By-Laws

BYLAWS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (DEC)

 

1.  DUTIES OF OFFICERS

A.  General provisions applicable to all officers.

1)  Accountability for funds:  Officers in control of DEC funds with the check writing aurthority shall be accountable for funds of the DEC and liable for propler expenditure for authorized purposes only.

2)  Check writing authority:  No check shall be written without the two signatures of the County Chair and Treasurer.  The County Chair, or the Vice Chair, in absence of the Chair, is authorized to sign a check in any amount for budgeted items and an amount not to exceed $200.00 for non-budgeted items.
3)  Bonding:  The DEC shall furnish adequate bond for the County Chair, Vice Chair, and Treasurer in an amount not less than that required by Florida Statute.  No bonds shall be released until all records have been transferred to the successors in office and until all accounts have been audited and approved by the DEC.

B.  County Chair.  It shall be the duty of the County Chair to:

1)  Preside at all meetings of the DEC.

2)  Appoint all standing committee chairs.

3)  Appoint all special or ad-hoc committees and caucuses chairs unless otherwise directed by the DEC.

4)  Advise the Exective Secretary of any special meeting in sufficient time for the   Exexcutives Secretary to send notice of such meeting to the membership.

5)  Countersign all checks issued by the Treasurer unless peviously signed by the Vice Chair in the County Chair’s absence.

6)  Serve as a member of all standing committees and caucuses.

7)  Do all those things required of the County Chair by Florida Statute and the Charter and Bylaws of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

8)  Serve as official spokesperson and represent the DEC whenever necessary or appropriate.

9)  Submit an annual budget showing projected revenues and expenses to the DEC not later than January 1st of each year.

10) Organize and coordinate the activities of the DEC in fulfillment of its objectives and responsibilities to registered DEMOCRATIC voters and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

11) The County Chair has the option of appointing the following:  a. Sergeant-at-arms, b. Parlimentarian, c. Historian.

C.  Vice Chair.  It shall be the duty of the Vice Chair to:

1)  Perform the duties of the County Chair during his/her absence or inability to perform.  The Vice Chair shall exercise all the powers and be subject to all responsibilities herein given to or imposed upon the County Chair.

2)  Serve as Chair of the Membership and Credentials Committee.

D.  Executive Secretary.  It shall be the duty of the Executive Secretary to:

1)  Keep and file all correspondence related to the DEC, and perform such other duties as the County Chair directs.

2)  Furnish to the Membership and Credentials Committees and/or Sergeant-at-arms, a list of all the qualified members, and proxies at each meeting of the DEC.

3)  In coordination with the County Chair, prepare meeting agendas and prepare and mail written notices of each:

     a)  Regular meeting of the DEC to each qualified member at least ten (10) days prior of the meeting.

     b)  Special meeting of the DEC within forty (40) hours of receiving notice from the County Chair of the DEC calling for such meeting.

4)  Furnish rosters of DEC members, officers, district coordinators, committtee chairs, and members to all DEC members within thirty (30) days after any organizational meeting and quarterly thereafter.

5)  Make all reports regarding membership to the Lee County Supervisor of Elections as required by Florida Statutes.

E.  Recording Secretary.  It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to:

1)  Attend and keep minutes and records of all meetings of the DEC, and file a copy of all minutes with the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY within twenty (20) days of their approval by the DEC.

2)  Attend and keep minutes and records of all meetings ot the Steering Committee.

F.  Treasurer.  It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to:

1)  Deposit any and all funds in such bank or banks as the DEC may direct, and to be responsible for all funds of the DEC, as required by Florida Statutes.

2)  Keep a record of all receipts and expenditures.

3)  Pay all bills approved by the DEC.

4)  Render an accounting of all receipts and expenditures at the meetings of the DEC or as the Chair or Finance Chair may direct.

5)  Prepare an annual report to be submitted to the audit committee not later than February 1, covering the financial activities of the preceding calendar year and detailing receipts and expenditures in accordance with a chart of accounts to be approved by the DEC by the Standing Rule.

6)  Transfer all books, records, and reports to the incoming Treasurer and complete the preparation of the financial report for the period during which he/she served to insure an orderly transition.

