Davenport Civil Rights Commission remains unclear as to who's a member

DAVENPORT, Iowa. (KWQC) - There seem to be repercussions from the recent shake-up at the Davenport Civil Rights Commission. Last year, Mayor Frank Klipsch fired several members for refusing to accept new members to the panel.

On Tuesday morning, the commission met with a number of things on the agenda. They were supposed to discuss attorney's fees, an evaluation of the commission, and a wage increase for the director. Instead, members spent the majority of the time discussing who is on the commission.

On Tuesday morning, the commission met with a number of things on the agenda. They were supposed to discuss attorney's fees, an evaluation of the commission, and a wage increase for the director. Instead, members spent the majority of the time discussing who is on the commission.

"I ask that others not talk. I'm asking that others not talk during our meeting. If there's talk during our meeting that's not talk of the commission," said Janelle Wangberg, Chairperson for the Davenport Civil Rights Commission.

"As a member of the public, I'd like to know which meeting is relevant, which meeting is going on, and which meeting is bogus. I need to know who the commissioners are. I'm outraged that this is continuing as it is going on right now. I'm holding you accountable to the public, please announce yourselves as who you are. Who is a legitimate member?" said someone who was sitting in on the meeting.

"All I can say ma'am is at the last meeting I was elected to be chairperson," countered Wangberg. To which someone in the crowd exclaimed, "by who?!" Another crowd member asked, "are any of these members legitimate, per the law?" Wangberg retorted, "per the law, we are the most recent."

"Well you've been silencing the public the whole meeting so it's high time for the public to speak," said one of the members in the crowd.
"The public will have time to speak at the public comment portion of the meeting," said Wangberg.

Then there was a motion. "Motion to amend the minutes to add us 4 in," said one of the women at the table.

One of the commissioners rebutted, "I think it's disrespectful that we're having a meeting here and you're talking about changing minutes."

"As far as the public is concerned, anybody who Frank Klipsch put on the commission is not a part of the commission any longer," said a crowd member.

"That may be your view and you can express that view at the public comment portion of the meeting," said Rabbi Karp.

The secretary vocalized her concerns a few minutes in: "I'm a staff member this is not fair. This is not fair." Wangberg responded with, "all I can say is we're all in the middle of this." To which the secretary retorted, "you're all city officials, I'm a staff member."

"I don't think any of us want to sit here where we're yelling. It won't be bringing anybody anything positive. That's where we are gummed up. We've taken a vote, the meeting is adjourned" said Wangberg.

"So we don't get the public speaking part of this?" asked the member of the crowd.
"Nope," responded Wangberg as she packed her things.

The Davenport Civil Rights Commission's website says they are "dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination by promoting quality of life in Davenport." TV6 reached out to Davenport's new mayor for his thoughts on the disagreements. We have not heard back yet.