BY-LAWS OF THE GREATER SEVERNA PARK COUNCIL, INC.
(as amended March 11, 2011)
NAME AND GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITS
This organization shall be known as the Greater Severna Park Council, Inc. and its mailing address shall be Post Office Box 786, Severna Park, MD. 21146.
The geographical limits of the Council shall be defined as the area enclosed by the Severn River and the south bound lane of I-97 on the west; Old Mill Road to Elvaton Road, thence south along Jumpers Hole Road to the stream line for the Magothy River on the north; southward along the Magothy River to the headwaters of Mill Creek and thence a line due southward to the point where Mill Creek passes under US Route 50 on the east; thence west along US Route 50 to the Severn River on the south.
The Objectives of the Council shall be:
- To unite the communities and associated community-oriented groups of the Severna Park area in joint efforts for their mutual benefit and for the advancement of the best interests of the area.
- To take positive action to promote organized civic planning both long and short range.
- To focus on policies and projects having a great bearing on all the communities including those dealing with zoning, sewage disposal, water supply, roads, public safety, education, recreation, and environmental protection.
- To initiate or support action to abate nuisances.
- To assist local public authorities in all efforts toward good government.
- To encourage and aid the organization of local community associations in localities of the area where they do not now exist.
- To promote social welfare and general civic improvement.
The membership of the Greater Severna Park Council shall include:
- All community associations within the area as defined in Article I, Section 2, which have been admitted to membership and continue such membership in good standing. Good standing shall be defined as follows:
1. For meetings from January to July of the current year, payment of the prior year’s dues shall establish good standing
2. For meetings from July to December of the current year, payment of the current year’s dues shall establish good standing for the remainder of the current year.
3. For meetings where a newly established community association joins the GSPC and pays in any month of the current year, it shall be considered in good standing.
- Community associations which meet the geographic requirements defined in Article I, Section 2 and seek to become members should apply for membership, be recommended by the Board of Directors, and be approved at a regular meeting of the Council. Dues must be paid within one month of gaining membership.
- The Greater Severna Park youth community, which will be represented by a youth delegate, who must be a resident of greater Severna Park selected by the Severna Park High School Student Government Association and approved by the school principal. The youth delegate will have standing, and one vote, equal to that of a regular Community Association Member. The youth delegate will be selected on or about April 1st of his or her junior year and will serve for one year. There will be no fee required for the youth community’s membership. The youth delegate is encouraged to participate in the Council committee work and actively promote youth needs and Council objectives.
Associate membership in the Greater Severna Park Council may be granted to any civic associations which share the objectives of the Council. Such associations are defined as community oriented service organizations which have no identification with a specific community or development within the Greater Severna Park area and whose members reside primarily within the area defined in Article I, Section 2. Applications from such organizations will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and voted on at a regular meeting of the Council. Associate members shall not be assessed dues nor have the right to vote, but will pay an annual fee of $10.00.
The working membership of the Council shall be composed of one (1) representative (hereafter “delegate”) or an alternate from each community or association. The delegates and their alternates shall be elected or appointed by each association from its membership. Delegates are expected to regularly attend Council meetings, express their views, and report to their communities. They are also expected to volunteer for GSPC committees. All delegates shall identify themselves to the Treasurer who shall include them in a general membership list available to all GSPC officers. Delegates may request names of other delegates by asking the Treasurer.
Each regular member association shall pay dues determined by a council vote provided that the quorum requirements of Article VIII, Section 2, are met, and that written notice of the proposed vote has been provided all member associations at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting at which the vote is scheduled. Dues shall be placed in an administrative operating fund. Additional contributions to aid the council for specific purposes may be requested of each member association. Dues are to be paid by January 31 of each year. Late fee shall be assessed for dues paid after June 1.
The functions to be performed by the Council shall be:
- To gather, evaluate, and distribute information requiring action by the Council or its member associations necessary to achieve the objectives set forth in Article II.
- To consult with and advise local public authorities on matters related to the objectives of the Council.
- To assist and, if necessary, coordinate the representation of member associations before local public authorities at public hearings affecting the interests of the Greater Severna Park area.
- To initiate or support legal action on behalf of member associations or the Council in cases where the Council considers it advisable.
- To provide the member associations with an organization to promote reconsideration by local public authorities of requests which have not been acted upon favorably by such authorities.
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The elected Officers of the Council shall be a President, a Vice President, a Vice President of Public Affairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. In addition, there shall be four elected Directors, one of whom will be an ex-officio Director who is a past President, officer or director. They shall be elected by Council delegates, and shall serve as the Board of Directors of the organization. Together they will constitute The Board of Directors and shall be charged with carrying out administrative functions on behalf of the Council as well as other duties as charged by the President and shall meet every month unless otherwise determined by the President.
All elected officers and directors shall enter upon their official duties at the conclusion of the first meeting of the year, shall serve for a term of one year, but may be reelected.
Duties of the Officers:
- The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Council and shall preside over all meetings of the Council. The President shall supervise the Council’s affairs and activities, shall make periodic reports to the members, and shall order an annual audit of the Council’s financial records for the previous year in January. The President, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, shall appoint an Audit Committee to review the financial records and accounting procedures/practices, and have such committee present its finding at a designated meeting, but no later than the April meeting.
- The Vice President acts in the absence of the President and provides assistance as required. The Vice President promotes the establishment of community associations in newly developed communities and acts as a liaison with member community associations. Each year, the Vice President shall establish a list of potential GSPC members and be charged with contacting them. The Vice President shall present a report at the regular December meeting of the GSPC regarding membership outreach activities.
- The Vice President of Public Affairs, in addition to all other Officers, is authorized to officially represent the Council at all outside meetings of all organizations, such as government meetings, hearings, and appeals. The Vice President of Public Affairs shall obtain any Council authorizations as required elsewhere in the By-Laws and shall make periodic reports to the Council and to the Board of Directors.
- The Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings, keep all necessary records and handle all Council correspondence. The Secretary will give all members advance notice whenever particularly important matters are to be acted upon at the next meeting. The Secretary shall maintain complete files of the official records of the Council, such as basic legal documents, minutes, and correspondence, and shall insure that such official records are passed on to the successors.
- The Treasurer shall receive all funds due the Council, keep any necessary records, and make disbursements as directed by the Council. The Treasurer shall make financial reports to the Council at regular meetings, prepare the annual report to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, and shall maintain the record file of such reports. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the official membership list and the mailing list of the Council. These lists may not be distributed other than to the GSPC Board of Directors without the prior approval of the GSPC delegates. In addition, at the December meeting the Treasurer shall present a proposed operating budget for the next year for approval by the Council. The operating budget shall include projected income and expenses. At the February meeting, the Treasurer shall present a Balance Sheet and Statement of All Income and Expenses compared to budget.
Any member of the Board of Directors may be removed for cause by a two thirds vote of delegates of the member organizations present at any duly called meeting where a quorum exists, provided that the member concerned has been formally notified of the proposed action and has been given an opportunity to respond prior to the call for a vote.
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LIMITATION OF AUTHORITY
Neither the Council nor any member of the Board of Directors has any authority to commit any member association to the expenditure of funds.
Neither the Council nor any member of the Board of Directors may take action pertaining to property rights, or to an important change of policy except as defined in Section 3 of this Article.
No public announcement nor any statement at any appearance before a government authority shall be made by a representative of the Council on any issue unless the position of the Council on such issue shall have been determined by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the delegates from member associations present at any duly called meeting where a quorum exists. In the event that a hearing notice of a governmental authority is received where the hearing date precludes consideration by the delegates at a regular meeting, a vote of at least five members of the Board of Directors at a duly called meeting may authorize any statement or appearance. Upon exceptional circumstances, the President may contact the Board of Directors individually to obtain the vote of five members, whose names shall be listed in the minutes of the Board of Directors meetings.
As specified in the Articles of Incorporation, the Council shall operate as a non-profit organization. No part of the net income of the Council shall inure to the benefit of any private individual. Should the Corporation disband all residual financial resources will be distributed equally among the member associations.
- The following standing committees shall be created, with duties as indicated:
- ZONING COMMITTEE – to maintain continuing liaison with the County Department of Planning and Zoning, and the Department of Inspections and Permits, and by other means become knowledgeable of all rezoning proposals and potential zoning violations in order to advise the Council and recommend necessary actions.
- LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – to maintain cognizance of proposed legislation in both the County Council and the State Legislature of interest to the area, to advise the Council, and recommend positions or actions as necessary.
- PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE – to maintain continuing liaison with the County Department of Public Works and with the State Department of Transportation to become knowledgeable of plans and capital projects in the areas of roads, traffic engineering, wastewater and stormwater management, and major highway construction in order to advise the Council, and recommend actions as necessary.
- COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE – to maintain a system for rapid notification of all member associations of situations which develop between meetings and require emergency action by the Council.
- AUDITING COMMITTEE – to review the financial records and accounting procedures/practices, and have such committee present its finding at a designated meeting.
- NOMINATING COMMITTEE – to develop a slate of at least one candidate for each office.
- Additional standing committees may be created as needed, with duties defined by the Council.
- The President shall appoint the Chairs of all committees to serve one calendar year, with reappointments encouraged to provide essential continuity.
Special or ad hoc committees may be created by the President to perform tasks not within the purview of any standing committee and which are temporary in nature.
The President shall appoint a chair of the Nominating Committee. The committee shall have a total of three members including the chair, two of which shall be elected by delegates at the regular meeting of the Council in November. The committee shall develop a slate of at least one candidate for each office selected from past or present delegates or alternates to the Council, or to be so appointed for the coming year by their associations.
The Nominating Committee shall make its report at the December meeting, at which time additional nominations may be made from the floor. This Final Nominations Report shall be included in the minutes so that all member associations may be informed and then vote. The results of the vote are announced at the January meeting
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Barring exceptional circumstances, the Council shall hold regular meetings once each month and such other meetings as may be called by the President. At the first meeting in each calendar year, officers shall be elected.
For the transaction of routine business the presence in person of delegates of one-third of the member associations in good standing shall constitute a quorum. A Council officer or director not serving as a delegate from a community may be counted to establish such a quorum.
For the election of officers, for amending the Bylaws, and for the adoption of any major changes in policy or established position of the Council, the presence in person or electronically as verified by the secretary of delegates from a majority of the member associations in good standing shall constitute a quorum. A Council officer or director not serving as a delegate from a community may be counted to establish such a quorum.
Except for the more stringent requirements under Article V, Section 4, Article VI, Section 3, and Article IX, all votes shall be decided by simple majority.
Meetings of the Council shall be conducted under the provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, unless otherwise provided for herein.
These By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present at any duly called meeting or electronically as verified by the secretary, provided that the quorum requirements of Article VIII, Section 3, are met, and that written notice of the proposed amendment has been provided all member associations at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting at which the vote is scheduled.
This Council shall be incorporated under the laws of Maryland.
In the event of dissolution of the corporation, any remaining assets shall be distributed on a pro rata basis to such community associations and civic associations as shall at that time comprise the membership of the Greater Severna Park Council, Inc., as defined in Article III, Section 1. In no event shall any part of the assets inure to the benefit of any private individual or individuals, except that the corporation shall be empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered.
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