City Council approves community relations commission

The Durango City Council on Tuesday approved the formation of a community relations commission to promote respect for diversity and become a resource for those who feel discriminated against.

It won’t have investigative or regulatory powers, but it will provide education and provide advocacy for those in need, such as referring them to proper agencies.

“Sometimes, it’s just good to listen to someone’s grievances and be sympathetic,” City Manager Ron LeBlanc said.

The city has been working with Christopher Chalberg, a conciliation specialist with the U.S. Justice Department, and Danny Quinlan of La Plata Unity Project to establish the commission.

The commission also will collaborate with local nonprofits and Fort Lewis College.

According to the resolution, the commission will consist of five members appointed by the council and represent a cross-section of the community. The city manager, or his designee, will serve as staff to the commission.