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Sioux City Council to appoint 3 to Human Rights Commission

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SIOUX CITY | The City Council will name a former lawmaker to the Human Rights Commission on Monday, but it won't be ex-Councilman Aaron Rochester.

The new member will be retired state Rep. Wes Whitead.

The council is also scheduled to reappoint Rabbi Guy Greene and Nancy Furness to serve their second three-year terms on the 11-member panel. The three were chosen from among a slate of 11 applicants, including Rochester, who was defeated in last fall's council primary election.

Whitead, a retired businessman, decided not to run for re-election to the Iowa House in 2010. He is a past member of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. He will replace rights commissioner Melissa Tjeerdsma, who did not seek a second term.

The council may or may not discuss the appointments Monday since they are listed on the "consent agenda," which means separate votes are not taken on those items. As part of a long-standing policy, council members give their individual "preferences" on whom to appoint to the city clerk. The clerk places the names of those who have received the most support on the agenda.

When Rochester interviewed with the council in June, Councilwoman Rhonda Capron told him he might be a lightning rod for controversy because of his strongly stated views against same-sex marriage.

He will continue his membership on the city's Environmental Advisory Board.

In addition to Rochester, other applicants were former commissioners Darrel Benson and Sherry Flansburg plus Erin Grace, Farrah Hassebroek, Scott Raasch, Kristi Rice and Marie Rundquist. Judy Darwin also applied but later withdrew her application.


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