Suffield Democratic Town Committee

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Bylaws

RULES GOVERNING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

OF THE TOWN OF SUFFIELD

Section 1:  Mission

The mission of the Suffield Democratic Town Committee (hereinafter, “DTC”) is to advocate for excellence in an efficient, pro-active and inclusive Town Government.  To this end, the DTC will: seek and present qualified Democratic candidates to all boards and commissions; actively encourage Suffield’s citizens to participate in the democratic process; take positions on issues of importance to Suffield and the Democratic Party; and monitor Suffield’s boards and commissions to ensure their commitment to the above democratic principles.

The DTC’s meetings are open to all members of the public unless and until said meeting is voted into executive session.

The DTC does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, sex, national origin or sexual orientation nor does it tolerate those who do.

Section 2:  Membership

Regular:  The DTC shall consist of up to fifty regular members who shall be elected at large.  Each regular member is expected to serve on at least one committee or as an officer and is entitled to vote at DTC meetings.  In addition, the DTC may ask its members to take on additional responsibilities as needed.  Each regular member is strongly encouraged to:  attend DTC events and functions; aid the DTC fundraising efforts; attend DTC meetings and sub committee meetings; keep current on Town issues; actively support DTC candidates; attend meetings of town boards and commissions.

Associate: There shall be not more then twenty-five associate members who may vote at DTC meetings if a quorum (See Section 13 for definition of quorum)is not otherwise present. Associate members shall also be elected at large.  Associate members are strongly encouraged to participate in all the activities listed above but are not required to serve on a DTC committee or subcommittee.

Honorary: An unlimited number of non-voting members may be designated honorary members for distinguished service to the Democratic Party.

Section 3:  Date of Membership Caucus

In each even-numbered year, as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes, §9-391, the Secretary of the State shall fix a day for holding of a caucus in late January for the endorsement of DTC members and the DTC shall publish same in a newspaper having general circulation in the town not less than five days before such caucus is to be held.

Section 4:  Term of Office 

Members of the DTC chosen in even-numbered years shall hold office for two years from the day after DTC primary day, the first Tuesday in March and ending on the day established for the holding of a primary for the election of members of the succeeding DTC.

Resignation:  If any member of the DTC becomes unable or unwilling to perform the duties incident to their respective position during the tenure of their office, such member may resign verbally or in writing to the DTC Chair and may specify the effective date of said resignation.

Section 5:  Vacancy in Office

Any vacancy on the DTC, arising from any cause including failure to elect, may be filled by the DTC by a majority vote of the DTC members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose.

Section 6:  Election of Officers

Within one week following the day fixed for holding of a primary for the election of DTC members, the members-elect of the DTC shall meet for organization and shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman, a Secretary, a Treasurer and such other officers as may be deemed advisable.  The officers of the DTC shall be elected from within the fifty at-large members of the DTC and shall hold office for the term of the DTC electing them.

Succession:  In the event that any of the officer’s position become vacant it will be filled in accordance with Section 5.  However, during the time prior to the necessary vote, the order of succession is as follows:  If the Chairman’s position should become vacant, the Vice Chairman shall become the acting Chairman with all duties and responsibilities attendant therein; if the position of Vice Chairman, Secretary, or Treasurer becomes vacant, the Chairman is empowered to appoint a member of the DTC to that position until a vote can be taken in accordance with Section 5. 

Section 7:  Officer Duties and Responsibilities

Each officer shall have the duties and responsibilities outlined below and such other duties as the DTC Chairman may from time to time prescribe.  The Chairman shall be a member ex-officio of all committees and sub-committees.

Chairman:  Provides leadership and vision to the DTC in furtherance of its stated mission; chairs DTC meetings and sets agenda for said meetings; appoints sub-committees as needed, assigns work to such committees and ensures that members have the information needed to perform their assigned tasks; helps guide and mediate DTC actions with respect to organizational priorities and governance concerns; monitors financial planning and financial reports; plays a leading role in fundraising activities; evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission; performs other duties normally incident to the position.

 

Vice Chairman:  Performs chairman’s responsibilities when the Chairman is not available; works closely with the Chairman and other sub-committee chairmen in developing the party platform, planning events, fundraising, and recruiting new members; performs other duties normally incident to the position.

Secretary:  Maintains records of the DTC and ensures effective management of organization’s records; manages minutes of board meetings; ensures minutes are distributed to members shortly after each meeting; is sufficiently familiar with legal documents (articles, by-laws, statutes, etc.) to note applicability during meetings; responsible for tracking various deadlines and ensuring that filings for said deadlines are accomplished in a timely fashion; performs other duties normally incident to the position.

Treasurer:  Manages finances of the DTC; administrates fiscal matters of the organization; reports the status of finances at the monthly DTC meeting; ensures development and board review of financial policies and procedures; files various financial reports with the State as needed; performs other duties normally incident to the position.

Section 8:  Filing of DTC Membership with the State Central Committee

Within one week after organization of the DTC, the Secretary shall file with the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee a list of the name and addresses of the officers and members of the DTC and the name and address of the Democratic Registrar of Voters.

Section 9:  Censure

The DTC, by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at an executive session called for that purpose, may censure any member for good cause. Good cause shall include, but shall not be limited to, the abuse of discretion of office and the failure to perform duties assigned by vote of the DTC.

Section 10:  Committees

There shall be at least five standing sub-committees of the DTC:

Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall consist of the four officers of the DTC, the chairmen of the sub-committees specified below and three members-at-large nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by majority vote of the DTC members present and voting.  The Executive Committee is the managing body of the DTC and shall set policy, coordinate events, and closely assist all of the below sub-committees in their assigned tasks.

Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members, nominated by the Chairman of the DTC and approved by majority vote of the members present and voting. .  The Chairman of the Nominating Committee shall be elected by its members and shall serve for the term of the respective DTC.  The Nominating Committee is responsible for ensuring that the DTC nominates qualified and competent individuals, who are imbued with Democratic principles, for the various Town elective or appointed positions.  The Nominating Committee will work closely with the DTC Chair to actively recruit and groom such candidates.

Membership Committee:  The Membership Committee shall consist of Chairman and an undesignated number of members.  The Chairman of the Membership Committee shall be appointed by the Chairman of the DTC and shall serve for the term of said DTC Chairman.  The Membership Committee is responsible for attracting new members to the Democratic Party and the DTC.

Events and Programs Committee:  The Events Committee shall consist of a Chairman and an undesignated number of members.  The Chairman of the Events Committee shall be appointed by the Chairman of the DTC and shall serve for the term of said DTC Chairman.  In addition, the Events Committee may have an unlimited number of Vice Chairman appointed by the DTC Chairman or the Events Committee Chairman to serve in leadership roles for designated events.  The Events Committee is responsible for organizing a quarterly DTC event which will be designated by the DTC Chairman.

Public Relations Committee: The Public Relations Committee shall consist of a Chairman and an undesignated number of members.  The Chairman of the Public Relations Committee shall be appointed by the Chairman of the DTC and shall serve for the term of said DTC Chairman.  The Public Relations Committee is responsible for ensuring that the DTC is an active and dynamic organization with a clear and effective philosophy of Town Government.  The Public Relations Committee will ensure that the DTC’s policies and happenings are clearly communicated to the Town through all available media and shall develop innovate ways in which to market those policies.

Other Committees:  Other committees may be designated when deemed necessary by the DTC Chairman.  The scope and purpose of these other discrete committees must be announced by the DTC Chairman at the first available DTC meeting in order to allow an opportunity for input from the DTC before the committee will become effective.

Section 11:  Meetings

The DTC shall meet on a monthly basis. The Secretary shall give reasonable notice of the time, place and purpose of such meetings to all members of the Committee and to the Town Clerk and shall post such notice at the Town Hall.

Section 12:  Special Meetings

Special meetings of the DTC may be called by the Chairman or upon written request, signed by twenty percent of the members of the Committee and presented to the Chairman. Upon receipt of such request, the Chairman shall instruct the Secretary to give reasonable notice of the time, place and purpose of such meeting to all members of the Committee and to the Town Clerk, and shall post such notice at the Town Hall.

Section 13:  Quorum

Two-fifths of the membership of the DTC shall constitute a quorum at any meeting (two fifths of 50 = 20). Voting by proxy shall not be permitted. Absentee voting by signed statement shall be permitted. Absentee ballots must be in the hands of the Secretary of the DTC before the call to order of the meeting in question.

Section 14:  Financial Support

Every member of the DTC shall be expected to make a donation annually to the DTC. Every DTC member is further expected to support other fund-raising efforts of the DTC and the Democratic Party.

Section 15: Rules of Order

Robert’s Rules of Order, as revised, shall be considered the official parliamentary rules to be followed at all meetings of the DTC and at all caucuses, and a designated parliamentarian shall be consulted in all questions of parliamentary procedure.

Section 16:  Public Statements & Endorsements

All official position statements and/or endorsements on behalf of the DTC must have prior approval as to the general content, by the DTC; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to the DTC Chairman and Vice Chairman in the carrying out of their normal duties and functions as such officers are empowered to make public statements on behalf of the DTC. Position statements and/or endorsements shall be proposed by motion during the DTC meeting and voted upon therein.  In order to pass, all proposed position statements and/or endorsements must receive a majority of votes from those DTC members present.

Section 17:  Party Platform

The DTC Chair will ensure that a Party Platform is developed annually to be presented to the DTC for endorsement during the April meeting in accordance with Section 16.

Section 18: Filing of Rules

Within seven days after any amendments to these rules are adopted by the DTC, a copy of same shall be filed with the Secretary of the State and the Town Clerk and with the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee. Any amendments so filed shall set forth in full the section to be amended. Matter to be omitted or repealed shall be surrounded by brackets and new matter shall be indicated by underlining.

Section 19:  Amendments

These rules may be amended by the DTC at a meeting called in the same manner as a regular meeting, by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, provided that thirty-days prior to the vote on the proposed changes have been discussed at a special hearing or mailed to the membership of the DTC.

Section 20: Endorsement of Candidates for Municipal Office and Delegates for Conventions

The enrolled members of the Democratic Party in Suffield, at a caucus called for the purpose shall, by a majority vote of those present and voting, select party endorsed candidates for each municipal office and for delegates to conventions. The DTC shall publish the date of said caucus in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town, not less that five days before such caucus is to be held.

Section 21:  Compliance with State laws

The Suffield DTC shall abide by all duly constituted State Laws and party rules concerning endorsement of candidates for municipal office, for DTC members and delegates to convention for nomination and election of Committee members and delegates to conventions, for nomination and election of Committee members and delegates, and for special caucuses.

Adopted by the Suffield DTC: June 30, 1983.

Revised and adopted by the Suffield DTC: January 22, 1997

Further revised and adopted by the Suffield DTC: October 11,2006

Further revised and adopted by the Suffield DTC: April 26, 2012