Middletown Human Rights Commission Being Abolished by Attrition

In a response to my earlier post “Political Affiliations Over Participation Matter More When It Comes To Board Appointments“, Mrs. Carolyn Schwebel sent out a letter to numerous friends and supporters that concurs with much of what I posted. It seems that because Mrs. Schewebel has been an outspoken member of the Middletown Human Rights Commission, who has held the Township of Middletown accountable for its lack of attentiveness to the various issues concerning people with disabilities, the Human Rights Commission is dying a slow death and it seems that she will not be reappointed to the commission.
Here is what she wrote:

At the last Middletown Township committee meeting, a frequently outspoken resident commented that she had applied to be on the Library Board, the mayor told her that she had as much chance of being appointed as he had in getting her vote in the last election. His comment sounds like a quid pro quo to me, and reflects the political connection requirement for appointments to Middletown’s boards and commissions. A Library Board member has just been removed for presenting a minority view.

The Middletown Human Rights Commission (MHRC) had only six members of the required eleven seats. and unanimously asked the Township Committee to appoint new members in January 2012. No answer was received. Another member and I, whose terms ended in 2011, received no “thank you letter,” although the other members did, and no mention of being reappointed.

The resolutions for Middletown’s January 1, 2012 reorganization meeting show appointments to all boards and commissions except the Bayshore Village Senior Citizen Housing Corporation , which has no vacancies, and the Middletown Human Rights Commission. Neither I nor the other commissioner has been reappointed, although I have been the chair, with perfect attendance for many years.

It is of note that both MHRC members who were not reappointed have spoken out to advise the Township Committee. Both also have disabilities and use wheelchairs. Less than three years ago, Middletown settled a civil rights case of disability discrimination. An Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility suit has existed since 2004, with consent orders in 2006 and 2007 being unfulfilled by Middletown.

A Chinese aphorism recently in the New York Times stated that, “You cannot wrap a fire with paper: the truth will come out.”

It’s too bad that this type of stuff goes on, it just adds credence to what many already know which is, if you’re not one of the chosen elite in Middletown you need not apply.

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Filed under advisory boards and commissions, Carolyn Schwebel, Middletown Human Rights Commission, Middletown NJ

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