The Long Island Paddlers, Inc.
 

LONG ISLAND PADDLERS BYLAWS

1. Purpose
Long Island Paddlers is a club for kayakers and canoeists who share a common love for paddle sports and the outdoors. We meet in a spirit of fellowship and to pass on to others the skills and knowledge we've gained. We exchange information on safety, education, paddling experiences, and other paddling-related subjects. We are a nonpartisan Club and membership is open to all. We are active all year. We participate in river clean-ups and other conservation activities and encourage state and local governing bodies to improve access to local waters for non-motorized crafts. We are a nonprofit club, not being incorporated, owning no real property, having no paid positions, and acknowledging no liabilities.

2. Club Organization
A. Executive Committee
The governing body of this club is the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of the elected officers. Club officers are: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past-President and two Members-at-Large. A person may hold only one elected office but may hold other appointed positions.

B. The Board
The Board consists of the Executive Committee and the Committee Chairpersons appointed by a majority vote of the officers.


C. Committee Chairpersons
Committee Chairpersons are: Membership Coordinator, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, Training & Safety Coordinator, Special Events Coordinator, Trip Coordinator, Program Coordinator, Library, Public Relations, Hospitality, Merchandise, Big Buddy, By-Laws, Advocacy, Conservation, and any other committee chairpersons the Executive Committee may appoint.


D. Members
1. Admitting Members
People who share LI Paddlers' purpose and who agree to follow these bylaws are welcome to apply for membership. Applicants shall be admitted to membership upon 1) submitting an application and signed liability waiver; 2) paying dues.


A person may be denied membership, if, in the opinion of a majority of the Executive
Committee, he/she does not meet the membership requirements. Reasons for denying membership may include, but are not limited to, actions in conflict with the mission or bylaws of the club and/or inappropriate behavior directed at the club or its members.


2. Removing Members
A person may be removed from membership, if, in the opinion of a majority of the Executive Committee, there is just cause. Reasons for removing a member may include, but are not limited to actions in conflict with the mission or by laws of the club, inappropriate behavior directed at the club or its members or actions which may threaten the safety of others.


3. Members in Good Standing
Members in good standing have paid their Club dues, have a current signed liability waiver, and follow the club bylaws.

4. Members inviting non-members
Members may invite a non-member on one club trip with the permission of the trip leader. That member assumes a certain degree of responsibility for the non-member. To attend additional trips, the non-member must become a member in good standing.

3. Board Operations
A. Meetings
The Board shall meet monthly to conduct the business of the club including, but not limited to: establishing club policy; setting goals; deciding and reviewing financial matters; approving club activities and trips; setting dues; deciding qualification issues for trip leaders and trip participants. To conduct business for the club a quorum of officers must be present. A simple majority shall constitute a quorum.


B. Vacancies
If, for whatever reason, a seat is vacated by an officer, the remaining officers, by majority vote, may appoint a replacement for the remainder of that person's term.


C. Removal of an Officer
By a majority vote of the officers, an officer may be relieved of his/her duties and removed from the Executive Committee if that person is not adequately performing the duties of his/her office, as specified in these bylaws.


D. Committees
Club committees will include: Membership, Newsletter, Website, Training and Safety, Special Events, Trips, Programs, Library, Public Relations, Hospitality, Merchandise, Big Buddy, By-Laws, Advocacy, Conservation, and any other committee approved by the Executive Committee. Each committee will have a coordinator/chairperson appointed by majority vote of the Executive Committee for a term of one year. The coordinator/chairperson will report to the Board each month about the activities of his/her committee. The coordinator/chairperson may be assisted by club members to carry out the responsibilities of his/her committee. By majority vote of the Executive Committee a committee coordinator/chairperson can be relieved of his/her duties if that person is not adequately performing his/her duties as specified by the Executive Committee.

4. General Membership Meetings
A general membership meeting will be scheduled each month by the Board. Notices of meetings shall be distributed to the members by email and on the club website at least two weeks before the meeting date. Meeting locations shall be approved by the Board. Whenever a vote is called for at a meeting, each member in good standing shall be accorded one vote. In case of a family membership, each adult will have one vote. Proxy or write-in votes will not be allowed. A simple majority of those present at the meeting will decide all issues. Should there be a tie, the President will cast the deciding vote.

5. Nominations and Elections
A. Nominations
Starting no later than September 1st of each year, the Vice President and two club members, appointed by the Board, will form a Nominations & Election Committee.
1. The Committee will make a list of possible candidates, contact these people, review the responsibilities of the office with them and determine if the person is willing to run for office and, if elected, serve. They must make every effort to have at least one nominee for each office.


Each nominee must be a club member in good standing for at least one year (365 days).  No nominee can be a Board member of another kayak organization since that would constitute a conflict of interest.  A member can only run for one office in any given election.


2. The Committee will post the first notice of nominations and the election in the September newsletter to solicit members who might be interested in holding a Club office. Any member who wishes to be considered by the Committee for an office must notify the Vice President by the date specified in the notice.


3. The Committee will also ask for nominations from the floor at the September and October membership meeting.


4. Before a member is included as a nominee, the Committee will review the responsibilities of the office with him/her and determine if the person is willing to run for office and, if elected, serve.


5. The Committee will compile and publish the final list of nominees.
B. Elections
1. The Nominations and Election committee will prepare the ballot and conduct the election. The election will take place at the November general membership meeting. The Committee will mail a ballot to every club member in good standing and will specify the date by which it must be received to be counted at the November meeting for those who cannot attend the meeting. Members may choose to vote, in person, at the November meeting. The Committee must devise a way to verify that each member only votes once.


