Bylaws

BERKS COUNTY PATRIOTS

BYLAWS
The name of the organization shall be Berks County Patriots.

Mission Statement: Berks County Patriots is a non-profit, non-partisan political action group committed to restoring and promoting the conservative values and ideals espoused in America’s founding documents; that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights” including life, liberty, property, free speech, a free market, and the pursuit of happiness, and that a limited government is necessary to ensure these rights for the people.

I) MEMBERS

1. Membership shall consist of anyone completing a membership form and/or submitting contact info. It is our desire to be all inclusive and encourage all to become members.

2. Members shall be responsible for: supporting the organization, attending meetings, abiding by the bylaws, and adhering to the guiding principles and values of the organization.

3. Members shall have the right to vote in person at meetings, be eligible to run for and be elected to the Board of Directors, (BOD) hold an office on the BOD, serve on a committee and receive regular communications from the BOD.

 

II) GUIDING PRINCIPLES & VALUES

1.      For the purposes of guiding individual and group conduct, as well as maintaining clear focus on organizational goals, Berks County Patriots adopts as general beliefs and guidelines these Principles and Values.  Rigid belief in or adherence to these ideals by individuals is not in any way required for membership, however these should be encouraged throughout the membership and promoted by the actions of the Board of Directors.

 

 

 

III) BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1. The Board of Directors shall serve without pay and consist of as many as 11; 9 officers and 2 board members at-large.  There shall also be 2 non-voting participants appointed to the board; a parliamentarian, and a chaplain.
2. Eligibility- They must be a member of Berks County Patriots in good standing for a period of six (6) months, and cannot presently hold a state or federally elected office.

3. All Board members will have voting privileges and serve 2 year terms with the first term ending December 31, 2010 (except for the first year’s election cycle to establish staggering – see section VII-5)
4. The Board shall elect officers from amongst its ranks each year after an election, any mid-year officer vacancies shall be filled by the board from amongst their at-large board members.

5. Board meetings will be held at least 1 time per calendar month.
6. Special Board meeting may be called with 50% plus 1 vote may be taken by Phone or Email.

IV) OFFICERS
the BOD will consist of the below-mentioned officers at this time.

1.      Chairman
2.  Vice Chairman
3.  Treasurer
4.  Financial Secretary
5.  Membership Chairman
6.  Public Relations Chairman
7.  Events Chairman
8.  IT Chairman
9.  Unity Chairman

10.  Recording Secretary

 

Officer Job Descriptions:

1) The Chairman is responsible for running the Board meetings and general membership meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order.  He will be available to assist other board members on joint projects as necessary. The chairman is the mediator if conflict arises between board members.  The chairman has no voting privileges except as a tiebreaker.  The Chairman must make himself familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order. The Chairman will be in possession of a sealed envelope containing all access information for all BCP websites. This envelope is only to be opened if something happens to the IT Chairman to prevent him from performing his duties, it shall take a 3/4 vote to remove the IT Chairman and open the envelope.

2) The Vice Chairman will assist the Chairman in his duties and shall succeed the Chairman in the event of absence, removal or resignation.  The vice-Chairman does have voting privileges except when acting as Chairman. Vice Chairman must make himself familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order. The Vice-Chair shall oversee the election, education, and legislative committees.

3) The Treasurer is ultimately responsible for all monies coming into and going out of the organization.  He/she shall produce monthly financial reports for the Board and quarterly financial reports for the membership.  The Treasurer must be involved with the counting of all monies collected at events and shall keep collection records signed by the Financial Secretary and either Chair or Vice Chair to be included in the financial reports.  The Treasurer shall also be the required signer on a bank account which requires two signatures; the Financial Secretary, Chairman and Vice Chairman shall also be on the account. All monies collected at meeting will be counted immediately by no less than 2 people with one observer.

