Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes

Lucas State Office Building, Conference Room 418, 4th Floor

321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa

March 13, 2003

Call to order

Commissioner David Leshtz, Chair, called the meeting to order.

Roll call

In attendance were: Commissioners David Leshtz, Alicia Claypool, Connie Gronstal, Rick Morain, Tim Tutt, Maria Waterman, and Dinh VanLo. Staff members present were: Corlis Moody, Rick Autry, Teresa Baustian, Ron Pothast, and Araceli Goode

Recognition of Public and Press

Commissioner Leshtz welcomed guests, public and press in attendance.

Approval of Minutes

Approval of the January 9, 2003 minutes was tabled for the next meeting.

New Business

Next order of business: Sotomayor vs Fast Photo Case Review. Commissioner Leshtz instructed the attorneys for Complainant and Respondent on the time limits for presenting their arguments before the Commissioners. Respondent’s attorney, Steve Green presented his arguments first followed by Rick Autry for the Complainant. After listening to both sides, the motion to go into closed session was made by Commissioner Waterman and seconded by Commissioner Claypool. Roll call vote as follows: Commissioner Claypool – aye; Commissioner Leshtz – aye; Commissioner Gronstal – aye; Commissioner Waterman – aye; Commissioner Morain – aye; Commissioner VanLo – aye; Commissioner Tutt – aye. Motion passed unanimously. Commissioners went into closed session.

The commission returned from closed session. The Chair, Commissioner Leshtz, opened the meeting. A request was sent to the attorneys to return to the meeting. Once returned, the Commissioners put forth questions regarding the case. After further discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Gronstal and seconded by Commissioner Claypool to accept the decision made by the Administrative Law Judge as drafted. Roll call vote as follows: Commissioner Claypool – aye; Commissioner Gronstal – aye; Commissioner Leshtz – aye; Commissioner Morain – nay, finds liability but questions the way compensation was complied using the pregnancy time which he feels should have been deducted.; Commissioner Tutt – aye; Commissioner VanLo – aye; Commissioner Waterman – aye. The motion carried.

Commissioners’ Reports and Subcommittee Reports:

Commissioner Alicia Claypool – Thanked the Commission for the assistance with the GLBT Forum and distribution of information. Reported the GLBT Committee had met on February 19, 2003. The feedback on the evaluations has been positive and further presentations have been requested. Realizes the budget constraints the Commission faces, so a home for this project should be located. This would mean obtaining funding and hiring a part-time person to do the administrative work. A job description was distributed to Commissioners. Members of the GLBT Committee were working on a report to submit to the Governor’s Office. Discussion followed. Commissioners approved the report be made as recommended to the Governor’s Office. Commissioners agreed that the GLBT Committee’s work connecting the educators with Gay Activists had brought good results and also raised the awareness of the issues.

Commissioner Constance M. Gronstal – No report

Commissioner David Leshtz – No report

Commissioner Timothy Tutt – No report

Commissioner Dinh VanLo – No report

Commissioner Maria Waterman – No report

Executive Director’s Report

Budget presentation before the legislative Justice sub-committee resulted in Corlis being directed to prepare recommendations outlining the impacts further budget cuts would have on the agency and why merging the agency with Legal Aide Services would not work to present before the Committee next Wednesday. In addition, what the agency was doing to obtain more Federal funds. After further discussion, the commissioners requested Corlis e-mail talking points and contact information for the Justice Sub-committee so they can attempt to lobby on the behalf of the Commission. The Iowa Business Association and the Bar Association were also suggested to contact.

Director Moody invited the Commissioners to participate in the Race conference being held at the Olmsted Center at Drake, May 15 – 16, 2003. The Greater Des Moines partnership had committed to do the logistics and Diversity Members to take on the work. Money for the conference is slowly coming in.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission offices will be moving at the end of April to the Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th Street, First Floor, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. The phone numbers will remain the same.

Old Business

Rule Review Vote – Chapter I – Ron Pothast, Business Manager, reported that no one attended the Public Hearing and no written comment was received on the Notice of the incorrect address. The motion was made by Commissioner Gronstal and seconded by Commissioner VanLo to adopt the waiver. The motion passed unanimously.

Rule Review Vote – Credit Rules – Rick Autry, Assistant Attorney General, presented. Following discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Morain and seconded by Commissioner VanLo to approve the changes as drafted. The motion passed unanimously.

Iowa Utilities Board – Commissioner Leshtz recalled writing a letter in support of to the Iowa Utilities Board to pursue a statutory amendment to allow expansion of the Iowa Utilities Board’s equipment distribution program to people who have physical and cognitive disabilities back in November. He reported that the Utilities Board had decided not to pursue.

Olmstead Executive Order – 20 state agencies, which Iowa Civil Rights Commission is one, have been charged to come up with recommendations to identify and address barriers to community living for individuals with disabilities and long term illnesses.

Next Meeting Date and Location

Next meeting date is May 8, 2003. Sally charged with contacting the Waterloo Human Rights Commission to inquire their availability to host the meeting. Otherwise, the meeting will be held at the ICRC office. 

Adjournment

Meeting adjourned by the Chair, Commissioner Leshtz.

                                                                                    Submitted by Araceli Goode, Excutive Secretary