2. Voting at the November membership meeting must be by paper ballot. Each member in good standing shall have one vote. In the case of family membership, each adult will have one vote. Proxy or write-in candidates will not be allowed.


3. Both the ballots cast at the November meeting and those sent in by members prior to the meeting will be tallied at the November meeting. A simple majority vote will decide. Should there be a tie, the officers will vote by paper ballot to select the winner. The winners will be announced at this meeting.


4. The results of the elections will also be posted in the next issue of the Club newsletter.


5. If, after seeking nominations as described above, there is only one nominee for each office, the Nominations and Election committee will notify the Board and the members that there will not be a formal ballot mailed to all members. Instead, the committee will hold a voice vote at the November meeting.
C. Term of Office
The new officers shall take office on January 1st and their term shall end December 31st of the year. All terms are for one year.

D. Term Limits
No person shall serve in the same office for more than three consecutive terms.

E. Transition of Responsibilities
To insure the smooth transition of responsibilities, each previously serving officer and newly elected officer shall meet as necessary to insure that the transition goes smoothly. This includes such things as financial records, membership lists and other important Club information.

6. Amending the bylaws
Any part of these bylaws may be amended through the following process:

a.

notification of a proposed change must be announced at the general membership meeting in the month immediately preceding the meeting where the vote will be taken;

b. notification of a proposed change must also be posted in the club newsletter or sent to all members via e-mail and on the club website before a scheduled vote; this notification must include information on how a member may request a ballot if he/she cannot attend the membership meeting.
c. voting will be take place, in person, at a general membership meeting by paper ballot.
d. absentee ballots must be received by the date specified.
e. a proposed change must be approved by two-thirds of the members voting in order for the  bylaws to be amended. If approved, the bylaws change will become effective immediately.

7. Duties of Officers
President
Position Requirements:

Estimated average time: 3 hrs/ wk
  Have a well-rounded knowledge of paddling, with at least 3 years of paddling experience.
  Leadership skills
Responsibilities:

Presides and officiates at all LI Paddlers functions & meetings, including Executive Committee Meetings, Board meetings, General Meetings, and any special meeting called.
  Presents information from the Board to the membership.
  In collaboration with the Board, develops and oversees the overall direction of the club.
  The President can vote at Board Meetings, but may only vote in cases of a tie vote at General Membership Meetings.
  Ensures that Club elections are carried out in a timely manner in accordance with the Club's by laws.
  Shall represent the Club and liaison with the public and other organizations.
  Shall coordinate the work of the various committees.
  Shall be an authorized signer of checks.

Vice President
Position Requirements:

Estimated average time: 2 hrs/wk
Responsibilities:

Assists the President with the duties of that office and presides over any function at which the President cannot be present.
  Serves as the chair of the Nominations and Election Committee

Treasurer
Position Requirements:

Estimated average time: 2 hrs/ wk
  Knowledge and ability to balance bank account and complete Club Income and Expense Statement
Responsibilities:

Maintains the club checking account, reconciles the checkbook each month, and submits a monthly income/expense statement to the Board.
  Shall be an authorized signer of checks.
  Maintains all club financial statements, receipts, etc. for a period of five years.
  Receives monies in the form of dues, and other collections, such as for club events, and products.
  Obtains approval from the Executive Committee for all expenditures.
  Obtains approval of the club membership for any expenditure of more than 10% of the club’s ending balance or more by majority vote at a general membership meeting.
  Within one week of the request, writes and sends necessary checks to reimburse legitimate Club expenses.
  Submits an Annual Financial Report of the previous year to the Board at the January committee meeting.
  Keeps the books ready for inspection by the Executive Committee or its agent/s.
  Follow the financial controls established by the Executive Committee.

Secretary
Position Requirements:

Estimated average time: 1 hr/ wk
  Ability to record and create accurate written account of club's business.
Responsibilities:

Take minutes at all Board meetings and records votes.
  Prepares written summary of Board meetings and in a timely manner, submits to Board for their approval.
  Where necessary and appropriate, records decisions and/or consensus of General Membership, especially when a vote is taken on an agenda item.
  Assists the Nominating Committee in conducting annual election and recording the votes of the membership.
  Maintains club minutes for a period of five years.

Members-At-Large
Position Requirements:

Estimated average time: 3 hours/month.
  Have the interest and commitment to serve in a club leadership position.
Responsibilities:

Attend monthly Board meetings and General membership meetings.

8. Conflict of Interest
All Board members of LI Paddlers are committed to the mission of the club, and have a clear obligation to conduct all affairs of the club in a manner consistent with this concept. Decisions of the Board are to be made solely on the basis of the desire to promote the best interests of the club.


Board members shall promptly disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest in any matter relating to the club. In each such instance, the Board member shall avoid participating in any club decision in which the Board member or any affiliate of the Board member could be said to have any personal, financial or other stake in the decision or where other institutional connections could influence the Board member's independent judgement.

9. New Programs
Any proposed program or project to be considered by the Club must first be submitted in writing to the Board and contain the following information:
a. goals
e. proposed start and completion dates
b. benefit to club   f. number of members required
c. anticipated costs   g. outside organizations or persons required
d. anticipated income   h. methodology

10. These Bylaws become effective the day they are ratified by a two-thirds majority of the voting members.

ByLaws Revised October 2013