A Leavenworth County Commission meeting scheduled for today will be the first one since comments by one member sparked calls for his resignation.

A Leavenworth County Commission meeting scheduled for today will be the first one since comments by one member sparked calls for his resignation.

During a meeting Nov. 15, Commission Chairman Louis Klemp used the term “master race” when speaking to a woman who was making a presentation.

“I don’t want you to think I am picking on you because we are part of the master race,” Klemp said during the meeting. “You have a gap in your teeth. We are part of the master race. Don’t you forget that.”

Klemp also has a gap in his teeth.

Fellow County Commissioner Bob Holland has called on Klemp to resign.

Commissioner Doug Smith, who is the remaining member of the three-member County Commission, also has suggested Klemp resign in the best interests of the county.

Over the weekend, Gov. Jeff Colyer released a statement, calling on Klemp to resign.

“Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office,” Colyer said in the statement released Saturday. “The inappropriate remarks made by Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of the county which he represents. As such, I call on him to step down as County Commissioner.”

Klemp’s remarks last week were made to an African-American woman.

But County Administrator Mark Loughry has argued that Klemp’s remarks were not about his race or the race of the woman.

“The use of the term ‘master race,’ as ill-advised as it may be, was not a reference to Nazis or used in a racist manner in this instance,” Loughry stated in a letter he released Friday. “Leavenworth County has a zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form from any staff member.”

Loughry stated that Klemp had been commenting on the fact that he and the woman who made the presentation had gaps in their teeth.

“Commissioner Klemp has a gap in his front teeth and so did the person presenting to the Commission on Tuesday,” Loughry stated in his letter. “On several occasions over the past year Mr. Klemp has made reference that those with a gap in their front teeth are members of the master race. At Tuesday’s meeting he stated that he and the lady presenting to the Board were both members of the master race due to the gap in their teeth.”

The Leavenworth City Commission, which has no authority over the county board, met for a special meeting Thursday and approved a statement that condemned Klemp’s remarks.

“The City Commission unequivocally denounces the use of ‘master race’ or any other language that has historic ties to racism, division and bigotry in any setting at any time,” the statement reads.

During a separate meeting Thursday, the Lansing City Council approved a proclamation calling on Klemp to resign for “egregious and outrageous conduct steeped in racism and bigotry while acting in the capacity of a county official.”

Klemp represents the County Commission’s 2nd District, which includes Lansing and a portion of the city of Leavenworth.

Klemp was appointed to his position on the commission last year following the resignation of former Commissioner Clyde Graeber.

Klemp is scheduled to leave the Commission in January.

Phone messages left for Klemp have not been returned.

The agenda for today’s County Commission meeting was amended Monday. Several items were removed from the agenda. And the location of the meeting has been moved from the Leavenworth County Courthouse to a courtroom at the Justice Center.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR