Approved Minutes – Meeting of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission,
December 17, 2021
I. Roll Call -
Commissioners: Gina Battani, Justin Johnston, Sam Kooiker, Patricia Lipski, Dennis Mandsager, Marcelena Ordaz, Holly White.
II. Recognition of Staff, Public, Press –
Staff: Charles Hill, Kaitlin Smith, Katie Fiala, Marie Agey, Adam Brewster. Brenna Bormann, Reece Elphic.
Public: Don Grove.
Press: Laura Belin.
III. Approval of Minutes –
Minutes from meetings on November 19, 2021, were presented. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Commissioner Mandsager, seconded by Commissioner White. Approved by vote. Motion carried.
IV. Status Report on Workgroups.
a. Employee Retention Group – Two main themes from employee questionnaires – inadequate compensation and lack of promotional opportunities. Also discussed different ways of getting the questionnaire out to former employees.
b. Pay Group – Discussion on the salaries for comparable positions within the state and how to best format to present the information gathered to the Governor’s office.
V. Outreach Update
a. Iowa Summit on Justice and Disparities – ICRC represented by Jacob Bennington.
b. Austin Moore and Rachel Large did a training on harassment in the workplace.
c. Future events include a fair housing presentation at the Urbandale library and putting together a CLE for the ALJs at DIA.
d. State Fair Conversation with Human Rights – Discussed the possibility of sharing a booth at the Iowa State Fair, but Human Rights hasn’t had a presence at the State Fair for the last eight years, but have been working on an online.
VI. Discussion on Powers and Duties of Chair and Vice-Chair.
VII. Public Comment – No comments from members of the public.
VIII. Director’s report
a. Budget Updates – Charles Hill met with the representatives for preliminary budget discussions. Discussed possibly requesting more money related to the increase in civil rights complaints related to mask/vaccine requirements. The Commissioners asked questions regarding the salary for the executive director and increasing the number of FTEs currently authorized for the ICRC.
b. Status of Permanent Executive Director Search – No update.
c. Employee Updates – One CS departure, Alex Cleverley, moving on to another employment opportunity. Currently hiring for four CRS positions.
IX. Litigation Update –Two housing cases pending, scheduled for trial in the end of 2022 and the middle of 2023. Two judicial review cases that are still pending and will go through briefing.
a. Commissioner Gina Battani – Nothing to report.
b. Commissioner Justin Johnston – Nothing to report.
c. Commissioner Sam Kooiker – Asked to add budget planning to the agenda of the next meeting.
d. Commissioner Patricia Lipski – Nothing to report.
e. Commissioner Dennis Mandsager –Discussed the work of the subcomittees and including a letter from the interim director to attach with the report to the Governor’s office.
f. Commissioner Marcelena Ordaz – Nothing to report.
g. Commissioner Holly White – Nothing to report.
X. Next Meeting – Next commission meeting scheduled for January 21, 2022.
Call to adjourn. Meeting adjourned by Commissioner Ordaz.