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City of Waltham, MA
Middlesex County
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[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987; Ord. No. 31417, 8-2-2010]
There is hereby established, in accordance with the provisions of General Laws, Chapter 40, § 8J, the Disability Commission.
[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987; Ord. No. 30417, 5-22-2006; Ord. No. 31417, 8-2-2010]
Appointment of members; compensation. The Commission shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council and one of the members shall be either an elected or appointed official of the City. A majority of the members shall consist of handicapped persons. Each member shall be a resident of the City. Each of the seven permanent members of the Commission shall be entitled to a stipend, in an amount established by ordinance for each meeting of the Waltham Disability Commission or hearing conducted by the Waltham Disability Commission in which said permanent member actually participates as such a member. A permanent member shall be eligible for only one such stipend per day, regardless of the number of meetings and/or hearings conducted on such a day, and shall receive no other compensation for serving as a member. For the purpose of this section a site view, site visit or such activity shall not be considered a meeting or hearing.
Terms of office of members; vacancies.
The initial appointment of the members shall be as follows: Three members of the Commission shall serve for a term ending December 31, 1987, two members shall serve for a term ending December 31, 1988, and two members shall serve for a term ending December 31, 1989.
The respective successors of each such member, shall be appointed for terms of three years. Each member shall serve until such time as his successor is appointed and qualified.
If for any reason, a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Commission, the vacancy shall be filled forthwith by the Mayor with Council approval for the unexpired term.
Election of Chairman. The Chairman of the Commission shall be elected annually by a majority vote of all of the members of the Commission prior to March 31.
[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987]
The Commission shall research local problems of handicapped persons and shall coordinate the activities of other local groups organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets necessary for its work. The Commission shall keep records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report which shall be printed in the City annual report and shall have at least six meetings annually.
The Commission may, in the name of the City and its own name, apply for and receive grants and funds from private and public sources, including grants from governmental agencies.
All gifts received by the Commission, from whatever source, shall be managed and controlled by the Commission for the purposes as herein set forth; provided, however, that any expenditure of funds, however obtained, shall be subject to appropriation by the City Council in accordance with the provisions of § 53A, Chapter 44 of the General Laws.
The Commission may accept, subject to the approval of the City Council, gifts of property, both real and personal and may accept gifts, contributions and bequests of funds from individuals, foundations and from federal, state and other governmental bodies for the purpose of furthering the Commission's program.
The Commission may establish such rules and regulations as it may deem prudent for the conduct of its business.
The Commission shall coordinate and carry out programs designed to meet the problems of the handicapped in coordination with programs of the office of handicapped affairs.
[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987]
The functions of the Commission shall include the following:
To identify, analyze, evaluate and monitor public policies, programs, services and regulations that affect or may affect persons with disabilities.
To utilize a system of collection of information for the purposes of identifying inadequate or inaccessible programs and services, and duplication of programs and services.
To make recommendations and to provide comprehensive coordination and support to appropriate City departments concerning public policies, programs, services and regulations as they affect or may affect persons with disabilities.
To develop and promote information and referral services and such other assistance to disabled persons as may be appropriate regarding programs, services, rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
To identify and recommend to local agencies, departments and organizations appropriate sources of City, state and federal funds which are available for expanding or improving services and programs for persons with disabilities.
To provide the City's Personnel Department with technical assistance as to how to ensure reasonable accommodation, auxiliary aids and general access to the employment process for persons with disabilities. Such technical assistance shall include but not be limited to the review of:
Job specifications;
Application forms; and
Hiring, promotion and firing procedures concerning.
Physical accessibility of the application process;
Program accessibility, i.e., availability of effective communication methods;
Availability, use and publicity of affirmative action plans; and
Review of testing procedures.
To address the transportation needs of the City's disabled population. The Commission shall recommend to the Mayor, the establishment of such policies, ordinance, and activities of City departments necessary to assure progress toward the accomplishment of plans for meeting the transportation needs of persons with disabilities and monitor the implementation of such plans.
To promote the advancement of the legal and civil rights of all persons with disabilities in the City.
To work in conjunction with the personnel department for the purpose of effecting the compliance by all City departments with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all related rules and regulations requiring all federally assisted programs, activities and services to be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; to monitor compliance with departmental self-evaluation and transition plans, and to correct any noncompliance with said plans.
To consult with the Personnel Department in order to develop necessary training and development programs for City personnel in order to increase their sensitivity and awareness of the real and artificial barriers faced by persons with disabilities in their effort to live independently and to benefit from all City-sponsored programs, activities and services.
To prepare and submit to the Mayor and City Council, an annual report which shall be a public document, and which shall include; the description and evaluation of the activities of the Commission in implementing the aforesaid duties and functions; the description, evaluation and analysis of public policies, programs, services and regulations that affect or may affect persons with disabilities; and, recommendations for the development, coordination and improved responsiveness of such policies, programs, services and regulations.
[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987]
For purposes of this article, a person with a disability shall be defined as set forth in Title 29 United States Code Section 706 (Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973).
[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987]
Beginning in 1987, and every year thereafter, the Commission shall elect the Chairman from among its own number. The Chairman shall annually appoint a member to serve as Secretary. If the Secretary is absent from a meeting, the Chairman shall designate another member to function as Secretary for that meeting. If the Chairman is absent from a meeting, the Secretary shall assume the chair. If both the Secretary and the Chairman are absent, the member with the most seniority shall assume the chair. A majority of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987; Ord. No. 31417, 8-2-2010]
Frequency of meetings; notice required for special meetings. The Waltham Disability Commission shall meet at such times as may be necessary for the proper exercise of its powers and duties. Special meetings may be called by the Chairman, provided that forty-eight-hour notice is given the other Commission members, either in writing or by telephone contact. Notice shall be posted in accordance with the Open Meeting Law, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 39, §§ 23A through 23C. The Chairman is responsible for setting the agenda for each regular and special meeting.
Rules of procedure. An affirmative vote of four members is required for any motion to pass. The Chairman may limit presentations from interested parties and guests, provided that he does so prior to the beginning of the debate or presentation, and provided that a minimum of 10 minutes be given to each side debating or presenting an issue. The Commission may make such additional rules and regulations for its own government and in relation to its officers and members as it may deem expedient and proper. On all matters of parliamentary procedure not provided for in these rules or by law or ordinance, Robert's Rules of Order shall govern.
Public hearings. The Commission may hold public hearings when, in its discretion, the Commission feels that such public hearings are advisable or when required by law.
[Ord. No. 26116, 1-12-1987; Ord. No. 31417, 8-2-2010]
The Waltham Disability Commission shall keep a detailed record of its acts and proceedings and shall make an annual report to the Mayor in connection with such record.