Westford LWV Bylaws

ARTICLE I – NAME

Section 1.  Name  The name of this organization shall be the League of Women Voters of Westford, hereinafter referred to in these bylaws as LWVWestford. 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 Massachusetts, hereinafter referred to as LWVMA.

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE AND POLICY

Section 1. Purposes  The purposes of the LWVWestford are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues.

Section 2. Political Policy  The LWVWestford shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Eligibility  Any person who subscribes to the purposes and policy of the League shall be eligible for membership.

Section 2. Types of Membership

    1. Voting Members. Persons at least 16 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues, and of the LWVUS; (1) those who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at-large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues.
    2. Associate Members. All others who join the League shall be associate members.

ARTICLE IV – LEADERSHIP TEAM

Section 1. Based on the recommendation of the nominating committee, Annual Meeting can recommend what form of leadership is best suited to the League.  The two forms available are a Board of Directors, or a Steering Committee. A majority vote at Annual Meeting will decide on the governance structure for the following two years. At the end of that period, the nominating committee can recommend a change in governance if needed. Both forms of leadership are described in later sections of these bylaws. In other places in the bylaws, the term “Leadership Team” can be used to signify either a Board of Directors or a Steering Committee. 

ARTICLE V – STEERING COMMITTEE

Section 1. Number, Manner of Selection, and Terms of Office  The Steering Committee shall consist of at least five or up to eight members. All Steering Committee members shall be elected by annual meeting for terms of two years or until their successors have been elected and qualified. Where possible, the terms should be staggered so that half of the steering committee members are elected in even numbered years, and the others in odd numbered years. All members shall take office immediately following the annual meeting.  The elected members shall appoint such additional specialists as they deem necessary to carry on the work of the LWV Westford. The terms of office of the appointed specialists shall be one year and shall expire at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.

Section 2. Qualifications No person shall be elected or appointed or shall continue to serve a on the Steering Committee of this organization unless she or he is a voting member of the LWV Westford.

Section 3. Vacancies Any vacancy occurring in the Steering Committee by reason of the resignation, death, or disqualification of an officer or elected member may be filled, until the next annual meeting, by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Steering Committee. Three consecutive absences from a steering committee meeting of any member without a valid reason shall be deemed a resignation.

Section 4. Powers and Duties  The LWV Westford Steering Committee shall manage and supervise the business, affairs and activities of the LWV Westford in accordance with the directions of the general membership. It shall have the power to appoint an executive committee and create special committees as it deems necessary to carry out the program adopted by the national and state conventions and the annual meeting.

Section 5. Meetings  There shall be at least six regular meetings of the Steering Committee annually.  Special meetings may be conducted by electronic means, such as telephone conference call, video conferencing or e-mail. The use of electronic meetings shall be reserved for those issues needing a decision before an in-person meeting is schedules.

Section 6. Quorum  A majority of the members of the Steering Committee shall constitute a quorum. Any one or more members of the Steering Committee may participate in a meeting by means of conference telephone or similar communications equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other at the same time  Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting.

Section 7. Roles

Although many aspects of governance are shared by all members of the Steering Committee, there are some defined roles that are filled by a single person.

A. Spokesperson  The spokesperson shall speak for the League at public events. 

B. Treasurer  The treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due. She or he shall be the custodian of these moneys, shall deposit them in a bank designated by the Steering Committee, and shall disburse them only upon order of the Steering Committee. She or he shall present statements to the Steering Committee at their regular meetings, an annual report to the annual meeting, and arrange for an annual audit of the books. The verified financial statement shall be included in the LWVWestford Bulletin after the end of the fiscal year.

C. Secretary  The secretary is a rotating position among Steering Committee members. Each member shall take turns keeping minutes at each Steering Committee meeting, and at the Annual Meeting. The secretary should make these minutes available at the following meeting for approval by the Steering Committee.

