Blue Book: Board Documents

Governing Principles of the Shaker Chapter

January 9th, 2015  |  Published in Blue Book: Board Documents

Governing Principles of

The Shaker Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

Article I: NAME

The name of this organization shall be The Shaker Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (“Shaker Chapter”). The Shaker Chapter and the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (“LWVGC”) are part of the League of Women Voters of the United States and the League of Women Voters of Ohio.

Article II: PURPOSE

The purpose of the Shaker Chapter is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government and to act on selected governmental issues.

Article III: POLITICAL POLICY AND ACTIVITY

Section 1. Policy. The Shaker Chapter shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.

Section 2. Activity. No officer or director of the Shaker Chapter shall participate in any political campaign in opposition to a League position. Any officer or director of the League desiring to be a candidate for public office shall resign from the Board. All other political activity guidelines shall be set forth in the Policies and Procedures.

Article IV: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Eligibility. Any member of the LWVGC who so elects shall be a member of the Shaker Chapter.

Section 2. Types of Membership. The membership of the Shaker Chapter shall be composed of voting members and associate members.

  1. Voting members shall be those citizens of the United States at least 18 years of age who are members of the Shaker Chapter.
  2. Associate members shall be all other members of the Shaker Chapter.
  3. Life membership may be granted to any voting member of the Shaker Chapter who attains 50 years as a member of the League of Women Voters of the United States. No further dues will be collected and all privileges will be retained as a voting member.

Article V: BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. Number, Manner of Selection, and Term of Office. The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers of the Shaker Chapter, ten elected directors, and not more than ten appointed directors. A minimum of five directors shall be elected by the general membership at each Annual Meeting. An Elected Director shall serve for two years unless filling an unexpired term. The elected officers and directors shall vote to approve the nomination of the appointed directors as recommended by the Chair. The term of office of the appointed directors shall be one year and shall expire at the conclusion of the next Annual Meeting.

Section 2. Qualifications. All directors and officers of the Shaker Chapter shall be members in good standing of the LWVGC and the Shaker Chapter.

Section 3. Vacancies. A vacancy occurring on the Board of Directors by reason of the resignation, death, or disqualification of an officer or elected director, except the Chair, (see Article VI, Section 3) shall be filled, until the next Annual Meeting, by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Three consecutive absences from Board meetings without a valid reason shall be deemed a resignation.

Section 4. Powers and Duties. The Board of Directors shall have the full charge of the property and business of the organization, with full power and authority to manage and conduct the same, subject to the instruction of the general membership. The Board shall plan and direct the work necessary to carry out the program as adopted by the National Convention, the State Convention, the Annual Meeting, and any other local general membership meeting. The Board shall create and designate special committees, as it may deem necessary.

Section 5. Executive Committee (“the Cabinet”). The elected officers of the Shaker Chapter shall constitute an Executive Committee (the Cabinet) which shall exercise such power and authority as 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.

Section 6. Meetings. There shall be at least eight regular meetings of the Board of Directors annually. The Chair may call special meetings of the Board, and shall call a special meeting upon the written request of five members of the Board.

Section 7. Informal Action; Written Consent

  1. Any action required to, or which may, be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors may be taken without a meeting if it is consented to in writing by all of the Directors.
  2. The written consent must be evidenced by one or more written approvals from the Directors; each approval must set forth the action to be taken and provide a written record of approval. The approvals must be delivered to the Secretary and filed in the Shaker Chapter records.
  3. Any action taken by the Board pursuant to this Section will be effective when all of the Directors have approved the written consent unless the consent specifies a different effective date.

Section 7. Quorum. A majority of the members of Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

Section 8. Electronic Participation. Directors may participate in and act at any meeting of the Board of Directors through the use of a conference telephone or other communications equipment so long as all persons participating in the meeting can communicate with each other concurrently. Such participation shall constitute presence at the meeting.

