Friday, November 19, 2010

Membership bylaws proposed changes (to be discussed at Nov 30 meeting)

Spotsylvania County Republican Committee
Change of bylaws proposal
Steve Thomas, Chairman

Membership
Currently, bylaws stipulate the following:
Article IV: Membership; Section A: Qualifications
“All legal and qualified voters, regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, disability, or sex, under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who reside in the County of Spotsylvania, who are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party, and who express in open meeting, if requested, their intent to support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election, may participate as members of the Republican Party of Virginia in its mass meetings, party caucuses, conventions, or primaries in their respective election districts, and be eligible for election to the County Committee.”
Article V: Officers; Section B: Precinct and At-Large Members
“The term of office will expire at the next mass meeting, party canvass, convention or primary called for the purpose of electing delegates to the biennial District Convention. Candidates for At-Large membership, vacant precinct allocations, or any other vacancy for any office of the County Committee, other than chairman, shall meet the Qualifications of Section A with the additional qualification of having attended three committee meetings within the term of the current board. They will be nominated at the second such meeting and voted on the third. These candidates shall provide the secretary written declaration of this candidacy, signed by two sponsors, who are members of the committee. The secretary will report the candidate's name into nomination, along with the sponsors, at the second regular committee meeting. The candidate is then duly nominated, and will be eligible for election to membership at the third attended committee meeting by written ballot. A majority vote of the committee members present shall elect to membership.”
I propose amending Article V, Section B to the following:
“The term of office will expire at the next mass meeting, party canvass, convention or primary called for the purpose of electing delegates to the biennial District Convention. Candidates for At-Large membership, vacant precinct allocations, or any other vacancy for any office of the County Committee, other than chairman, shall meet the Qualifications of Section A with the additional qualification of having attended three committee meetings within the term of the current board. They will declare their candidacy and pay their annual dues in the first meeting, at which time they will be considered “Associate Members”, as defined in Article XIV. They will then be nominated and seconded at the second such meeting and voted on the third. These candidates in their second meeting shall provide the secretary two sponsors of their membership, who are current members of the committee. The secretary will report the candidate's name into nomination, along with the sponsors, at the second regular committee meeting. The candidate is then duly nominated, and will be eligible for full election to membership at the third attended committee meeting. A majority vote of the committee members present shall elect to membership.”
ARTICLE XIV - ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP (unchanged, FYI)
“Any person who is in accord with the principles of the Republican Party, and who express in open meeting, if requested, their intent to support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election, may be elected by the County Committee as an Associate Member of the Spotsylvania Republican Party. Associate Members may debate and discuss business at County Committee meetings, offer and second motions, and serve on Committees constituted under Article IX (Committees), but will have no vote on County Committee matters. Associate Members shall be assessed dues of $15.00 or in the case of students, $10.00.”
Rationale:
The current membership rules present an undue burden for the Committee to collect new membership dues, attract and retain new members, and conduct business in an open and public fashion. The amendment will allow the Committee to collect dues from prospective new members but not allow them to have a vote on substantive matters until they have attended three meetings and been elected by the membership as fully accepted members of the Committee.

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