[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Westbrook 4-2-1979 (Ch. 18 of the 2007 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter establishes a general assistance program in accordance with the requirements of Title 22 M.R.S.A. Chapter 1161.
Position created; appointment; removal. There is hereby created the position of general assistance administrator, who shall be appointed by the Mayor upon the recommendation of the overseers of the poor. The general assistance administrator may be removed for good cause by the Mayor after reviewing the recommendation of the overseers of the poor.
Duties. The general assistance administrator shall perform the duties and functions as provided in the rules and regulations for general assistance administration and as required by state law.
[Amended 8-18-2014; 6-5-2017]
There shall be three overseers of the poor, appointed by the Mayor, who shall have the authority granted by this Code and state law, including but not limited to 22 M.R.S.A Chapter 1161. Each overseer of the poor shall serve three years from the date of his or her appointment, from the first Monday in January of the year of his or her appointment, unless sooner removed, except when appointed to fill a vacancy, in which case the appointment shall be for the unexpired term.
Any person aggrieved by a decision, act, failure to act or delay in action concerning that person's application for general assistance under this chapter has a right to an appeal, which shall be heard by a fair hearing officer appointed by the City Council. A fair hearing officer shall be appointed for an initial term of three years and shall continue in office until a successor is appointed. The City Council may appoint two or more persons to serve as fair hearing officers. Fair hearing officers shall be appointed based upon their experience with due process hearings, general assistance law, or similar proceedings or regulations.
The City Council shall establish by ordinance, to be known as the "Rules and Regulations for General Assistance Administration of the City of Westbrook," standards establishing:
The criteria of eligibility for relief;
The criteria for determination of need of each applicant for relief;
The maximum amount of assistance to be provided;
That all persons wishing to apply shall have opportunity to do so;
That relief shall be furnished or denied within 24 hours of the date of submission of a completed written application; and
The procedure for appealing actions of the general assistance administrator to the fair hearing authority.
These rules and regulations shall be available in the office of the City Clerk and the general assistance administrator and shall be made available to any member of the public.
Records, papers, files and communications relating to an applicant for or a recipient of general assistance relief are confidential and may not be released or made public except as provided in 22 M.R.S.A. § 4306.
Any landlord wishing to receive rental payments from the City on behalf of any applicant must comply with all state and local licensing and building and land use codes. The City reserves the right to inspect any rental unit whenever an applicant applies for assistance with that rent, such inspections to determine whether that unit is in compliance with the City's housing and land use codes. The general assistance administrator is authorized to promulgate policies detailing such inspection requirements.