Coun­cil an­nounces hu­man re­la­tions panel nom­i­nees

Res­i­dents to serve stag­gered 3-year terms on new board

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Dan Sokil [email protected]­tu­ry­ @Dan­sokil on Twit­ter For more in­for­ma­tion or meeting agen­das and ma­te­ri­als visit www.

LANS­DALE >> Five po­ten­tial members of Lans­dale’s new Hu­man Re­la­tions Com­mis­sion have now been named, and could be in place later this month.

Coun­cil­man Bill Hen­ning an­nounced Wed­nes­day night that res­i­dents Aure­lia Henry, An­thony John­son, Ju­liane Ramic, Jes­sica Rice and Hanna Vargo have been nom­i­nated to serve on the new board.

“The ap­point­ments com­mit­tee would like to give a big ‘thank you’ to all the res­i­dents that sub­mit­ted their in­ter­est in the hu­man re­la­tions com­mis­sion,” said Hen­ning.

“We had sev­eral good, qual­i­fied ap­pli­cants, which did make the se­lec­tion a lit­tle chal­leng­ing, but that’s a good prob­lem to have. For­tu­nately, we were able to fi­nally nar­row it down,” he said.

The hu­man re­la­tions com­mis­sion was dis­cussed and de­bated for much of the past sum­mer, as coun­cil members sug­gested that the all-vol­un­teer com­mis­sion be set up to field com­plaints and try to me­di­ate dis­putes over claims of dis­crim­i­na­tion against res­i­dents or visitors to town.

The new or­di­nance adds gen­der iden­tity and LGBTQ sta­tus to the list of pro­tected classes able to sub­mit al­leged in­ci­dents of dis­crim­i­na­tion to the com­mis­sion, and any de­ci­sion from the com­mis­sion could then be ap­pealed into the court sys­tem.

A com­mis­sion was first pro­posed in May, and res­i­dents shared feed­back and terms were drafted over the sub­se­quent two months. Coun­cil ap­proved the or­di­nance es­tab­lish­ing the new board in Au­gust, then put out a call for those will­ing to serve.

Hen­ning, who is chair­man of coun­cil’s ap­point­ments com­mit­tee, an­nounced dur­ing the Dec. 5 coun­cil meeting the five names that body rec­om­mended for ap­proval, and said the oth­ers who put in for po­si­tions but were not cho­sen had al­ready been no­ti­fied.

“I did speak with all of those who were nom­i­nated, and I did con­tact all of those who were not rec­om­mended,” he said.

An­nounc­ing the names on Dec. 5 al­lows time for coun­cil members to con­tact each can­di­date and ask ques­tions or learn more about them, Hen­ning said, and their bi­ogra­phies would be shared with all nine coun­cil members ahead of planned votes on each ap­point­ment dur­ing coun­cil’s Dec. 19 meeting.

Terms on the com­mis­sion will last three years, but the ini­tial ap­point­ments will be a mix of one, two and three years to space out any po­ten­tial turnover. Hen­ning said he and the nom­i­nees had yet to de­ter­mine which members would be asked to serve which length of terms.

“They’re go­ing to be stag­gered. Who’s go­ing to be stag­gered to what, we don’t know yet. They’re three year terms, so some­body un­for­tu­nately is go­ing to be one year, but we don’t know which one that is yet,” Hen­ning said.

The ap­point­ments com­mit­tee is also still ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions from any res­i­dents in­ter­ested in fill­ing a va­cant po­si­tion on the bor­ough’s plan­ning com­mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to Hen­ning, and any­one in­ter­ested is asked to sub­mit their let­ter of in­ter­est and re­sume as soon as pos­si­ble to bor­ough record­ing sec­re­tary Sta­cie Maile at [email protected] lans­ or ad­dressed to the Ap­point­ments Com­mit­tee, 1 Vine St. Lans­dale, PA 19446.

Bor­ough coun­cil next meets at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the bor­ough mu­nic­i­pal build­ing, 1 vine St.

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