NORTHEAST FLORIDA VETERANS COUNCIL

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Constitution and By-Laws

Northeast Florida Veterans Council
Constitution and Bylaws
 
 
Article I
 
Name
 
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Northeast Florida Veterans Council, a nonprofit federation of Northeast Florida veterans' organization herein referred to as the Council.
 
Article II
 
Authority
 
Section 1. Establishing Authority.  By virtue of their common need and interest to organize for community and other related purposes as hereinafter stated, the City of Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida veterans organizations, active and reserve military organizations, military retiree associations, and auxiliaries of same, and such other organizations concerned with the welfare and programs of veterans and their dependents as hereinafter noted, band themselves together and hereby establish the Northeast Florida Veterans Council. The affixed signature of Chairman on this document creates the establishing authority for this council. 
 
Section 2.  Continuing Authority.  The Chairman and Secretary of the Council will vest the continuing authority of the Council in the duly accepted delegates as certified.
 
Section 3.  Restriction of Authority.
  

a.     This Council is a federation of organizations existing in Northeast Florid, and in no way will this Constitution and Bylaws or rules and motions set in action hereafter be in conflict with the national, state, and local constitution and bylaws of the organizations represented.

 

b.    The officers, delegates, and alternate delegates of the Council are prohibited from using the Council, or it’s name, on behalf of partisan politics.  However, this does not prohibit the Council to act as a forum for any program or issue that may arise and be of interest to the welfare of organizations represented, an to the welfare of the veterans, their families, and surviving spouses.  This includes, the ability to keep council members informed of know political rallies, or other political events of which they may choose to avail themselves or organizations per their personal or organizational preferences.

 

 

 

                                                                                        Article III

 

Purposes

 

SECTION 1.  To unify the veterans’ organizations in Northeast Florida, thereby providing solidarity in communications to the veterans.  Viewpoints and a means for disseminating information on issues before local, state, and national legislative bodies which affect veterans, their families and surviving spouses.

 

SECTION  2.  To aid and support the County Veterans Service Officer and his staff in the performance of their duties.  To make recommendations to the City and County Commissioners on a continuing and up-to-date basis regarding personnel and the duties and qualifications of these individuals (refer to Mayoral Executive Order No. 85-80, City of Jacksonville, Florida).

 

SECTION 3.  To plan, cooperate, and coordinate with local military authorities, government officials, and other interested parties on matters of parades and social gatherings which may be scheduled for days set aside in remembrance of veterans.

 

SECTION 4.  To cooperate with local, state, and national social services and welfare agencies in programs relating to the welfare of veterans, military personnel, and their dependents.

 

SECTION 5.  To plan, coordinate, and implement any other programs that may be deemed advisable by the Council in serving the best interest of the military, veterans and their families, and surviving spouses.

 

Article IV

 

Membership

 

SECTION 1.  Eligibility.  All veterans’ organizations, active military, reserve components, military or retired associations, and quasi-veterans organizations, including organizations and individuals that advocate for, or are friends of veterans, plus their auxiliaries, or any honorably discharged veteran, whose interest is the welfare of the veteran and military community, are eligible for membership.

 

SECTION 2.  Representation. Council representation will be in two categories, due and non-dues membership.

 

a.     Each dues paying organization shall designate in writing one delegate and a maximum of two alternates to the Secretary of the Council at the beginning of each fiscal year.  Each dues-paying individually honorably discharged veteran will designate him or herself as the delegate in writing to the Secretary of the Council at the beginning of each fiscal year.

 

b.     One delegate and a maximum of two alternates from each of the major

military commands, both active duty or reserve, will be appointed in

writing by the Commanding Officer of the unit.

 

The admission of an organization, or an individual who is an honorably discharged veteran into the Council requires a two-thirds affirmative majority of the voting delegates at a stated meeting.

 

There will be provisions for selecting a maximum of five delegates-at-large in the Council who will have the same powers to vote and conduct the business of the Council as regular delegates.

 

1)     Delegates-at-large may be selected each fiscal year, and they will serve for one year only unless the delegates of the Council approve reappointment.

2)     Delegates-at-large will not be selected from the delegates or alternate delegates.

3)     Additionally, the Immediate Past Chairman of the Council will automatically become a delegate-at-large, with full voting privileges on the Council, providing residence is maintained in the Northeast Florida area.

 

The Council may direct that notice be sent to member organizations if any  delegate or one of the alternates has failed to attend three consecutive meetings of the Council, and request that another delegate and/or alternate be designated as replacement.

 

Only one vote will be permitted for each organization represented at a Council meeting.  Only a delegate, or an alternate, of a member organization in good standing shall be entitled to vote.  There shall be no proxy voting.

