These are the changes to the Bylaws proposed by the Board.
They have to be approved by two thirds of the members present at two consecutive monthly meetings.
The first vote took place at the June 1, 2015 meeting and the final vote is scheduled for Monday July, 6 2015.
The italicized and underlined sections deserve special attention. See our comments on them in bold italics. We feel this gives the Board too much power over the members and some of these changes are contrary to state law.
05-08-2015 Proposed Changes Why is the membership only seeing this a week before the proposed vote?
NORTHERN CHESTER COUNTY SPORTSMEN’S CLUB
CONSTITUTION AND BY‐LAWS
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be: The Northern Chester County Sportsmen’s Club, herein referred to as “the club.”
Section 2. The charter of this club shall not be voluntarily surrendered so long as seven voting
members are willing to continue it.
To promote the interest of sportsmen in the development of shooting sports opportunities for the greater enjoyment of the outdoor recreation, particularly hunting and fishing. To increase youth participation in the shooting sports and to promote safety in the shooting sports. To encourage conservation of our forests, streams, and wildlife of our community and the state of Pennsylvania.
Section 1. Membership in the club shall consist of active members. The membership year begins on August 1st and ends on July 31st.
Section 2. Any person of good character who subscribes to the objectives of the club, sponsored by one member of the club in good standing, shall be eligible for active membership in the club, provided the active member shall be more than eighteen years of age and an NRA member.
Section 3. A member will be considered to be in good standing when the member’s conduct
reflects properly in the best interests the club. The club officers have the authority to determine if a member’s conduct is appropriate. Any family members associated therewith are considered to be in similar standing. This is ambiguous at best and allows the officers too much power.
Section 4. Proposal for membership shall be made in the manner prescribed by the officers. A
membership candidate must be sponsored by a member in good standing. Membership candidates will be announced and voted on at membership regular meeting. Voting may be done separately for each applicant or as a group; openly or by secret ballot as determined by the officers. Any applicant receiving two or more dissenting votes will not be accepted in to the club.
Section 1. Annual dues shall be set by the officers with approval of the membership at a regular
meeting. Dues may be changed at any meeting; however, they will not go into effect until the following year.
Section 2. The dues of an active member shall become due upon application to membership in the club, and annually at the end of the membership year thereafter. Renewal notices will be published at least 60 days before the end of the membership year. Any member failing to renew prior to the end of the membership year must reapply as a new member. Renewals that fail to be postmarked prior to the end of the membership year will not be considered. Those members failing timely renewal may only renew in person at the August membership meeting.
The law requires sufficient notice and the Bylaws we have now allow sixty (60) days after the August meeting before membership lapses.
Section 3. A member not in good standing is ineligible for renewal.
We believe this is illegal according to Pa Title 15 Section 5769 (a).
Section 1. The president will preside at all board meetings and regular and special meetings of the club, see that all rules and regulations are enforced, cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, form or disband any committee, appoint or remove any appointed trustee, perform other such duties as to pertain to the office, and maintain the efficient workings of the club. The president shall be an ex‐officio member of all committees.
Section 2. The president may choose to, or if requested by members shall, appoint a financial
review committee to review the club’s finances and make a report thereof to the club at the annual meeting. Members of the financial review committee shall be members of the club in good standing who are not related to the treasurer by blood or marriage. This is something that should happen every year whether requested or not. The original Bylaws required it but it was removed at some point in time with no evidence as to when or why.
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Section 1. The first vice president shall assist the president when necessary, and in his or her
absence shall perform the duties of the president. The first vice president will manage appropriate areas of concern as delegated by the president, and perform other such duties as may be necessary from time to time.
Section 2. Oversee the conduct of board meetings.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
Section 1. The second vice president shall assist the president when necessary, and in their
absence shall perform the duties of the president. The second vice president will manage appropriate areas of concern as delegated by the president, and perform other such duties as may be necessary from time to time.
Section 2. Unless otherwise delegated by the president, oversee procurement of all necessary
food, beverage, sanitary, or other consumables; and all other products necessary for the smooth running of the club. Accounting for such expenses will be made to the treasurer in a timely manner. This leaves too much room for abuse.
Section 1. The membership Secretary will be the primary contact for member applicants, oversee the membership renewal process, maintain all membership records, and perform other such duties as may be necessary from time to time.
Section 2. Collect all dues and account all revenues to the treasurer in a timely manner.
Section 1. The treasurer will manage the finances, financial records, banking, and investment
relationships of the club, and perform other such duties as may be necessary from time to time. The treasurer will transfer funds between accounts as needed, make timely deposits into the club accounts, pay expenses as authorized, and maintain the club’s good name and credit rating by making timely payment for recurring routine expenses.
