Starting a TLCA Chapter
“Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.”
The information here-in is offered for use as a guideline for establishing your new Chapter. You should customize the information as necessary for your area and circumstances.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact TLCA officers. We are here to help.
SO YOU WANT TO START A CHAPTER
So, you want to start your own TLCA Chapter? With a little initiative, common sense and a basic understanding of parliamentary procedure, it isn’t all that difficult to do.
Chapters get started in several ways. Sometimes a group of individual TLCA members in an area will band together, or an interested individual member will find people in his area that are not familiar with TLCA and do some “recruiting”, or maybe a group of Toyota 4×4 owners already has a club and later wants to become a Chapter. Whatever the reason, the information here may help make the difference between starting out organized or starting out and falling apart quickly.
WHY FORM A CHAPTER?
The purposes for forming a TLCA Chapter are several, but the most important is the gathering together owners of Toyota Land Cruisers, 4Runners and/or 4×4 mini-trucks to help each other with vehicle related interests. Having a group of like vehicles, four-wheeling together, also gives you a reassuring feeling when your miles from the nearest Toyota mechanic or parts supplier. Maybe it’s simply because there’s nothing like the feeling you get looking at a long line of Cruisers or mini’s heading down the road or up the trail together (Oh, what a feeling!).
As a TLCA Chapter, you gain several advantages over being an individual member. TLCA maintains a very good insurance policy that will cover you for liability while participating in your Chapter functions (this is not auto insurance but liability insurance). This is advantageous, if not down right mandatory, when holding events on public and most private property. You also get a direct say in the operation and management of TLCA. Each Chapter is allowed one delegate to the executive Board of Directors and can vote on all matters brought before the board. Chapters can also hold events sanctioned by TLCA, receiving promotional help and guidance. This is a great way to raise money for your club.
The first thing you should do is talk the idea over with friends who might be interested. Although it is quite possible to start out on your own, it definitely helps to get others involved in the initial stages. With that, you’re already on your way to setting up an informal organizing committee.
You and your friends might then visit the off-highway accessory and equipment suppliers in your area and, above all, the local Toyota dealers, and outline what you have in mind. They may be able to recommend people they do business with who’d be good membership prospects. Perhaps you can even persuade one of the dealers to sponsor your club. You’re not asking something for nothing, after all. Just as they have customers who might want to join your group, you’ll have members who will be business prospects for them. At the very least, try to get one of them to pop for the costs of the first meeting or two, until the club has established its own treasury.
One very practical way a dealer could help is to let you use his shop or showroom as a meeting place. If you’re inviting only a small group, you could gather at a private home. But, if you expect a sizable turnout, you may have to rent a room at a club, hotel or restaurant. Without business sponsorship, that means money out of your pocket.
When your first meeting does occur, don’t hesitate to bring this matter up and ask those attending to chip in to cover the expenses. It’s also worthwhile to check small and medium restaurants and pizza parlors for meeting places. Many times these establishments are willing to reserve a meeting room in exchange for the expected business. Don’t forget to advertise this fact and encourage participants to come early and eat.
Once you’ve settled on a place, try to publicize the meeting at least two or three weeks in advance. Leave flyers or cards on windshields of Toyota 4×4’s that you see. Contact prospective members personally or by mail or phone. Post notices at accessory and equipment stores and at Toyota dealers. Most of them will probably have bulletin boards for just such a purpose. Finally, send in a notice to the TLCA newsletter, Toyota Trails, about your plans and meeting date. This will get the word out to individual members in your area that wouldn’t otherwise know. Keep track of responses and when you feel you have enough to get started set a date and contact everyone.
Within your circle of interested friends, select someone to act as temporary chairman. Choose carefully, because the ability of this person to get the meeting underway properly will have a lot to do with the success of the initial gathering. You will have a little easier time than if you were forming a generic 4×4 club because of the camaraderie of Toyota owners, but still, the chairman has the delicate task of getting the meeting started and on the right track without seeming to railroad it.
If the temporary chairman has any doubts about his parliamentary ability, he/she can review Robert’s Rules of Order (available at most book stores). Most editions of Robert’s offer some particularly useful guidelines on staging an organization’s first meetings.
Going into the initial meeting, the temporary chairman should have an agenda covering at least the following points:
- Statement of the club’s purpose.
- Election of temporary officers.
- Choice of a club name.
- Membership qualifications.
- Annual dues.
- Permanent committees to be established.
- Appointment of a bylaws committee.
From a practical point of view, the following will be needed:
- A gavel, or something similar, to call the meeting to order.
- A couple of note pads, one for the minutes of the meeting and the other to record the names and addresses of those in attendance.
- A supply of loose slips of paper to serve as ballots.
- A book of receipts for any dues collected.
Someone will be needed to record the minutes, at least until a Secretary is elected. The Chairman may arrange with a friend before the meeting to handle that chore. Or he/she may simply ask someone to step forward from the group. Whichever, records should be kept right from the first fall of the gavel. These initial records can be very informal but they are necessary to keep track of what was accomplished and any action items committed to.
THE FIRST MEETING
With the meeting called to order, the Chairman owes the group the courtesy of introducing himself/herself and the acting Secretary and thanking everyone for being present. Then he/she ought to get right to the point, stating the reason the meeting has been called, specifically what type of organization is proposed and why.
There are bound to be immediate questions from the floor, followed by general discussion. Here, the Chairman will have to show his/her mettle in keeping things to the point: mainly, should the group form a club? Someone may pop up with a question about dues and someone else may ask about specific details of an event. Those are perfectly valid issues but, at this stage, premature. The chair should turn them aside for the moment, politely but firmly pointing out that such matters will be taken up at the proper time but, for now, the question before the group is simply whether to organize. It’s far wiser for the Chairman to risk offending an individual than to lose the confidence of the group as a whole and allow the meeting to become bogged down in details that aren’t yet relevant.
One way to keep things under control is to introduce a formal resolution stating the group’s intention to organize. Under normal rules of order, such a resolution can’t come from the chair, but it’s easy enough to arrange beforehand for someone to present it from the floor. The Chairman should be candid about the fact it has been prearranged, though, lest he and his friends be accused of rigging the meeting. The group as a whole should be given ample time to discuss and possibly amend the resolution before bringing it to a vote.
Assuming the resolution is adopted, something will have been accomplished. It may be nothing more than a statement of intent, but it at least gets the group started in the right direction. Having decided to organize, the group’s next step is to choose temporary leadership. It would be premature to elect permanent officers just yet. Besides the fact that those present at an initial meeting don’t know each other well enough to pick the most likely leaders, there are parliamentary limitations. Qualifications for membership and voting rights haven’t been established. Further, the exact offices to be filled and their specific duties haven’t been established.
However, there are three positions defined by convention that should be filled right away. They are President, Secretary and Treasurer. In a small group, these can be reduced still further by combining the duties of Secretary and treasurer in a single post.
Once nominations have been made, the Chairman should allow a few minutes for some brief campaigning. The nominees may step forward and explain their qualifications, or if they prefer, the persons who nominated them may speak on their behalf. In either case, the talk should be kept short and to the point.
When only one person has been nominated for an office, the individual can be elected by a simple voice vote or a show of hands. But when two or more are competing, there should be a written, secret ballot to spare any personal feelings involved.
More often than not, the Chairman will be elected temporary President, and rightly so. The Chair has already shown the kind of initiative the presidency requires If this happens, he/she continues to preside. If not, the the chair should yield, gracefully, to the successor.
The acting Secretary should, of course, turn the task of keeping the minutes over to the elected counterpart. And, yes, the new Secretary will invariably have to borrow a pen or pencil. Continuing with the agenda, the next order of business is the election of a club name. The group may choose a simple descriptive one, such as “Centerville Four-Wheel Drive Club” or “Mid-State Four-by-Fours” or it might go for something catchy like “Dust Devils” or “Ridge Runners”. Another possibility is a name that abbreviates to an easy to remember acronym. “SCORE” is an example; it stands for “Short Course Off-Road Enterprise”. Keep in mind that TLCA is concerned with projecting the right image of four-wheeling so it would be wise to avoid club names that portray an image of irresponsibility, especially towards the environment.
