LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF SARASOTA COUNTY

To download a copy of these BYLAWS, please click here:   LWVSC Bylaws Amended April 2011

ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County,hereinafter referred to in these bylaws as LWVSC or as the League. This local League is an integral part of the League of Women Voters of the United States, hereinafter referred to in these bylaws as LWVUS, and of the League of Women Voters of Florida, hereinafter referred to as LWVF.

ARTICLE II:
Mission Statement and Policy:
Sec. 1. Mission
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Sec. 2. Political Policy: The League shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

ARTICLE III: Membership
Sec. 1: Eligibility: Any person who subscribes to the purposes and policy of the League shall be eligible for membership.
Sec. 2: Types of membership:

  • Voting Members: Citizens at least 18 years of age who join the LWVSC shall be voting members of the local and state Leagues of their place of joining and of the LWVUS.  Those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a nearby local League or shall be state members-at-large.
    Those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues.
  • Family members: If more than one person in a family is a member the joint dues shall be 150% of the regular dues.
  • Associate members. All others who join the League shall be associate
    members.

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS
Sec. 1: Election and Terms of Office: The officers of the LWVSC shall be a President or Co-Presidents, one or two Vice Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. They shall be elected by the membership at an Annual Meeting and take office as provided by these bylaws. The President or Co-presidents and the Secretary shall be elected for a two-year term in the odd numbered years. The Vice President/s and Treasurer shall be elected for a two-year term in the even numbered years.
Sec. 2. The President or Co-Presidents: The President or Co-Presidents shall have such usual powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office; shall preside at all meetings of the organization and the Board, or designate another person to do so; may, in the absence of the Treasurer, sign or endorse checks, drafts and notes; and shall be, ex-officio, a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

Sec. 3. The Vice President/s: The Vice president/s shall perform such duties as the president and board shall direct. In the event of the absence, disability, resignation or death of the president, the vice-president/s in order of their rank shall assume the office. In the case of Co-presidents, the remaining one shall assume full responsibility, or, should she decline to do so, may ask a vice-president to serve with her, for the remainder of her term..

Sec. 4. The Secretary: The secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the membership and Board; shall notify officers and directors; shall sign, with the president or a co-president all contracts and other instruments when so authorized by the board; and perform such other duties as the president and Board shall direct.

Sec. 5. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall perform such duties as customarily pertain to the office and shall present statements to the Board at its regular meetings and an annual report to the Annual Meeting.

Sec. 6. Assistant Treasurer: An assistant treasurer may be appointed, and shall assist the Treasurer and Membership Chair in maintaining necessary membership records, collecting and depositing dues and assisting in the preparation of required reports.

ARTICLE V: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sec. 1: The Board of Directors shall consist of the officers of the LWVSC, four directors elected at the annual meeting and not more than four directors appointed by the elected members of the board. All directors shall be voting members of the LWVSC. The elected directors shall serve for a two-year term, or until their successors have been elected and qualified, and the appointed directors shall serve until the close of the next annual meeting. Vacancies, other than the presidency, may be filled by vote of the remaining members of the board.

Sec. 2:Powers: The board shall manage and supervise the business, affairs and activities of the LWVSC subject to the instructions by the general membership at the annual meeting. It shall select delegates to state council and state and national conventions, and shall accept responsibility for such other matters as the national or state board may, from time to time, delegate to it. It shall have the power to create special committees as it deems necessary and shall perform such other duties as specified in these bylaws.

Sec. 3: Executive Committee: The board may appoint an executive committee consisting of no fewer than three members of the board. It shall exercise such power and authoritas may be delegated to it by the board and shall report to the board on all actions taken by it between regular meetings of the board.

Sec. 4: Meetings: There shall be at least six regular meetings of the Board annually. The President or Co-presidents may call special meetings of the Board and shall call a special meeting upon the written request of four members of the Board. If need, Special Meetings may be held electronically.
Sec. 5: Quorum: A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE VI: Meetings
Sec. 1: Membership meetings: There shall be at least four general meetings of the membership each year. The time and place shall be determined by the board. The board may call a special general membership meeting, and shall call such a meeting upon the written request of ten percent of the voting members.