Article VI OFFICERS

Section 1. Enumeration and Election of Officers. The officers of the Shaker Chapter shall be one Chair or two Co-Chairs, one or two Vice-Chairs as determined by the Board of Directors each year in directions to the Nominating Committee, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Chair (or Co-Chairs) and Vice Chair(s) shall be elected for one-year terms, and the other officers for two-year terms by the general membership at the Annual Meeting. The officers shall assume the duties of office immediately following the Annual Meeting. The Secretary shall be elected in odd-numbered years; the Treasurer(s) shall be elected in even-numbered years.

Section 2. The Chair or Co-Chairs. The Chair or Co-Chairs shall preside at all meetings of the organization and of the Board of Directors, shall be ex-officio members of all committees except the Nominating Committee, and shall have such usual powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office of the Chair and perform other duties as designated by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. The Vice-Chair(s). The Vice-Chair(s) shall conduct meetings in the absence of the Chair(s) and shall perform such other duties as the Board and the Chair may designate.

Section 4. The Secretary. The Secretary shall keep minutes of all regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Annual Meeting of the membership. She/he shall sign, with the Chair(s), all contracts and other such instruments. When so authorized by the Board, the Secretary will write letters on behalf of the organization and shall perform such other functions as may be necessary to this office.

Section 5. The Treasurer. The Treasurer shall review, at least quarterly, the accounts of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland that are held for the benefit of the Shaker Chapter, including, but not limited to, the Education Fund, the Legacy Fund, and funds dedicated to the operation of the Shaker Chapter. The Treasurer shall be responsible for securing funds from the LWVGC to pay expenses incurred by the Shaker Chapter and shall transmit funds received by the Shaker Chapter to the Treasurer of the LWVGC with instructions for deposit to the pertinent account. At least semiannually, the Treasurer shall report to the Board the status of the Shaker Chapter funds and any significant activity in such funds.

Article VII: FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Shaker Chapter shall coincide with that of the LWVGC.

Section 2. Budget Committee. A Budget Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors at least two months prior to the Annual Meeting to prepare a budget for the ensuing year. The proposed budget shall be approved by the Board of Directors and sent to all members one month before the Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall serve on the Budget Committee.

Article VIII: MEETINGS

Section 1. Membership Meetings. There shall be at least two meetings of the membership each year, one of which shall be the Annual Meeting. The Board of Directors shall determine the time, subject, and place of the membership meetings.

Section 2. Annual Meeting. An Annual Meeting shall be held between May 1 and June 1. The Board shall determine the exact date of this meeting. The Annual Meeting shall:

  1. Adopt a local Program for the ensuing year.
  2. Elect officers, directors, and members of the Nominating Committee.
  3. Adopt a budget for the ensuing year.
  4. Transact such other business as may properly come before it.

Section 3. Quorum. Fifteen members shall compose a quorum at membership meetings of the Shaker Chapter. All motions shall be adopted by an affirmative vote of the majority of voting members present. Electronic or telephone voting or absentee voting by mail or proxy shall not be permitted.

Article IX: NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members, three of whom, including the Chair, shall be members of the Board of Directors. Those three shall be appointed at the first Board Meeting following the Annual Meeting. The remaining two members, who shall not be members of the Board of Directors, shall be elected at the Annual Meeting. One member of the Nominating Committee must have been a member of the previous Nominating Committee. The Board of Directors shall independently fill any vacancy on the Nominating Committee save that of the Chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Chair, the Vice Chair(s) shall convene the nominating committee and request that a nomination be submitted within 30 days of the request. The Vice Chair(s) shall assume the duties of the Chair until the new Chair is elected. Any member of the organization may send suggestions for nominations for Officers and Directors to the Nominating Committee.

Section 2. Report of the Nominating Committee and Nominations from the Floor. The report of the Nominating Committee of its nominations for Officers, Directors, and members of the Nominating Committee shall be sent to all members one month before the Annual Meeting and shall be presented by the Chair of the Nominating Committee at the Annual Meeting. Nominations from the floor will be accepted from any member of the organization present at the Annual Meeting, provided the nominee is present and has consented to be nominated.

Section 3. Election. The election shall be by ballot. A majority vote of those qualified to vote and voting shall constitute an election. If there is only one nominee for each office, the Secretary may be instructed to cast one ballot for the slate.

