Housing exec appointed to development board

Friday, December 23, 2011

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

The executive director of the Lewisburg Housing Authority was elected last week by city councilmen to be a member of the Industrial Development Board.

Councilman Odie Whitehead Jr. brought the subject to the council's attention as the IDB had recommended LHA Executive Director Ronald Robinson when it met Dec. 6.

Robinson served as a councilman in April and May of 2008. He was appointed by the council and he resigned after 28 days in office.

The Memphis field office director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wrote to Lewisburg's mayor, then Bob Phillips, in April 2008 saying the Housing Authority here was in violation of its funding contract. The housing authority was then notified by HUD's public housing director in Memphis that until the violation was resolved, or a waiver granted, HUD couldn't send money to the housing office here.

Robinson pointed out that another town obtained a waiver and he sought to get one, but has not returned to a seat on the council.

The Industrial Development Board exists to work with prospective new businesses for the city and help existing businesses flourish. The panel is assisted by the city's economic developer, Greg Lowe.

Councilman Robin Minor seconded Councilman Steve Thomas' motion to appoint Robinson to the IDB and Councilman Hershel Davis voted with them and Whitehead.

Councilman Ronald McRady voted no. Asked why, McRady replied, "I don't have to say why and I won't."