(A)   Definitions.  For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
   COMMISSION.   The Ashland Commission on Human Rights.
   COMMISSIONER.   A member of the Ashland Commission on Human Rights.
   DISCRIMINATION.   Any direct or indirect act or practice of exclusion, distinction, restriction, segregation, limitation, refusal, denial or any other act or practice of differentiation or preference in the treatment of a person or persons because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age forty (40) and over, disability or familial status, or the aiding, abetting, inciting, coercing or compelling thereof.
      (1)   One (1) or more individuals who have not attained the age of eighteen (18) years and are domiciled with:
         (a)   A parent or another person having legal custody of the individual or individuals; or
         (b)   The designee of a parent or other person having custody, with the written permission of the parent or other person.
      (2)   The protection afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of eighteen (18) years.
   (B)   Policy.  It is the public policy of the city to promote fair treatment and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age (40 and above), disability or familial status.
   (C)   Creation and members.  There is hereby created the Commission on Human Rights.  It shall consist of nine (9) members, who shall be appointed on a nonpartisan basis and shall be broadly representative of employers, proprietors, trade unions, human rights groups and the general public. The Mayor shall appoint the members.  Of the first members appointed, three (3) shall be appointed for one (1) year, three (3) shall be appointed for two (2) years, and three (3) for three (3) years. After the first appointments, all appointments shall be for a term of three (3) years.  A member chosen to fill a vacancy otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the member whom he is to succeed.  A member of the Commission is eligible for reappointment.  Before making new appointments, the Mayor shall request the recommendations of the Commission.  No elected or appointed city official shall be a member of the Commission.  The members shall serve without compensation.
   (D)   Functions.
      (1)   The Commission shall encourage fair treatment and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age 40 and over, disability or familial status, and shall promote mutual understanding and respect among all economic, social, racial, religious, sex, age, and ethnic and disabled groups.  The Commission shall endeavor to eliminate discrimination against, and antagonism between religious, racial, sex, age, ethnic and disabled groups and their members and other persons regardless of familial status.
      (2)   The Commission shall administer such enforceable ordinances forbidding discrimination as the Board of Commissioners may enact.
   (E)   Powers and duties.  In performing its functions, the Commission shall have the powers and duties to do the following:
      (1)   Employ an Executive Director and other necessary personnel within the limits of funds made available.  The Executive Director shall be a person who has training and experience in the field of intergroup relations.
      (2)   Conduct or arrange for research projects and studies into, and publish reports on discrimination and progress in equal opportunity in the community.
      (3)   Accept gifts or bequests, grants or other payments, public or private, to help finance its activities.
      (4)   Receive, initiate, investigate, seek to conciliate and hold hearings on complaints alleging discrimination.
      (5)   Recommend methods for elimination of discrimination and intergroup tensions, and to use its best efforts to secure compliance with its recommendations.
      (6)   Cooperate with other intergroup relations agencies, both public and private, on the local, state and national level in performing its functions under this section.
      (7)   Cooperate with the various departments, agencies and boards of the city and of the Commonwealth in effectuating the purposes of this section.
      (8)   Enlist the support of civic, labor, religious, professional and educational organizations and institutions in community activities and programs that will further the goals of this section.
      (9)   Organize community committees and councils that will work toward the goals of this section.
      (10)   Recommend legislation to the Board of  Commissioners and modes of executive action to the Mayor that will effectuate the purposes of this section.
      (11)   Submit an annual report of its activities and of the progress and problems in intergroup relations in the community to the Mayor and the Board of Commissioners.
      (12)   Adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulations to effectuate the policies and provisions of this section.
   (F)   Cooperation of city departments.  The services of all other city departments, agencies and boards shall be made available to the Commission on Human Rights through the City Manager and with reasonable notice upon its request.  Information in the possession of any city department, agency or board shall be furnished to the Commission upon its request, and to the extent permitted by law.
   (G)   Election of officers.  The Commission shall elect a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson, a Secretary-Treasurer and any other officers as it deems necessary.  The Chairperson of the Commission shall appoint committees that the Commission may deem necessary in order to carry out its functions.
   (H)   Expenditures.  The Commission shall adopt a budget for expenditures within the limits of the funds made available by the city.  The Secretary-Treasurer shall make a semiannual financial report to the Board of Commissioners and other city officials.
   (I)   Office space.  The City Manager or City Commission may provide suitable office space and facilities for the Commission, if available.
   (J)   Relationship with State Commission on Human Rights.  The Commission shall, when requested, act in an advisory capacity to and otherwise cooperate with the State Commission on Human Rights wherever possible to effectuate compliance with state laws.  The Commission is authorized to enter into cooperative working agreements with the State Commission on Human Rights whenever enforceable  ordinances  forbidding discrimination are enacted which are in conformity with state law.
(’83 Code, § 34.15) (Ord. 112-1999, passed 10-7-99)
   Administration of fair housing policy, see § 91.05
Statutory reference:
   Local Human Rights Commissions, see KRS 344.310 through 344.450