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Human Rights Commission, Bookmeyer duel over appointment

MASON CITY – The Human Rights Commission voted unanimously on Thursday April 7, 2011, not to consent to the appointment of Mr. Brian McNamara as recommended by Mayor Bookmeyer. This vote at the regular meeting of the Commission on Thursday April 7, 2011, reflects the desire of the Commission to fill the remaining vacancy with the recommended appointment of Ms. Sandy Servantez who has served as a Friend of the Commission for two years. Per city code, the Human Rights Commission retains the authority to consent or not to consent to the Mayoral appointees to maintain the integrity of the Commission.

bookmeyer_black_history_monthThe Mason City Commission has a long established practice of bringing forward the names of expiring Commission members and Friends of the Commission as candidates for openings on the Commission as experienced, well qualified and valued members of the Human Rights Commission. The HRC requires an inordinate amount of time and training commitment which is the very purpose for developing the “Friends of the Commission Program” over 2 decades ago. It is this well established system that has brought the candidacy of Ms. Sandy Servantez to the attention of Mayor Bookmeyer. It is the Commission’s hope that Mayor Bookmeyer will recognize the value in appointing qualified and experienced Friends of the Commission when vacancies occur. This process has worked well in the past. The appointment of Ms. Servatez would certainly meet that need.

Mr. Brian McNamara has agreed to volunteer his time with the Commission in the capacity of Friend of the Commission and supports the system of developing Commissioners for future openings. It is the opinion of the Commission that this compromise will best serve the citizens of Mason City. The Human Rights Commission looks forward to the opportunity to meet with the Mayor and City Council Members and interested citizens to share more details about the Friends of the Commission Mentoring Program and welcomes additional citizen participation.

“When I applied for a position on the Mason City Human Rights Commission, I did so because I believe in the Mission of the Commission and I believe in giving back to my community,” McNamara said, when asked to comment on the actions of the April 7, 2011, Commission meeting.  “Those beliefs have not changed and I look forward to serving both the Commission and the community in the role of “Friend of the Commission.”

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