. If their fee is over $30k, the board will regroup. Commissioner Goodwin provided a second. The motion was approved unanimously.
  5. Reports
    1. Resource Coordinator (ROSS) Monthly Recap
      • Ms. Grant explained that senior resource alliance came together to host a mini resource fair for our residents at the Plymouth. We had healthcare services, therapy services, insurance providers, mental health services and more, present to share of their many services focused on supporting our senior residents. This was a great time for information and access to
        resources for our residents over light refreshments. Also, as a referral from advent health, we had a community volunteer that supported our residents with a crochet and knit class at Plymouth. During the first introductory class we had 4 residents to attend and 2 additional participants the following
        Week. Skill sets varied from beginner to advanced. We also assisted a ROSS participant in securing a scholarship to enroll her son into a private school. Lastly, we assisted a ROSS participant with the cost of uniforms and a week of transportation to her new job at Advent Health. Chair George asked what part of the budget things like this come out of. Ms. Grant explained that it comes from the ROSS grant and CFP grant.
    2. Property overview -
      • Executive Director Lovette explained we are at 98% overall. We are beginning to see progress in Tuscany at Aloma. Some highlights are, we are now fully staffed with a new maintenance team at Tuscany at Aloma, we have applications for units coming in at a steady rate, the property manager and assistant property manager work well together and we are meeting with the team every Thursday to discuss updates on units that are being remediated. Chair George asked if the board is aware of the situation with Laneshia Church. Executive Director Lovette confirmed that they were not aware yet, but confirmed she has resigned from her position as regional manager.
    3. Monthly Financials
      • Commissioner O'Rawe commented that we missed budgeting for utilities, but that it's understandable since residents are staying at home more. Winter Park utilities has increased their fees and it doesn't look like there is any indication of a break. He goes on to mention we missed budgeting for taxes and insurance. Executive Director Lovette explained there was no budget for that. Commissioner O'Rawe asked if the cost of insurance only went to meadows and winter park oaks. Executive Director Lovette confirmed it was an increase that affected all properties. We did shop around for insurance, but the cost was high across the entire state. The current company we have does offer us rebates and dividends, which is a highlight. With the dividend they gave us last year, the increase evened them out.
  6. Commissioner's Report
    • Commissioner Jacobs mentioned we should be on the lookout for the new INSPIRE guidelines regarding property inspections.
    • Commissioner Ofodile announced that Vystar is opening a new branch and they are partnering with Ms. Grant on the back-to-school brunch for Meadows students.
    • Commissioner Goodwin complimented the team on the occupancy numbers.
  7. Adjournment
    With there being no further business to come before the board, Chair George called for adjournment at 9:00 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Hal George, Board Chair
Lashanda Lovette, Executive Director