Human Relations By-Laws
Revised June 2016
Section I - Purpose of the Commission
The Human Relations Commission is devoted to:
- The study of problems in the area of human relations;
- The promotion of equity for all citizens;
- The promotion of understanding, respect, and goodwill among all citizens;
- The provision of channels of communication among diverse groups;
- Encouraging the employment of qualified people without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability or genetic information.
- Encouraging youth to become better trained and qualified for employment.
Section II - Membership and Attendance
The Human Relations Commission shall be selected for membership in the following manner:
- The Mayor shall nominate one (1) member
- City Council members will make the additional eight (8) nominations
- One (1) nomination should be made by each of the six (6) ward representatives and one (1) by each of the two (2) at large City Council members.
- All nominees shall be confirmed by the approval of the City Council
- All nominees must reside within the city of High Point
In the event any nominees are not approved by City Council, the person making the original nomination shall submit an alternate nomination. There is no requirement that the Commission membership have representation from all wards. The City Council will endeavor to create a composition for the Commission that fairly represents the social, economic, gender, and ethnic composition of the population of the city. The City Council may in its discretion appoint up to five (5) high school and two (2) college/university student representatives from high schools and/or colleges and universities located within the city of High Point. Such student representatives will be non-voting members of the Commission. City Council shall appoint one (1) member of City Council to act as the liaison to the Commission. The appointed liaison shall attend the Commission meetings and keep City Council informed as to the activities of the Commission.
The term of office for each Commission member shall be as follows:
- All members will serve a two-year staggered term
- No member shall serve more than three (3) consecutive terms
- Each member shall hold office until the qualification and appointment of his/her successor or until one (1) year has lapsed since the expiration of the term for which the member was appointed, which first occurs
- In order to establish staggered terms the original voting members of the commission shall be appointed as follows:
- Three members for a one-year term
- Three members for a two-year term
- Three members for a three-year term
- Thereafter, each newly appointed voting member shall serve for a two-year term.
Members are expected to attend regular meetings as required. After review, the executive committee may recommend to City Council whether a member should be retained or removed from the Commission. The recommendation will be determined by the following:
- Three consecutive absences from regularly scheduled meetings if notification of any such absence has not been submitted to the chairperson or staff liaison prior to the meetings where the absence occurred.
- Five absences from regularly scheduled meetings of the board in any calendar year if notification of any such absence has not been submitted to the chairperson or staff liaison prior to the meetings where the absence occurred.
In the event that a vacancy occurs by reasons stated in Section II, the chairperson or director of the affected commission shall immediately notify the City Council liaison, so that the vacancy can be filled in accordance with city ordinance by the City Council.
Members may also be removed from the Commission by breech of Section III of the by-laws governing general conduct of commissioners.
Section III - General Conduct
Government appointees are expected to meet high standards of conduct, which enhance and maintain public confidence in the operation of the Commission. In order to instill public confidence in the actions and decisions of the Commission members will adhere to the following:
- Be cognizant of your individual actions as a member of the Commission.
- Commissioners are expected to act at all times with integrity demonstrating good faith, honesty, and due diligence on behalf of the public interest.
- Commissioners are expected to participate, prepare, and regularly attend meetings in order to adequately carry out the duties expected of them.
- The public conduct and language of commissioners must be free of discrimination, harassment, and hate acts prohibited by local, state, and federal laws. Conduct should reflect social standards of courtesy, respect, and dignity.
- Commissioners must not reveal or divulge information deemed confidential by the Commission or director received in the course of their duties. Confidential information must not be used for any purpose outside that of undertaking the work of the Commission to which they have been appointed.
- Commissioners must comply with the public comment protocols established by the City or Commission. If none exist, Commissioners must refer to the chair or director for guidance before making public comment on Commission matters.
- Commissioners may not make individual personal statements, editorials, speeches, appearances, or requests for information on behalf of the Commission.
- Commissioners' work or endeavors should not result in any financial or other substantive gain for personal increase and/or profit, or for organized entities to which the Commissioner may have membership or affiliation. (Private gain does not include honoraria for service on other agencies, boards or commissions).
- Commissioners must inform the chair or director of any circumstance that may have a
- negative or harmful impact on their respective abilities to perform the duties required of their appointments or that could reflect negatively upon the Commission.
Section IV - Conflict of Interest
Commissioners must avoid any activity that might impair or impugn the independence, integrity or impartiality of the Commission. There must be no apprehension of bias, based on what a reasonable person might perceive.
Commissioners who are in any doubt must disclose their circumstances and consult with the chair or director. In practical terms, Commissioners should ensure that:
- All personal financial interests, assets, and holdings are distinct from and independent of any decision, information or other matter that may be heard by or acted upon by the commission.
- Activities undertaken as a private citizen are kept separate and distinct from any
- responsibilities held as a member of the Commission.
- Activities undertaken individually as a member of other agencies, boards, or commissions are kept separate and distinct from the Commission.
- Recusal is expected when agencies, organizations, boards, and commissions you are affiliated with come before the Commission for action.
- Commissioners may not receive any form of payment for products, services, or acts done as a part of commission sponsored or supported events.
- Other memberships, directorships, voluntary or paid positions or affiliations remain distinct from work undertaken in the course of performing their duties as public appointees. Actions taken in the course of performing duties as public appointees neither cause nor suggest the reality or perception that their ability to perform or exercise those duties has been or could be affected by private gain or interest.
Section V - Election, Tenure, and Duties of the Chair & Vice Chair
The commission shall elect from its membership a Chair and Vice Chair, each for a one-year term and they will be eligible for re-election. Their duties shall be those generally assigned by the nature of their offices. Interim elections may be held if any such office is vacated.
Section VI - Committees
In accordance to Section 2.3.5 of the City ordinance, City Council may, as necessary and upon request from the Commission, appoint or approve the appointment of committees related to specific human relations problems. These committees shall be composed of adult residents of the City that are not members of the Commission and chaired by a member of the Commission.
Standing Committees of the Commission shall be appointed by vote of City Council after suggestions by the Commission and discussion by City Council. Each Committee shall chaired by a current commissioner. Ad hoc committees will be formed as needed. The following shall constitute the Standing Committees:
• International Advisory
Section VII - Conduct of Business
- Quorum - A quorum for the official conduct of business shall consist of a simple majority of voting Commission members.
- Business shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.
- Meeting Time
- The Commission shall hold monthly meetings, which shall be conducted on the second Thursday of each month at 5:30p.m. at City Hall.
- Meeting times or location can be changed by a majority vote or in case of emergency by the Chair.
- Additional meetings as needed shall be called by the Chair, Vice Chair, or any three members.
- The Commission shall hold an annual retreat in November.
- Time Commitment - members have agreed to a minimum time commitment of 3 hours per month (this is inclusive of regular Commission and committee meetings).
- Meetings are open to the public with the Commission reserving the right to move into private session.
Section VIII – Work Plan
The Commission shall submit a work plan to City Council in January and July of each year. The work plan should list the proposed activities of the Commission and any associated budget requests.
Section IX – Changes and Amendments
The by-laws may be changed and/or amended by motion passed by three-fourths of the entire Commission, which includes voting members and City Liaisons, provided written notice of the proposed amendment(s) is mailed to all Commission members at least 10 days prior to the meeting which action proposed is to be taken. The changes are then submitted to City Council for approval