AHA board getting new member as most recent appointee resigns
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org January 18, 2013 12:36PM
Updated: February 21, 2013 6:32AM
AURORA — After discovering issues with a recent appointee to the Aurora Housing Authority board, Mayor Tom Weisner intends to name a replacement member to the board.
Weisner has nominated Dave Richert, an Aurora Realtor with ReMax Town & Country, to replace Realtor Shauna Wiet, who was just appointed to the board in December. Aldermen will vote on Richert’s appointment at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
Wiet voluntarily stepped down from the post after the city discovered she would not be able to vote on a range of Housing Authority issues because she is a Section 8 landlord, according to City Assistant Chief of Staff Rick Guzman.
In a memo sent to aldermen, City Chief of Staff Carie Anne Ergo wrote that the city knew Wiet was a Section 8 landlord, but AHA staff indicated before her appointment that would not prevent her from serving on the board. Shauna Wiet is wife to Bill Wiet, the city’s chief development officer.
“Shauna Wiet was selected based on her educational background and vast experience with affordable housing issues from a variety of perspectives, including as a Realtor, former neighborhood redevelopment director and Section 8 landlord,” Ergo said.
After her appointment, the city was advised that although Wiet’s status as a Section 8 landlord did not prevent her from serving on the board, it would require her to abstain from all discussions that may have an impact on the federal housing voucher program, which is administered through the AHA.
Because of the large percentage of the residents the AHA serves are Section 8 voucher recipients, Wiet voluntarily resigned from the post.
Richert, 39, served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing last year. He also is president-elect of the Realtor Association of the Fox Valley.
“Serving on that (task force) I learned more about affordable housing in this city,” he said.
A lifelong resident of Aurora, Richert said he’s invested in his hometown.
“I really love Aurora and I think I can help come up with the best solutions moving forward,” he said.
Richert said he knows the controversy over a potential rebuild of housing at the Jericho Circle public housing complex site is “at the top of a lot of people’s list.”
But until he is seated to the board and becomes acquainted with the Housing Authority’s options, he’s not prepared to say exactly where he stands on a rebuild.
“I’d be opposed to any plan that I’ve seen so far, but I think there are possibilities to use that land for affordable housing that might make sense,” he said.
In December, Wiet and Scott Voris were seated to the board to replace former Housing Authority board members Bill Burns and Al Schuler.
Their appointments to the board were challenged by the Housing Authority in a three-month legal dispute about board term lengths. A Kane County judge ultimately ruled in the city’s favor.
Weisner has appointed six new board members to the seven-member AHA board since May 2011. Richert would be the seventh new member.
Judy Runge, the last remaining member of the previous board, was appointed to the seat in 2003. Her term expires in September 2013, according to Guzman.