Art Ross: Effective authority deserves dinner

November 25, 2013 

While I respect the responsibility of a free press to investigate use of funds by public agencies, I offer an opposing view to your front-page article on the annual dinner expense hosted by the Raleigh Housing Authority Nov. 23 news story).

Prior to moving to Raleigh in 1994, I served on the Housing Authority for the city of St. Petersburg, Fla., including a term as its chair. I have served on many committees and boards. None has been more challenging than the housing authority. The political, legal, financial and human-need demands faced by a local authority are complex. The Raleigh Housing Authority has a remarkable record of stability and effective service to our community. The authority has earned a coveted “Higher Performer” designation from HUD.

While I do not know Steve Beam or the commissioners, I am grateful for them. As your article points out, the commissioners are not otherwise compensated for their time and skills. They deserve not only an occasional dinner but also the gratitude of your newspaper and the community.

Art Ross


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