Monday, January 11, 2010

Commissioner Brooks Receives "Rosa Parks Award"

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Commissioner Henri Brooks
  • JB
  • Commissioner Henri Brooks
Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks was presented the “Rosa Parks Award” at Bloomfield Full Gospel church on South Parkways Sunday from a local group called “Citizens for Better Service.”

A press release issued by Brooks herself cites the commissioner “because in the midst of personal trials and tribulations, she stood up for the poor and fought for decent housing for the poor.” According to the release, Dr. Johnnie Watson, president of LeMoyne-Owen College and former Memphis City Schools superintendent was keynote speaker for the award presentation.

The release does not indicate what specific actions by Brooks occasioned her receiving the award, though she has been most active recently in an effort to prevent developer Harold Buehler, whom she dubbed a "slumlord," from getting title to 140 vacant lots under a program administered by the Tennessee Hoousing Development Agency (THDA).

Buehler, an "infill" developer who specializes in rental property, won commission approval some weeks ago, but Brooks, who advocates allowing community development groups to administer the properties, has continued to look for ways of overturning the decision. Her latest sertback occurred last week with the receipt of a letter from Ted R. Fellman, executive director of THDA, stating that Buehler's application for the properties had been consistent with the guidelines of the Homestead Program, that the developer had "performed well within our program guidelines," and that Buehler's units consistently passed quality inspections.

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