a href=”https://www.dailyegyptian.com/contactus.html”bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span

By Gus Bode

The Daily Egyptian considered “tabling” the Human Relations Commission for an editorial next week, but we thought we would take our stance now.

The Carbondale City Council needs to get on this issue immediately. Not later; not in April.

On Tuesday some members of the City Council were confused when the topic of the Human Relations Commission came up. Members were perplexed on what they were voting for and Mayor Neil Dillard called a recess so that City Manager Jeff Doherty could explain to other members what the term “tabling” (postponing until a vote brings it up again) meant.


Once an understanding of the term was established, they decided to push discussions on the Human Relations Commission to future council meetings.

We’re tired of the City Council’s inability to make decisions regarding the commission and are upset that little has been established since a 3-2 vote in favor of its forming in June 2002.

The idea of a Human Relations Commission formed after an incident in April 2001 when Carbondale Police officers used Mace on about 80 black students to disperse a block party. Concerns were raised about racial tensions in the city and the idea of the commission was formed.

Since then, little has been accomplished in putting the idea to work and the City Council has been lollygagging the issue. They finally put together a first draft of possible ideas for the commission last month.

We don’t want the City Council to pass the buck to the next council in April. We don’t expect a completion of the commission before April, but we do want progress to be made. With three meetings left, some headway can be made.

A Human Relations Commission in Carbondale would be an effective tool for everyone in the community to voice concerns over treatment at businesses, relations with the police department and the overall well being of Carbondale. All it takes is some pro-active movement on the part of City Council- and less “tabling” by the members who run the show.