 

 

Section 3. Dues

 

a.     Council membership dues will be twenty-five dollars per organization and each individually honorably discharged veteran, except that military units and delegates-at-large shall pay no dues.

b.     The fiscal year for the Council will begin October 1 of each year and end

September 30 the following year.  Membership dues will cover the fiscal year.

 

c.     Organizations or individuals who are honorably discharged veterans accepted for membership after the July 1, shall not be required to pay dues for that fiscal year.

d.     Any member organizations, or individual who is an honorably discharged veteran delinquent in payment for more than sixty days shall automatically cease to be a member in good standing.

 

 

Article V

 

Meetings

 

SECTION 1.  The regular meetings of this Council shall be held on the fourth Monday of each month at a time and place designated by the delegates of the Council.  The delegates of the Council may affix a different date of a monthly meeting in approved in advance by a two-thirds vote of the Council.

 

SECTION 2.  Special meetings may be called by the Chairman if the Council whenever he may deem it necessary, or when requested in writing to do so by five delegates or more in good standing in the Council.  The call of any such special meeting shall state specifically the purpose for which it is called, and no other business than that specified in the call shall be transacted in the Council.  Notices of any such special meeting shall be mailed to each delegate in good standing at least five days prior thereto, or by telephone notification at least twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting.

 

SECTION 3.  A Council meeting quorum shall consist of at least ten delegates representing their organizations in good standing.

 

SECTION 4.  An Executive Board quorum shall consist of at least four of its current members.

 

 

Article VI

 

Officers and Duties

 

SECTION 1.  Elective officers of the Council shall consist of Chairman, First Vice-Chairman, Second Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Judge Advocate, Historian, Chaplain and Sergeant-at-arms, plus five area representatives of the Executive Board.  With the exception of the Judge Advocate, the elective officers will be delegates or alternates in good standing or delegates-at-large.

 

SECTION 2.  Chairman of standing committees and special committees shall be appointed by the Council Chairman and approved by the Council.

 

SECTION 3.  The Chairman, or in his absence, the next officer in succession shall preside at all regular or special meetings of the Council.  He shall, maintain order and dispatch such business as may legally come before the Council.  The Council Chairman shall perform all other duties that may be reasonably assumed to be incidental to his office and such duties as may be lawfully assigned to him by the delegates of the Council.  He will be the Chief Executive Officer of the Council and shall always conduct himself in such a manner as to reflect credit on the Council and its delegates.

 

SECTION 4.  The First Vice-Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman in the event of his absence.  In the event of the Chairman’s death, resignation, or removal from office, the First Vice-Chairman shall succeed to the office of Chairman.

 

SECTION 5.  The Second Vice-Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman in the event of the absence of the Chairman and First Vice-Chairman.  He shall be the Chairman of the Membership Committee.

 

SECTION 6.  The Treasurer shall receive and immediately deposit all monies in the bank account in the name of the Council without any deductions or offsets.  He shall make authorized disbursements only by checks or vouchers signed by himself and countersigned by the Chairman or First Vice-Chairman.  He shall keep a system of accounts approved by the Council and shall preserve all receipts and checks or vouchers for payments made.  He shall render a monthly report of receipts and expenditures to the Council and submit for audit an annual report as of September 30 of each year.  The audited report shall be presented to the delegates for action at the October meeting.

 

SECTION 7.  The Secretary shall keep a true and complete record of business conducted by the Council, including the minutes of each council meeting.  The Secretary shall also keep an accurate master copy of the Constitution and Bylaws available for examination by all members.  He shall conduct the necessary roll call of delegates and organizations at each meeting, keep an up-to-date list of delegates and alternates as certified by the individual organizations, maintain lists of individuals, organizations and agencies in which the council has had or may have dealings in its course of business.  Maintain a list of committees and membership thereof, and be the custodian of the Council’s Constitution and Bylaws.  The Secretary is additionally assigned as the Executive Secretary to the Executive Board.

 

a.    The Secretary shall be the editor of the Council’s Newsletter and shall publish such newsletter at least once a month.  The newsletter will contain information about the Council and its veterans and their families.  The Secretary will also publish pertinent bulletins as directed by the Council or Executive Board.  The Newsletter will be submitted to the Chairman of the Council for approval and signature by the seventh day of the month following.  The Chairman will forward the Newsletter to the City of Jacksonville, Florida’s Veterans Service Division for printing and mailing by the 15th of the month.

 

The Secretary will draft news releases to the news media as pertains to the good of the Council and its organizations for submittal to the Chairman for review and approval who will then submit to the City of Jacksonville for release to all media outlets.

 

The Secretary shall be responsible in the preparation of the Council agenda for the meetings.

 

The Secretary shall be responsible for any reports that the Executive Board or the Council may direct him to prepare.  He will be responsible for any first drafts of reports for consideration by the Executive Board or any committee of the Council.

 

The Secretary may propose or recommend policy and programs to the Executive Board for consideration.

