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spent more time with the hous-ing program than anyone elsel in Ann Arbor . . . Makingl allowances for differences inl personality ■ . . I've neverl known anyone more dedicatedl than Mrs. Mhoon, who pun more in and got less out of it. Ifl she makes this stick I feel sor-l ry for the Housing CommissionJ They'll have trouble keepingl this program going." I (Related story on Page 17)

Housing Commission Director Mrs. Joseph D. Mhoon has decided not to resign. Mrs. Mhoon this morning verified comments made to the City Council last night by Commission C h a i r m a n Lyndon Welch that she has been persuaded to stay in her post. At last Thursday's Housing Commission meeting, Mrs. Mhoon said she was resigning, this resignation coming during a sharp debate between the commission and members of the audience. Once before, in September of 1967, Mrs. Mhoon had resigned but the next day changed her mind. Welch and others this weekend reportedly held long discussions with Mrs. Mhoon concerning her resignations and the reasons behind it, finally persuading her to remain. Mrs. Mhoon has been the city's housing director since Dec. 1, 1966. In addition to informing the council Mrs. Mhoon would stay on, Welch said he expected a contract to be signed "wiïhin a week or two" with the Sharp Construction Co. of Flint for the building of 151 public housing units here. He also expressed the hope groundbreaking would take place before the end of April. Speaking on Mrs. Mhoon's resignation, Welch .said: "I think we on the Housing Comf missipn have to recognize our responsibilities a bit." Terming the political atmosphere here a "circus," Welch said, "we on the firing line have to protect our staff and assistants and permit them to do the work in the way it has to be done." Welch said Mrs. Mhoon has been doing an excellent job, "everything and a bit more to have the program come to fruition. She hasn't, unfortunately, been universally accepted here but has to a very large degree. "What is really essential to her well-being, and to the Housing Commission, is that she does have wide support and isn't out fighting the battle by herself," Welch said. "Unfortunatelv. the , atmosphere at some of our meetings created the opposite effect." Welch said that "some are aware that there are prop! er channels for bringing up complaints rather than venting their ire or wrath on the person most recognizable. It's regrettable," he said. "Some persons who should know better have made common cause with persons who have personal grudges. I'd prefer to think it's done in ignorance rather than otherwise, although this is hard to believe," the Housing Commission chairman said. Welch then reiterated his earlier position that the commission should bc kept out of become aligned with any segment of the community," he said. Stating commissioners have talked with Mrs. Mhoon, Welch added that she has received 1 wide support "from other authoritative elements and I'm perfectly convinced she wants to stay on." He then said it was up to the commission to créate an atmosphere that would be conducive to her staying on the job. In this regard, Welch said he plans to restructure Housing Commission meetings along two lines. He said an executive session would be provided at the opening of each meeting to go over the agenda and straighten out any points that need it, and secondly the mission would adjourn the meeting and excuse the, director prior to its audience discussion period. "This will relieve her of direct pressure being brought to bear by some people," Welch said. Fifth Ward Councilman LeRoy A. Cappaert said he wants Mrs. Mhoon to remain, but took issue with Welch's comments on keeping the commission out of politics. "I doubt that an issue of this importance can be kept out of politics," Cappaert said. "There are some very important issues that are political issues, and we should encourage people to bring these concerns to the Housing Commission and the City Council," he said. "Are you saying there is nothing political about the 'authoritative elements'?" Cappaert asked. "The ones I was happiest about were the non-political supporters," Welch said. "I know there is reason for certain segments of community life to be brought into politics, but the Housing Commission program is not one of these." Cappaert said he believed politics was an important part of the program and said "I feel it is terribly naive for a person of your stature to say you didn't want (former councilman Robert P.) Weeks on the commission to keep it out of politics." 'Til have to accept that soft impeachment," Welch replied.


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