ARTICLE VI – BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. Number, Manner of Selection, and Terms of Office  The Board of Directors shall consist of the officers of the LWV Westford, any number of elected directors, and any number of appointed directors not to exceed the number of elected directors. All elected officers and directors shall be elected by annual meeting for terms of two years or until their successors have been elected and qualified. All officers and elected directors except the treasurer shall take office immediately following the annual meeting. The treasurer shall take office on July 1. The elected members shall appoint such additional directors as they deem necessary to carry on the work of the LWV Westford. The terms of office of the appointed directors shall be one year and shall expire at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.

Section 2. Qualifications No person shall be elected or appointed or shall continue to serve as an officer or director of this organization unless she or he is a voting member of the LWV Westford.

Section 3. Vacancies Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors by reason of the resignation, death, or disqualification of an officer or elected member may be filled, until the next annual meeting, by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board of Directors. Three consecutive absences from a board meeting of any member without a valid reason shall be deemed a resignation.

Section 4. Powers and Duties  The LWV Westford Board of Directors shall manage and supervise the business, affairs and activities of the LWV Westford in accordance with the directions of the general membership. It shall have the power to appoint an executive committee and create special committees as it deems necessary to carry out the program adopted by the national and state conventions and the annual meeting.

Section 5. Meetings  There shall be at least six regular meetings of the Board of Directors annually. The President may call special meetings of the Board of Directors and shall call a special meeting upon written request of 20 percent of the Board. Special meetings may be conducted by electronic means, such as telephone conference call, video conferencing or e-mail. The use of electronic meetings shall be reserved for those issues needing a decision before an in-person meeting is schedules.

Section 6. Quorum  A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum. Any one or more members of the board may participate in a meeting by means of conference telephone or similar communications equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other at the same time  Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting.

Section 7. Enumeration and Election of Officers The officers of the LWV Westford shall be a president, a first vice-president, a second vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer who shall be elected for terms of two years by the general membership at an annual meeting. All but the treasurer shall take office immediately; the treasurer shall take office on July 1. The president, the second vice-president, and the treasurer shall be elected in odd numbered years. The first vice-president and the secretary shall be elected in even numbered years.

A. President  The president shall preside at all meetings of the organization and the Board of Directors. The president, in the absence or disability of the treasurer, may sign or endorse checks, drafts, and notes. The president shall be, ex-officio, a member of all committees except the nominating committee. She or he shall have such usual powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office of the president and perform such other duties as may be designated by the LWVWestford board.

B. Vice-presidents  The two vice-presidents, in the order of their rank, shall in the event of absence, disability, resignation or death of the president possess all the power and perform all the duties of that office until such time as the Board of Directors shall select one of its members to fill the vacancy. The vice-president(s) shall perform such other duties as the president and board may designate.

C. Secretary  The secretary shall keep minutes of all business meetings of the LWVWestford and the Board of Directors and the annual meeting. She or he shall notify all officers and directors of their election. She or he shall sign, with the president, all contracts and other instruments when so authorized by the Board and shall perform such other functions as may be incident to the office.

D. Treasurer  The treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due. She or he shall be the custodian of these moneys, shall deposit them in a bank designated by the Board of Directors, and shall disburse them only upon order of the Board. She or he shall present statements to the Board at their regular meetings, an annual report to the annual meeting, and arrange for an annual audit of the books. The verified financial statement shall be included in the LWVWestford Bulletin after the end of the fiscal year.

ARTICLE VII – FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Section 1. Fiscal Year  The fiscal year of the LWV Westford shall commence on the first day of July each year.

Section 2. Annual Dues  Annual dues shall be payable on the first day of September. The amount of dues will be determined by majority vote at annual meeting. Any member who fails to pay her or his dues within three months after they become payable shall be dropped from the membership rolls. Any dues received after April 1 will be applied to the following membership year.

Section 3. Budget  A budget for the ensuing year shall be submitted by the LWV Westford Leadership Team to the annual meeting for adoption. The budget shall include support for the work of the LWV Westford as a whole. The treasurer will prepare a budget that will be reviewed by the Leadership Team prior to publishing it in the Annual Meeting Guide.