If nobody has any really clever ideas, the group should settle for a simple, working designation. If somebody comes up with a better name later, it can always be changed. After reasonable suggestions have been discussed, the matter should be put to a vote.
The selection of a name is apt to bring up the subject of an emblem for decals and patches, particularly if the designation the group chooses suggests some obvious symbol. The President should try to defer this topic, though, perhaps by inviting those present with artistic inclinations to prepare designs for emblems to be presented and voted on at the next meeting. If you can’t come up with someone from your group that can do this, TLCA has an excellent artist on staff that can work with your group to develop a design and at very modest cost that can usually be deferred.
Another important issue to consider is membership qualifications. What should be the minimum requirements that must be met to become a member? Should there be an associate or non-voting membership? What about family memberships? Junior memberships? Should there be a minimum age limit?
There can be various combinations of membership qualifications required of prospective members. They may include such things as a minimum number of meetings attended, minimum runs or events attended, etc. But try to avoid requirements that are too restrictive or lengthy, otherwise you run the risk of excluding prospective members that can offer a lot to your club but for some reason may not be able to meet your list of requirements.
For consideration as a member in a TLCA Chapter, the minimum requirement is ten owners of a Toyota 4-wheel drive vehicle. This is not to say that if a few of your close friends that have other 4WD vehicles cannot participate in your Chapter, but, to be considered for Chapter membership in TLCA, control of the club must be maintained by the Toyota 4WD members only, now and at all future times.
Inexorably tied in with membership is the question of dues, and a thorny problem it can be. In its embryonic form, the club can’t really anticipate what its expenses are going to be and, therefore, what sort of income it will need. As a rule of thumb, annual dues of less that $10.00 per member won’t give the club enough to operate on. Printing and mailing notices of monthly meetings will eat up most of that amount. At the other extreme, getting close to $25.00 or more will cause some prospective members to balk. Keep in mind that these dues amounts are for you local Chapters operating expenses. Along with your own dues, you will have to collect and submit TLCA annual dues, so the total needs to be considered against the actual needs when establishing the necessary amount. Remember, some prospective members may balk at a high dues as rather extravagant for the privilege of belonging to a local organization that has yet to prove itself.
If an exact amount can’t be agreed upon at the first meeting, there’s still a way to get the treasury going right away. That’s by suggesting those present pay $5.00 preliminary dues, a reasonable sum because most people can afford to pay it our of pocket immediately. When a final figure is established, those who have made the $5.00 payment will owe only the difference. One last formality will be necessary before any dues are collected. The club must vote to empower the temporary treasurer to receive funds, to open a bank account in the club’s name, and to pay any appropriate club expenses.
If the temporary chairperson and/or President manages to get the first meeting this far, the Chapter will be off to a good start. The most immediate and important organizational decisions will have been made. But the discussion may have been time consuming and the hour may be growing late. If so, it might be wise to adjourn and postpone the items still on the agenda until the next meeting. Those present shouldn’t be allowed to get away without giving their names, addresses and phone numbers to the Secretary. And their initial dues to the treasurer!
If things have gone smoothly and quickly, it may be possible to go ahead and complete the agenda. This would certainly be preferable, if time allows, because it would mean the group could come into the next meeting that much better organized, and that much closer to its projected activities.
The next order of business should be deciding which permanent committees that will be necessary to achieve the club’s goals. Once the members have voted for a given objective, a committee should be formed to develop specific plans for achieving the objective. A small group can get to the task at hand much more effectively than the membership at large. At the same time, the members aren’t losing control of the matter. The committee’s recommendations will still be subject to discussion, possible amendment and approval by vote at a general meeting. It may be too early for actual committee appointments. As in the case of elections of officers, the best qualified personnel aren’t apt to be evident yet. But it’s not too soon to discuss which committees are going to be needed.
There should be one committee devoted to activities, for example, with the assignment of developing a schedule of events. Another should be concerned with safety regulations. A third committee could be devote to conservation and liaison with public lands officials. A fourth should handle the club’s public relations, producing the members’ newsletter at least once per month and keeping the local press informed of the group’s activities. A fifth might be responsible for entertainment — guest speakers, films and the like — at meetings.