 

 

SECTION 8.  The Judge Advocate is the parliamentarian of the Council and also the legal advisor.  Upon request from the Chairman, he will render an opinion concerning questions arising in the deliberations of the Council.  He shall review all Constitution and Bylaws revisions and amendments to the Council.  He shall provide guidelines in the drafting and presentation of resolutions that may come before the Council and the Executive Board.  Due to the high professional skills required of the Judge Advocate, he need not be a delegate or an alternate, but his organization must be a member of the Council.  Said person shall have all the rights and privileges of a delegate-at-large when elected.

 

SECTION 9.  The Historian shall keep a brief history of the activities of the Council to be kept as a permanent record.  The Historian will, upon completion of the Council’s fiscal year, present to the outgoing Chairman the completion of record of events for him to use for not more than a year.  Once the outgoing Chairman has made the use, the Historian will see that each year’s history of the Council is retired for safekeeping.  The Historian shall be the official photographer of the Council.

 

SECTION 10.  The Chaplain shall be the spiritual leader of the Council.  He shall give the invocation and benediction at each meeting and at such other meetings that he may be called upon.  He shall be responsible for reporting those delegates who have died, are sick, or in need.  He shall work closely with the Chairman of the Memorial Day Committee in the planning and execution of ceremonies scheduled for Memorial Day of each year.

 

SECTION 11.  The Sergeant-at-Arms with a duly appointed aide shall keep order in Council meetings.  He shall welcome all visitors and see that each is properly introduced.  He shall see that the colors are properly posted at Council meetings, and with the aide’s assistance present the colors if such an occasion arises.  Further, he will supervise the proper arrangement of meeting places and see that distinguished guest are properly seated and recognized.

 

SECTION 12.  Any officer failing to attend three consecutive Council and/or Executive Board meetings shall be automatically removed from office unless the Council delegates present accept his reason for absence.

 

 

Article VII

 

Executive Board

 

SECTION 1.  The Executive Board shall be composed of the Chairman, the First Vice-Chairman, the Second Vice-Chairman, the Treasurer, the Secretary, the Judge Advocate, the Chaplain, the Historian and five area representatives, one from each county in Northeast Florida.  The Chairman of the Council will be the Chairman of the Executive Board with the Secretary of the Council additionally acting in the capacity as Executive Secretary of the Board.  The Immediate Past Chairman will be an advisory member of the Board.

 

SECTION 2.  All proposed resolutions and recommended changes to the Constitution and Bylaws will be presented to the Executive Board for review.

 

SECTION 3.  All fund raising projects and all agreements and contracts must be referred to the Executive Board for its recommendations before being presented to the council body for action.  Expenditures in excess of fifty dollars ($50.00) should first be referred to the Executive Board for its recommendations, but such sums may be authorized by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the delegates present and voting at a regular Council meeting.

 

SECTION 4.  The Executive Board shall make recommendations to the Council, which it believes will have benefit to the Council and its member organizations.

 

SECTION 5.  This Board shall act also as a Resolution Committee, and no resolution shall be adopted by the Council unless first submitted to the Executive Board for its recommendations, except by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Council present and voting, provided they comprise a quorum.

 

SECTION 6.  In the event this Board fails to make recommendations upon any matter referred to it within three months, the Council by a majority vote may act upon such matter without receiving the recommendations of the Board.

 

SECTION 7.  The minutes of each meeting of the Executive Board shall be read at the next subsequent regular Council meeting by the Executive Secretary.  The approval of the minutes of the Executive Board shall constitute an approval of the recommendations and actions taken by the Executive Board as reported in such minutes.  When the minutes are read, any Council delegate may request that any part thereof be discussed or voted upon separately.

 

SECTION 8.  The Executive Board shall hold at least one regular meeting each month.  The members of the Board shall determine the time and place of such meetings.  However, this meeting will be held prior to the regular membership meeting.

 

SECTION 9.  The primary purpose of the Executive Board meeting is to provide a means for discussion of routine Council affairs and to set an agenda for the next regular meeting.

 

 

Article VIII

 

CITY OF JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA’S VETERANS SERVICE DIVISION

 

 

SECTION 1.  The Veterans Service Division shall provide the Council administrative support, including necessary clerical, technical and professional services from available personnel and appropriations (refer to Mayoral Executive Order No. 85-80, City of Jacksonville, Florida).

 

 

Article IX

 

 Committees

 

 

SECTION 1.  The standing committees of the Council shall be the Veterans Service Officers Committee, Parades Committee, Memorial Day Services Committee, Legislative Committee, Membership Committee, Public Relations Committee, Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and Audit Committee.

 

SECTION 2.  The Council Chairman shall appoint the membership of each committee, including special committees and subcommittees.  He shall designate the chairman, by and with the approval of the Council, and he will serve as ex-officio member of all committees appointed by him with the exception of the Nominating Committee.