4) The Financial Secretary shall be responsible for the organizations checkbook and all bank statements and expenditure reports which he will make available to the treasurer to be reconciled on a monthly basis.  The Financial Secretary must be involved with counting of monies collected during events, and sign off on the collected amounts with the Treasurer.  The Financial Secretary is also charged with organizing all fundraising efforts.
5) The Membership Chairman shall maintain an up to date list of the membership complete with names, email & home addresses, phone numbers, and volunteer availability. This complete list will be made available to the Chairman & Vice Chairman of the Board and The IT Chairman only.  Partial lists shall be made available to Committee Chairs as necessary.  The member list will at no time be made public.  Membership Chair is also responsible for overseeing the phone bank.
6) The Event Chairman is responsible for planning and coordinating events such as; general meetings, local rallies, bus trips and cooperative efforts with other like-minded organizations.  The Events Chairman will be in charge of scheduling, arranging transportation and security, and arranging payments for events. All events sponsored by Berks County Patriots must be approved by the board.

7) The Public Relations Chairman is responsible for coordinating, editing and overseeing all communications from the organization to outside contacts.  The PR Chair shall oversee the newsletter production, video productions, and press releases as needed.  The PR Committee is responsible for outreach efforts to non-political but like minded organizations to present our efforts to promote our vision and mission statements.

8) The Unity Chairman is responsible for contacting and maintaining positive working relationships with other like-minded groups. They will report any new contacts to the board which shall vote upon continued cooperative alliances with these groups; the Unity Chair will then be authorized to initiate action alerts to support approved allies without a BOD vote. The Unity Chair must work closely with events chair to coordinate co-sponsored events.  The Unity Chair shall oversee the Precinct Project and other similar efforts that require broad support from the movement at large.

9) IT Chairman is responsible developing and maintaining the website as the primary tool for the dissemination of essential group information (meetings, events, actions, articles, etc.)  In addition to the IT Chair, the passwords to the website shall be placed in a sealed envelope to be given to the Chairman to be opened and utilized only if absolutely necessary and only with the approval of ¾ of the entire active board which must be present.  Upon the election of a new board, the passwords shall pass appropriately from the outgoing IT Chair to the incoming IT Chair.

10) The Recording Secretary shall prepare the minutes of all Board of Director and general membership meetings. The Secretary shall forward copy to all Board Members via email at least a week before the next meeting. The use of an electronic recording device is recommended for accuracy, retaining the tapes for a period of 1 year. The secretary shall serve for a period of 1 year.

Appointed Job Descriptions:

1) The Parliamentarian shall report to the Chairman of the Board, function as a non-interventionist, and assist and support the Chairman in maintaining order and adhering to time schedules as approved by the Board or membership.  The parliamentarian shall assist with the coordination of motions and resolutions as requested and be available to the membership during normal conference hours or after meetings to answer questions about the role and function of the parliamentarian and parliamentary procedure.  He/she shall also assist with the election and voting procedures and serve as the vice chair of the election committee.  This is a non-voting board position.

2) The Chaplain shall provide for the pastoral needs of the membership.  Specifically, the chaplain assists members to understand more fully life’s events as they relate to their spiritual and emotional well-being.  The chaplain shall also offer blessings and coordinate the prayers and petitions to the almighty that are conducted at group functions where applicable.  This is a non-voting board position.

V) COMMITTEES
Board officers shall serve as the chairs of standing committees and deliver periodic reports to the Board.  Committee Chairs must also provide complete and up to date lists of committee participants.  The board of directors may appoint ad hoc committees as needed.

VI) MEETINGS
1. Board meetings will be held at least 1 time per calendar month with a minimum notice of at least 3 days, and shall be closed unless announced otherwise.
2. General Membership meetings will be held on the 3rd Thursday of each month or by the call of the board.

3. The Nomination Meeting will be held the second Thursday in November and the Election Meeting will be held on the second Thursday in December
4. Special meetings may be held anytime the chairman or the majority of the board calls for one.
5. Agenda’s must be provided at least 2 days in advance for board meetings and the day/night of the membership meeting. Members on the email list may be provided agendas before the meeting.

VII) ENDORSEMENTS

1. The Board shall be responsible for endorsing political candidates whose views and platforms support and advance the goals and mission of the Berks County Patriots.  It shall be the intent of the organization to generally withhold endorsements unless a candidate has and continues to demonstrate a commitment to freedom, limited government, and constitutional purity.

2. Only after extensive investigation of the proposed endorsee and due deliberation amongst the board members, a ¾ majority vote is required to officially endorse a candidate for public office.

VIII) QUORUM

1. A majority of 50% plus 1 board members constitutes a quorum.  In absence of a quorum, no formal action shall be taken except to adjourn the meeting to a subsequent date.