7)  The Treasurer shall submit a quarterly financial report to the Supervisor of Elections Lee County and such other reports as required by State law.

G.  State Committeeman and State Committeeworman.  It shall be the duty of the State Committeeman and the State Committeewoman to:

1)  Serve as liason between the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY and the DEC.

2)  Serve as liason between the DEC and the DEMOCRATIC clubs of Lee County and assist in certification efforts of newly organized clubs.

3)  Serve as ex-officio member of the Steering Committee, Campaign Committee and Certification Committee of the DEC.

4)  Serve as elected members of the Florida State Executive Committee and ex-officio member of the 14th Congressional District Committee and the District Delegate Coordinating Committee of the 14th Congressional District.

5)  Attend all organizational meetings and all state executive committee meetings and special state meetings designated by the Chair of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

6)  Submit all resolutions adopted by the DEC relevant to the state or national issues to the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY and to the DEMOCRATIC National Committee and work to encourage their support of these resolutions.

7)  Work to obtain state and national financial and candidate support for the DEC, Lee County candidates and 14th Congressional District candidates.

8)  Make periodic reports to the DEC concerning their activities.

2.  MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS

A.  Vacancies.

1)  Precinct Committeemen and Committeewoman:  In accordance with Florida Statute 103.131, an office shall be deemed vacant when a member, without good and sufficient reason, fails to attend three (3) consecutive meetings, regular or called; dies; resigns; is removed; ceases to be an inhabitant of the precinct for which he or she shall have been elected or appointed; refusal to accept office; is convicted of a felony; or by a decision of a competent tribunal declaring void his or her election or appointment, and his or her removal by said tribunal.  In accordance with Article V., Section 1.4, Bylaws, Florida Democratic Party, an absence is excused for reason of illness, business out of town, or other reasonable excuse, with prior notification to an officer of the DEC.  Vacancies shall be filled by action of the DEC within sixty (60) days in accordance with Florida Statutes. After a vacancy has existed for sixty (60) days, it may be filled by the State Chair.  Those persons appointed to fill precinct vacancies must be registered DEMOCRATS residing within the precinct that they are appointed to represent.

2)  DEC Officers:  In the event of a vacancy in the office of the DEC Chair the Vice Chair shall become acting Chair until an election is held to elect a successor Chair.  A meeting shall be held within sixty (60) days in accordance with the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party, ujpon written notice to members of at least fifteen (15) days, to elect a new Chair.  Notice of vacancy shall be sent by certified mail to the State Chair within ten (10) days of said vacancy.  In the event that a vacancy in the office of DEC Chair is filled by a personof the same sex as the county DEC Vice Chair, or vice versa, the requirement that they be of the opposite sex shall be waived for the expired term.

3.  Leave of Absence:  Any officer of the DEC seeking the DEMOCRATIC nominagtion for public office shall take a leave of absence from the DEC office commencing at the time of opening a campaign account for said public office and extending for the duration of the campaign.  The vacancy created shall be filled by the DEC for the interim period.

4.  Membership Lists:  The names and addresses of the members of the DEC, as well as the officers of same, shall be furnished to the State Chair immediately after the organizational meeting.  Changes in the membership shall be furnished in writing to the State Chair within ten (10) days.  A complete and updated membership list shall be sent to the State Chair by January of each year.

B.  Order of Business:  The order of business at all regular business meetings shall be:

1)  Call to order.

2)  Invocation

3)  Salute to the Flag

4)  Roll call

5)  Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting.

6)  Treasurer’s report.

7)   Communications

8)  Report of committees.

9)  Unfinished business.

10) New business.

11) Good of the organization.

12) Ajournment

C.  Organizational Meeting

The procedures for calling and conducting an Organizational Meeting are set forth in Article VII, Section W, of the Constitution of the DEC.

3.  COMMITTEES

A.  General:  The DEC shall have a Steering Committee with membership and charges as prescribed in Article V of the Constitution, and hereby establishes the following Standing Committees, with their membership and chargesas indicated below.  All Committees consisting of five or more members should be represented by at least one member from each County Commission District.