Article X: PROGRAM

Section 1. Authorization. The principles of the League of Women Voters of the United States are the fundamental concepts accepted by the League as a whole. National and State League principles constitute and are authorization for program and action.

Section 2. Program. The Program of the Shaker Chapter shall consist of action to implement the principles of the National and State League and those local governmental issues chosen for concerted study and action.

Section 3. Acting upon the Local Program. The Annual Meeting shall act upon the Local Program using the following procedures:

  1. The Board of Directors shall consider the program recommendations proposed by voting members two months prior to the Annual Meeting and shall formulate a Proposed Program.
  2. The Proposed Program (including any Not Recommended Program items) shall be sent to all members one month prior to the Annual Meeting.
  3. A majority vote of voting members present and voting at the Annual Meeting shall be required for adoption of the Proposed Program as presented to the Annual Meeting by the Board.
  4. Recommendations for Program submitted by voting members two months prior to the Annual Meeting but not recommended by the Board may be considered for adoption at the Annual Meeting provided that:
    1. The Annual Meeting shall order consideration by a majority vote of those voting members present and voting, and
    2. The Annual Meeting shall adopt the items by a two-thirds vote of those voting members present and voting.

Section 4. Program Changes. Changes may be made in program items provided that 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 to be discussed and adopted by a two-thirds vote of the membership present and voting.

Section 5. Member Action. Members may act in the name of the League of Women Voters only when authorized to do so by the Board of Directors.

Article XI NATIONAL CONVENTION, STATE CONVENTION AND COUNCIL

Section 1. National Convention. The Board of Directors, no later than its meeting immediately preceding the Convention of the League of Women Voters of the United States, shall select delegates in the number allotted the Shaker Chapter under the provision of the Bylaws of LWVGC.

Section 2. State Convention. The Board of Directors, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select delegates to the State Convention in the number allotted the Shaker Chapter under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWVGC.

Article XII: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Orders shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Governing Principles.

Article XIII AMENDMENTS

These Governing Principles may be amended by the Board of Directors following readings of the proposed amendments(s) at two successive meetings. The vote may take place at the second meeting and requires a majority of those voting members who are present.

Responsibilities of Board Members

May 8th, 2010  |  Published in Blue Book: Board Documents

RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOARD MEMBERS

1.CABINET MEETINGS

A. Optional attendance, but open to all members.

B. Date, time & place will be available in the annual calendar.

C. Cabinet meets to monitor projects of the organization, create agendas for the board meetings, brainstorm solutions to current problems, conduct routine administrative business, and any other business delegated to it by the full board.

2. AGENDA

A. board members should get to the president, in writing, all information the board should have in advance of the regular board meeting (e.g. motions that need prior thought, background information on issues, etc.).

B.Anyone wishing to be on the agenda needs to let the president(s) know by the cabinet meeting date when possible.  For important issues that arise after the cabinet meeting, please send an email to the president(s).

C.Agenda and minutes will be mailed to each board member a week in advance of the regular board meeting whenever possible.  Please read everything carefully and come to the board meeting prepared.

3. BOARD MEETINGS

A.The authority for total League operation rests with the whole board. The board members choose the plans of operation, interpret member thinking, make decisions about consensus, determine positions, and select specific steps of action to be taken.

B. Since only one board meeting a month is planned, all board members are required to attend each meeting. Please inform the president(s) or secretary of any anticipated absence.

C.Date, time and place of the board meetings are announced in the agenda and the annual calendar.

4. NEWSLETTER

A.The deadline for newsletter articles is the board meeting. It is especially important for observers to meet this deadline.

B.Any member can submit an article for consideration for the newsletter. Articles should be emailed to the editor in Word format (Times New Roman 12 pt) and should include the author’s name and phone number.

5. MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATION

A. All board members are responsible for new member participation. Members are encouraged to invite new or prospective members to go with them to League events, introduce them to other League members and make them feel welcome.