Depending on the size and structure of the organization, there may be a need for a membership committee to interview prospective membership applicants and rule on their qualifications. In a small club, some of these responsibilities can be assumed by an individual, rather than a full-scale committee. The important thing is to try to anticipate the club’s needs and to be sure that someone, whether it be an individual or a small group, be assigned to take care of each and every one of them. There’s one more important committee that can and should be formed at this stage, one to draft the club’s bylaws. Basically, its task is to codify the issues that have now been decided, from the club’s name and purpose right on through to the permanent committees to be established. They will then present them to the general membership for approval. Once the bylaws have been approved you are close to submitting a formal request to become a TLCA Chapter.
The temporary President should be considered an ex officio member of the bylaws committee. If the original Chairman wasn’t elected President, that person should certainly be included. The temporary Secretary should also be a member, because the minutes he/she has kept so far form a basic outline for the bylaws. Finally during the general discussions that have taken place, the President will undoubtedly have spotted two or three more prospective committee persons among the general membership.
The bylaws will have to go into much more detail than the general discussion has so far. They should define the club’s offices and duties very specifically and add at least one Vice President to the positions already established on a temporary basis. Electing a temporary Vice President is superfluous, because the conventional duty of the office is simply to substitute for an incapacitated President. And, if all goes normally, the temporary officers won’t be serving long enough for the President to need a substitute. In fact, the bylaws should provide for the early election of permanent officers by the third meeting if at all possible. That should be enough time for the members to judge the performances of the temporary officers and decide whether to confirm them in their positions or to turn to other possible leaders who should have begun to appear among the membership as a whole.
Included in this packet are some examples of bylaws from some of our established Chapters. They should be used as a guideline only, the bylaws your club will require will depend on your particular needs. Remember that good bylaws are not necessarily a long, complicated document. Keep them as short as possible but with enough detail to deal with present and future questions on how to operate the club. Even with the most thought out bylaws there are bound to be changes required in the future. Once bylaws have been presented to and approved by the members, permanent officers have been elected and committee assignments made, that club you and your friends talked about will have become a reality.
OTHER ISSUES TO CONSIDER
To be sure, there are still some items of business to consider. Then there’s the matter of an emblem, for instance, and the problem of duplicating it in the form of decals and jacket patches, as well as on club stationery. Again TLCA will be able to steer you in the right direction or give you direct assistance. Your club is allowed to use a modified version of TLCA’s logo but you should take care, however, not to “borrow” another TLCA Chapter’s emblem or artwork in any form without express permission.
Then there’s the issue of whether to establish the club as a nonprofit corporation. To do so provides some decided tax advantages, as well as protection of individual officers and members in case of any club liabilities. Laws of incorporation vary from one state/province to another, so your best bet is to consult a local attorney for advice on how to go about it.
You and your club should also seriously consider affiliating with your regional four-wheel-drive association. Of even greater importance, the regional groups have begun working together through national associations to assure continuing access by vehicle to public lands. You can contribute to this vital effort by joining and supporting your area’s association.
You may wish to take a look at the sample club bylaws and the sample club meeting agenda we’ve put together at the bottom of this page. You may find them helpful when developing your club bylaws and meeting agendas.
Now that the business part of your club has been dealt with, don’t forget the most important reason you formed a club, four-wheeling. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the operation of the club and that can take the fun out of any organization, so above all, get out and enjoy!
A regularly published newsletter is probably one of the most important forms of communication in a club. It is a means of tying together all members, especially those that cannot make regular meetings, and can go a long way towards a cohesive, healthy club. Clubs that try to conduct all communication only at club meetings will soon find that their membership involvement will drop off and eventually their membership itself drops off.
Ideas for newsletter content:
- Upcoming and past events: runs, conservation projects, parties, picnics, etc.
- Next meeting date announcement.
- Happy Birthdays and Anniversaries of members.
- President and Vice President messages.
- Safety report.
- Delegate report (from Toyota Association and/or State organization).
- New member announcements.
- Associate Member Advertisements.
- Items for sale or items needed by members.
- Historical report.
- Miscellaneous news.
