Tensions Run High as Cold Spring Addresses Racism
COLD SPRING -- The formation of Cold Spring's Ad Hoc Committee to address racism continues as the committee looks for a facilitator.
The Committee's formation comes after an attack on a multiracial family in July. The City Council discussed which facilitator to use in a heated meeting Thursday night.
David Heinen is the Mayor of Cold Spring and the head of the Ad Hoc committee. He says they are still determining what the role of the new committee will be.
We're looking for a facilitator. Someone whose going to come in and mediate everything and do whatever they do, is basically all we're doing right now.
One of the companies presented, Take Charge Minnesota, has as one of its core beliefs that systemic racism does not exist in America.
This caused one of the main disagreements which derailed Thursday night's meeting. Heinen says people started to talk over each other, and as the meeting became chaotic. Two council members walked out.
One, Gary Theisen, later resigned, but Mayor Heinen says it was unrelated to the meeting, and because of a sick family member.
Heinen believes a facilitator will help the committee determine what its role is.
I guess part of this is welcoming people into the city. It doesn't matter what color you are. Just to make people feel welcome. Because, there's a lot of people who have said, I've been here for eight years, nine years, and we still feel like we don't belong in Cold Spring.
Heinen says they don't know what the final composition of the committee will be but hopes the facilitator will provide direction about what to do next.