 

SECTION 3.  The Veterans Service Officers Committee shall inform the delegates if the Council on the progress and any problems confronting the Veterans Service Division, Veteran Service Officers or the various organizations represented in the Council.

 

SECTION 4.  The Parades Committee shall take full responsibility of planning parades and massing of the colors and providing full cooperation with local patriotic groups.  The committee shall make a report of plans at least ninety days (90) before any parade or massing of the colors is scheduled so that information can be mailed to member organizations with sufficient time for them to prepare.

 

SECTION 5.  Memorial Day Services Committee shall plan with the organizations represented in the Council memorial services such as on Memorial Day and such other special occasions where memorial services may be deemed appropriate.  A report of plans for Memorial Day shall be presented to the Council delegates at least ninety days in advance.

 

SECTION 6.  The legislative Committee will be responsible for informing the Executive Board and the Council of all pertinent bills pending before the Florida State Legislature and the U.S. Congress.  The Committee will keep the Council informed on any local bills, which will have an impact on the military and veteran community.  This committee will be responsible for formulating resolutions endorsing beneficial legislation affecting the veterans.  It will also be responsible for drafting resolutions requesting legislation on the State and National level.  All resolutions affecting legislation will be first presented to the Council Judge Advocate and the Executive Board for review.

 

SECTION 7.  The Membership Committee shall investigate the eligibility of organizations requesting admittance to the Council.  The Committee shall recommend admission or rejection, with reasons therefore, or organizations desiring to join the Council.

 

SECTION 8.  The Public Relations Committee shall maintain close liaison with the Executive Secretary in promulgating news media coverage, and initiatie innovations to insure favorable publicity of Council activities.

 

SECTION 9.  The Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall review the Constitution and Bylaws of the Council at least once during the fiscal year and submit recommendation to the Executive Board.

 

SECTION 10.  The Audit Committee shall make an audit of the annual report of the Treasurer, and if found true and correct, approve it.  Once the Committee approves this annual report, it will be the duty of the Committee to report it to the floor of the Council for approval together with any recommendations the Committee may deem appropriate.  This Committee shall make its report in the month of October.

 

 

 

Article X

 

Nominations and Elections

 

 

SECTION 1.  The annual election of officers and area representatives shall be held in September of each year, with the term of office beginning on October 1, and continuing through September 30, the following year.

 

SECTION 2.  A nomination committee of three (3) members will be appointed at the July meeting and nominations will be submitted at the August meeting.  Nominations and elections of officers of the Council shall be made in the order of the officers listed in Article VI, Section 1.  After the nominating committee has presented its slate of officers to the delegates, nominations from the delegates may be made.  The Chairman will close the nominations at the September meeting and elections held.

 

SECTION 3.  A candidate must either be present or have submitted a letter of acceptance for the office at the time of nominations.

 

SECTION 4.  All voting for officers or Executive Board members shall be by written ballot, except by unanimous consent.  Absentee voting is prohibited.

 

SECTION 5.  No delegate, alternate, or delegate-at-large shall hold more than one elective office in the Council at the same time.

 

SECTION 6.  A vacancy in an elective office, except in the office of Chairman, shall be filled by nomination and election from the floor during any general or special meeting of the Council.  Nomination and election may be effected at the next meeting.

 

 

Article XI

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

SECTION 1.  The rules contained in the latest Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised Edition shall govern this Council in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Constitution and Bylaws.

 

SECTION 2.  Whenever used in this Constitution and Bylaws, the word “organization(s)” shall be construed as denoting a Post, Chapter, Unit, Branch, Military Command, or similar component of a larger group or veterans.

 

SECTION 3.  Whenever used in this Constitution and Bylaws, and the context so requires, the masculine shall include the feminine, the singular shall include the plural, and vice versa.

 

SECTION 4.  The presiding officer shall be entitled to vote only in case of a tie, or where the voting is by written ballot.

 

SECTION 5.  No employees of the City of Jacksonville, Florida or any County Veteran Service office shall have a vote on the Executive Board or in the Council’s general assembly meeting.

 

 

Article XII

 

Effective Date and Amendments

 

 

SECTION 1.  This Constitution is effective on the date and at the time noted below, as adopted by a two-thirds vote of the quorum of delegates present at the Northeast Florida Veterans Council general assembly meeting in which approved.

 

SECTION 2.  This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended or revised only by reading the proposed amendments at one meeting and adopted by two-third vote of the Council delegates present and voting at the subsequent meeting.

 

SECTION 3.  Proposed changes to the Constitution and Bylaws with notification of the date set for Council consideration shall be printed and mailed to member organizations at least thirty (30) days in advance of the stated Council meeting.

 

 

Revisions submitted by Committee on April 26, 2004.

 

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