PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Peekskill Housing Authority has seen significant changes in recent months and likely will see more in the months to come.
The board of commissioners will be replacing two members and adding a tenant representative, according to city manager Brian Havranek.
The current chair of the board is Leyla Ditterlizzi, whose term was finished in July. However, Havranek said he has kept her and city councilman Don Bennett on the board as holdovers for the time being due to a shortage of members after the recent resignations of commissioners Joanna Dunn, Karen Watson and Ron Abbad.
"I needed someone with experience," Havranek said.
The board is supposed vote on new chair and vice chair in December, according to housing authority bylaws, Havranek said.
Havranek must appoint two new commissioners to the board to replace Ditterlizzi and Bennett. He just appointed three new commissioners that started on the board at its Sept. 20 meeting. Nancy O'Connor of Lincoln Terrace and Diana Buress of Hendrick Hills were joined on the board by former Democratic City Committee Chair Michael Kane.
Kane said he still was reviewing notes and getting up to speed on what's been happening in the Peekskill Housing Authority the past few months. As someone who rents an apartment himself, he can relate to many of the issues facing tenants, he said.
"I am a tenant, I have a landlord - that's probably why Brian asked me to join the board," Kane said.
When asked about the status of executive director Harold Phipps, who has been coming to meetings and serving in that role despite his contract not being renewed, Kane said he still was trying to understand Phipps' current status.
"I cannot explain why he's sitting in on the meetings," he said of Phipps.
Havranek said he did not have any updates on Phipps' status or if, or when. he would be replaced since he did not attend the board's executive sessions.
The board also must have an election to fill the two tenant representative positions on the board in the near future, according to Havranek. Currently, the board has one such representative, Pauline Gilchrist, who has served for more than a year. The five-year term of housing authority attorney William Florence also will expire in October.