B. Board members are expected to attend forums and League-sponsored events.

C. Board members are urged to join a committee or study group, and assist with voter registration drives.

6. FORUMS

A. Forums are the meetings at which formal presentations are made to all members and guests. The subject matter of forums may be the results of a study committee, planning for local, state, or national program, or updates on program items.

B. Board members are expected to attend the forums.

7. OTHER MEETINGS

A. There are general membership meetings each year which board members are strongly encouraged to attend.  They are the New Members Reception, the reception for elected officials, and the Annual meeting held between May I-June 1.

B. Some administrative work is done through the creation of ad hoc committees. These will vary with each year’s needs. Examples of these committees are bylaw review committee and economic development committee. Board members may be asked to attend these meetings and make recommendations to the board. Ad hoc committees disband upon completion of their task.

C. Board members may be chosen to be delegates to conventions.  Delegates are apportioned according to membership and are selected by the president (s) with the advice of the board.

1. National Convention is held every two years, in June of even-numbered years. National officers, budget and program are adopted at these conventions for the ensuing two years.

2.State Convention is held every two years, in May of odd-numbered years. State officers, budget and program are adopted at these conventions for the ensuing two years.

8. OBSERVERS

A. The president(s) should be notified of all committee meetings.

B. If observing or monitoring a public body is a part of your job description, it is important that every meeting is covered.

1. If no one can attend the meeting, notify the Observer Chair.

2. Let the president(s) know if her attendance at the meeting is important.

C. Only the president(s) or an officially designated representative of the League shall write letters for the League or make statements for the League in public and must receive prior approval from the president(s) and/or board.

D. Observers and chairpersons shall keep a portfolio of all matters relating to their job to be passed on to the succeeding chairperson. Included in this file should be a list of recommendations to the new chair. A copy of these recommendations should be sent to the president (s).

9. RECEIPTS AND BILLS

A.Give all receipts and bills to the treasurer. Include information about the use of funds so that she can accurately record it.

B.Any non-routine items must be approved by the board.

10. NATIONAL AND STATE PUBLICATIONS

A.National and State board reports and Action Alerts are sent to the president (s) and any member who would like to receive them by email.  .

B.Memos, letters, testimony, newsletters, news releases, and miscellaneous materials sent to the president(s) will be forwarded to the board members interested and, when appropriate, posted on the website.

Policies and Procedures for the Board

May 8th, 2010  |  Published in Blue Book: Board Documents

SHAKER HEIGHTS CHAPTER OF LWV OF GREATER CLEVELAND

I.  Board Organization

A.        Immediately following the Annual Meeting, the Elected Directors and Officers (except the Treasurer(s) shall accept their positions and responsibilities.  The Treasurer(s) shall accept the portfolio after an audit at the end of the fiscal year.  As soon as possible, the President(s) shall recommend appointed directors based on the needs of the forthcoming year.  The Elected Directors and Officers must approve all such appointments.

B.        The handbooks for local Leagues, IN LEAGUE and IN LEAGUE IN OHIO,  the Shaker Chapter’s Governing Principles, Policies and Procedures, and Responsibilities of Board Members shall be reviewed at the beginning of each League Year by the full Board to insure complete understanding and adequate Board planning.  The non-partisanship policy should be reviewed at the same time.

C. Each outgoing Officer and Director shall continue to be responsible until their successor is well informed.  Responsibility for meetings shall not change before June 1 unless all duties for that year have been completed.  Each Officer and Director shall promptly turn over to her/his successor all League files and publications purchased by the League.

D. The elected officers of the the Shaker Chapter constitute an executive committee (the Cabinet).  The Cabinet shall meet regularly, as needed, to monitor projects of the organization, create agendas for the Board meetings, brainstorm solutions to current problems, conduct routine administrative business, and any other business delegated to it by the full Board.  Cabinet meetings shall be open to all current members, publicized in advance on the annual calendar and by email. Minutes reflecting any actions taken shall be provided to the full Board and be available to all members of the Shaker Chapter.