APPLYING FOR TLCA CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP
OK, you have an active club, but you still don’t know how to make your club a Chapter of TLCA. The step by step procedure is as follows:
- Contact the TLCA Membership Office and tell them your desires. Now is a good time to discuss the pros and cons of TLCA Chapter Membership and resolve any questions concerning bylaws or any other matters.
- Hold a vote within your club to become a TLCA Chapter. (All Toyota 4×4 owner members of your club must become TLCA members in order for your club to become a Chapter, so a majority vote by your club members in favor of membership is required.)
- Inform the TLCA Membership Office that you are ready to submit your proposal for Chapter membership to the TLCA Board of Directors
- Forward a complete set of club bylaws and a complete club roster to the TLCA Membership Office for formal review. Your club roster must show who is already a current TLCA member and who will become TLCA members.
SAMPLE CLUB BYLAWS
XYZ 4WD Club
P. O. Box 1234
Townville, AA 12345
Toyota Land Cruiser Association, Inc.
Regional 4WD Association(s)
Revised January 1976
ARTICLE I: Name
The name of this club shall be XYZ 4WD CLUB.
ARTICLE II: Purpose
The purposes of this club as organized are:
- To explore, maintain, preserve and enjoy, with our fellow club members the inaccessible portions of our state.
- To be readily available, when called upon, to help in emergencies where our 4 wheel drive vehicles and personnel are needed.
- To support the Toyota Land Cruiser Association, Inc.
- To support “regional 4WD associations”.
This club shall operate without profit, shall be nonpartisan and nonsectarian.
ARTICLE III: Membership
Section 1: Voting Members
Persons seeking membership in this club as regular voting members must meet the following requirements:
- Must be sponsored by a club member in good standing.
- Own a Toyota Land Cruiser or a Toyota mini-pickup with 4 wheel drive.
- Be a legally licensed driver, at least 18 years of age.
- Must show proof of adequate ‘in-force’ vehicle insurance.
- Participate in club functions as follows:
- Drive your 4WD vehicle in three club sponsored functions, including one overnight 4WD trip.
- Drive your 4WD vehicle on five club sponsored functions.
- Attend three club general meetings.Exception: One non-driving club function may be substituted for one vehicle function.
- Drive your 4WD vehicle in three club sponsored functions, including one overnight 4WD trip.
- Must agree to join the Toyota Land Cruiser Association, Inc.
- Submit $5.00 application fee with completion of application form.
The above requirements must be met within a one year period.
The prospective regular member will become eligible for vote upon completion of the requirements and upon recommendation by their sponsor to the Board of Directors not later than the BOD meeting prior to the next general meeting.
The prospective member will be temporarily excused from the meeting at which he/she is nominated for membership by their sponsor.
New members are voted in by a 2/3 vote of the members present at the general meeting.
Note: Don’t make membership requirements too restrictive. Requirements should be relevant to your club requirements, i.e., you may not want to require overnight trips if these are not done on a frequent basis.
Section 2: Associate Members
By nomination of the Board of Directors and by majority vote of the membership, any suitable person or business may be elected to Associate Membership in the club, shall pay the same dues as regular members, shall not be entitled to vote, and shall not be entitled to hold any office of the club.
Section 3: Honary Members
Will be nominated by the Board of Directors, and by Majority vote of the club voting membership any suitable person or business may be elected to Honorary Membership in the club. They will pay no dues, shall not vote, and shall not be entitled to hold any office in the club.
Section 4: Charter Members
Those members listed herein are Charter Members of the XYZ 4WD Club and have been continuously since this club’s inception. Their membership is permanent and cannot be revoked and they shall be entitled to vote and hold office in the club so long as their membership dues are paid and are otherwise in good standing.
- John Doe
- Jane Smith
Note: This section is only for club historical porposes. It shows the persons that were members when the by-laws were drafted. Some clubs grant special privileges to Charter Members, such as reduced dues, but this should be considered cautiously so as not to produce hard feelings.
Section 5: Dues
The yearly dues of each vehicle member and associate member of the club shall be set by the club, and payable at the Jan regular meeting or such date as designated by the Board of Directors.