Section 2. Prepare and present a monthly report of the club’s financial status, including receipts
and proposed expenditures, at the regular meeting.
Section 3. Prepare and present an annual report of the club’s financial status at the annual
Section 4. Ensure the timely and accurate completion and submission of necessary federal, state and local tax filings.
Section 1. The recording secretary will create and publish agendas based on input from officers,
keep and publish minutes of all board and membership meetings, prepare correspondence on the club’s behalf as necessary, and perform other such duties as may be necessary from time to time.
Section 2. Provide timely notice for the annual meeting, regular meetings, and special meetings. Who determines what is timely? A ten day notice over a holiday weekend for substantial Bylaws changes is not timely in our opinion.
Section 3. Items published on the club’s website shall constitute written notice to all members. If you do not have a computer or it goes down you get no notice of club events.
Section 4. Hold all documents, titles and official papers of the club.
Section 5. Ensure timely filings of incorporation, bylaws, and other non‐financial documents
required by law.
Section 1. Two trustees shall be elected at the annual meeting. Trustees elected from the
membership will help maintain the rules, maintenance, and other necessities of the club, and perform other such duties as may be necessary from time to time.
Section 2. Of the two elected trustees, the one with the longest membership in the club shall be
considered the first trustee.
SUCCESSION OR ASCENSION
Section 1. In the event of an absence, resignation, or other attendance concern, officers will
ascend to the vacant duties in the following order: President, first vice president, second vice president, recording secretary, membership secretary, treasurer, first trustee, second trustee.
Section 2. If there are no subordinate officers present, the president may reassign the duties to an appropriate officer.
Section 3. A vacant officer position may be filled via appointment or special election at the
discretion of the officers. Voting rights of the appointee will be in accordance with applicable law.
Why not require a special election instead of leaving it up to the Board?
OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES
Section 1. Officers. The president, vice presidents, recording secretary, membership secretary,
treasurer, and two trustees at large will be elected from the floor. They constitute the officers of the club and may vote accordingly. Their term will be for one year. They will assume office upon the start of the first regular meeting following the annual meeting. The old Bylaws (not those on the website) required that newly elected officers took office the night of the election. This is something else that changed at some point in time with no documentation of how or why.
Section 2. The officers will review and approve any federal, state or local tax return prior to filing.
Section 3. Trustees. Appointed trustees may assist the officers in conducting club business.
Appointed trustees do not vote as officers and should not be confused with the trustees at large voted from the floor.
Section 4. The officers and trustees will manage the affairs of the club in accordance with
applicable laws and regulations, and will be protected from liability and indemnification by the club, so long as they meet their fiduciary obligations. The members should manage the affairs of the club at regular meetings as they have always done.
Section 5. Expenses. The officers must approve all expenses.
Section 6. A majority of officers present will constitute a quorum.
Section 7. If an officer’s conduct becomes unethical, immoral, or otherwise contrary to the best
interests of the club, the remaining officers have the authority to begin proceedings in accordance with Article 19 below. You can face disciplinary actions for something that happens outside the club? This is a huge reach for power. A rogue Board could misuse this power.
Section 1. Regular meetings. Regular meetings of the club shall be scheduled one night of each
Section 2. Annual meeting. The annual meeting of the club shall be held on the regular meeting night of November each year.
Section 3. Special meetings. Special meetings of the club shall be called by the president as
Section 4. Board meetings. The officers and trustees may meet between regular meetings as
needed to efficiently manage the affairs of the club.
Section 5. Quorum. Seven members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the
transaction of business at any annual, regular, or special meeting of the club.
Section 6. Business. All business coming before the club shall be confined to the objectives of the club as defined in Article 2 or its administration. New business must be reviewed and considered by the officers prior to addition to the regular meeting agenda. This allows the board to silence any and all dissenting members and gives them too much power. Right now, Pa Title 15 Section 5726 (a) states that; unless otherwise provided in the Bylaws the membership can remove any Board member by majority vote at any meeting. This could never happen if the Board had to approve everything that was to be discussed.
Section 7. Voting. Active members who are in good standing and physically present may vote.
Unless otherwise stipulated in these by‐laws, votes will be by simple majority. Voting will be 1 vote per membership. If each membership only gets one vote only the voting member should be allowed to hold any elected office. If one is ineligible to vote they should be ineligible to hold office.
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. Elections. The election of officers shall take place at the annual meeting. Elections may be done by oral vote for uncontested offices or ballot for contested offices.
