(a)   A Hearing Officer shall preside over contested blight violation hearings. The Hearing Officer shall play no role in enforcement activities.
   (b)   The Hearing Officer shall be a licensed attorney and otherwise meet all the qualifications as set forth in MCLA § 117.4q(11).
   (c)   The Hearing Officer will be appointed in a manner that is consistent with the Charter for the appointment of municipal officers or employees and shall only be removed for reasonable cause.
   (d)   The Hearing Officer shall have the following authority and duties:
      (1)   Hearing testimony and accepting evidence that is relevant to the existence of the blight violation.
      (2)   Issuing subpoenas directing witnesses to appear and give relevant testimony at the hearing, upon request of a party or a party’s attorney.
      (3)   Preserving and authenticating the record of the hearing and all exhibits and evidence introduced at the hearing.
      (4)   Issuing a determination, based upon the evidence presented at the hearing, whether a blight violation exists. The determination shall be in writing and shall include written findings of fact, a decision and an order. The City shall have the burden of establishing the responsibility of the alleged violator by a preponderance of the evidence. Unless the burden is met, the matter shall be dismissed. A decision and an order shall not be made except upon consideration of the record as a whole or a portion of the record as may be cited by any party to the proceeding and as supported by and in accordance with the competent, material, and substantial evidence. A decision and order finding the alleged violator responsible for the violation shall include the civil fine, if any, or any action with which the violator must comply, or both.
      (5)   Imposing reasonable and proportionate sanctions consistent with applicable ordinance provisions and assessing costs upon a finding that the alleged violator is responsible for the alleged violation.
(Ord. 3772, passed 6-28-2010)