2. Passage of a motion requires a simple majority, i.e. 1 more than ½ the members present
3. No quorum requirements exist for general membership or election meetings

IX) CONFLICT OF INTEREST, REMOVAL, AND “NO CONFIDENCE”
1. Members may be removed from the board or the organization as a whole for conduct detrimental to the organization and/or gross violation of the bylaws.

2. A board member can be removed for cause by a 3/4 majority vote of the board and the required approval from the chairman of the board.

3. The chairman of the board can be removed by the board by a vote of “no confidence” by 3/4 majority vote.  The chairman cannot cast a vote in, block a motion for, or overrule a “no confidence” motion or decision.  The chairman is immediately removed with the vice-chair assuming the responsibilities of the chair.

4. A member can be removed from a general meeting for disruptive conduct detrimental to the meeting or group by a ruling of the chair or a simple majority vote of the board members in attendance.

5. A member can be removed from the organization as a whole by a ¾ majority of the board.  The member can appeal the board’s decision to the membership only once, and only at the next general meeting, who can reinstate the member by a simple majority vote immediately after the meeting has opened.

6. Any member of the board who has a financial, personal, or official interest in, or conflict (or
appearance of conflict) with any matter pending before the board, of such nature that it
prevents or may prevent that member from acting on the matter in an impartial manner, will
offer to the board to voluntarily excuse him/herself and will vacate his seat and refrain from
discussion and voting on such item.

7. Should a board member develop a conflict with the organization or its various goals and interests, that board member ought to resign from their board position.  If such a conflict is concealed and discovered, there shall be an immediate motion and vote for removal of the conflicted member from the board.
X) ELECTIONS of BOARD MEMBERS and OFFICERS
1. Nominations may begin the first day in November by phone call, Email or U.S. Mail to the chairman of the elections committee. Nominations will close on November 30.
2. It is the responsibility of the nominating entity to ensure that their intent is communicated to the chairman of elections.  Self-nominations are permitted.

3. All prospective board members must have their contact & vital information available to be displayed on the BCP Website.

4. Elections will be held the second Thursday Night in December at a 6:30 PM meeting.  The eligible nominees with the highest vote counts will assume the vacated positions and constitute a new board of directors on the New Years Day following the election.

5. Each new board is then responsible for deciding the election of board members to officer positions at their first annual board meeting after the New Year, and then presenting those officers to the membership at the first annual general meeting.

6. For the purpose of staggering the election cycles of the board after the first election year, the board members occupying the positions of; chairman, vice chairman, financial secretary, treasurer, IT chair, and events chair at the end of the first year will serve their second year on the new board.  All other sitting board members must vacate their positions on the board and seek re-election to the new board from amongst the membership.

7. Should there be a vacancy on the board due to resignation or other cause, the board may appoint an eligible member to fill the vacancy or wait until the next available election will fill that open seat on the board.  The appointed or elected replacement shall serve the remainder of the original term in order to maintain a consistent staggering for future elections to the board.

XI) AMENDMENTS
1. A 2/3 vote of the board is required to schedule an open special meeting and to debate the amendment.  The board may close debate by a 2/3 vote, or table and continue the debate at a later date by a simple majority

2. Any properly debated amendment to these bylaws must be approved by a 3/4 vote of board members present at a board meeting, provided that a copy of proposed amendment is provided to each board member at least one week prior to said meeting.

3. The proposed amendment is then presented to the general membership at a meeting and read aloud.  The amendment is then made available to the membership on the website for no less than 30 days and then voted upon at the next available meeting. Passage requires 2/3 of members present.

XII) PARLIMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern this organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Committee may adopt.

 

XIII) SAVINGS CLAUSE

“If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of these bylaws is, for any reason, held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof.  It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Officers of Berks County Patriots that these bylaws would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal, or invalid section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion not been included herein.”

 

 

XIV) DISSOLUTION

Upon the dissolution of this political action group, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provisions for payment of all liabilities of the Group, dispose of all the assets of the Committee exclusively for  the purpose of the Group in such manner, or to such organization( s) under applicable provisions of the united States Internal Revenue law then in effect as the Board of Directors determine or as shall, at the time, corporation organized exclusively for the aforementioned purposes.

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