157-5.  Appointment, qualifications and tenure of commissioners.

(a)        An authority shall consist of not less than five nor more than eleven commissioners appointed by the mayor and the mayor shall designate the first chair. No commissioner may be a city official. At least one of the commissioners appointed shall be a person who is directly assisted by the public housing authority. However, there shall be no requirement to appoint such a person if the authority: (i) operates less than 300 public housing units, (ii) provides reasonable notice to the resident advisory board of the opportunity for at least one person who is directly assisted by the authority to serve as a commissioner, and (iii) within a reasonable time after receipt of the notice by the resident advisory board, has not been notified of the intention of any such person to serve. The mayor shall appoint the person directly assisted by the authority unless the authority's rules require that the person be elected by other persons who are directly assisted by the authority. If the commissioner directly assisted by the public housing authority ceases to receive such assistance, the commissioner's office shall be abolished and another person who is directly assisted by the public housing authority shall be appointed by the mayor.

(b)        No commissioner who is also a person directly assisted by the public housing authority shall be qualified to vote on matters affecting his or her official conduct or matters affecting his or her own individual tenancy, as distinguished from matters affecting tenants in general. No more than one third of the members of any housing authority commission shall be tenants of the authority or recipients of housing assistance through any program operated by the authority.

(c)        The council may at any time by resolution or ordinance increase or decrease the membership of an authority, within the limitations herein prescribed.

(d)       The mayor shall designate overlapping terms of not less than one nor more than five years for the commissioners first appointed. Thereafter, the term of office shall be five years. A commissioner shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed and has qualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum. The mayor shall file with the city clerk a certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner. A commissioner shall receive no compensation for his or her services but he or she shall be entitled to the necessary expenses including traveling expenses incurred in the discharge of his or her duties.

(e)        When the office of the first chair of the authority becomes vacant, the authority shall select a chair from among its members. An authority shall select from among its members a vice-chair, and it may employ a secretary (who shall be executive director), technical experts and such other officers, agents, and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require, and shall determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. An authority may call upon the corporation counsel or chief law officer of the city for such legal services as it may require or it may employ its own counsel and legal staff. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it may deem proper. (1935, c. 456, s. 5; 1971, c. 362, ss. 2-5; 1981, c. 864; 1999-146, s. 1.)