By Mary McGuire

WEST ST. PAUL (WCCO) — – Dozens of women are showing their support for the mayor of West St. Paul after reports of sexism and gender discrimination.

This all started after a contentious city council meeting last month, when Mayor Jenny Halverson got a rude delivery at her doorstep.

Boxes of feminine hygiene products showed up overnight after she tried to appoint three females to city government positions.

Council member John Bellows accused her of making those decisions based on gender and that some of the candidates were not qualified.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, women collected boxes of tampons and pads to be donated to those in need.

Inside the chambers, more than a hundred people filled the seats, with dozens, including Halverson, speaking out publicly.

“This is not political,” she said. “This is about sexism, harassment, decency and respect.” .

Bellows, the council member at the center of the controversy, also took time to defend his decision to vote down one of the female candidates.

“If you are here because you think any vote other than confirming all three nominees was sexist, I respectfully disagree,” he said. “As I said at the last meeting, the planning commission votes should not have been a gender issue.”

In April, Halverson announced she will not seek re-election.

She is the city’s first female mayor.

The city council is made up of all male members.

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