Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Watchung Constitution
SECTION 1. The name of the Club shall be The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Watchung, Inc.
SECTION 2 The object of the Club shall be:
a. To do all possible to bring the natural qualities of the Bernese Mountain Dog to perfection.
- To urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by The American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Bernese Mountain Dogs shall be judged.
- To do all in its power to protect and advance the interest of the breed by encouraging sportsmanlike competition at dog shows and obedience trials, and field trials, i.e. carting and tracking meets.
- To conduct sanctioned and licensed specialty show and obedience trials and field trials, i.e. carting and tracking meets under the rules of The American Kennel Club.
SECTION 3. The Club shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder or residue from dues or donations to the Club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual
SECTION 4 The members of the Club shall adopt and may from time to time revise such by- laws as may be required to carry out these objects.
SECTION 1. Eligibility. There shall be four (4) types of membership available:
a. Single membership entitled to one (1) vote.
b. Family membership in which each member of the family over the age of 18 shall be entitled to a single vote.
c. Junior membership for those under the age of 18. Junior members may not vote, hold office, sponsor, nominate, or second. Upon reaching the age of 18, a Junior member may apply to become a voting member.
d. Associate membership which shall be a non-voting membership. An Associate member may not vote, hold office, sponsor, nominate, or second and must complete the membership process to become a voting member.
Associate and Junior members shall be informed of all Club meetings and activities and shall receive the Newsletter.
SECTION 2. Dues. The amounts corresponding to the membership categories shall be established by the Board of Directors and stated on the membership application. Dues shall be payable on or before the first day of January of each year. Those applications received after September 30, if accepted, shall be considered paid up members for the following year. An initiation fee shall apply to all members, payable on a one time basis upon application for membership. No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year. During the month of November the Treasurer shall send to each member a statement of his dues for the ensuing year.
SECTION 3 Election - to membership.
a. Voting Membership
1) Each applicant shall have attended two (2) meetings or one (1) meeting and one (1) Club activity.
2) The application shall be on a form which has been approved by the Board of Directors and which provides that the applicant agrees to abide by this Constitution and by-laws and by the rules of The American Kennel club.
3) The application shall carry the written endorsement of two (2) voting members, not in the same family, and shall be accompanied by a current dues payment and initiation fee.
All applications are to be filed with the Membership Chairman and each name shall be printed in the Newsletter.
At the next Club meeting after publication the application will be read and acted upon. Affirmative votes of 3/4 of the voting members present and voting at the meeting shall be required for acceptance.
b. Non-Voting Membership.
Each applicant for Associate or Junior membership shall apply on a form approved by the Board of Directors. These applicants do not require sponsors or publication in the Newsletter and pay a reduced rate of dues.
Applicants for membership who have been rejected by the Club may not re-apply within six (6) months after such rejection.
SECTION 4. Termination of Membership. Membership may be terminated:
a. by resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon written notice to the Secretary, but no member may resign when in debt to the Club. Dues obligations are considered a debt to the Club and they may become incurred on the first day of each fiscal year.
b. by lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member's dues remain unpaid 30 days after the first day of the fiscal year, however, the Board may grant an additional 30 days of grace to such delinquent members in meritorious cases. In no case may a person be entitled to vote at any Club meeting whose dues unpaid as of the date of that meeting.
c. by expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these by-laws.
MEETING AND VOTING
SECTION 1. Club meetings.
Meetings of the Club shall be held within the greater Bound Brook, New Jersey area at regular intervals, at least six (6) times per year, at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice of each meeting shall be mailed by the Secretary at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for such meetings shall be 20% of the voting members in good standing.
SECTION 2. Special Club meetings.
Special club meetings may be called by the President, or by a majority vote of members of the Board who are present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the Board, and shall be called by the Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by five members of the Club who are in good standing. Such special meetings shall be held in (or within 25 miles of ) the town of Bound Brook, New Jersey at such place, date and hour as may be designated by the person or persons authorized to call such meeting. Written notice of such a meeting shall be mailed by the Secretary at least 15 days prior to the date of the special meeting, and said notice shall state the purpose of the meeting, and no other Club business shall be transacted thereat. The quorum for such a meeting shall be 20% of the voting members in good standing.
SECTION 3. Board meetings.
Meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held in (or within 25 miles of) the town of Bound Brook, New Jersey at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board. Written notice of each meeting shall be mailed by the Secretary at least 5 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board.
SECTION 4. Special Board meetings.
Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President, and shall be called by the Secretary upon receipt of a written request signed by at least three (3) members of the Board. Such special meetings shall be held in (or within 25 mile of) the town of Bound Brook, New Jersey at such place, date and hour as may be designated by the person authorized herein to call such meeting. Written notice of such meeting shall be mailed by the Secretary at least five (5) days and not more ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting, or telegraphic notice shall be filed at least three (3) days and not more than five (5) days prior to the date of the meeting. Any such notice shall date the purpose of the meeting and no other business shall be transacted thereat. A quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board.
SECTION 5. Voting.
Each voting member in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to one (1) vote at any meeting of the Club at which be is present. Proxy voting will not be permitted at any club meeting or election.
DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
SECTION 1. Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and five (5) other persons all of whom shall be voting Members in good standing. The President, Treasurer, and two (2) Board members will be elected in the odd numbered years. The Vice-President, Secretary, and three (3) Board members will be elected in the even numbered years. They shall be elected to these terms at the Club's annual meeting as provided in Article IV and shall serve until their successors are elected. General management of the Club's affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors subject to approval by the membership.
SECTION 2. Officers. The Club's officers, consisting of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings.
The President shall preside at all meetings of the club and of the Board, and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those particularly specified in these by-laws.
The Vice-President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President's death, absence or incapacity.
The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and of all matters of
which a record shall be ordered by the Club. He shall have charge of the correspondence, notify members of meetings, notify officers and directors of their election to office, keep a roll of the members of the Club and their addresses, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these by-laws. The Secretary shall, keep- an up-to-date file of the original papers and policies relating to the Club's business. Also, the Secretary shall keep on file copies of all correspondence carried on by any member of the Club concerning the business and activities of the Club.
The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due or belonging to the Club. He shall deposit the same in a bank designated by the Board, in the name of the Club. His books shall at all times be open to inspection of the Board and he shall report to them at every meeting the condition of the Club's finances and every item of receipt or payment not before reported; and at the annual meeting he shall render an account of all monies received and expended during the previous fiscal year. The Treasurer shall be bonded in such amount as the Board of Directors shall determine.
The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person in which case the Board shall
be comprised of the officers and six (6) other persons.
SECTION 3. Vacancies.
Any vacancies occurring on the Board or among the officers during the year shall be filled until the next annual election by a majority vote of all the then members of the Board at its first regular meeting following the creation of such vacancy, or at a Special Board meeting called for that purpose; except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the Vice-President and the resulting vacancy in the office of Vice-President shall be filled by the Board.
THE CLUB YEAR, ANNUAL MEETING, ELECTIONS
SECTION 1. Club year. The Club's fiscal year shall begin on the first day of January and end on the 31st day of December. The Club's official year shall begin immediately at the conclusion of the election at the annual meeting and shall continue through the election at the next annual meeting.
SECTION 2. Annual meeting. The annual meeting shall be held in the month of November at which time Officers and Directors for the ensuing years shall be elected in accordance with Sections 3 and 4 of this Article.
SECTION 3. Annual election. At the meeting for the election of Officers and Directors the vote shall be conducted by secret written ballot. Ballots shall be counted by three (3) Inspectors who are members in good standing and who are neither members of the current Board nor candidates on the ballot and who shall be chosen by the Board of Directors. The person receiving the largest member of votes for each position shall be declared elected. A tie vote shall be decided by re-balloting. If any nominee, at the time of the meeting, is unable to serve for any reason, such nominee shall not be elected and the vacancy so created shall be filled by the new Board of Directors in the manner provided in Article III, Section 3. Newly elected officials shall take office immediately upon, the conclusion of the election and each retiring Officer shall turn over to his successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within thirty (30) days after the election.
SECTION 4. Nominations. No person may be a candidate in a Club election who has not been nominated in accordance with these by-laws.
On or before July 1st , the Board shall select a Nominating Committee consisting of three (3)
members and two (2) alternates, not more than one of whom shall be a member of the Board. The Board shall name a Chairman for the committee and it shall be the duty of the Chairman to call a committee meeting.
