Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Human Rights Commission
Minutes Regular meeting February 5, 2015
Present: Misty Gonzalez, chair, Helen Rentch, Donald Morton, Dan Brown, Lauren Graves, Rev. Shelia Harris, Marilyn Daniel
Absent: Lonnie Jackson, Gayle Franklin
Treasurer’s Report: Balance: $3259.24 Expenditures: 2 bill sfrom Windstream, $250 to The Roots and Heritage Co. for MLK,Jr. Day event. 33cents income from interest.
Election of Vice-Chair: Donald Morton nominated and elected by unanimous vote.
Correspondence: Compliant has been received from a father who believes he was discriminated against, as a man, in action with the W.C. Cabinet for Family Health- Protection & Advocacy. Our local form was mailed to him with instructions to file within 180 days of event. He meanwhile filed a compliant with the Office of Civil Rights in the Ky Dept. of Health and Human Services and forwarded a copy to Misty.
We will acknowledge this as a complaint to us. Misty will contact him to advise that we will proceed to open an investigation, with Dan and Marilyn to handle this follow-up. He is seeking Sensitivity Training for the staff.
Education: Dan presented report from Peggy Seale. Effort is underway to solicit applicants for the scholarship as well as raise the money.
She and Dan will meet with Garret Wells to review statistics and data on minority recruitment/testing data and statistics on suspensions. They were requested to also seek information on the reported ‘tracking’ system whereby students are assigned to specific classes.
Fairness: Materials were distributed that had been shared with the 3 governing bodies’ executives and Dan and Helen reported on the meeting of January 19 with these men.
Following a historical review of the Commission’s consideration of the issue of a Fairness Ordinance each Commissioner was asked to express their view on whether to press forward in seeking an Ordinance. After much heartfelt discussion a resolution was adopted to: “Propose to recommend to the 3 governing bodies that the protections established under our current Interlocal Agreement be expanded to include protection for sexual orientation and gender identity or that local ordinances for that purpose be adopted if the Interlocal Agreement is not achievable.
We feel it is important to have a public hearing on the matter in order that community members can express their views and we can listen to concerns.
Several community members were present for the meeting and were invited to speak. Tim Thompson did speak and expressed concern that the issue would divide the community and that an ordinance would be “a solution’ looking for a problem.
Website: Misty updated us on the new website and correspondence procedures. www.woodfordhumanrights.com, 859-429-2977. The info will be forwarded to all 4 officers. Dan will contact Ron Durban in the County Judge’s office to inform him of the new process and how to forward calls coming in there.
Misty asked for a brief bio and photo from each Commissioner to post on the site.
Proposal for a Complaint Officer: Marilyn agreed to take this on.
New committee appointments: Marilyn will serve on the Fairness Committee and Rev. Harris will join the Education Committee.
Next Meeting: Thursday March 5, 2015 6:30 p.m.