There shall be within the commission an executive director who shall be appointed by the commission and whose compensation shall be fixed by the commission within the budgetary appropriation thereof. The executive director shall be in the exempt class of civil service and may not be a member of the commission. The executive director may attend all meetings of the commission, as well as its committees, but has no vote on decisions or actions of the commission or its committees. The executive director shall carry out the decisions and actions of the commission, hire all staff, administer all affairs of the commission in accordance with its policies and discharge such other duties as the commission shall from time to time determine. The commission may employ such other officers, employees and clerical assistants as it considers necessary and may fix their compensation within the amounts made available by appropriation. To the extent possible, the executive director shall be deaf or hard of hearing and shall be proficient in communicating with deaf or hard of hearing individuals using varying communication modes.