Former elected officials appointed to New Bern Housing Authority Board — recap of Jan. 17 meeting

Dana Outlaw and Sabrina Bengel
Dana Outlaw and Sabrina Bengel

Mayor Jeffery Odham filled two vacancies on the New Bern Housing Authority Board. Former Mayor Dana Outlaw was appointed to the third seat with the term expiring on Dec. 21, 2024. Former Alderman Sabrina Bengel was appointed to the second seat with the term expiring on Dec. 21, 2027.

The first meeting of the year on Jan. 17. Commissioner Ronald Scott was reelected as the Chair and Commissioner Zeb Hough was reelected as Vice Chair. Commissioner Jenell Reddick was reelected as Treasurer.

Executive Director Tiffany Askew announced the hiring of Julianne Wells as finance manager. She also said, “I am very threatened and uncomfortable being in the presence of our new commissioner, Miss Bengel and I just ask that she only communicate with me in the presence of two other commissioners. So, I would just like that to be publicly known and I would just ask for that to be respectfully given to me to have her communicate with me in the presence of others.”

Commissioner Outlaw asked what the litmus test was to deal with a situation like this.

Commissioner Bengel asked to go into closed session.

Before the video was paused, Outlaw said, “I think this is a very delicate matter if that a a standing commissioner cannot communicate with an executive director, we…”

Back in session, they reviewed the finance report.

The meeting also consisted of the Executive Director’s report, New Bern Towers and Trent Court updates, and resident opportunities and self-sufficiency report.

Bengel relayed a message from the mayor saying, “Would like to inquire about is if there’s any way for us to put like maintenance fencing or with that orange kind of fencing you know you just roll around the buildings that are unoccupied to show that there is some intent for something to happen and it’s you know a minimal, a minimal cost to the agency and I did check with the city this morning. I talked to Foster um and to the City attorney to make sure there was no permitting or anything.”

Askew said, it would take away for the ability for people to use the land, walking, riding their bikes, fishing and other things.

Hough said, “It’s not simply property that we’re, that we’re managing.” It’s peoples housing and their lives.

There were no public comments.

Watch the meeting here:

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By Wendy Card, Editor