Section 290:00. Creation of Commission; Purpose; Membership. There is hereby established a Human Rights Commission. The purpose of the commission is to promote the acceptance of cultural diversity in Owatonna; to promote the elimination of hate, prejudice, and discrimination against persons or groups based on race, gender, religion, or other status of the person or group; to educate the community on issues of discrimination and cultural diversity; to advise the City Council and administration on human rights issues; and to promote the goals and objectives of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The commission shall consist of seven (7) members who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. Appointments to the commission should reflect a broad cross section of the ethnic, cultural, and other diversity of the community as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Section 363. Appointments should include, but are not limited to, both sexes, various economic levels, racial and ethnic minorities, various age groups including senior citizens and students, and both property owners and tenants. Of the first seven (7) appointments, three (3) shall be for three (3) years, two (2) shall be for two (2) years, and two (2) shall be for one (1) year. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for a term of three years. All members who have served for two (2) full consecutive terms shall not be eligible for reappointment. Members shall serve without compensation.
Section 290:05. Officers; Meetings; Conduct of Business. Within sixty (60) days after all its members are appointed, the Human Rights Commission shall meet and elect a chairperson and a vice chairperson. The commission shall establish bylaws for the selection of any additional officers, the time, place, and frequency of meetings, and rules for the conduct of its business.
Section 290:10. Powers and Duties. The Human Rights Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To collaborate with the Cultural Diversity Network and other organizations to assist in educating the community about diversity issues;
(b) To assess the human relations and civil rights needs of the community and to advise the administration and City Council of the results of these assessments;
(c) To advise the administration and City Council on matters concerning the Minnesota Human Rights Act;
(d) To cooperate with other groups and governmental agencies concerned with human rights;
(e) To form study groups and advisory committees to the commission, which may include persons who are not members of the commission, to assist in the accomplishment of its duties;
(f) To provide support and information services to persons in matters of discrimination and intolerance;
(g) To develop a community-wide readiness plan to address problems arising from discrimination or intolerance;
(h) To explore implementation of a no fault grievance procedure and mediation training and its applicability to the Owatonna community;
(i) The commission shall have the power to seek outside funding sources in addition to resources supplied by the City to assist in its mission. All outside monies or grants received by the commission are subject to the Citys Charter and Ordinance provisions.