Practically dormant for the past 12 months, the York City Human Relations Commission is getting back to the business of investigating discrimination complaints.
The commission is looking for an investigator whose first priority will be resolving a backlog of cases that have been in limbo since the organization began to unravel last year.
Advertised on the city's website, www.yorkcity.org, the full-time position requires a person with a bachelor's degree and several years of investigative experience.
The HRC's newest employee should also be compassionate, said Karen Rollins-Fitch, the commission's acting chairwoman.
"Someone that has some experience, that can get on the ground running," she said. "We want someone that's compassionate, has experience working within the community, hopefully."
The HRC is a board of volunteers that oversees a quasi-independent department charged with investigating allegations of discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations in the city.
A year ago, the commission fired its executive director and paid an attorney to produce a report auditing several years of commission casework. The report has never been released to the public.
Under increased public scrutiny, the commission steadily lost volunteers in the months that followed.
Rebuilding: A rebuilding process has been under way since.
Today, all but one of the commission's 11 seats are filled, Rollins-Fitch said.
Commissioners — the most senior of whom were appointed in August — have been working to find a way forward, Rollins-Fitch.
"It's taken some time, but I think in the process we've learned and we're gaining speed as we go on," she said.
They've spent several months updating the commission's internal policies and procedures. And they're making plans for community outreach, she said.
But, first and foremost, the commission needs to resolve about a dozen cases opened before the director's firing. Then, the commission can start taking on new cases again.
For nearly a year, new cases have been referred to the state Human Relations Commission.
Rollins-Fitch said the commission could choose to hire a new executive director in the future, but that will require more money in the HRC's budget.
The HRC's next public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, April 21 at City Hall, 101 S. George St.
— Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org