ARTICLE IX – MEETINGS

Section 1. Membership Meetings  There shall be at least four meetings of the membership each year. Time and place shall be determined by the LWV Westford Leadership Team. Written notice must be sent to the membership at least one month in advance. The Leadership Team shall call a special general meeting upon the written request of 20 percent of voting members.

Section 2. Annual Meeting  An annual meeting shall be held between May 1 and June 30, the exact date to be determined by the Leadership Team. Written notice must be sent to the membership at least one month in advance. The annual meeting shall:

  • adopt a local program for the ensuing year
  • elect Leadership Team and members of the nominating committee
  • adopt an adequate budget
  • transact such other business as may properly come before it.

Section 3. Quorum  Twenty percent of voting members shall constitute a quorum at all business meetings and at the annual meeting of the LWV Westford.

Article X–nominations and ELECTIONS

Section 1. Nominating Committee  The nominating committee shall consist of five members, two of whom shall be members of the LWV Westford Leadership Team. The chairman and two members, who shall not be members of the Leadership Team, shall be elected at the annual meeting. Nominations for these offices shall be made by the current nominating committee. The other members shall be appointed by the Leadership Team immediately following the annual meeting. Any vacancy on the nominating committee shall be filled by the Leadership Team. Suggestions for nominations for officers and directors may be sent to this committee by any voting member.

Section 2. Report of Nominating Committee and Nominations from the Floor  The report of the nominating committee of its nominations for officers, directors, and the members of the succeeding nominating committee shall be sent to all members 10 days before the date of the annual meeting. The report of the nominating committee shall be presented to the annual meeting. Immediately following the presentation of this report, nominations may be made from the floor by any voting member provided the consent of the nominee shall have been secured.

Section 3. Elections  The elections shall be by ballot, except that if there is only one nominee for an office, it shall be by voice vote. A majority vote shall constitute an election. Absentee or proxy voting shall not be permitted.

ARTICLE XI – PROGRAM

Section 1. Principles  The governmental Principles adopted by the national convention, and supported by the League as a whole, constitute the authorization for the adoption of program.

Section 2. Program  The program of the LWVWestford shall consist of:

  • action to implement the Principles of the LWVUS and LWVMA
  • those local governmental issues chosen by annual meeting for concerted study and action.

Section 3. Action by the Annual Meeting  The annual meeting shall act upon the program using the following procedures:

  • The LWVWestford Leadership Team shall consider the recommendations sent in by the voting members two months prior to the annual meeting and shall formulate a proposed program.
  • The proposed program shall be sent to all members 10 days before the annual meeting.
  • The annual meeting shall adopt a program by majority vote on each program item recommended by the Leadership Team. A program recommendation NOT proposed by the Leadership Team shall require a two-thirds vote of the annual meeting.
  • Changes in the program in the case of altered conditions may be made provided that: information concerning the proposed changes has been sent to all members at least 10 days prior to a general membership meeting at which the change is to be discussed and final action by the membership is taken at a succeeding meeting.

Section 4. Member Action  Members may act in the name of the LWVWestford only when authorized to do so by the LWVWestford Leadership Team. They may act only in conformity with, and not contrary to, a position taken by the LWVWestford, the LWVMA, or the LWVUS.

ARTICLE XII – NATIONAL CONVENTION, STATE CONVENTION, AND COUNCIL

Section 1. National Convention  The LWVWestford Leadership Team, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the national office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the LWVWestford under the provisions of the bylaws of the LWVUS.

Section 2. State Convention  The LWVWestford Leadership Team, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the LWV Westford under the provisions of the bylaws of the LWVMA.

Section 3. State Council  The LWV Westford Leadership Team, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select delegates to that council in the number allotted the LWV Westford under the provisions of the bylaws of the LWVMA.

ARTICLE XIII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Section 1. Parliamentary Authority  The rules contained in the Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws.

ARTICLE XIV – AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Amendments  These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present and voting at the annual meeting, provided that amendments were submitted to the membership in writing at least 10 days in advance of the meeting.

Amended and adopted 5/94

Amended and adopted 6/2014

Amended and adopted 6/2017