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(a) There is hereby created the City of Lakewood Human Rights Commission, hereafter referred to as " the Commission," to be comprised of three (3) members. One member shall be the Director of Planning and Development or his or her designee for the City. The second member shall be appointed by the Mayor. The third member shall be appointed by majority vote of Council. Each member of the Commission shall serve a term of three years and until his or her successor has been appointed and qualified for office. With the exception of Director of Planning and Development or his or her designee, members of the Commission shall be ineligible to be reappointed to succeed themselves for more than one additional three year term, unless the member is completing a term for which he or she was appointed to fill a mid-term vacancy. Every member shall have been a resident of the City for at least one year prior to appointment and shall continue to be a resident so long as he or she shall serve as a member of the Commission. In the event of a vacancy a replacement will be chosen by the appropriate appointing authority of that
seat and will serve out the remainder of the vacant term.
(b) The Commission may create and modify rules regarding its meetings and procedures. The Commission may create and appoint task forces and committees it deems appropriate to carry out its functions.
(c) The work of the Commission shall be managed by the Department of Planning and Development.
(d) The responsibilities of the Department of Planning and Development include managing Commission records and accounts, developing public education programs as needed, providing training for Commission members, managing citizen complaints, facilitating Commission scheduling and communication, and any other tasks needed to effectuate the functions of the Commission.
(e) In addition, the Commission may use the services of attorneys, hearing examiners, clerks and other employees and agents who are City government employees, except in those cases in which the City government is a party, and in which case the Conmrission may seek the City attorney's approval to engage appropriate counsel.
(f) In the enforcement of this chapter, the Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To receive, initiate, investigate, seek to conciliate, hold hearings on and pass upon complaints alleging violations of this chapter;
(2) To cooperate with relevant federal and state authorities;
(3) To present an annual report to the Mayor and City Council setting forth the number of complaints received during the prior year, as well as the disposition of the complaints, and the number of convictions for violation. The Commission shall publish this report and make it available in some format to the general public;
(4) To require answers to interrogatories, compel the attendance of witnesses, examine witnesses under oath or affirmation in person by deposition and require the production of documents relevant to the complaint. The Commission may make rules authorizing or designating any member or individual to exercise these powers in the performance of official duties;
(5) To cooperate with community, professional, civic and religious organizations, as well as state and federal agencies, in the development of public education programs regarding compliance with the provisions of this chapter and equal opportunity and treatment of all individuals;
(6) To conduct tests to ascertain the availability of housing, both in sales and also in rentals of real property;
(7) To make available for the City's website information on this chapter, grievance procedures, the Commission's annual report and any other information that would further the purposes and intentions of this chapter.
(Ord. 1-16. Passed 6-20-2016.)