Commissioners' Meeting Minutes - Minutes of the March 14, 2013 Meeting

03/14/2013
Document Text Content: 

Minutes of the March 14, 2013 Meeting of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission

 

I.         Roll Call: Spicer, Morain, Lipski, Williams, Conley

Staff: Townsend

Public: Doug Oelschlaeger

 

II.        Minutes from January 24, 2013 meeting: distributed for review and unanimously approved.

 

III.      Iowa CCI did not attend meeting and no presentation was made by the group.

 

IV.      Director's Report

Provided copy of monthly production standards (attached)

Update regarding meeting with NAACP Legal Redress Committee

RAC v. Henry update

 

V.        Commissioner Reports

 

Commissioner  Spicer - provided written report (attached) including community relations activity and questions FY13 Action Plan regarding customer satisfaction number; backlog; screening.

 

Commissioner  Williams - Served as a judge for a public art project at Edmonds School; attended another outreach event and is getting positive feedback from the community about the ICRC.  Raised discussion regarding future townhall meetings.

 

Commissioner  Lipski - Lauded Washington, IA Boy Scout troop who voted to admit gay members and leaders in order to be as inclusive as possible; Partnership Optimist Club agreed with the decision.

 

Commissioner  Conley - Commissioner Conley has been contacted recently by public safety leaders and businesses alleging that they are not "getting a fair shake" at the ICRC and their perception is the ICRC favors complainants.  Commissioner Spicer pointed out these individuals may be confusing the ICRC with the Employment Appeal Board and PERB and may not appreciate the differences between the two boards. Mr. Oelschlaeger offered that employers with claims against them at the ICRC may also face claims with other state agencies like Workmen's Comp which almost always awards benefits and there may be confusion about the differences between those state agencies and the ICRC.  Commissioner Morain posited that there may be a loss of trust in the government in general by the public and because the ICRC is part of the government, that could be part of the issue.  Director Townsend provided assurances that the ICRC is a neutral law enforcement agency and there are more cases screened out and more No Probable Cause orders issued than Probable Cause orders so the information received by Commissioner Conley is anecdotal in nature.  She also advised that Administrative Law Judges outside of the ICRC are the decisionmakers with regard to the PC/NPC orders which insures that these cases are reviewed by outside, objective judges.  Commissioner Conley expressed that he was simply relaying the information from the individuals who had contacted him.

 

 

Commissioner Morain - Noted that the meeting was his last meeting.    He spoke with Governor Branstad and Lt Gov Reynolds recently at a townhall meeting they held in Jefferson, IA.  Commissioner Morain thanked Gov Branstad for appointed Director Townsend and both Governor Branstad and Lt

Gov Reynolds expressed their support for the ICRC.  The Jefferson-Scranton school board approved a request by students from the Gay-Straight Alliance. Commissioner Morain encouraged the ICRC to expand outreach and also to become advocates and to work on several issues in the future including voting rights for felons, immigration, and marriage equality.

 

VI.       Closed session - after a roll call vote with all commissioners except Morain voting to move to closed session.  Mr. Oeschlaeger left the meeting, the Commissioners went to closed session to approve the sealed minutes from the Latham public hearing.  Because this was the last meeting of the commissioners that had participated in the hearing, Commissioner Morain agreed the closed session was necessary at this meeting as the last opportunity to approve the minutes of the closed session. After reviewing the sealed minutes, and another unanimous roll call vote, the members returned to open session and voted to approve the minutes.

 

Next meeting was not set pending input from incoming Commissioners.

 

Meeting adjourned after motion and vote to adjourn.