‘Everything here is just null and void. This is basically an illegal meeting.’

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Confusion and contention at Davenport’s Civil Rights Commission meeting today.

The original meeting was set for Noon, but another notice was posted Monday with a new agenda for 1:15 p.m. 

The Civil Rights Commission director, Latrice Lacey, says she still doesn’t know who posted the update, but that it was illegal to do so.

Lacey says the commission must decide to change the time and location of a meeting during a previous meeting. 

That was not done in this case. 

Commissioner Michael Liendo says he and others were in touch with ciy leaders regarding the change, but Lacey says city staff does not have the authority to do that. 

“You violated the law. By having input on a meeting that wasn’t public. That’s a violation of the law,” one neighbor yelled during the meeting. 

“Everything here is just null and void,” he said. 

“This is basically an illegal meeting,” another woman chimed in.

Davenport police officers arrived at the meeting after several outbursts from the crowd inside council chambers.

In the end, the meeting was determined illegal and an official meeting was 

There’s still also a legal battle over three commissioners whose terms expired — and the people the mayor appointed to replace them.

“I think it’s a political ploy to get control of the commission, which is unfortunate because the people, the special classes will not be taken care of,” Expired Civil Rights Commission Chair Susan Greenwalt said.

The three commissioners whose terms have expired — and their three appointees are set to be in court on May 24th for a hearing. 

Greenwalt says they will honor a judge’s decision on who will actually hold those seats on the Civil Rights Commission. 

Meanwhile, there are four other new commissioners.

They are recognized by both embattled commissioners and the city legal department.

Michael Liendo is one of them.

He says he knew this meeting would be contentious, but he was glad to see some movement.

“There’s clarity in that the four of us are being recognized and that meets quorum. And as long as things are done in an open, public and legal way, we shouldn’t have too much setback in getting cases resolved and continuing business as usual,” Liendo says.

Tim Kelly says he’s been following the embattled commission for about a year now and says he just wants to see one thing happen, moving forward.

“Communication. Communication across the board; what one side knows the other side should know, as well. Will they agree? No, but just as long as both sides know and they can come to the table collectively, that’s all I want to see,” Kelly says.
 

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