Formulates and carries out educational programs designed to minimize or eliminate discriminatory practices, receives and investigates complaints alleging any discriminatory practices, provides mediation services to resolve incidences of alleged discriminatory practices, endeavors to eliminate discriminatory practices, and advises the City Council on human rights issues. Minimum qualifications for the seven member commission include a strong commitment to human rights and a belief in the principles of equal opportunity. Length of terms is three years, with openings occurring in March.
Sec. 12-16. Commission created; membership; qualification; terms; vacancies.
There is hereby established a commission on human rights. The commission shall consist of seven (7) members. All members shall be residents of the city. The members shall have demonstrated a strong commitment to human rights and a belief in the principles of equal opportunity embodied in this chapter. The council shall endeavor to appoint individuals to the commission from various protected categories that have historically been discriminated against. Of the seven (7) members first appointed, three (3) shall be appointed for one year, two (2) shall be appointed for two (2) years and two (2) shall be appointed for three (3) years. Thereafter, appointment shall be for terms of three (3) years, except that appointments to fill vacancies shall be for unexpired terms only. No member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive full three-year terms.
(Ord. No. 13194 § 2, 12-16-91; Ord. No. 20788, § 1, 10-18-10)
Sec. 12-17. Officers; meeting and quorum; rules and procedures; compensation; attendance; training.
(a) The commission shall elect a chair, vice-chair, and secretary from among its members and create and fill such other offices as it may determine. The term of such elective officers shall be for one (1) year.
(b) The commission shall meet periodically as necessary. The chair shall preside at all meetings, but in the absence of the chair or such person's inability to preside at any meeting, the vice-chair shall preside. Four (4) members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.
(c) The commission shall adopt rules and procedures for the conduct and transaction of its business and shall keep a record of its proceedings.
(d) The members of the commission shall serve, without compensation, for the terms of their appointments and until their successors are appointed.
(e) The chair of the commission is authorized to excuse any member from attendance at a commission meeting; provided, that the member requested to be excused before the meeting. Any member who is absent, without being excused, from twenty-five (25) per cent of the regular commission meetings held in a calendar year shall automatically forfeit the office. Any member who is absent, without being excused, from three (3) consecutive regular meetings shall automatically forfeit the office. The chair shall promptly notify the city council through the city clerk of such vacancy.
(Ord. No. 13194 § 2, 12-16-91; Ord. No. 17127, § 1, 1-7-02; Ord. No. 17658, § 1, 4-21-03)
Sec. 12-18. Functions, powers and duties.
The commission shall have the following functions, powers and duties:
(1) To formulate and carry out educational programs designed to minimize or eliminate those discriminatory practices made unlawful by Article III of this chapter.
(2) To receive and investigate complaints alleging any discriminatory practices made unlawful by Article III of this chapter.
(3) To endeavor to eliminate discriminatory practices made unlawful by Article III of this chapter by conference, conciliation and persuasion.
(4) To provide mediation services to resolve incidences of alleged discriminatory practices made unlawful by Article III of this chapter.
(5) To cooperate with other organizations, private and public, to discourage discrimination.
(6) To encourage fair treatment for all persons regardless of age as it relates to employment, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, handicap, sexual orientation or familial status as it relates to housing.
(7) To advise the city council on human rights issues.
(8) To hold public hearings on the state of human rights and relations in the city and on specific human rights issues.
(9) To sponsor or initiate specifically targeted workshops and on-going programs to improve human relations and to decrease tensions in the city.
(10) To present informational programs on human rights to school, business, service and other organizations.
(11) To adopt rules, regulations and guidelines pertaining to the investigation and disposition of complaints consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
(12) To make recommendations to the city manager for funding human rights enhancement activities.
(Ord. No. 13194 § 2, 12-16-91; Ord. No. 17127, § 1, 1-7-02; Ord. No. 20659, § 1, 6-21-10)
Sec. 12-19. - Human rights enhancement program.
(a) Upon the recommendation of the commission, the city manager is authorized to enter into agreements with local organizations for human rights enhancement activities.
(b) No program shall receive more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) in any fiscal year under this program and the program is limited to the availability of funds appropriated for the program.
(Ord. No. 20659, § 1, 6-21-10)