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