Dues must be paid within 30 days of the due date. Members not paying dues by the end of 60 days will be dropped from the mailing list. Members not paying dues by the end of 90 days will be drop from the roster and can only be reinstated by making a written or personal request to the BOD and paying a $5.00 late fee along with regular dues.
Dues for new members are due the day they are voted into the club and are payable within 30 days of that date.
Note: Don’t forget to consider and include TLCA and Regional Association dues if applicable.
Section 6: Sale of Vehicle
Upon sale of a vehicle, the member must remove all club decals and emblems, TLCA decals and other Association decals and emblems from their vehicle. Any member leaving this club under unfavorable conditions shall return all evidence of club membership.
Section 7: Member Non-Participation
A member may be dropped from the rolls of this club due to non-participation by a unanimous vote of the entire Board of Directors. Reinstatement can be made by a two-thirds vote of the General Membership or by completing membership requirements as any other member. Non-participation shall be defined as not attending at least one (1) club function over a six month period.
ARTICLE IV: Meetings Section 1: Monthly Meetings
Monthly meetings of the club shall be held at such time and place as selected by the Board of Directors. Changes to the time and place of the monthly meeting shall not be made unless notice is given to the general members not less than one month befor such action is taken.
Section 2: Annual Meeting
The ANNUAL Meeting shall be the ______ meeting of each year. Notice of every ANNUAL Meeting of the club shall be mailed by the Secretary to every member of the club at least two weeks before the date of such meeting. The club newsletter may serve as notification.
At the ANNUAL Meeting, the order of Business shall be:
- Minutes of the previous meeting.
- Reports of Officers and Board of Directors.
- Accomplishments of the past year and progress reports.
- Announcements of results of the Annual election.
- Vote on proposed bylaws changes.
Section 3: Special Meetings
A special meeting of the club may be called by the Board of Directors or whenever one-third of the voting members of the club shall make a written request to the President for the same, specifying the object of the meeting, provided that not less than five days written notice of such special meeting shall be given to the members.
Section 4: Conduct of Meetings
All meetings shall be conducted according to parliamentary laws, and open discussion from the floor on all measures shall be permitted and encouraged.
Section 5: Board Meetings
The Board of directors shall meet at the direction of the club as necessary or when three or more Directors shall call for such meeting.
ARTICLE V: Voting and Quorums Section 1: Definition of Voting Member
Voting members are defined as having met the requirements of Article III Section 1 and are identified on a membership application as applicant or spouse of applicant.
Section 2: Who May Vote
Only voting members may cast votes for election of officers, changes to bylaws, and formal motions made at general meetings.
This section is intended to cover only official club business. It is entirely appropriate to allow associate members (or other types particular to your club) to vote on unofficial business such as where to have the next run, what to eat at the next BBQ. You get the idea.
Section 3: Quorum at General Meetings For the purpose of voting at general meetings all voting members present shall constitute a quorum.
Section 4: Quorum at BOD Meetings
At a meeting of the Board of Directors, a majority of the total members of the Board shall constitute a quorum and a majority vote of the Directors present at any meeting shall prevail.
ARTICLE VI: Management
The management of the club shall be vested in the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, TLCA Delegate, Regional Association Delegate(s) Two Directors and the Membership Chairperson, which shall constitute the Board of Directors.
Note: Modify this Article as applicable for your club size and needs. For larger clubs it is appropriate to have a larger BOD so as to allow persons to participate, but if your club is small consider considating some positions to reduce the BOD size.
ARTICLE VII: Officers and Elections
The President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, TLCA Delegate, Regional Association Delegate(s), Membership Chairperson and Directors shall be elected by vote of the club members at the _________ general meeting for a period of one year. Terms to be limited to two (2) consecutive years in each office.
Club officers are elected by voting in person at the _________ general meeting or by mail vote. Mail votes must be received not later than 6pm on the day of the _______ general meeting. Conditions and methods for a mail vote will be established by the Board of Directors.
In the event of a vacancy in any office except the President, the Board of Directors shall appoint a member in good standing to fill the unexpired term until the next general election.
