South Sarasota County Council of the Blind

By-Laws

South Sarasota County Council of the Blind

A Chapter of the Florida Council of the Blind

Established 1982 Revised 1989, 1992, 2006, 2017

BYLAWS OF THE SOUTH SARASOTA COUNTY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of this chapter is the South Sarasota County Council of the Blind (SSCCB). The SSCCB is a chapter of the Florida Council of the Blind.

ARTICLE II - GEOGRAPHIC AREA

The geographic area served by this chapter is southern Sarasota County including: Osprey, Nokomis, Venice, Englewood, North Port, and unincorporated areas of Sarasota County south of Sarasota.

ARTICLE III - PURPOSE

The purpose of this chapter is to strive for the betterment of our total community by:

A. Conducting a program of public education aimed toward improving the understanding of the challenges faced by and the capabilities of people who are blind and visually impaired.

B. Improving education, rehabilitation, vocation, transportation, and recreation opportunities for persons with vision loss.

C. Encouraging and assisting people with visual impairments to develop their abilities, realize their potentials, and assume their responsible place in the community.

D. Improving public relations with various agencies and organizations in the community.

E. Providing for the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information relative to matters of concern to people who are blind and visually impaired.

F. Establishing a mechanism for enhancing the independence of blind and visually impaired persons.

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

A. Any person who is at least eighteen (18) years old and is legally blind, visually impaired, or sighted may be a regular member.

B. The chapter may bestow an honorary membership to an individual or organization which will exempt that Honorary Member from paying dues and entitle that Honorary Member to have all privileges except voting, holding office, and receiving ACB and FCB publications.

C. No member shall be engaged in any business or activity which tends to bring any disrespect to any persons who are blind or visually impaired.

D. The majority of the regular membership must be legally blind.

E. A quorum for membership meetings shall be no less than thirty percent (30%) of all regular members.

F. A member in good standing has paid his/her dues and is not subject to any part of the protocol set forth in Article XIV – Suspension and Expulsion.

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ARTICLE V – DUES

A. Membership dues shall be set by the Board and shall be a minimum of $4.00 more than those paid to the FCB.

B. Dues shall be payable annually by November 1st of each year based on FCB requirements.

C. A member who is a life member of ACB will have dues adjusted in accordance with the prevailing dues of that organization.

ARTICLE VI - Board of Directors

A. The Board of Directors shall consist of the five (5) officers.

B. The majority of the Board of Directors shall be legally blind.

C. The Board shall meet at least two (2) times per year.

D. The President or a majority of the Board may call special meetings of the Board, provided all Board members are given at least forty-eight (48) hours’ notice of the special meeting.

E. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Board.

ARTICLE VII - OFFICERS

A. The officers shall be:

1. President

2. Vice President

3. Recording Secretary

4. Treasurer

5. Membership Secretary

B. The President and Vice President shall be legally blind

C. Officers shall be elected for a two-year term.

D. The President and Vice President shall not serve in the same office for more than two (2) consecutive full terms.

E. There shall be no limitations of the number of consecutive two-year terms the Recording Secretary, Treasurer, or Membership Secretary may serve.

F. Duties of the officers:

1. The President shall preside at all meetings. The President shall appoint the Chairpersons and members of all standing and special committees except the Nominating Committee. The President is an Ex-Officio member of all committees, except the nominating Committee. The President shall be the Chapter liaison for conveying Chapter policies and for encouraging the cooperation of other FCB chapters, agencies or organizations. The President or his/her qualified designee shall also be responsible for fulfilling all duties and obligations as set forth by FCB, including but not limited to, serving on the FCB Board, attending FCB Board meetings (telephonically and in person), and serving on FCB standing committees.

2. The Vice President shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President and shall work with the

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President, support the President’s policies and projects, and serve with the understanding that he/she occupies this position as a training-ground for potential succession to President, but with the further understanding that this chapter cannot force any member to run for any position. The Vice President shall assume the presidency at such time the position of President becomes vacant.

3. The Recording Secretary shall record the minutes, including an accurate record of all official actions taken at each meeting, and shall be responsible for all correspondence. Copies of the minutes of the preceding meeting will be available at the next meeting. The Secretary is also responsible for making sure that copies of all Page 3 of 8 chapter minutes and all chapter treasurer reports are sent to the FCB Secretary as set forth in FCB’s governing documents.

4. The Treasurer shall receive and distribute all funds, keep all financial records accurate and up-to-date, provide monthly Treasurer’s Reports to the Membership, and submit all required financial documents to FCB. No expenditures over $200.00 shall be paid without prior approval of the membership.

5. The Membership Secretary shall chair the Membership Committee, take applications for new members, collect dues and submit them to the Treasurer, keep a current Membership roster including primary and secondary members, and furnish a yearly membership roster to the FCB Membership Secretary.

6. Any office, except that of President, vacated during the year may be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

7. No major projects shall be initiated in the name of the chapter without prior approval of the membership.

ARTICLE VIII – STANDING COMMITTEES

A. The standing committees may include:

1. Social and Outreach

2. Public Relations

3. Membership

4. Fund raising

5. Education & Awareness

6. Advocacy & Government Affairs

B. Duties:

1. The Social and Outreach Committee shall be responsible for calling members to remind them of monthly meetings and special events; shall suggest and be the coordinating committee for social events; shall arrange, with the assistance of a program planning subcommittee, for speakers and/or programs at monthly meetings; shall send birthday cards and when necessary, get-well and sympathy cards. The Social and Outreach Committee shall also, through networking with the general Page 4 of 8 membership, assist members in resolving transportation issues related to the attendance at chapter functions.

