On Tuesday August 12, the By-Laws Committee had a meeting which was attended by a mix of Active and Life members providing a good representation of our Club’s membership.
The Committee discussed several topics. One of the outcomes of our meeting was that the last time our Club’s by-laws were extensively reviewed, revised and rewritten was back in 1988. The Committee feels that the Club’s current by-laws are outdated. One of our colleagues at the meeting wondered if our current by-laws were written by the Roman Senate. To put this another way; doing the math, means that our current by-laws as written are over 26 years old. All of the resources that I have looked at strongly recommend that a club’s by-laws be reviewed on an annual basis. The reason is to make sure that a club’s by-laws are consistent with the needs of the members and to make sure that a club’s by-laws are consistent with federal, state and local laws. This includes our Club’s status as a tax exempt, not for profit organization.
Our Club’s by-laws are actually two distinct but interrelated parts: The first part is Articles of Incorporation which consists of eleven Articles. The Articles of Incorporation outline the principles, functions and the organization of our Club. The actual by-laws which consist of twelve Articles with several sections in each Article refers to how our Club is managed and governed. To put it another way, by-laws define the overall purpose of the club and provide a framework for the types of activities and the events that the club will provide to the members. By-laws determine the legal basis like incorporation and tax-exempt status among other things. By-laws determine the financial basis for the operation of the club and by-laws define the election process for officers and directors.
An additional outcome of the committee meeting is that, as Chairman of the By-laws Committee, I presented to the Board at the August Board meeting and to at general membership at the general membership meeting on September 18, a proposed change to Article IV, Section 1 Initiation Fees. The Board by unanimous vote approved this change as did the membership. The reason for this proposed change is to allow your Board the opportunity to adjust the initiation fee as necessary in order to help recruit new members. In the recent past the biggest reason for joining our Club besides being a great place, according to new members, is that they felt at the time that the $425.00 the initiation fee was affordable and motivated them to take advantage of the reduced initiation fee and join our Club.
As we all know getting to full membership has been and continues to be a challenge. This “tool” will be helpful to all of us to reach that goal.
Several of our members on the committee have offered to begin the process of researching the by-laws of other clubs and also researching available resources including templates to use as a guide to revise our current by-laws.
I encourage members to read our Club’s by-laws and also encourage any member who is interested to share with me their suggestions and ideas.
Please feel free to contact me by email or phone. As Chairman of the By-laws Committee I welcome any and all input from our members.
As always, I appreciate this opportunity to serve our Club.