Mayor Rawley McCoy has appointed two new members to the Victoria Housing Authority board of commissioners for two-year terms.
Local attorney Luther Easley and retired City staff member Darlah Sims will be sworn in at the board’s regular meeting Feb. 18. The two new appointees replace outgoing board members Gail Hoad and Jeff Cano.
“The resumes for Mr. Easley and Miss Simms were very impressive,” McCoy said. “I’m looking forward to welcoming them, and I want to commend Jeff Cano and Gail Hoad for the time they donated to that board. They served well.”
Luther Easley practices law with Cole, Cole, Easley & Sciba. He serves as president of Golden Crescent Court Appointed Special Advocates and also serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Club.
Easley said his career as a lawyer has given him insight into the hardships endured by people who are seeking or living in government-funded housing.
“There are very few things in life as important as a roof over your head,” he said. “Housing and Urban Development helps to make that possible for so many folks that would otherwise be on the streets.”
Darlah Sims retired from Development Services with the City of Victoria after nearly 23 years. She reviewed the Housing Authority’s plans on a yearly basis and worked closely with the group on projects that included the Thomas Ninke Senior Village and, more recently, the North Street affordable housing project. She also has volunteered with the Victoria Area Homeless Coalition for more than 20 years.
“I have worked with the Housing Authority for many years and understand the great need for low-income housing,” Sims said. “I believe I would be a great asset to the board based on this lengthy association with the Housing Authority.”
Cano, an attorney, had served on the board since Jan. 2016. He is currently a member of the Food Establishment Appeals Board and previously served on the board of directors for the Victoria County Public Health Department.
Cano said he was proud of the organization’s work on the North Street project and praised the Housing Authority’s efforts to upgrade repair standards and implement new policies to improve efficiency and prevent mismanagement.
“We’ve got a really good crew there,” he said.
Hoad, senior vice president at Prosperity Bank, had served on the board since August 2018. She is currently a member of the Planning Commission.
The Victoria Housing Authority oversees public housing for low-income residents. Board members are appointed by the mayor, but the housing authority operates independently from the City.
McCoy selected the two new board members after consulting with Housing Authority Executive Director Brandy Hilbrich to discuss qualifications needed to serve on the Housing Authority board.
“I took the task very seriously, and we got good resumes from folks that were interested,” McCoy said.
McCoy has advocated since his candidacy for people to consider making a difference by serving on volunteer boards in the community.
“I’m very keen on trying to get more people involved,” he said.