Documenter: Ramiro Merino

Purpose of Agency

The Fresno Housing is governed by 14 Commissioners, seven of whom are appointed as City Commissioners and seven of whom are appointed as County Commissioners. 

Five of the City Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Fresno to serve four-year, staggered terms. Two are appointed to two-year terms from among residents receiving housing assistance from Fresno Housing. Similarly, five of the County Commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and two are residents receiving assistance from Fresno Housing. 

Fresno City Board Members

  • Adrian Jones

  • Caine Christensen

  • Terra Brusseau

  • Sabrina Kelley

  • Stacy Vaillancourt

  • Sharon Williams

  • Ruby Yanez

Fresno County Board Members

  • Cary Catalano

  • Nikki Henry

  • Joey Fuentes

  • Valori Gallaher

  • Edugiben Ortiz

  • Sophia Ramos

  • Stacy Sablan

Fresno Executive Housing Leadership

  • Preston Prince

  • Tracewell Hanrahan

  • Angie Nguyen

  • Emily De La Guerra

  • Michael Duarte

  • Tiffany Mangum

The Scene

The meeting was called to order at 5:02 p.m. by the City Board Chair Jones. Roll Call was taken by Mangum, the Special Assistant to CEO Prince. The meeting was held virtually through Zoom, where the link was provided on the meeting agenda. Per Executive Order N-25-20, local and state legislative bodies are able to hold meetings via teleconference and make the meetings accessible electronically. Most of the Commissioners and Fresno Housing Staff had their cameras on, which they appeared to be in their homes or offices. The public was restricted from turning on their camera, using their microphones (unless given permission), and from using the chat feature to comment; however, the Q&A feature was open to the public. Members of the public had to raise their hand virtually during the meeting when appropriate and allowed to speak. 

After the approval of agenda, County Chair Catalano called for public comment, which three members of the public commented on. Eric Payne, from the Central Valley Urban Policy, spoke about the letter sent and addressed to the Fresno Housing Board of Commissioners. Payne expressed his concern for the search process for the new CEO of Fresno Housing and hoped it will be “transparent.” He stated that the candidate for the position should understand “poverty and its impact on housing.” In addition, he stated the candidate should lead boldly, in regards to ensuring equity and fairness in the process. At this, a Commissioner asked how long Payne spoke. Mangum stated a little just over three minutes, which Catalano stated he allowed the extra seconds due to Payne having received prior approval as he had another meeting to attend. 

Next spoke LaTisha Harris from the California Black Women for Wellness. She expressed how housing plays a role in inequalities for the people of color, specifically for the Black community. She stated that she hopes the Commissioners can work on “protecting the staff and the residents from this toxic culture.” Briana Zweifler from Barrios Unidos expressed her support for opening the search process for the CEO position to the community, as the residents should have a say in who makes decisions on their behalf. In order for the community engagement to be met, “the search committee should be diverse”, as the candidate should “understand what poverty means and how it impacts the community.” Catalano thanked the three members of the public for commenting. He then called for potential conflicts of interests from the City and County sides, at which there were none. 

Ceremonial Presentations

CEO of Fresno Housing Prince acknowledged Paul Marquez for 30 years of dedicated service to Fresno Housing and the Fresno community. In memory of Marquez, a memorial will be built at the Migrant Center in Parlier. Prince stated that Marquez had a soft spot for kids and had a special connection with the Boys and Girls Club. Marquez’s jersey will be retired at the center. Prince stated “he will be deeply missed by the Fresno Housing family.” A moment of silence was observed by the Commissioners. Julian, Marquez’s son, thanked the Board for the tribute for his father. He expressed how grateful he was that his “dad worked for such a wonderful company.” He also stated he grew up as a Fresno Authority kid and was just proud of his dad and thanked the Board once again. 

Consent Agenda

Catalano moved to the next agenda item, which was the Consent Calendar. A motion was moved to hold the Consideration of the Minutes of January 26, 2021 to the next meeting. The City and County Commissioners approved both agenda items, the Human Resources: Consideration of the 2021 Agency Salary Schedule and the Finance: Consideration of Loan Agreement – Kresge Foundation. Catalano then asked if members of the public would like to address the Board. Donnie Truax, a Fresno Housing Authority housing specialist, expressed her support of Tracewell for the CEO position. She stated that there were a lot of negative things that had happened. “I need this consistency, we all need this consistency. She is the right person for this role.” 

Monique Thomason, a Fresno Housing resident of a couple of decades, also commented. She stated “the thing that bothers me is that there are a lot of people making decisions on our behalf, when they have never asked us. As a black woman with black children, no one can ever actually relate to what we go through. Why is the public not here?” She expressed her disagreement and opposition to Tracewell for the CEO position. Keisha Thomas, clerk for the Fresno School Unified District, expressed her concerns as well for the CEO candidacy. She stated that the search committee needs to be “equitable” and that “the people are fully attuned to what is expected from this position.” She also respectfully disagreed with Tracewell for the position.

At this time, the Board adjourned for closed session at 5:37 p.m. After a couple of hours in discussion regarding the Public Employment Appointment for the Interim CEO/Executive Director role, the Board resumed the meeting from closed session at 8:24 p.m. The Commissioners agreed to table the Staff Presentations regarding the 2020 Agency highlights and the Real Estate Development: Project HomeKey for the next meeting. 

The Board approved the actions regarding the Consideration of Funding Application Submission for the Esperanza Commons and the Consideration of Funding Application Submission for The Arthur @ Blackstone. 

Commissioner’s Report

Catalano thanked Mike for Project HomeKey and in addressing the homeless population because of “the seriously impactful work.” Catalano stated he would like to “bring Mike’s development team at a later meeting to acknowledge their work and efforts.”

Jones also thanked Mike’s team for working over the holidays and for getting the hotels ready for the families to move in. She stated that the police contract has been maintained for June 2021, and that they “will continue to work with the residents to provide safety beyond police officers.” 

Yanez stated she attended the hotel on Highway 99. “They look very awesome, very warm for families to move in. It was an awesome experience watching people work and the love they put into the work they do. Thanks to everyone who is part of the project because it was nice to see who families were getting housing.” 

Kelley then thanked Commissioner Yanez for her “resident leadership and resident perspective.” She also thanked Mike for collecting data regarding the residents and them paying bills on time. She stated she discovered that pieces of the data were missing regarding if residents are not able to pay bills, why is that? She expressed her interest in working closely with the consultants next year in tweaking the methodology of the data collection to also capture what residents are paying for if they are having to choose between bills and say food insecurity. She also added that residents should be interviewed because the numbers tell one story, but the interviews would describe their thought process in their decision making. 


Chair Catalano adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m., at which the Commissioners said good night. 


  • The speakers during Public Comment expressed their support for a “transparent and equitable” search committee and process for the Public Employment Appointment for the Interim CEO/Executive Director role. 

  • Paul Marquez was acknowledged during the Ceremonial Presentations for his 30 years of service to Fresno Housing and the Fresno Community. He will be deeply missed by everyone he worked with and whose lives he impacted. 

  • Speakers expressed their support and opposition for Tracewell for the CEO position for Fresno Housing. They stated they needed someone who understands “poverty and its impact on the community.” They also stated they needed the search committee to include “community engagement as the residents should have a say in who is selected for this important role. 

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