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Local News

Joliet mayor replaces 3 Housing Authority commissioners

JOLIET – Mayor Bob O’Dekirk has replaced half the board of the Housing Authority of Joliet.

O’Dekirk said the changes do not reflect any dissatisfaction with the board or authority, but the members’ terms were expiring.

O’Dekirk said he decided to replace all three of the board members because “it’s always good to have new ideas and a fresh perspective.”

“I think the Housing Authority is doing a very good job,” he said. “[CEO] Michael Simelton is turning things around.”

Those going out are Mittchelena Meade, Patrick Asher and Karen Williams.

Williams has been chairwoman of the board, and Meade, a Joliet accountant, was the previous chairwoman. Asher was the longest serving member of the board.

Coming in are Glenda McCullum, Angel Conteras and Yvonne White.

O’Dekirk announced the appointments at the Tuesday meeting of the City Council, which unanimously approved all three.

McCullum is pastor of Kingdom Builders International Church in Joliet and a former Housing Authority resident. She once lived in the authority’s Des Plaines Garden Homes apartments, which were demolished earlier this year to make room for the new Water’s Edge mixed-income development under construction.

“I’m just honored and privileged to be part of that committee,” McCullum told the council.

She told the council of her experience as a child when her family moved from a house that had no running water to Des Plaines Garden Homes.

Contreras is active in the Joliet Hispanic community.

White is a resident at the authority’s John C. Murphy Building. She fills a spot on the authority board that must be held by a resident. She replaces Williams, who also is a Housing Authority resident. Other authority commissioners are Roger Powell Jr., Robert Hernandez and Maria Cottrell.

The mayor appoints Housing Authority commissioners, but the city has no direct control of the authority, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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