Salisbury Mayor Proposes Changes to Housing Board Members - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Mayor Proposes Changes to Housing Board Members



SALISBURY, Md.-The mayor of Salisbury wants to change who gets to sit on the city's Housing Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

On Thursday, Jim Ireton told WBOC, he believes there is no need for members, as required by city law to have a professional background when hearing cases about property problems.

Right now the city requires serving members to be experts in architecture, medicine or engineering but Ireton said the same position can be handled with the appointment of general citizens who don't need that expertise.

"You do find out especially with things like the rubble pile and with problem properties that in that board there such a sympathetic ear for the landlords and I can't go back to my constituents and people who put me in office and say, 'well this was the law but the board said, they didn't like it'," Ireton said.

Ireton went on to say, "our experts are our elected officials, who pass those laws to begin with. I don't need as an elected official a non elected quasi judicial board to tell me what I know is right."

But city councilwoman Laura Mitchell disagrees with the proposal. 

"That skill set is needed when you look at cases that Neighborhood Services cited for certain issues and someone is appealing things that may not be visible to the naked eye," Mitchell explained.

Richard Insley who is a former chairman of the housing board said he too believes that a certain set of skills and expertise is needed when overseeing cases dealing with property issues especially those which have been cited for city code violations.
"Anybody who thinks they get on that board to represent realtors, or landlords or architects is totally wrong, you are there for your expertise in that area," Insley said.

Ireton said sitting members will be allowed to finish out their current terms.
The housing debate will be discussed at council's next work session on Monday.


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