1046.11   ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW.
   (a)   Informal Conference.  An informal conference with the Superintendent or the designee of the Superintendent may be requested in writing, by any user deeming itself aggrieved by any notice of violation, show cause order, compliance or cease and desist order, emergency suspension, termination of discharge, surcharge, actions on a permit or special alternative limit by the Superintendent, refusal to act by the Superintendent in response to a user request, or other actions of the Superintendent which affect a user ("administrative action"), within five calendar days after the administrative action is served upon the user. The request for an informal conference shall be submitted to the Superintendent. The purposes of the informal conference are to discuss the administrative action by which the user deems itself aggrieved and to attempt to reach a settlement of the administrative action agreeable to the user and the City. The Superintendent is not required to reach any conclusion or provide a decision as a result of an informal conference. If a request is received, the Superintendent shall hold the informal conference within ten calendar days of receipt of the request. A user is not required to request or participate in an informal conference as a precondition to requesting and participating in a hearing under subsection (b) hereof, nor is a user required to request or participate in a hearing under subsection (b) hereof as a precondition to requesting and participating in an informal conference. If a hearing is held under subsection (b) hereof, such a hearing is not an appeal from an informal conference.
   (b)   Right to Hearing.  A hearing before a hearing panel may be requested in writing, by any user deeming itself aggrieved by any administrative action, within thirty calendar days after the administrative action has been served upon such user (or made known to the user if no service of the administrative action is required). If an informal conference has not been requested by the user, such a request shall be made within fifteen calendar days of service (or knowledge). The request for a hearing shall be submitted to the Superintendent.  If a hearing is not demanded within the time period provided herein, the administrative action shall be deemed final. In the event such a hearing is demanded, the administrative action shall be suspended until the hearing is completed and the time for filing for judicial review has expired.
      (1)   Hearing panel. The hearing panel shall consist of the following:
         A.   The City Manager or the Superintendent, as determined by the City;
         B.   The ex-officio representative on the City Council if the hearing is requested by a user. This person may or may not be employed by a party.
         C.   A person who is not an employee of the City or any party to the hearing who has a high level of expertise in the subject matter of the hearing. The persons provided for in paragraphs (b)(1)A. and B. hereof shall choose this person but, in the event they are unable to agree, the person shall be chosen by the Chief Judge of the Osceola County Circuit Court with neutrality and expertise as the prime considerations. The persons provided for in paragraphs (b)(1)A. and B. hereof each may submit a list of no more than two suggested candidates, along with curriculum vitae, to the judge.
      (2)   Time.  The hearing shall be promptly scheduled to commence at the earliest practicable date, but not later than thirty days after receipt of the request unless extended by mutual written agreement.
      (3)   Content of request for hearing. Any written request for a hearing shall be signed by the user requesting the hearing or by a duly authorized officer. agent, or attorney, shall be directed to the Superintendent, and shall contain the following:
         A.   The name and address of the user requesting the hearing.
         B.   A copy of the administrative action if it is in writing.
         C.   A general statement of the defenses, arguments, or issues to be raised at the hearing.
   (c)   Hearing Procedure.  The hearing on the administrative action shall be conducted under the procedures set forth in this section
      (1)   Rules of evidence.  Hearings shall be informal and need not be conducted according to the strict technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses, but those rules shall be considered in determining what weight to give evidence and testimony.
      (2)   Rights of parties. At the hearing, each party shall have the following rights:
         A.   To call and examine witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing.
         B.   To introduce documentary and physical evidence.
         C.   To cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing.
         D.   To rebut adverse evidence.
         E.   To have representation of his or her choice.
      (3)   Record.  A record of the proceedings shall be made by tape recording. A transcript of the proceedings shall be made available to all parties upon request and upon payment by the requesting party of the cost of the transcription.
   (d)   Decision of Hearing Panel.  The hearing panel shall review the evidence and within fifteen days after the close of the hearing issue a draft written decision to the parties. The hearing panel shall prepare a draft written report or opinion, and the parties to the hearing shall be given an opportunity to review it and submit written comments on it within five days of receipt of the draft by the parties. Within fifteen days after receipt of comments, if any, from the parties on the draft, a final written decision shall be issued.
      (1)   Form of decision. The decision shall contain findings of fact, a decision on each of the points raised by the user, and an explanation of the reasons for the decision. The decision must be by at least two of the hearing panel members A dissenting panel member may issue a written dissenting decision which shall follow the same draft final steps A copy of the decision shall be delivered personally or be sent by first-class mail to the user.
      (2)   Effective date of decision. The effective date of the decision shall be as stated therein, but it shall not be earlier than the last day for seeking judicial review.
   (e)   Special Rule for Review of Emergency Suspensions and Cease and Desist Orders.  A user subject to an emergency suspension or that has received a cease and desist order:
      (1)   May petition the Osceola County Circuit Court at any time for a de nova review, including temporary or permanent injunctive relief, without being required to pursue any administrative review; or
      (2)   May pursue administrative review under this chapter even though the administrative action is in effect during the administrative review. In this situation, the hearing panel may affirm, reverse, or modify the administrative action that was in effect.
(Ord. 22C.  Passed 4-15-96.)