B.  Membership and Credentials Committee:  The Membership and Credentials Committee shall be composed of not less than five (5) members of the DEC, who shall check the loyalty of every DEMOCRAT recommended to fill vacancies on the DEC.  The Membership and Credentials Committee shall have the responsibilty to determine vacancies; make recommendations for filling any vacancies on the DEC (see 2., A. above); examine the background and qualifications of all appointees; make recommendations to the DEC for final approval; and, receive resignations.  The Membership and Credentials Committee Chair shall provide Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen with copies of the then current Precinct Organizational Manual containing copies of the Charter and  Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party and Constitution and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Lee County and theirn present precinct list.  The Membership and Credential Committee shall investigate all excuses for non-attendance of the members at regular and special meetings and shall determine whether good and sufficient reason exists for any absence.  It shall investigate reports of activities of a member involving alleged violation of the member’s oath of office. andalso of a DEC person who is not carrying out the responsibility of his/her appointment within his/her precinct, and make findings thereon.  The Membership and Credentials Committee shall then report its findings and make recommendations thereon to the full DEC for its action and final determination.

C.  Finance and Fund Raising Committee:  The Finance and Fund Raising Committee shall be composed of not less than five (5) members of the DEC who shall study, report, and recommend to the Steering Committee and DEC ways and means of raising funds for the purpose of maintaining the organization and promoting campaigns to elect DEMOCRATIC nominees.

D.  Candidate Recruitment and Appointments Committee:  The Candidate Recruitment Committee shall be composed of at least five (5) members recommended by the County Chair and including the Vice Chair who shall preside as the Chair of the committee.  All members shall be approved by a majority vote of the DEC.  The committee should interview prospective candidates and appointees for office and actively solicit competent and responsible DEMOCRATES to run for office and seek appointments,  The committee shall be available to aid prospective candidates by giving them information concerning such areas as:  qualifications for office, campaign organization, and means of acquiring support.  The committee shall present recommendations for appointment of candidates at the next meeting of the DEC following the application deadline for the purposes of introducing the candidate or recommended appointment to the general membership by outlining their qualifications for office and giving them the opportunity to express their platform, goals, or programs.  The committee shall establish laison with the Governor’s office and other governmental bodies which make appointments and report to the DEC all openings and the outcome of DEC recommendations to those authorities.

E.  Young Democrats Committee:  The Chair shall appoint a committee of one or more members if the DEC and such other persons as the Chair deems appropriate to cultivate interest among young persons in the objectives and principles of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY and to stimulate active participation of young DEMOCRATS in the activities of the organized party.  The committee shall seek to establish liason and form and support clubs in all public and private high schools, colleges, and universities in Lee County.

F.  Audit Committee:  The Audit Committee shall consist of not less than three (3) DEC members.  The committee shall be responsible for arranging for an annual audit of the financial condition of the DEC for the calendar year ending December 31st in compliance with applicable Florida Statutes.  The committee shall be responsible for identifying a qualified examinere who shall not be a memberr of the DEC to conduct the audit.  The audit shall be conducted in substantial compliance with standard accounting procedures. The examiner’s report to the audit committee must be submitted so that the committee can make its report to the DEC no later than the March meeting following the year being audited.  Copies of the audit shall be retained by the County Chair for examination by any member thereof and copies shall be furnished to the Supervisor of Elections of Lee County and to the State Chair of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY prior to April 1 of the ensuing year.  The State Chair may have a qualified examiner conduct an audit of the DEC for any reason at the expense of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, (Refer to Florid Statute 103.121 subparagraph 3 and FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Bylaws section 5 subparagraph 5.4).

 G.  Affirmative Action Committee:  There shall be an Affirmative Action Committee appointed by the Chair to work in conjunction with the State Affirmative Action Committee.

4.  DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PRECINCT COMMITTEEPERSONS

Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen shall strive to:

A.  Uphold the Charter and Bylaws of the Florida Democratic Party and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Lee County.

B.  Participate in the deliberations and the decisions of the Democratic Executive Committee.

C.  Serve on standing, ad-hoc, or special committees as needed.

D.  Recruit volunteers to assist in communicating with and collecting information form the voters in their respective precinct.