2. The Public-Relations Committee shall be responsible for developing the chapter brand and promotional materials to be used across all media platforms, and shall assist other committees in developing public relations materials for special events, including, but not limited to, White Cane Week, White Cane Safety Day, etc. In addition, the Committee shall seek out appropriate venues in which the chapter can promote our organization such as senior expos and other disability related events, and shall work with community organizations that assist persons with disabilities who are blind or visually impaired.

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3. The Membership Committee shall be chaired by the Membership Secretary and shall develop policies and procedures to recruit new members and retain current members.

4. The Fundraising Committee shall include and report to the Treasurer and shall oversee and coordinate fundraising events.

5. The Education & Awareness Committee shall create educational opportunities within the community (i.e., involving not only schools, but also libraries, other organizations and businesses) which will both benefit persons with vision loss and will educate and raise the awareness in the general community about the challenges faced by persons with vision loss, as well as the talents, capabilities, and successes of persons with vision loss.

6. The Advocacy & Government Affairs Committee shall provide educational opportunities for members to learn how to be the most effective advocates they can be; shall suggest opportunities for members to exercise their advocacy skills in meaningful forums; and shall speak out as advocates for the community of people with visual challenges to increase public awareness of the needs and skills of the visually impaired, to bring about meaningful and lasting changes in our communities that benefit the visually impaired, and to present competent and effective role models and spokespersons in public settings and media opportunities

ARTICLE IX - Nominating Committee

A. Elections for officers shall take place biannually in odd-numbered years.

B. A Nominating Committee, comprised of at least three (3) members in good standing who will not be candidates for any office in the following term, shall be elected by the Membership at the September meeting.

C. The Nominating Committee shall choose a chairman and inform the President.

D. The Nominating Committee shall endeavor to contact all Members to ascertain their interest in serving as an officer and prepare the slate of candidates to be presented to the members.

E. The presentation of the slate of candidates, the call for nominations from the floor, and the election shall take place at the November meeting.

F. The newly-elected Board shall take office on January 1 of the following year.

ARTICLE X – Meetings and Representation at the State Level

A. The President or his/her designee will serve as the chapter’s representative to the FCB, serving as a member of the FCB Board. Whoever serves as FCB Board Representative must be a Primary member in good standing of this chapter.

B. The chapter will only pay for reasonable convention-related expenses that the FCB will not cover.

C. First-timers: the chapter may, if finances allow and if approved by the Board, match funds provided by FCB to one (1) member in good standing who has never attended an FCB convention and who has demonstrated their commitment to the chapter by serving on a committee or participating in an event. If there is more than one member who qualifies, the First-timer shall be chosen by lot.

D. There shall be at least eight (8) regular membership meetings in each calendar year.

E. A special meeting of the membership may be held following approval of a majority of the Board of

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Directors. If the Board determines that a special meeting is warranted, there shall be no less than one (1) week notice to the membership as to the time, place, and purpose of this special meeting.

ARTICLE XI - AMENDMENTS

A. These Bylaws may be amended by a majority of the regular members present and in good standing at a regular meeting, provided the amendment was presented by mail, email, or other means to all members at least one (1) week before the meeting at which a vote on the amendment(s) is to take place. Or, any proposed amendments could be read at one regular meeting, with the vote on that amendment taking place at the next regular meeting.

B. Any amendment(s) to these Bylaws will not take effect until presented to and ratified by the FCB Constitution & Bylaws Committee.

ARTICLE XII – COMPLIANCE

These Bylaws shall not conflict with or abridge the FCB Constitution, Bylaws, Policy Manual, or any other FCB governing documents.

ARTICLE XIII – PROCEDURES

In the absence of provisions contained herein, all procedures of this Chapter shall be governed by the latest revision of Roberts Rules of Order.

ARTICLE XIV – SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION

A. Any member found to be deliberately guilty of disruptive behavior, or behavior that is

detrimental to the purpose of this chapter, or behavior that is in violation of this chapter’s Bylaws or the FCB Constitution or Bylaws may be suspended by a majority vote of the Chapter’s Board of Directors pending review by the chapter’s Membership

B. Within thirty (30) days of the Board’s passage of the motion to suspend, at a regular or special meeting the membership will determine whether the suspension will be upheld or whether expulsion is warranted.

C. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present and in good standing at this regular or special meeting in which a quorum is present shall be required to uphold the suspension or to expel the member.

ARTICLE XV - Dissolution

A. A recommendation of dissolution can only occur following a meeting of the Board of Directors at which at least three-fourths (3/4) of the members present vote to recommend dissolution.

B. Written notice of the proposed dissolution must be provided to all members at least thirty (30) days prior to the regular or special meeting at which dissolution will be voted upon.

C. This organization may only be dissolved by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the membership at a regular or special meeting.

D. At the time of dissolution, all properties of the chapter shall revert to FCB.

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Amended this date by vote of the membership: 9/27/2017

______________________________________ ________________________

Tom Hanson, President Date

______________________________________ _________________________

Sue Hanson, Recording Secretary Date

Approved by the Florida Council of the Blind Constitution & Bylaws Committee

Date_____________________

______________________________________

Debbie Drylie, Chair