The Human Relations Commission held a “special meeting” last week and  considering all that has been going on in the Human Relations Department it was a meeting that appeared to serve no purpose.

The meeting started 20 minutes late and even then there was a question of quorum, not that a quorum was needed since no business was being transacted,  but the Human Relations Commission is a nine member board and only three members were present which is considerably less than the majority needed for a quorum.

The three members who were present were Montgomery/Wells Housing Committee Chair Moussa Issifou, Human Services and Social Equity Committee Chair Madison Lowe and Education Committee Chair Cynthia Coleman. Employment Committee Chair Jocelyn Bryant and International Advisory Committee Chair Saroj Patnaik were not in attendance.

Human Relations Department Director Love Crossling explained that until new members of the commission have finished orientation, they do not participate in the meetings.  According to Crossling because of the number of members who are going through orientation, having three members present was enough for a quorum.

The human relations commission was recently reduced from 18 members to nine by the Greensboro City Council. City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter who is the liaison to the Human Relations Commission made the motion that the number of members be reduced.  Abuzuaiter said it was simply too difficult to coordinate the schedules of 18 people and getting quorum at meetings was a continuing problem.

Also, one of the recent changes made to the Police Community Review Board (PCRB),  was removing it from the purview of the Human Relations Commission.

Considering the major changes being made to the department it might seem like a special meeting would not be called unless there were some urgent business to handle that couldn’t wait until the next regular meeting in April, but there was no urgent business, in fact  there seemed to be no business at all.  The meeting mainly consisted of Crossling going over figures for participation in Human Relations Commission sponsored events.  According to the report, the Human Relations Commission held 54 programs and reached 4,500 people in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.  Crossling explained that over 1,000 of those people reached were those who participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.

Crossling later explained that the Human Relations Commission operated on cycles and in a year like the current one with a lot of turnover and new members going through orientation the number of programs and participation would be down, but as those members got comfortable in their roles the participation would go back up.

Crossling said that the members wanted to have a special meeting to go over items that had not been covered during the retreat held in February.