Davenport residents express outrage over civil rights commission changes during city council meeting

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DAVENPORT, Ia (KWQC) - During Wednesday night's city council meeting five Davenport residents expressed their outrage and concern over the removal of four members of the city's civil rights commission.

One woman who did not identify herself by name or address said she felt those criticizing lacked substance in their critiques and said: "I just want to voice my support for people on the council."

Davenport resident Evan Shank said he just wants to know "who in the community has called out for this reform or this radical change to the civil rights commission and why was it necessary to change?"

During the meeting itself a council member asked for transparency moving forward. The Mayor assured him that "everyone will receive appointees in advance."

The public comments section of the city council meeting is a listening session so council members do not respond because they are there to listen to the thoughts of the residents they serve.

Nicole Bribriesco-Ledge was one of the four commissioners who was removed from the civil rights council. She spoke during the public comments session and said "we would have worked with your three council members who were appointed. if it was shown to us that you were right. The reason I did not meet with the mayor and the couple of, I don't know, council members who were going to meet with me, we wanted a public hearing. we wanted a public meeting, I wasn't going to just meet one other commissioner come meet with a couple of you so it could be private. that's why I failed to respond."

After the meeting, KWQC spoke with Mayor Klipsch who said that "when the four decided in fact not to seek the commissioners and move forward were left almost without a choice and regretfully we didn't want to go this direction. But we have a responsibility as the city's elected officials to make sure that all individuals have legal civil rights commission appointed so that they can carry on the work."

The mayor says the next step is to vet the candidate and quickly so that there can be seven appointed and confirmed members of the civil rights commission. He says that a list of potential appointees could go to alderman and council members next week.