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(a) The Fair Housing Commission shall:
(1) Appoint an executive director who shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission, be its principal administrative officer and who shall receive such compensation as may be determined and appropriated by Council.
(2) The Commission shall have an office, located in the City Hall or a City satellite office, which shall be readily accessible to the public. The office shall be opened during all hours as the City Hall is regularly opened. The location of the office and the services available shall be adequately advertised to the public;
(3) Appoint investigators and such other clerical and administrative employees as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Fair Housing Code. Such staff shall be of sufficient number and quality to ensure fulfillment of the educational as well as the enforcement and other activities of the Commission and shall include at least one person who is a duly commissioned Notary Public at all times;
(4) Adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulations and other guidelines to perpetuate the purposes of this Fair Housing Code;
(5) Receive, investigate and pass upon written charges made under oath, alleging practices, policies and courses of conduct prohibited by Section 515.03;
(6) Make periodic surveys or studies of the existence and effect of housing discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or ancestry by persons within the City;
(7) Submit reports and recommendations to the Mayor and Council, from time to time, but not less than once per year, describing the investigations, proceedings and hearings it has conducted and their outcome, the decisions it has ordered in other work and activities carried out by the Commission. The report shall include copies of any surveys or other studies prepared by the Commission, pursuant to subsection (a)(6) hereof, and shall also include recommendations of the Commission relative to remedial action, legislation or other matters; and
(8) Institute and conduct educational and other programs and devise a strong public relations program to promote the equal rights and opportunities of all persons in matters related to housing accommodations, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or ancestry and to eliminate the prejudice and ignorance which result in housing discrimination.
(b) The Fair Housing Commission may:
(1) Meet and function at any place within the City in compliance with the Ohio Sunshine Law;
(2) Initiate and undertake on its own motion, investigations of unlawful discriminatory housing practices as defined under Section 515.02; and
(3) Hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath and require the production for examination of any books, papers, documents or recording relating to any matter under investigation or in question before the Commission, and may make rules as to the form and manner of the issuance of subpoenas by the Commission or individual Commissioners.
(c) In conducting a hearing or investigation, the Commission shall have access at all reasonable times to premises, records, documents, individuals and other evidence or possible sources of evidence and may examine, record and copy such materials and take the record and the testimony for statements of persons as are reasonably necessary for the furtherance of the investigation, subject, however, to the limitations and requirements imposed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and further subject to the requirement that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. No subpoena shall be issued except upon the concurrence and affirmative vote of at least a majority of the Commissioners present at any meeting wherein a quorum is in attendance, and pursuant to a finding by such members of the necessity and propriety of the issuance of subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimonies of witnesses and for the production of relevant documents.
(Ord. 12-2020. Passed 2-3-20.)