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Letter: Diversity Seems to Have Selective Application in Royal Oak

The following was written by Rick Karlowski in response to Royal Oak Committee Appointees 'A Little Bit Younger, More Gender Balanced'.

I find it incredible that Appointments Committee members Mike Fournier and Jeremy Mahrle, who championed the Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) to make sure folks are not discriminated against because of, among other things, age and sex, used, by their own statements, those very criteria to deny my reappointment to the Zoning Board of Appeals and change the long standing practice of appointing interested alternate members to full appointments as vacancies occur. And that Mayor Jim Ellison and Commissioner Kyle DuBuc, also strong advocates of the HRO, concurred with their recommendation. 

Nobody questioned my attendance, conflicts of interest, or qualifications as a reason for denial. As for the "diversity" argument, consider the following: There were three full positions up for appointment including an open position vacated by George Gomez; the position held by Leslie Anderson, who was term limited; and the position held by Kevin Kalczynski, who was reappointed.  

Of the two open full positions, one was filled by the second alternate, Anthony Offak, and one was filled by a completely new appointee, Timothy Makar. The result is there is one less women on the board as a regular member than before.  

Had the previous practice of appointing alternates to full positions been continued, the board mix in terms of woman would have been the same. If diversity was such a priority, one would have thought it would have been more of an issue when the mayor made his appointment recommendations for open seats on the Planning Committee, which arose when Sharlan Douglas and Jeremy Mahrle were elected to the City Commission and again when two members of the committees' terms were up. 

In the first case, two men where appointed the open seats, decreasing the number of women on the board by one. In the second case, the two members where re-appointed. 

Clearly the "diversity" issue seems to have selective application.
Bel Mo February 06, 2014 at 10:44 PM
"When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise". Winston Churchill Written long ago by a very wise world leader these words so truly represent the heart beat of our City Hall now days.
Joey K. February 07, 2014 at 09:28 AM
Sorry, Debbie, but this is America. If you are going to make a crazy allegation, it is incumbent upon you to provide supporting evidence. And, it seems, you are unable to do so.
Ray February 07, 2014 at 12:10 PM
Tim Makar was appointed to the ZBA. Rick Karlowski was the first alternate and was not.
Bel Mo February 07, 2014 at 02:31 PM
Joey knows everything? Good then, why not run for mayor? Maybe even get to meet another mayoral candidate- Carlos Danger?
The_Groove February 07, 2014 at 02:53 PM
Sorry to see Rick being discriminated against... Hopefully Royal Oak will also discriminate equally against used Queens....

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