ARTICLE VIII: Duties of Officers
Section 1: Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall have the power to manage all affairs of the club on any and all questions relating in any manner whatsoever to the club, and to make all contracts necessary for the proper transaction of all business. They shall have entire jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the care, conduct, control, supervision, and management of the club and its finances and all appropriations shall be made by them, provided, however, that the regular membership shall have final control and direction over the affairs of the club and may by motion, veto the decisions and actions of the Board.
Veto of any BOD action shall be by simple majority vote of all eligible voting members. A veto action can be initiated at any general meeting by motion, carried by majority vote of voting members present at such meeting. A notice of pending veto action shall be made to all members within five days of a veto motion. The veto vote will be carried out at the next general meeting and can by same motion be supplemented by a mail vote.
It shall be the duty of the said Board of Directors to prescribe and publish rules regulating the use and occupancy of the rooms of the club, and the care and protection of its property.
Any officer or member of the Board of Directors who shall absent him/herself from three consecutive meetings of such Board, unless he/she shall offer at the next meeting an excuse for his/her absence which is satisfactory to the Board of Directors, shall be deemed to have resigned as a member of said Board, and cease to be a member of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall have the following specific powers:
- To appoint Delegates to the different Associations of which this club may be a member of for the purpose of conferring with any Association or club with respect to any matter in which this club may be concerned.
- To make rules for the conduct of the members of the club and for their use of the club property.
- To suspend or expel a member for any conduct in violation of rules or behavior improper or pre-judicial to the interests of the club.
- To fix and enforce penalties for the violation of club rules.
- To prescribe rules for the admission of strangers or guests to the privileges of the club.
- To call special meetings of the club to consider special subjects.
- To prescribe additional duties for any officers, in addition to those herein set forth.
Section 2: President
The President shall preside at all meetings of the club and Board of Directors, enforce all laws and regulations of the club. He/she shall perform such other duties as shall be imposed upon him/her by resolution of the Board of Directors. The President shall, with the Secretary, sign all written contracts and written obligations of the club. The President shall have the power to appoint committees whenever it becomes necessary. The President shall appoint a Sergeant-at-Arms at the beginning of each meeting (unless the clubs chooses to and elects a Sergeant-at-Arms board member).
Section 3: Vice-President
In the absence of the President, his/her duties shall be performed by the Vice-President. In the event of the death or disability of the President, the Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President for the remainder of his/her term and the Board of Directors shall appoint a member of the club to fill the Office of the Vice- President until the next general election.
Section 4: Secretary
The Secretary shall keep minutes and other official reports of the club. The Secretary shall keep records, books, documents and papers relating to the club in such place as shall be designated by the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors.
Section 5: Treasurer
The Treasurer shall keep account of all monies received by him/her and deposit same in the name of the club in such bank as designated by the Board of Directors. He/She shall not pay out any money of the club except in such manner and for such purpose as shall be authorized by motion or resolution of the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall not be responsible for money or funds the club paid out or disbursed upon checks or vouchers therefore which have been properly signed by the Treasurer, President, or Vice-President. At each monthly meeting of the membership he/she shall make a statement of the financial condition of the club, and the membership shall, by motion, approve said report, and at the ANNUAL Meeting of the club, he/she shall submit a detailed report of the financial condition of the club, by accountants or a finance committee designated by the Board of directors.
Section 6: Delegates
The TLCA Delegate and Regional Association Delegate(s) shall attend the regular meetings of these Associations and shall report to the membership of matters discussed or voted on at said meetings. If the Delegate cannot attend a meeting and is unable to find an alternate he/she shall notify the President who may appoint a temporary delegate. The Delegates shall have authority to vote on behalf of the club and in the best interests of the club at TLCA and Regional Association meetings.
ARTICLE IX: Member Suspension
Any member who shall fail to pay the ANNUAL dues within thirty days after the same shall become due and payable, or who shall fail to pay any indebtedness to the club within thirty days after a bill for same has been rendered, shall be suspended from all privileges of the membership.
Any member who shall conduct themselves in an irresponsable manner that, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, is not in the best interests of the club or when such actions brings discredit upon the club, shall be subject to suspension at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE X: Amendments
Amendments to these by-laws may be made at the ANNUAL Meeting or at a meeting called for the purpose by a two-thirds vote of all members present, provided written notice of the proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Board of Directors and provided further, that notice of the proposed amendments shall be given to all members by the Secretary. An announcement published in the club newsletter shall be considered suficient notice of proposed ammendments.
