This re-writing of the bylaws was undertaken by a committee of four members: John Blanco, Ed Davies, Paul McNamara, and Dominic Uliano. The initial step was an examination of board of director minutes for the last 10 years to identify all items voted upon and passed by the board which might have an impact on club governance. It soon became apparent that there are actually three sets of documents which contain the rules and regulations by which we operate. First are the bylaws. These are approved by the membership and set the general framework within which the club operates. It should be noted that items which are intentionally “changeable” such as dues, work hours, assessments for work hours, maximum number of members, etc., should not be part of bylaws since bylaws, by their nature should be relatively difficult to change, insuring stability of operation. Authority to charge dues, stipulate work hours, etc. should be contained in the bylaws, but not the amounts themselves. All of these items should, of course, be subject to a vote of the membership to approve any change.
The next document is the Board Rules. These are the guidelines by which the board operates. Board Rules are subject to the bylaws and cannot be in contradiction to the bylaws, but they exist to add detail and specifics to the bylaws. Board Rules affect not only the operation of the board but also contain specific rules which impact more than one venue such as the time which firearm shooting can begin on club property. Those Board Rules which impact the operation of the board do not have to be voted upon by the membership; those which impact the membership should be voted upon by the membership.
Finally, there are Committee Rules. These are the very specific rules, regulations, and procedures which each venue establishes for its operation. Committee Rules cannot be in contradiction to either Bylaws or Board Rules. They are generally established by the venue committee members but may, in some instances, be brought to the membership for a vote.
All of the referenced Board votes for the last 10 years were examined to determine whether they were still applicable or, perhaps, had either been succeeded by a later vote or fallen into disuse. Those which remained were identified as items for the bylaws, the board rules, or committee rules and, in the case of the bylaws and board rules, were integrated into those documents in the appropriate places.
The documents themselves were then examined and updated as appropriate with all committee members commenting upon proposed changes. Any items on which there was disagreement, a question, or where potential changes might be appropriate were placed on a list of Items to Consider. Committee Rules which were identified were listed separately by venue for consideration by those committees for inclusion in their rules.
There are sufficient updates and modifications to the Bylaws to warrant a vote of the membership on the entire Bylaws as revised rather than on each individual update. Board Rules will be published but do not require a vote of the membership. Committee Rules remain the purview of the venue in the customary manner and, where available, will be published on the website.
Once the board reviewed, modified, and approved the work of the committee, the Bylaws and Board Rules were posted on the website and an e-mail sent to all members on the e-mail list informing them of the updated material and soliciting their comments; a notice was placed in the newsletter containing the website address, a statement that hard copy will be available at the next membership meeting, and a request for comment. Questions will be entertained at that next meeting with time for more questions and a vote scheduled for the meeting after that (bylaws require at least 21 days between notice and a vote). Changes proposed by the membership will be considered by the board and, if approved, made part of the final draft.
What is being asked of the membership is a confirmation of WHAT ALREADY EXISTS, just in an edited, integrated fashion. No substantive changes have been made to any documents during this revision. Any substantive changes proposed by the membership should be undertaken through the normal bylaws change procedure subsequent to approval of the updated documents.