The committee shall nominate one (1) candidate for each office that is due for election and each Board position that is due for election that year, and after securing the consent of each person so nominated, shall report their nominations, to the Secretary in writing on or before the 1st of August.
Upon receipt of the Nominating Committee's report, the Secretary shall before August 20th notify each voting member in writing of the candidates so nominated, including their appropriate biographies.
Additional nominations may be made at the September meeting by any member provided that the person so nominated does not decline when the name is proposed and provided further that if the proposed candidate is not in attendance at this meeting, his proposer shall present to the Secretary a written statement from the proposed candidate signifying his willingness to be a candidate for more than one position, and the additional nominations which are provided for herein may be made only from among those members who have not accepted a nomination of the Nominating Committee.
Officers and Board members will be elected for two (2) year terms and may not have consecutive terms for the same office. An Officer Board may run for a different position even though his term may not have expired. If successful, the position vacated by the candidate after the election will be filled by the Board in accordance with Article III, Section 3, of these by-laws.
Nominations cannot be made at the annual meeting or in any manner other than as provided in this Section.
SECTION 1. The Board each year may appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Club in such matters as specialty shows, obedience trials, trophies, and annual prizes, membership and other fields which may well be served by committees. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to aid on particular
projects. Special committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board.
SECTION 2 Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the Board upon written notice to the appointee; and the Board may appoint successors to persons whose services have been terminated.
SECTION 1 American Kennel Club Suspension. Any member who is suspended from the privileges of The American Kennel Club automatically shall be suspended from the privileges of this Club for a like period.
SECTION 2. Charges. Any member may prefer charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Secretary together with a deposit of $30.00 which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Board following a hearing. The Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Board or present them at a Board meeting, and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the Club or of the breed. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct which would be prejudicial to the best interest of the Club or breed, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall first attempt to resolve the grievance prior to a formal hearing by appointing an arbitrator who will seek to resolve the grievance to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved. If that fails within thirty (30) days from that date that the Board entertained jurisdiction of the charges, the Board shall fix a date of hearing by the Board or a Committee of not less than three (3) members of the Board not less than three (3) weeks or more than six (6) weeks thereafter. The Secretary shall promptly send one (1) copy of the charges to the accused member by registered mail together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his own defense and bring witnesses if he wishes. The Board shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard. Should the charges be sustained, after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant, the Board may by a majority vote of those present suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six (6) months from a the date of the hearing. And, if it deems that punishment insufficient it may also recommend to the membership that the penalty be expulsion. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the defendant's right to appear before his fellow members at the ensuing Club meeting which considers the Board's recommendation. Immediately after the Board has reached a decision, its finding shall be put in written form with the Secretary. The Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties of the Board's decision and penalty, if any.
SECTION 3. Expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at a meeting of the Club following a Board hearing and upon the Board's recommendation as provided in Section 2 of this Article. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the Club to be held within sixty (60) days but not earlier than thirty (30) days after the date of the Board's recommendation of expulsion. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his own behalf though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Board's findings and recommendations and shall invite the defendant, if present, to speak in his own behalf if he wishes. The meeting shall then vote by secret ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted, the Board's suspension shall stand.
SECTION 1. Amendments to the constitution and by-laws may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to Secretary signed by twenty percent of the membership in good standing or ten (10) members in good standing, whichever is greater. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board of Directors and must be submitted to the members with recommendations of the Board by the Secretary for a vote within three (3) months of the date when the petition was received by the Secretary.
SECTION 2. The constitution and by-laws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for the purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting to each member at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
SECTION 1. The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of the members. In the event of the dissolution of the Club other than for purposes of the reorganization, whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, none of the property of the Club nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Club shall be distributed to any members of the Club after payment of the debts of the Club, but after payment of the debts of the club its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization for the benefit of dogs selected by the Board of Directors.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
SECTION 1. At meetings of the Club, the order of business, so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows: -
Minutes of the last meeting
Report of President
Report of Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Reports of Committees
Election of Officers and Board (at annual meeting)
SECTION 2. At meetings of the Board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present shall be as follows:
Reading of minutes of last meeting
Report of Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Reports Of Committees
Revised - July 1992
Reprinted - 9/1/98