The Board of Directors may delegate the responsibility of receiving bylaws proposals to a Bylaws Chairperson appointed by the President. The Bylaws Chairperson shall receive and screen bylaws proposals for proper wording, spelling, punctuation, etc. but shall make no judgment as to the context or validity of a proposal. The Bylaws Chairperson shall compile all proposals and submit same to the voting members no later than two (2) weeks prior to the Annual Meeting.
Voting on bylaws changes may be done by mail with conditions and methods of carrying out a mail vote established by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XI: Standing Committees and Representatives
- Search and Rescue.
- Chamber of Commerce and Public Relations.
The above committee’s Chairperson shall be appointed by the President no later than the _____ meeting, after installation. The appointed Chairperson shall appoint the rest of his/her committee no later than the first meeting following his/her appointment.
SAMPLE CLUB AGENDA
The following is a sample meeting agenda that can be used as a guideline for preparing club meeting agendas. Be sure to add to, delete and/or alter to best fit your needs:
- Bring meeting to order:This is handled by the President or Vice President, or could be accomplished by any Club Officer in their absence.
- Introduce any guests or visitors:Prior to the start of the meeting, the membership Chairman should have met any visitor coming in and had them sign in, if necessary, visitors should receive a club application, by-laws, etc. The Chairman will introduce them during the meeting at this designated time, possibly telling something about them, their rig, etc. It is very important that new guests feel welcomed at their first meeting, especially if they are not familiar with your present members.
- Read and approve minutes from last meeting:The Secretary usually reads the minutes he/she took at the last meeting. The President should ask for any corrections and then does a simple voice vote approval. Items usually corrected may be dates, times, names, places, etc. It is not appropriate to make additions or major changes to discussions or resolutions and such items should be deferred to the old or new business agenda items as appropriate.
- Treasurer’s Report:The Treasurer reads the report consisting of money spent since last meeting, money taken in and balance of account. At this time the president seeks approval of the Treasurer’s report and requests that any bills due be presented at this time for approval to be paid.
- Regional Association Delegate’s report:Delegate will report any upcoming events, land closures, conventions, etc., that concerns your regional association.
- TLCA Delegate Report:The TLCA delegate is the liaison to TLCA and should report on items of the recent TLCA Board of Director meetings, events, etc.
- Historian’s Report:The Historian will report any information on club scrap book, or request for pictures needed, etc.
- Safety Chairman:The Safety Chairman will report on safety; such as vehicles needing inspection, safety hints, etc.
- Vote in any New Members:At this time the Membership Chairman will announce prospective members that have completed membership requirements. In some clubs the prospective members are asked to step outside while the general membership holds discussion and votes When the new members are voted in the Membership Chairman (sometimes the new members sponsor if your club requires sponsors) will retrieve the new members and announce their membership. Other items such as collecting dues from the new members should be taken care of at the end of the meeting.
- Comments on past runs and events:Any words or comments on past runs, by Activity Chairman, President, trip leader; such as how well it went, problems, special thanks, etc.
- Break:A 15 to 20 minute break with coffee, cookies, punch, etc. may be appropriate if the meeting is long. Just prior to break is a good time to mention anyone wanting to pay dues, order items, or take care of short business can do so at this time or at the end of the meeting. To raise funds some clubs have a 50/50 raffle during a break or at the end of the meeting. Half the money goes to the winner and half goes to the club treasury.
- Bring Meeting Back to Order.
- Coming Events:
- Club Runs:
The Activities Chairman will explain the run, give out maps, give times for leaving, etc. Also any special items required. Any of the Officers of the club might have organized the run or even the membership and could give the presentation.
- Other runs:
Discuss upcoming runs being put on by TLCA, your regional association, or other clubs.
- Conservation projects:
The Conservation Committee will report on the place, times, what’s required, special tools, etc.
- Club Runs:
- Old Business:Discussion of any Club Business not yet resolved.
- New Business.Discussion of new club business not covered under any previous headings.
- Adjorn Meeting.