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A. Created: In order to hear and decide appeals of decisions or determinations made by the SunTran staff relative to the application and interpretation of the eligibility of the applicant for paratransit services, there is hereby created the paratransit eligibility appeal process. Appeals shall be heard by a hearing officer. A hearing officer shall be appointed by the mayor with approval of the city council.

B. Right Of Appeal: A paratransit applicant has a right to appeal the denial of a request for paratransit service if the applicant believes the staff decision or determination is unjust or that there is not good cause for denying the service. The appeal must be made in writing and must be given to the SunTran Office within sixty (60) days after the notice of denial was given to the applicant. Failure to file a timely appeal shall be considered a waiver of the right to appeal. A hearing before the hearing officer shall be held after the appeal is received by city. If a decision is not given within thirty (30) days, the applicant will be allowed to receive paratransit service until a hearing is held and decision entered.

C. Hearing: The hearing shall be open to the public but may be closed by the hearing officer, at the request of the applicant, due to the confidential nature of the information being presented. The applicant shall have the right to present new information or arguments about why applicant believes the eligibility determination should be overturned. A SunTran representative shall present the information considered to determine the applicant’s eligibility for paratransit services. The applicant shall have the right to present any additional information or argument. The hearing officer may ask questions at any time during the hearing process and may ask for additional information. The hearing officer may reschedule or continue the hearing to give the parties time to provide the additional information if the hearing officer determines that it is appropriate. The hearing officer shall consider all information presented and render a decision on the appeal.

D. Decision: The decision shall be given in writing to the parties within thirty (30) days of the hearing. If the decision is that the applicant is ineligible, the determination shall state the reasons for the finding. An applicant adversely affected by the decision may appeal the decision of the hearing officer to the city manager. The city manager shall follow the same procedures as the hearing officer. The decision of the city manager is final. The applicant may file a petition in the District Court for a review of the decision which review shall be a review of the record. The District Court shall presume the city manager’s decision is valid and shall review the record to determine whether or not the decision was arbitrary, capricious or illegal. (Ord. 2017-05-007, 5-4-2017)