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City Hall Closed Wednesday, April 24, for Move

City Hall Closed Wednesday, April 24, for Move

City Hall will be closed on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, so staff can move from the current, leased offices to the new, permanent building.

The final day of operations at 3 Quail Creek Center will be Tuesday, April 23.

City Hall will reopen at 360 N. Main St. at 7 a.m. on Thursday, April 25.

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Limited English Proficiency

According to recent census data, 10.7% of North Liberty residents ages 5 and older speak a language other than English at home, with a portion of that population identifying as individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). It is the policy of the City of North Liberty to reasonably ensure that LEP individuals have meaningful access to City programs and services. The City of North Liberty will not discriminate against or deny any individual access to services, rights or programs based upon national origin or any other protected interest or right.

LEP Coordinator

To facilitate this policy, the City Administrator shall designate certain responsibilities to an LEP coordinator. The responsibilities of the coordinator include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating and implementing all aspects of the City’s LEP services to LEP individuals.
  • Developing procedures that will enable City staff interacting with the public to access LEP services, including telephonic interpreters, sign language interpreters available online, and ensuring the procedures are available to all such City staff.
  • Ensuring that a list of all qualified bilingual employees and authorized interpreters is maintained and available to City staff. The list should include information regarding:
    • Languages spoken.
    • Contact information.
  • Ensuring signage stating that interpreters are available free of charge to LEP individuals is posted in appropriate areas and in the most commonly spoken languages.
  • Reviewing existing and newly developed documents to determine which are vital documents and should be translated, and into which languages the documents should be translated.
  • Annually assessing demographic data and other resources, including contracted language services utilization data and data from community-based organizations, to determine if there are additional documents or languages that are appropriate for translation.
  • Identifying standards and assessments to be used by the City to qualify individuals as qualified bilingual staff members or authorized interpreters.
  • Periodically reviewing efforts of the City in providing meaningful access to LEP individuals, and, as appropriate, developing reports, developing new procedures or recommending modifications to this policy.
  • Receiving and responding to complaints regarding City LEP services.
  • Ensuring appropriate processes are in place to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints and inquiries regarding discrimination in access to City services, programs and activities.

Four-Factor Analysis

Because there are many different languages that City staff could encounter, the City will utilize the four-factor analysis outlined in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients, available at the DOJ website, to determine which measures will provide meaningful access to its services and programs. It is recognized that contacts with members of the public and circumstances will vary considerably. This analysis, therefore, must remain flexible and will require an ongoing balance of the following four factors, which are:

  • The number or proportion of LEP individuals eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by City staff, or who may benefit from programs or services within the City or a particular geographic area.
  • The frequency with which LEP individuals are likely to come in contact with City staff, programs or services.
  • The nature and importance of the contact, program, information or service provided.
  • The cost of providing LEP assistance and the resources available.

Types of LEP Assistance Available

City Staff should never refuse service to an LEP individual who is requesting assistance, nor should they require an LEP individual to furnish an interpreter as a condition for receiving assistance. The City will make every reasonable effort to provide meaningful and timely assistance to LEP individuals through a variety of services. The City will utilize all reasonably available tools, such as language identification cards, when attempting to determine an LEP individual’s primary language. LEP individuals may choose to accept City-provided LEP services at no cost or they may choose to provide their own. City-provided LEP services may include, but are not limited to, the assistance methods described in this policy.

Written Forms and Guidelines

Vital documents or those that are frequently used should be translated into languages most likely to be encountered. The LEP coordinator will arrange to make these translated documents available to City staff and other appropriate individuals, as necessary.

Audio Recordings

The City may develop audio recordings of important or frequently requested information in a language most likely to be understood by those LEP individuals who are representative of the community being served.

Qualified Bilingual Staff Members

Bilingual staff members may be qualified to provide LEP services when they have demonstrated through established procedures a sufficient level of skill and competence to fluently communicate in both English and a non-English language. Staff members utilized for LEP services must demonstrate knowledge of the functions of an interpreter/translator and the ethical issues involved when acting as a language conduit. Additionally, bilingual staff members must be sufficiently proficient in the non-English language so as to accurately convey information to and from LEP individuals concerning a variety of City services, to effectively receive complaints from LEP individuals and communicate each such person’s rights under this policy.

Authorized Interpreters

Any person designated by the City to act as an authorized interpreter and/or translator must have demonstrated competence in both English and the involved non-English language, must have an understanding of the functions of an interpreter that allows for correct and effective translation, and should not be a person with an interest in any complaint or investigation involving the LEP individual. A person providing interpretation or translation services may be required to establish the accuracy and trustworthiness of the interpretation or translation in a legal proceeding.

Authorized interpreters must pass a screening process established by the LEP coordinator that demonstrates their skills and abilities in the following areas:

  • The competence and ability to communicate information accurately in both English and in the target language.
  • Knowledge, in both languages, of any specialized terms or concepts peculiar to this department and of any particularized vocabulary or phraseology used by the LEP individual.
  • The ability to understand and adhere to the interpreter role without deviating into other roles, such as counselor or legal adviser.
  • Knowledge of the ethical issues involved when acting as a language conduit.

Sources of Authorized Interpreters

The City may contract with authorized interpreters who are available over the telephone, or sign language interpreters who are available by internet video conference. City staff may use these services with the approval of a supervisor and in compliance with established procedures.

Other sources may include:

  • Qualified bilingual staff members of other City departments.
  • Individuals employed exclusively to perform interpretation services.
  • Contracted in-person interpreters, such as state or federal court interpreters, among others.
  • Interpreters from other agencies who have been qualified as interpreters by the City and with whom the City has a resource-sharing or other arrangement that they will interpret according to City guidelines.

Community Volunteers and Other Sources of Language Assistance

Language assistance may be available from community volunteers who have demonstrated competence in either monolingual (direct) communication and/or in interpretation or translation (as noted in above), and have been approved by the City to communicate with LEP individuals. Where qualified bilingual staff members or other authorized interpreters are unavailable to assist, approved community volunteers who have demonstrated competence may be called upon when appropriate. However, City staff must carefully consider the nature of the contact and the relationship between the LEP individual and the volunteer to ensure that the volunteer can provide neutral and unbiased assistance.

While family or friends of an LEP individual may offer to assist with communication or interpretation, staff members should carefully consider the circumstances before relying on such individuals. For example, children should not be relied upon except in exigent or very informal and non-confrontational situations.

Phone applications (e.g., Google Translate) may also be helpful, but may not be 100% accurate. City staff should record the conversations and any written communications if needed later for legal purposes.

Contact and Reporting

Although all services and individual rights are important, the City of North Liberty will utilize the four-factor analysis to prioritize service to LEP individuals so that such services may be targeted where they are most needed, according to the nature and importance of the particular activity involved.

Whenever any City staff is required to complete a report or other documentation that involves a situation in which interpretation services were provided to any involved LEP individual, such services should be noted in the related report. Staff members should document the type of interpretation services used and whether the individual elected to use services provided by the City or some other identified source.

Receiving and Responding to Requests for Assistance

The City of North Liberty’s Human Resources Department will take reasonable steps to develop in-house language capacity by hiring or appointing qualified individuals proficient in languages representative of the community being served.

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