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In Your Opinion: Human Relations Commission Serves A Purpose

By Gary Rosenthal.

As you are aware we at the Human Relations Commission (HRC) especially the Chairman were not pleased with your recent editorial were you referred to the HRC as “Worthless”. I trust the recent comments which were made at a Township Council meeting were heard. Furthermore it was reflected that (incorrectly I might add) you could not find an example of how the HRC , as an entity has furthered “the quality of life in Franklin Township”. In a conversation with your Co-Publisher (PJ) she suggested that we at the HRC need to reflect some of the many tasks and programs which the HRC have been involved in and which have been so beneficial to Franklin Township. At the regular monthly meeting of the HRC held last night a detailed discussion was had and the following is a recap of some of the many important tasks which were discussed and which the HRC have recently been involved in so hopefully the comments which were made can be retracted.

1) The goals and missions which was passed by resolution by the Township Council have been strictly adhered to. (goals and missions are enclosed below).

2) Have worked closely with the Week of The People and were a sponsor to their program concentrating in maintaining harmony in our diverse community. Prepared and distributed brochures explaining our mission and goals.

3) Passed a resolution which insured that a flyer which the Recreation Department produced does not reflect any publicity using only a “black face”.

4) Worked with recreation as a satellite register for opening of Township Pool at Naaman Williams Park and reviewed rules of operation.

5) Members of original Franklin Youth Initiative

6) Organized a mentoring program for the Franklin Youth Empowering Group which was constructive activity for children too young to participate in Jr youth group. One of the Commissioners ran the program and the HRC made sure a room was available in the Township.

7) Founding member of Art Commission.

8) Sat on different committees with Interfaith Council.

9) Helped Township with Census in coordinating completion of forms. Junior Commissioners worked with High School staff to insure proper notice of census were made to all parents. Mayor has requested to help with Census this/next year again .

10) Worked with County’s Office on Aging on publicity of Certain Programs for Seniors.

11) All HRC Minutes are posted on Township Website.

12) Assisted the Senior Center with the operation of the Farmers Market and distributing passes.

13) Worked with High School on the production of “Shadows” a play dealing with notification and story of bullying. Helped with all publicity. HRC received a Township Commendation in appreciation for making Shadows an overwhelming success.

14) Attended the NJ Human Relations Council representing Franklin as a delegate.

15) Worked with Somerset County transportation and reviewed the lack of public transportation in Franklin Township. Met with Councilman re Franklin Transit feasibility to set up an index and catalog of available current transportation services.

16) Reviewed with Township Manager re operations of Rent Leveling Board and its problems.’

17) Attended and participated in Housing Authority meeting and gave suggestions.

18) Sponsored with SCAP International the Diversity Celebration.

19) Passed resolution rejecting any privatization of Para Professionals in our schools.

20) Working very close with Board of Education, Principals, and Superintendent in any assistance which they require.

21) HRC on Franklin Day Festival Committee to help insure success.

22) HRC on Committee for new Youth Center.

Franklin Township Human Relations Commission (FTHRC)

Mission Statement & Goals
Approved – June 25, 2007

Mission Statement:

The Franklin Township Human Relations Commission is a township agency created by an Ordinance No. 1990 pursuant to general law and is continued with functions, powers and duties prescribed by law and ordinance. The council shall appoint members of the Commission who shall serve without compensation.

As mentioned in Ordinance No. 1990.  The Human Relations Commission shall attempt to foster through community effort or otherwise, good will, cooperation, and conciliation among the groups and elements of the inhabitants of the community.  The Commission promotes diversity appreciation in all forms and committed to address the problems of bias based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

The Commission works closely with the New Jersey Human Relations Council, the Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition and other organizations in fulfilling its mission.

Goals:

I.  To serve as a community resource in promoting diversity and ethnic leadership by  creating an impartial forum where information flows freely in addressing relationships between and among different groups, neighborhoods, and organizations.

II. To facilitate educational and training activities that promote tolerance and an appreciation of diversity.

III. To serve as a liaison among the township’s business, community and religious communities in order to encourage more investments in the diverse community that will create fair access to employment for township residents.

IV. To network with media outlets and to disseminate accurate information to promote Franklin Township’s diversity to the media and within the community so that the community at large and township residents while serving as an educational arm of government in promoting the goals among its residents.

Organizational Structure:

Based on Ordinance #1990 adopted April 24, 1975 and amended January 14, 1997 provides:

“There is a hereby created a Human Relations Commission pursuant to N.JSA. 10:5-10, consisting of twelve citizen members to be appointed by the Township Council …for a term of three years and until their successors have been duly appointed and have qualified. In the event of a vacancy during an unexpired term of office, a person shall be appointed as a member of said body to serve for such unexpired term. In addition, the Township Council shall appoint from its membership one Councilman to serve as a liaison to the Human Relations Commission for a term of one year.”

The Council of the Township may remove any member of the Human Relations Commission for cause on written charges served upon the member.


Rosenthal is the chairman of the Human Relations Commission.

Your Thoughts

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