E.  Use the current DNC automated data processing voter file when contacting voters and reporting results of the contacts made.

5.  VOTING

The vote on all questions before the DEC shall be by direct vote on the question.  The County Chair shall declare all votes and may call for a vote on any question by voice vote, by division, or by a call of the roll; provided, however, that upon the request of any member, a rising vote shall be called or the showing of hands.  By a request of five (5) or more members, the County Chair shall take the roll call vote by ayes and nays.

6.  PROXIES

A member who is unable to attend a meeting for the DEC may designate a proxy utilizing the Proxy Form set forth herein as an attachment or reasonable facsimile thereof.  The proxy shall be a registered Lee County DEMOCRATIC voter, resident of the same precinct as the absent member.  However, the proxy may not be a member of the DEC. The written proxy must be sworn to before a Notary Public or the proxy may be validated by two DEC members signing as witnesses.  The holder of the proxy shall be given the rights in the proceedings of the specific meeting as if the proxy were a committee member.  Said proxy may be in substantially the same form as the attached.  The proxy must be submitted to the Chair of the Membership and Credentials Committee not later than the call to order by the County Chair.  Proxies may not account for more than fifteen percent (15%) in computing a quorum and shall not be considered in the fulfillment of attendance requirements.

 7.  DISCIPLINE

The DEC shall have general authority to discipline individual members in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order as amended.

8.  GOVERNING DOCUMENTS AND POLICIES

The Governing Documents of the DEC shall be in accord with the Charter and Bylaws of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY (FDP).  In the event any portion therein is in conflict with the Charter and  Bylaws of the FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY those (FDP) rules shall take precedent.

9.  AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws may be amended by a majority of the full membership of the DEC at an official meeting, provided that the Executive Secretary gives the full membership at least ten (10) days written notice including a copy of the proposed amendment(s) together with the portion of the Bylaws it changes.  For the purpose of amending the Bylaws, membership shall be limited to only elected and appointed at-large members.

10.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Upon adoption, these rules shall become part of the permanent records of the DEC and shall be made available to the memebership for all meetings of the DEC, and shall be effective as of the meeting to be held on the 9th day of April, 2003.

11.  SEVERABILITY

If any Article, Section, or Subsection of this amended Constitution is found to be invalid for any reason, such finding or ruling shall not invalidate or put in jeopardy either the complete Constitution or any other Article, Section, or Subsection of this amended Constitution.

ATTACHMENT:

PROXY (NOTARIZED)

To the Chair of the Lee County (DEC) Membership and Credentials Committee:

I hereby appoint_________________________________________ as my proxy to attend the___________________________________________________ meeting to be held on _____________________, 20___ in ________________________, Florida, to vote on any and all matters and to do any and all acts which I could do if present.

Signature _________________________________________________

STATE OF FLORIDA, COUNTY OF LEE:

Sworn to and subscribed before me on this, the __________ day of ____________, 20__,  at ____________________, Florida.

NOTARY PUBLIC _______________________________

OR

PROXY (TWO ELIGIBLE WITNESSES)

To the Chair of the Lee County DEC Membership and Credentials Committee:

I hereby appoint_____________________________________ as my proxy to attend the ____________________________________________________meeting to be held on ___________________________, 20__ in _______________________ Florida, to vote on any and all matters and to do any and all acts which I could do if present.

1.

Printed Name Precinct _______________________________

Signature _________________________________________

Address__________________________________________ City___________________

State____________________ Zip Code_____________________

2.

Printed Name Precinct___________________________________

Signature_____________________________________________

Address___________________________________________ City__________________

State ____________________ Zip Code_______________________

*FDP Bylaws, Articles I, Section 1.2, Proxies:  Any member who, for any reason, is unable to attend any meeting of the State Executive Committee, the Central Committee, a congressional district committee, a Florida Democratic Party standing or specail committee, or any county Democratic Executive Committee may execute a written proxy. Such proxy shall be sworn to before a notary public, or, in the alternative, may be validated  by two (2) registered Democrats signing as witnesses.