The Human Relations Commission serves as as an advisory board to the City Council and studies problems in the city relating to relationships among individuals and groups of all kinds, and to make recommendations to the city council and city manager for the betterment of such relationships within the community. The Commission also works to promote mutual understanding and foster equality and respect among all racial, religious, national and ethnic groups in the community and among persons of all economic and educational status, and generally throughout the entire community so as to prevent discriminatory practices in every respect.
The Commission was established in 1993. The city council declared that prejudice and the practice of discrimination against any individual or group because of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, or religious affiliation, both perceived and real, may menace the peace and public welfare. To eliminate such prejudice and discrimination, as well as perceptions that arise from a multi-racial society, a commission should be established through which the citizens of Morganton may be kept informed of developments in human relations, the officers and departments of the city may obtain advice and assistance concerning practices to keep peace and good order and private persons and groups may be officially encouraged to promote tolerance and goodwill to all people.
The Human Relations Commission shall consist of 12 members to be appointed by the mayor. The mayor shall seek the recommendation and advice of the council for appointments but shall not need the consent of the council to make appointments. members serve three-year terms.
To the degree possible, appointments to the commission shall represent the racial, religious and ethnic makeup of the city. At least one member of the commission shall be a student at Freedom High School, at least one member shall be a student at Patton High School, and at least one member shall be a representative of the public safety department.
Term expires - Member
5/3/2018 - Cecelia D. Surratt, Chairperson
5/3/2018 - Sgt. Josiah Brown, Public Safety Rep.
5/3/2018 - Ken Clark, Vice-Chairperson
5/3/2018 - Sandra Bristol
5/3/2019 - Buddy Armour
5/3/2019 - Jill King
5/3/2019 - Gale Jones
5/3/2019 - Tricia Evans-Hunt
5/3/2020 - Mary Wright
5/3/2020 - Gerald McBrayer
Vacant - Patton High School
Vacant - Freedom High School
Rus Scherer, Human Resources Director
Dianne Stuart, Human Resources Specialist
Ex Officio Fred Roberson
Citizens of the Year Award
The Commission created the Citizen of the Year Award in 1995. The awards honor outstanding adult, high school and middle school volunteers who have made a positive difference in their school, community or neighborhood. A person may be nominated for service to a group, an organization or an individual.
Award recipients represent a wide range of interests and backgrounds but all share the same commitment to community and mankind. They have given of themselves by providing assistance for those in need of shelter and medical care, volunteering in rest homes and local ministries, organizing civic events and celebrations, and by volunteer service through their church, school or civic group.
Nominations are sought beginning in January honoring outstanding volunteer contributions from the preceding year. Forms are available at City Hall in the Human Resources Department, 828-438-5253, and at the Collett Street Recreation Center, 828-438-5350, and on the City website.