February 2011


February 23, 2011, 4:30p.m.

Council Chambers



           PRESENT                                                       ABSENT                                 

Rhea Baker-Ipek                                               Greg Lewis

Trena Carter                                                      Tony McClendon       

Ian Kohen                                                           Shiva Rallapalli

Gil Palmer                                                         

Rosalind Pegram                                              

John Roberts

John Stroh


Meeting Called to Order



Director Arlette Cooper Tinsley, Deputy Director Lorraine Smith and Secretary Lula Young.


Commissioner Roberts called roll and requested any corrections or amendments to the November 17, 2010 minutes.

Commissioner Carter moved to accept the November 2010 minutes as submitted.  Commissioner Stroh seconded.  Motion carried.    


Commissioner Carter reported one transaction in the month of January leaving the Donations Account balance at $6,187.06.


No report.


Director Tinsley reported that staff workload continues to be consistently heavy due in part to the legislative changes and Amendments to the American’s with Disabilities Act (AADA)  .

The Director noted the significant increase in attendance at the last Police Audit and Review Committee quarterly meeting that she and Chairperson Palmer attended.

She advised that Police Chief, Jim Worton reported that two known members of the Aryan brotherhood who were believed to be involved in a local shoot-out were recently arrested without incident.  The Chief also advised that it is unknown if additional members of the group are in the area.  Discussion ensued.

Director Tinsley advised that Commissioner Rallapalli will be making a presentation about Hate Crimes and Hate Groups at 1st Presbyterian church as part of their Lent series.  She also informed Commissioners that she was would be providing training on the amended AADA/GINA legislation for the Indiana Municipal Personnel Administrators for Cities and Towns (IMPACT) during the month of March in Westfield, IN.

The Director continued by informing Commissioners that she continues to meet with local mayoral candidates, at their request, to provide information about the Human Rights and   Personnel offices, city budgets and other city-related questions.  Discussion ensued.

The Director completed her report by announcing the recent hiring of a third African-American by the Columbus Police Department, making this the first time in CPD history that there have been three (3) African-American officers on staff at the same time.


Director Tinsley submitted the slate of officers on behalf of Commissioner Lewis as created by the nominating committee.  The slate was presented as follows:


Chairperson:             Commissioner Gil Palmer         

Vice Chairperson:     Commissioner Greg Lewis  

Secretary:                  Commissioner John Roberts   

Treasurer:                  Commissioner Trena Carter


Chairperson Palmer opened the floor for nominations, there were none.

Commissioner Stroh moved that nominations be closed.  No second.  Nominations were closed.

Per the Commission’s Rules and Regulations, Commissioners voted by written ballot for each office individually. 

The slate of officers was approved as presented by a majority vote for each executive committee office.

ACTION ITEM – Selection of Pride Alliance Columbus (PAC) Liaison:

Director Tinsley advised Commissioners that after serving as the PAC (formerly GS/A) liaison for several years, Commissioner Kohen is stepping down for business reasons.  She went on to ask for a volunteer to continue the work of PAC Liaison.  Commissioner Baker-Ipek volunteered to become the Commission’s new liaison to PAC (Pride Alliance Columbus).

OTHER BUSINESS – Annual Dinner Update:

Director Tinsley reported that in compliance with discussions from the January commission meeting, tickets for the 2011 annual dinner  will remain at $25.00 and staff will continue to

research different venues and options to provide free tickets for the awards presentation and keynote address for 2012 annual dinner.  Discussion of costs and the potential effect on ticket sales followed briefly.

The Director informed Commissioners that a speaker was not yet confirmed for the dinner and staff efforts continued in that task.  She stated that Pamela Carter was invited to provide the keynote address.  Discussion ensued.

OTHER BUSINESS – Essay/Art Contest:

Director Tinsley informed Commissioners that the essay and art contest packets were distributed to the schools and letters requesting volunteers to serve as contest judges on April 13th were being sent out.  Commissioner Kohen volunteered and requested the additional information be sent to him.


Director Tinsley advised that Vice-Chairperson Lewis would be contacted to create the Laws Award Nomination sub-committee.  Commissioners Kohen and Roberts volunteered to work with Commissioner Lewis on this project.  Discussion ensued.

OTHER BUSINESS – HERITAGE FUND, Welcoming Community Phase II:

Deputy Director Smith thanked everyone for supporting Phase II welcoming community survey and announced that over 1200 survey responses were received.  She advised that the next step would be to complete a deep analysis of all responses, including many comments, in order for the Outreach Committee to determine the top ten projects for the outreach committee based on community input.

She advised the committee would utilize the Six Sigma process to assess the data and that survey results would be presented to the community on June 13, 2011, at Yes Cinema.  The time will be announced later.  Discussion ensued.

In connection with her continued work on the Heritage Fund CEO search committee, Deputy Director asked Commissioners to refer any candidates for position to Smith & Syberg at www.smithandsyberg.com.


Director Tinsley announced the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and advised that a local celebration was being sponsored in part by the ‘The Granny Connection’.  She advised that the scheduled keynote speaker would be The Honorable Viola Taliaferro, the first African-American judge in the state of Indiana.  The director went on to share her prior experience of hearing Judge Taliaferro speak.  Discussion ensued.


Commissioner Pegram advised that the group was not currently meeting and that she would provide information as it became available.  She went on to advise that she is receiving questions about House Bill 590 as many immigrants are concerned. 

Director Tinsley commented that Tim Solso of Cummins Inc., wrote a guest opinion about the immigration bill in the Indianapolis Star and several comments listed were from people threatening violence,  She went on to advise that Eli Lilly & Co. had also issued an official opinion against the legislation.  Discussion ensued.

Commissioner Pegram continued her report by advising that the first fundraiser for Folklorico Productions was well-attended resulting in approximately 75 candidates to join the dance troupe.  Discussion ensued.


Commissioner Roberts moved to adjourn the meeting, Commissioner Carter seconded.  Meeting adjourned.

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