Section2. Nominations. Three months prior to the annual meeting, the president shall ask for and accept nominations of members in good standing. Members present may nominate members not present at the meeting. Nominations will close at the regular meeting the month prior to the election. If necessary, the president may form a nominating committee to ensure the qualification, validity, and willingness of nominees. Nominees need to accept the nomination either verbally at an open meeting or in writing to the president or the chair of the nominating committee. In the past nominations could be made at the annual meeting. The Board will argue that this allows ballots to be printed but it makes it that much easier to keep themselves in office.
Section 3. Qualifications. To be eligible for an office, a nominated member must have attended a minimum of three meetings and twenty volunteer hours to the direct benefit of the club within the current calendar year, or be endorsed by a sitting officer. This gives too much power to the Board. In the past any member could run for office.
Section 4. Who may vote. Active members who are in good standing and physically present at the election may vote.
DUTIES OF MEMBERS
Each member will comport themselves properly in the best interests the club, attend the meetings as regularly as possible, assist as best they may to support and develop the club’s objectives, and keep informed of club notices and activities through common methods of communication.
Section 1. Committees for this club are to be created or disbanded by the president as necessary.
Section 2. Standing committees of this club shall consist of one or more members, each appointed by the president. The names of committee members shall be reported to the club by the president at the meeting following their appointment to office.
Resignation of members. The resignation of a member shall be in writing and any refund of dues or other monies shall be at the discretion of the officers.
Section 1 The officers will review and adjudicate any member’s alleged activities that may be injurious to the welfare of the club or any of its members. This gives the Board too much power.
Section 2. Allegations involving violations of safety concerns may result in immediate suspension of membership. Such suspension may apply to all family members covered by that membership. The officers may direct that additional training be required prior to reinstatement. The officers may require that you pay another member to take a course to be reinstated! This gives the Board too much power.
Section 3. A review of alleged misconduct will be conducted as follows:
3a. The alleged offender will be given the opportunity to provide pertinent information for
consideration during the review. The alleged offender will appear at the next scheduled board
meeting. In the event of a conflict, the president will determine if an alternate date is appropriate. If an alternate date is scheduled, the officers may elect to suspend the member’s privileges in the interim. The president may also opt to convene a special meeting to review the allegations.
3b. If committee reviews are deemed necessary, they will be conducted prior to the officers’ review.
3c. Communication of the review will be done in accordance with these bylaws.
3d. In the event that the club’s good faith efforts to contact the member do not receive a timely
reply, or should the alleged offender decline to attend or fail to show up at the meeting, the officers may elect to proceed without the member.
3e. The alleged offender is not entitled to legal representation during these proceedings. Although unlikely to happen this is absolutely outrageous! Apparently NCCSC is no longer located within the United States of America! Any accused member should be allowed to have someone speak for or represent them if they so desire.
3f. At the conclusion of the review, a majority of officers present must agree that the alleged
activities have been injurious to the interest or welfare of the club. The individual may be required to forfeit membership in the club entirely, or for a period to be determined by the officers. If necessary, the officers shall have the right to levy fines against any member culpable of malicious or negligent destruction of club property. Fines shall be limited to the greater of the annual membership fee or the estimate to repair damaged club property. Pa Title 15 Section 5769 (b) requires a trial and conviction to remove anyone from membership in a Non-Profit Corporation which is what NCCSC is.
Unless otherwise specified, all references herein pertaining to communications with members consider that any commonly accepted medium may be used; including, but not limited to: publishing on the club’s website, electronic mail, text message, United States Postal Service.
This change was made illegally in the December and January meetings as the March reminder email states. It is our opinion that notice of important events like expulsions or Bylaws changes should be made in writing thirty days in advance of said event so every member who wants to attend has the time to adjust their schedule. Most members do not visit the website every day, some members do not use email and text messaging and on some occasions emails and texts do not go through and could be missed.
Section 1. This constitution may be amended in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
Section 2. Proposed changes to the bylaws will be posted on the club’s website for review at least one week prior to the meeting when the vote will be considered. It is our opinion that notice of important events like expulsions or Bylaws changes should be made in writing thirty days in advance of said event so every member who wants to attend has the time to adjust their schedule. According to Pa law, all proposed changes should accompany the notice. Making the member go to the website to review the changes just creates another step that is likely to discourage people from looking at them.
Section 3. Bylaws changes require a two‐thirds majority of active members who are in good
standing and physically present for the vote.
Section 4. Bylaws changes approved by the membership will take effect immediately.
There shall be no alcoholic beverages on club property.