E.   Time-sensitive information such as, but not limited to, activities involving coordination with other LWV local chapters, voter service opportunities, or advocacy opportunities may be disseminated via email.  If in the opinion of the President(s) it is not possible or desirable to wait for the next meeting of the Board an email vote may take place. In this case, all Board members shall receive information and be able to ask questions and make comments via email.  The President(s) shall make copies of all responses available at the next Board meeting.   An attempt to contact any Board member not responding to an email vote shall be made by telephone before a final tally.

II. Political Activity

A. Board Members may not:

1.  run for public office during their term as Board members,

2.  identify themselves as members of the Shaker Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland when supporting any political candidate, but may work on candidate campaigns provided they     are not in violation of Sec. B.

3.  circulate petitions against or visibly work in opposition to an issue on which the Shaker Chapter, the LWV of Greater Cleveland, the LWV of Ohio or the LWV of the United States has endorsed.

B.        Officers: The President(s), Voter Service Chair, the Candidates Night Chair and any other Board position deemed “sensitive” in light of the League’s non-partisanship policy, shall not publicly support or work for any political candidate. (Examples of “sensitivity” include the Education Chair with respect to mayoral and City Council elections.  It does not necessarily preclude a City Council observer from working on a school board campaign.

C.        All Board members and Officers, with the exception of the Voter Service Chair and the Candidates Night Chair, are free to remain neutral or actively support and work for issues that the Shaker Chapter, the LWVGC, LWVO, or LWVUS has endorsed.

D.        Considerations in the selection of the Moderator of the Candidates Night should include political neutrality.  The prospective moderator should be asked to notify the Candidates Night Chair if she/he does become prominent in support of or in opposition to a candidate or group of candidates.

E    Candidates for office may not actively serve on League committees directly related to the office.

F.  Additional questions of sensitivity not specifically covered above may be reviewed and determined on an individual basis by the Board at the request of any member of the Shaker Chapter.

III.  Public Relations

A.  Only the President(s) or a representative of the Shaker Chapter designated by the President (s) shall write letters for the League or make statements for the League in public meetings.

B.  Copies of all official League statements shall be in the President’s file.

C.  It is advisable for Observers to have a copy of the League’s positions with them when observing.  Observers may read the League’s position if requested and may only ask questions for clarification.

D.  When a public official is interviewed a minimum of two League members should participate in the interview.

E.   An elected or appointed public official or an employee of a public body may not serve as the Chairperson of a public meeting of the League.

F.   Any list generated by the Shaker Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland or any of its members for League business may not be used for any other purpose.

IV.  Membership

A.  A member who joins after March 31st shall be considered in good standing until September of the following calendar year, but a reinstated member shall be billed again the following September.

B.  New or reinstated members shall not be listed as such until a check is received by the Membership Chair who notifies the Treasurer, the person responsible for distributing the newsletter, the Recording Secretary, and the President(s).

V.  Consensus Meetings

A.  At consensus meetings, only Shaker League members may participate in consensus discussion, except when a joint consensus with another League is involved.  Guests may only ask questions for clarification.  A League member who is well prepared as to League standards regarding consensus should announce before consensus discussion the League’s policy on guest participation.

B.  Public officials and media representatives who are not League members may not attend consensus meetings.  When a presentation is deemed of sufficient interest, officials should be informed that the presentation may be made to them at another time.

VI.  Speakers

The Board shall approve speakers at League membership meetings.  No fee is paid to a speaker and no honorarium is given to a speaker without approval of the Board.  Approval can be in the form of a slate of possibilities for a planning group to further pursue, i.e., the Board may approve five possible speakers, and one will be selected and confirmed by the planners.

VII. Personal Conflict Disclosure

It shall be the practice of all Board and Cabinet members to disclose annually at the beginning of the League year, paid work, political involvement, appointed or elected participation on any governmental agency, board or commission, volunteer activities, and any other situation that may represent a conflict of interest or the possible appearance of a conflict of interest.  Additionally, any changes arising during the year shall be reported.  The disclosures shall be on record with the Recording Secretary and be available upon request to all members of the Board.

Adopted for use by the current Board

Reviewed and adopted May 2007; revised following the 2014 merger