By-laws

                                                                      APPENDICES  /   BYLAWS

                                                LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF HAMILTON-WENHAM

Revised June, 2018

ARTICLE I

Sec. 1. The name of this organization shall be the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham.  This local league is an integral part of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA).

ARTICLE II

Purpose and Policy

Sec. 1. Purpose. The purpose of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham shall be to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on related government issues.

Sec. 2. Political Policy.  The League of Women Voters may take action on local governmental measures and policies in the public interest in conformity with the principles of the LWVUS.  The League shall not support or oppose any political party or candidates.

ARTICLE III

Membership

Sec. 1. Eligibility.  Any person who subscribes to the purpose and policy of the League shall be eligible for membership.

Sec. 2. Types of Membership.

  1. Voting members.  Persons at least 16 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues and of the LWVUS;  (1) individuals who live within the area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) Those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or may be state members at large; (3) Those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues.

  2. Associate Members shall be all other members.

ARTICLE IV

Steering Committee

Sec. 1. Number and Manner of Selection and Terms of Office.  The Steering Committee  shall consist of the officers of the League and up to eight (8) elected Steering Committee members.  The elected Steering Committee members shall be elected by the general membership at each Annual Meeting and shall serve a term of two (2) years, or until their successors have been elected and qualified.  The officers and the elected members may appoint such additional Steering Committee Members, not exceeding eight (8), as they may deem necessary to carry on the work of the League. The terms of office of the appointed Steering Committee members shall be one year and shall expire at the conclusion of the next Annual Meeting.

Sec. 2. Qualifications.  No person shall be elected or appointed or shall continue as an officer or director of this organization unless she is a voting member of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham.

Sec. 3. Vacancies.  Any vacancy occurring on the Steering Committee by reason of resignation, death or disqualification of an officer or elected member may be filled, until the next Annual Meeting, by a candidate proposed by the Nominating Committee and elected by majority vote of the remaining members of the Steering Committee.

Sec. 4. Powers and Duties.  The Steering Committee  shall have full charge of the property and business of the organization with full power and authority to manage and conduct same, subject to the instructions of the general membership.  It shall plan and direct the work necessary to carry out the Program as adopted by the National Convention, the State Convention and the Annual Meeting. The Steering Committee shall create and designate such special committees, as it may deem necessary.

Sec. 5.  Meetings.  In general, members of the Steering Committee shall share the responsibility of chairing and setting agendas for Steering Committee meetings to ensure the orderly conduct of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham business.  At the first meeting of a newly elected Steering Committee, the Steering Committee shall authorize a Steering Committee member who may, in the absence or disability of the Treasurer, sign or endorse checks, drafts and notes. There shall be at least nine regular meetings of the Steering Committee annually.  Any member of the Steering Committee may call a special meeting of the Steering Committee with the concurrence of at least five members of the Steering Committee. Steering Committee members shall be expected to attend monthly Steering Committee meetings and shall provide advance notice via email if unable to attend such meeting.  Three consecutive absences in a row from regular Steering Committee meetings, without excuse, shall constitute a resignation, with the full agreement of the Steering Committee.

Sec. 6.  Quorum. A majority of the members of the Steering Committee shall constitute a quorum. Steering Committee members may participate in a meeting by means of a conference call or other similar electronic equipment that allows all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other at the same time.  Participation by such means shall constitute presence at a meeting.

ARTICLE V

Officers

Sec. 1.  Enumeration and Election of Officers.  The Officers of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham shall be a Spokesperson, a Membership Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer who shall each be elected for terms of two years by the general membership at an Annual Meeting and shall take office immediately.  The Spokesperson and the Membership Chairperson shall be elected in odd-numbered years, if possible.  The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected in even-numbered years, if possible.

Sec. 2. The Spokesperson.   The Spokesperson shall be the sole person to speak for the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham both orally and in writing. The Spokesperson shall also be the sole point of contact for all official interactions with the state and national leagues.   The Spokesperson shall act only in conformity with, and not contrary to, a position taken by the LWVMA and the LWVUS. The Spokesperson shall also perform such other duties as designated by the Steering Committee.

Sec. 3. The Membership Chairperson.  The Membership Chairperson shall be responsible for maintaining accurate membership records, recruiting and welcoming new members and coordinating efforts to engage members in the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham events. The Membership Chairperson shall also perform such other duties as designated by the Steering Committee.

Sec. 4.  The Secretary.  The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the Steering Committee.  The Secretary shall notify all Officers and Steering Committee members of their election.  The Secretary shall sign, all contracts and other instruments when so authorized by the Steering Committee  and shall perform such other functions as may be incident to the office or that may be designated by the Steering Committee

Sec. 5.  The Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due.  The Treasurer shall be custodian of these moneys, shall deposit them in a bank designated by the Steering Committee and shall disburse the same only upon order of the Steering Committee.  The Treasurer shall present statements to the Steering Committee at their regular meetings, as requested by the Steering Committee, and at Annual Meeting.

ARTICLE VI

Financial Administration

Sec. 1. Fiscal Year.  The fiscal year of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham shall be from May 1 to April 30 of each year.

Sec. 2. Dues.  Annual dues shall be voted on and established at Annual Meeting.  They shall be payable by May 1. Any member who fails to pay the dues by January 1st  may be dropped from the membership rolls. The Steering Committee may provide a method of proportional payment of dues for new members and/or a sliding scale of dues for members and associate members.  

