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(a) There is hereby established the Fair Housing Board, to consist of five members who shall be qualified electors of the City, who shall not hold any elected public office at the Municipal, County, State or Federal level at any time while a member of the Board and who shall not be employed by the City, but may be employed by the County, State or Federal Government. Any duly appointed Board member who is a candidate for any public office shall be automatically disqualified from further membership on the Board. The day the Board member files petitions with the Lorain County Board of Elections shall be the date of the disqualification. Nothing shall prohibit the Board from consulting and meeting with real estate agents or representatives of lending institutions in matters regarding educational or other programs to further the purpose of this chapter.
(b) The Board members shall be appointed by the Mayor. Of the members first appointed, one shall hold office for a term of one year, one for a term of two years, one for a term of three years, one for a term of four years and one for a term of five years, and their successors shall be appointed for terms of five years. The Mayor shall fill all vacancies by appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term. The Mayor shall be an ex-officio member of the Board. After being duly constituted, a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be chosen by a majority vote of the Board.
(c) The Secretary of the Board shall be appointed by the Mayor and may be an employee of the City.
(d) The Mayor may recommend to Council the removal of any member of the Board for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office. Council may remove a member of the Board from office by an affirmative vote of at least three-quarters of Council only after having first given to such member a written copy of the charges against him or her and an opportunity to be publicly heard in person or by counsel, in his or her own defense, and any such removal shall be final. The procedure at such public hearing and any further provisions regarding removal shall be governed by the provisions of the City Charter relating to the removal of members of boards and commissions.
(e) Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting the business thereof. A vacancy on the Board shall not impair the right of the other members to exercise all the power of the Board.
(f) Each member of the Board shall serve without salary, but shall be paid necessary and actual expenses expended in performing the business of the Board.
(g) The Board is charged with the following duties to implement the stated policy of this chapter:
(1) To investigate all complaints of unlawful housing practices which are filed with it.
(2) To initiate complaints of unlawful housing practices on the basis of studies carried out by its staff or volunteers authorized by the Board.
(3) To endeavor, by conciliation, to resolve such complaints.
(4) To hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath and, in connection therewith, require the production for examination of any books or papers relating to any matter under investigation or in question before the Board.
(5) To render at least once a year to the Mayor and to Council a full written report of all its activities and recommendations.
(6) To recommend to the Mayor, when it deems necessary, educational and other programs designed to promote the purpose stated in this chapter.
(7) To adopt rules and procedures for the conduct of its business.
(8) To do such other acts that are necessary and proper in order to perform those duties with which it is charged under the terms of this chapter.
(h) The Director of the Equal Opportunity Department shall be responsible for the administration of this chapter. This responsibility may be delegated to the Equal Opportunity Department staff.
(Ord. 96-98. Passed 5-6-96.)