Sec. 2. Annual Meeting: An annual meeting shall be held during the month of April, the exact date to be determined by the board. At the annual meeting, members shall adopt a local program for the ensuing year; elect officers and directors, the chair and two members of the nominating committee; adopt an adequate budget and transact such other business as may properly come before it. Absentee or proxy voting shall not be permitted.

Sec. 3. Quorum: 10% of the voting members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings of the LWVSC at which business is conducted.

ARTICLE VII: Nominations and Elections
Sec. 1. Nominating Committee: The nominating committee shall consist of five members. The chair and two members, who shall not be members of the Board, shall be elected at the annual meeting. Following the annual meeting, the board shall appoint two of its members to the committee, Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the board.

Sec. 2. Report of Nominating Committee: The report of the nominating committee, containing its nominations for officers and directors, and the chair and two members of the nominating committee shall be sent to the members at least two weeks before the annual meeting. The report of the nominating committee shall be presented at the annual meeting. Nominations may be made from the floor immediately thereafter, provided the consent of the nominee has been obtained.

Sec. 3. Election: Election shall be by ballot except that if there is only one nominee for an office it shall be by a voice vote.

ARTICLE VIII: Principles and Program:
Sec. 1.Principles. The Principles are concepts of government adopted by the national convention and supported by the League as a whole. They are the authorization for the adoption of national, state and local program.

Sec. 2. Program. The program of the LWVSC shall consist of action to implement the Principles and those local governmental issues chosen by the members at the annual meeting for concerted study and action as follows:
Voting members may make recommendations to the board at least two months prior to the annual meeting.
The board shall consider these recommendations and formulate a proposed program which shall be sent to all members at least two weeks before the annual meeting.
The annual meeting shall adopt a program by a majority vote. Program recommendations submitted to the board at least two months prior to the annual meeting, but not recommended by the board, may be considered at the annual meeting provided that the voting members shall order consideration by a majority vote and shall adopt them by a majority vote.

Sec. 3. Changes in Program. In the case of altered conditions, changes may be made provided that information concerning the proposed change has been sent to all members at least 2 weeks prior to the general membership meeting at which the change is to be discussed and that final action by the membership is taken at a succeeding meeting.

Sec. 4. Program Action. Members may act in the name of the LWVSC only when authorized to do so by the appropriate board. They may act only in comformity with, and not contrary to, a position taken by the LWVSC, the LWVF and the LWVUS.

ARTICLE IX: Financial Administration.
Sec.1. Fiscal Year: The fiscal year of the LWVSC shall be from April 1st to March 31st of each year.

Sec.2. Dues: The amount of local annual dues shall be determined by the membership at the annual meeting. Annual dues shall be payable on or before April 1st. Dues statements shall be sent by the Treasurer or appointed assistant Treasurer February 1st. Any member who fails to pay dues by July 1st shall be dropped from the membership rolls.

Sec.3. Budget Committee: A budget committee, appointed by the Board of Directors at least 2 months prior to the annual meeting, shall prepare a budget to be sent to all members at least 2 weeks prior to such meeting and then presented at that meeting. The treasurer shall be, ex-officio, a member of the budget committee but shall not be eligible to serve as chair.

Sec.4. Distribution of Funds on Dissolution: In the event of the dissolution of the LWVSC, all monies and securities which may at the time be owned by, or under the control of, the LWVSC shall be paid to the LWVF after the state and national per member payments and other obligations have been met. All other property of whatsoever nature, whether real, personal or mixed, which may be owned or under the control of the LWVSC shall be disposed of to such person, organization or corporation for such public, charitable or educational use and purposes as the board, in its absolute discretion, may designate.

ARTICLE X: 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 not inconsistent with these bylaws.

ARTICLE XI: Amendments: These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting members at the annual meeting or, in the case of emergency, at any general membership meeting, provided the amendment/s were submitted to the membership, in writing, at least two weeks in advance of the meeting.