Sec. 3. Budget.  A budget for the ensuing year shall be submitted by the Steering Committee to the Annual Meeting for adoption.  The budget shall include support for the work of the League as a whole. Such support shall include per member payments determined at the convention of the LWVUS and the LWVMA.

Sec. 4. Budget Committee.  A Budget Committee shall be appointed by the Steering Committee at least two months prior to the Annual Meeting to prepare a budget for the ensuing year.  The proposed budget shall be sent to all the members not less than two (2) weeks before the Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall not be eligible to serve as chairman of the Budget Committee.

Sec. 5.  Financial Review.  The books of the Treasurer shall be reviewed by an accountant, a former Treasurer, a League member with experience in this area or a committee appointed by the local Steering Committee.  This shall be done bi-annually, concurrent with the term of the Treasurer.

ARTICLE VII

Meetings

Sec. 1. Membership Meetings.  There shall be at least four (4) meetings of the membership each year.  Time and place shall be determined by the Steering Committee.

Sec. 2.  Annual Meeting.  An Annual Meeting shall be held between May 1 and June 30, the exact date to be determined by the Steering Committee .

The Annual Meeting shall:

  1. adopt a Local Program for the ensuing year;

  2. elect officers and Steering Committee members;

  3. adopt an adequate budget, and

  4. transact such other business as may properly come before it.

 Sec. 3. Quorum.  Ten (10) members shall constitute a quorum at the Annual Meeting and all other membership meetings at which business of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham is conducted.

ARTICLE VIII

Nominations and Elections

Sec. 1.  Nominating Committee.  The Steering Committee is responsible for succession planning.  If a Nominating Committee is used, it shall consist of three members.  The Nominating Committee Chair and one member, who shall not be members of the Steering Committee, shall be elected by the annual business meeting.  Immediately following the annual business meeting, the Steering Committee shall appoint one of its members to theNominating Committee. The term of office shall be for two years.  Vacancies shall be filled by the Steering Committee. Suggestions for Officers and Steering Committee members may be sent to the Steering Committee or Nominating Committee, if used, by any voting member.

Sec. 2. Report of the Nominating Committee and Nominations from the Floor.

The report of the Steering Committee or Nominating Committee, if used, of its nominations for Officers and Steering Committee members shall be sent to all members not less than two (2) weeks before the date of Annual Meeting.  The report of the Steering Committee or Nominating Committee, if used, shall be presented at the Annual Meeting. Immediately following the presentation of this report, nominations may be made from the floor by any voting member provided the consent of the nominee shall have been secured.

Sec. 3. Elections.  The election shall be held by ballot, provided that when there is but one nominee for each office, it shall be by voice vote.  A majority vote of those qualified to vote and voting shall constitute an election. Absentee or proxy voting shall not be permitted.

ARTICLE IX

Sec. 1.  Authorization.  The governmental principles adopted by the National Convention and supported by the League as a whole constitute the authorization for the adoption of the Program.

Sec. 2. Program.  The Program of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham shall consist of action to implement the principles and those governmental issues chosen for concerted study and action.

Sec. 3.  The Annual Meeting shall act upon the Program using the following procedures:

  1. The Steering Committee shall consider the recommendations sent in by the voting members resident in the local government concerned, at least one month prior to Annual Meeting and shall formulate a Proposed Program.

  2. The Proposed Program shall be sent to all members not less than two (2) weeks before the Annual Meeting.

  3. Subjects in the Proposed Program as presented to the Annual Meeting by the Steering Committee shall require for adoption majority votes of voting members resident in the local government (s) concerned, present and voting, followed by a majority concurrence by voting members, present and voting, residing outside the government (s) concerned.

  4. Recommendations for Program submitted by voting members resident in the local government (s) concerned at least one month prior to the Annual Meeting but not recommended by the Steering Committee may be considered by the Annual Meeting provided that: (1) The Annual Meeting shall order consideration by a majority vote of voting members resident in the local government (s) concerned and present and voting, and (2) the Annual Meeting shall adopt the item by a majority vote of the voting members resident inside the local government (s) concerned and present and voting and followed by a vote of concurrence of the voting members resident outside the local government (s) concerned and present and voting.

  5. Changes in Program, in the case of altered conditions, may be made provided that: (1) information concerning the proposed changes has been sent to all members at least two weeks prior to a general membership meeting at which the change is discussed, (2) final action by the membership resident in the local government (s) concerned is taken at a succeeding meeting, with concurrence by the membership residing outside the local government (s) concerned.

Sec. 4.  Member Action.  Members may act in the name of the League of Women Voters only when authorized to do so by the Steering Committee.

Sec. 5.  Appropriate Member Use of Email List.  Email messages sent to all members can be sent only with the approval of the Membership Chair.

ARTICLE X

National Convention, State Convention and Council

Sec. 1.  National Convention.  The Steering Committee, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the national office, shall select a delegate(s) to that Convention in the number allotted the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWVUS.

Sec. 2. State Convention.  The Steering Committee, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select a delegate (s) to that Convention in the number allotted the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWVMA.

Sec. 3.  State Council.  The Steering Committee, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select a delegate (s) to that Council in the number allotted the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWVMA.

ARTICLE XI

Parliamentary Authority

Sec. 1.  Parliamentary Authority.  The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly) Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws.

ARTICLE XII

Amendments

Sec. 1.  These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present and voting at Annual Meeting, provided that amendments were submitted to the membership in writing no less than two weeks in advance of the meeting.

Last Amended - June 2018