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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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LANG, Shirley

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
LANG, Shirley. (Dubuque, IA, Nov. 12, 1931--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 18, 2001). Lang served as the first female dock manager for the City of Dubuque from 1960 to 1985 when the Dock Commission was taken from a policy making position and made advisory to the city council. During her term as manager, Lang oversaw the development of the FLOODWALL and the resulting increased utilization of the water frontage along the river. She also acted as a liaison between the three dock commissioners and companies wishing to develop in the first of the INDUSTRIAL PARKS along Kerper Boulevard. Lang supervised the day-to-day operation of riverfront facilities and land estimated at the time to have a market value of $20 million.

In 1979 the dock manager was placed under the supervision of the public works director. In 1980 Lang was given responsibility for both the dock board and the parking board. In 1985 she became the parking manager responsible for 1,450 on-street parking spaces and eleven parking lots in the city.

In February 1975, Lang announced that she had retained an attorney to investigate whether she had been victimized by wage discrimination. A consultant's study of the city's wage and job classification practices recommended that the dock manager receive a $13,152 annual salary after six years of service. Lang was then receiving $10,001 after twelve years of service. Comparable administrative salaries were $13,000.

Lang pursued her case in June 1975 with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission after the Dubuque Human Rights Commission found itself in a conflict-of-interest position. The Civil Rights Commission found probable cause for a sex discrimination complaint in March 1976. Lang and the City settled the case with the City paying $12,000 in back pay in addition to raising her pay grade in 1977 to $17,000.



Obituaries. Telegraph Herald, January 21, 2001, p. 6