At the inauguration on Sunday, some mayoral appointees were sworn in. Among them was Theresa Joyner, who will be the new chair of the Planning Board. Stephen Steim, who was appointed to the Planning Board by Mayor Kamal Johnson at the beginning of 2020 and became chair in June 2021 when Betsy Gramkow resigned, did not, for health reasons, seek reappointment.
Yesterday, the Register-Star published an article about the inauguration with the headline "Joyner first woman of color to lead planning board." The first paragraphs of the article are of particular interest.
Theresa Joyner was sworn in Sunday as the first woman and first woman of color to lead the city Planning Board . . . .
Joyner said she wants community members to know that the great ability she can bring to her job is availability as the Fair Housing Officer.
"First, I want to make sure that people know we are here and understand the position of Fair Housing Officer," Joyner said.
She plans to visit all of the affordable housing buildings in Hudson to hand out information on how she can be of assistance and will be available Friday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Assessor's office at City Hall.
Joyner is actually not the first woman to chair the Planning Board. Up until only six months ago, Betsy Gramkow was chair of the Planning Board, and, if memory serves, Judy Meyer chaired the Planning Board back in the early 2000s. Some clue about how Joyner sees being chair of the Planning Board in relation to her position as Fair Housing Officer may be found in her response to a preliminary presentation in February 2021 by Benchmark Development for the market rate apartment building being considered for the first block of Warren Street. Joyner wanted to know who the tenants of the building would be, explaining, "My biggest concern is the need. Will it benefit the citizens?"
The chair of the Planning Board serves ex officio on the board of HCDPA (Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency) and the IDA (Industrial Development Agency. When Gramkow chaired the Planning Board, she designated John Cody as her proxy to represent the Planning Board on the IDA. That situation continued when Steim took over as chair. It is likely that Joyner will want to serve on the IDA herself.
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