LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - La Crosse's Human Rights Commission was supposed to be talking about the future of the controversial Native American statue in Riverside Park Wednesday night, but instead the meeting had to be canceled after several members abruptly resigned their positions on the commission and walked out.
In a joint statement read aloud, those members say they've felt a lack of trust in the system, a lack of communication with the Mayor and his staff, and they say expectations of the commission have become different than what they signed up to do.
They also say they've seen an increase in discrimination reports filed in the past year, but they've been told they can't act on them.
One of the few remaining commissioners, city council member Jacqueline Marcou says she was unaware of the resignations before the meeting and is unsure of the next steps.
"I'll be giving the mayor a call in the morning and see how we can navigate forward with such a small group of people at this point, but we'll figure it out," said Marcou.
The city's Equal Opportunities Commission morphed into the current Human Rights Commission in 2015.
On Friday, La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat released a statement responding to the complaints saying "I can say that the city is committed to equal opportunity for all and for making La Crosse a welcoming and accepting place for everyone. My plan is to appoint new members to fill these roles. I also plan to address the concerns about communication and to work with the HRC and staff to insure that complaints are thoroughly investigated and that the complaint process is clear and well-defined."
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