Mayor Eric Bookmeyer moved quickly after Tuesday’s direction from the City Council and brought forward three applicants for the Human Rights Commission.|Mayor Eric Bookmeyer moved quickly after Tuesday’s direction from the City Council and brought forward three applicants for the Human Rights Commission.
The City Council voted 4-2 at Tuesday night’s Council meeting that the mayor should bring forward three applicants by March 1. Their vote meant little other than showing frustration with his methodology of selecting applicants; Bookmeyer is not bound by the vote.
When vacancies arise on the human Rights Commission, the Mayor selects from applicants for the commission. The applicants must then be ok’d by the commission itself, and then voted in by the City Council.
When contacted by NorthIowaToday.com, Human rights Director Lionel Foster says the Mayor’s latest move was “wrong.” Foster says that over the last 30 years that he has been involved with the Human Rights Department, no Mayor has brought his appointments to the press before they are OK’d by the Commission.
Mayor Bookmeyer told the Globe Gazette of his appointments during an interview Friday, and they then ran a story about it immediately. About the same time, Bookmeyer put a memo in Foster’s inbox at City Hall that outlined his choices.
“He has politicized our process, and it’s wrong,” Foster said. “This is a quasi-judical body. He has injected politics into this. We don’t want individuals on the commission that want to create something new. They must be impartial.”
Bookmeyer told NorthIowaToday.com that “I’m happy with the appointments, these are very good people.”
Foster says the Commission will move forward and interview the three candidates.