ADOPTED AT REGULAR MEETING ON MAY 20, 2008
Amended at regular meeting March 28, 2011
Amended at regular meeting February 14, 2013
ARTICLE I. NAME
This organization shall be known as the Eaton County Democratic Party.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
The purpose of the Eaton County Democratic Party is to promote the philosophy of the Democratic Party and to elect Democrats who support this philosophy; and further to unite and to aid in the activities of all precinct delegates, committees, candidates and all other Democrats, working to promote wide active participation in the Eaton County Democratic Party. To this end, the Eaton County Democratic Party encourages its members toward active involvement in leadership, sharing and rotation by those who hold office.
ARTICLE III. STATUTORY AUTHORITY
The provisions of the statutes of the state of Michigan and the rules of the Michigan Democratic Party and all amendments which may thereafter be made to said statutes and rules are hereby incorporated into these by-laws. In the event that any of these by-laws shall be found to be inconsistent with the provision of said statutes, rules or other applicable laws, the provision of said statutes, rules or laws shall prevail; and these by-laws shall be separable so that the invalidity of any portion thereof shall not affect the remainder.
ARTICLE IV. DEFINITIONS AND GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 1. Definitions
a. “Executive Committee” means the committee composed of designated Eaton County Democratic Candidates and the individuals elected to the Executive Committee at the November County Convention of even-numbered years under the Michigan Election Law [MCL 168.599 (1)]
b. “County Committee” means the committee established by the statutory Executive Committee pursuant to the requirements of the Michigan Election Law [MCL 168.599 (4)].
c. “ECDP” means the Eaton County Democratic Party, including its Executive Committee and its County Committee.
d. “Party Office” means the officers, the Executive Committee, and the County Committee of the Eaton County Democratic Party.
Section 2. Nonprofit status, dissolution provisions
The Eaton County Democratic Party shall be a nonprofit organization and upon its dissolution, all assets and real and personal property of the Party and its committees shall revert to the benefit of the Michigan Democratic Party. No part of the income or assets of the Party shall inure to any of its members, except as reimbursement of actual expenses, reasonable compensation for services approved by the County Committee, or a contribution for electing a member to office who is endorsed by the ECDP.
Section 3. Party Membership and Participation
Membership in the ECDP shall consist of all duly elected Democratic Precinct Delegates of Eaton County, members of the Michigan Democratic Party residing in Eaton County, the officers of the ECDP and members of the Executive and County Committees of the ECDP, all of whom must be members of the Michigan Democratic Party. A financial contribution shall not be required to be or to remain a member.
ARTICLE V. OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. Election and duties of the Executive Committee
a. Members. The members of the Executive Committee shall be chosen as provided in the Michigan Statutes governing County Committees [MCL 168.599 (1)]. In each even-numbered year, within 20 days following the November election, the delegates to the fall County Convention shall convene at the call of the County Chairperson for the purpose of electing the statutory Executive Committee. The purpose of the convention is to elect a number of persons equal to twice the number of candidates for county, state legislative and U.S. House of Representative offices for which Democratic candidates were nominated at the most recent fall Primary election for that office. Those persons, together with the persons most recently nominated by the Party for each of those offices shall constitute the statutory Executive Committee of the Eaton County Democratic Party.
b. ECDP Officer Election. Within 30 days following the convening of the fall County Convention, the Executive Committee shall meet to elect the officers of the ECDP for two years commencing on January 1 of the next year. The officers shall be a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson of the opposite gender of the Chairperson, a Recording Secretary, and a Treasurer. Officers shall also include elected assistants to each of the county officers. The officers elected by the Executive Committee shall take office January 1 in odd-numbered years and serve until December 31 of the next even-numbered year. They shall perform duties associated with their offices as provided by statute, the rules of the Michigan Democratic Party, these by-laws, the rules of the ECDP, and the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order.
c. Proof of Vacancy. The Executive Committee shall recognize a vacancy in the position of delegate-elected member of the Executive Committee under the following circumstances: (1) resignation of a member evidenced by a signed letter to the Chairperson of the ECDP received from the member, (2) written or public notice of a member’s death, or (3) verification from the person’s clerk or the county clerk that the person has changed his or her voter registration to a location outside the county.
d. Filling vacancies in the Executive Committee. Vacancies in the elected membership shall be filled by the election of a replacement by the remaining members of the Executive Committee as required by statute.
e. Duties of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall
1. Elect the officers of the ECDP and fill such vacancies as may occur.
2. Perform other duties required by statute or the rules of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Section 2. Establishment and duties of the County Committee
a. Establishment of the County Committee.
1. Members of the Executive Committee shall be members of the County Committee.
2. Chairs of Standing Committees shall be members of the County Committee.
3. All elected officers of the ECDP shall be members of the County Committee.
4. Any member of the County Committee at the end of the most recent even-numbered year, who attends a meeting of the Executive Committee or the County Committee in January, February, March or April of odd-numbered years and who applies to be on the County committee shall be appointed to the County Committee if he or she meets the requirements of membership.
5. Individuals may be appointed to the County Committee by attending two of three consecutive meetings of that Committee, making application for membership at the first meeting and being present at the second when the acceptance of the application is voted on by the County Committee.
6. An individual shall be permitted to vote at the first County Committee meeting held after the meeting in which he or she is appointed.
7. Members of the County Committee, excepting members of the Executive Committee and chairs of Standing Committees, shall lose their membership if they have three consecutive unexcused absences. A member may be excused from attending a meeting by notifying an officer in advance of their inability to attend.
8. Individuals shall be members of the Michigan Democratic Party and reside in Eaton County in order to qualify for membership on the County Committee.
b. Duties of the County Committee. The County Committee shall:
1. Meet on a regular basis no less than nine (9) times per year.
2. Set policy for and conduct the business of the ECDP between county conventions.
3. Adopt the ECDP annual budget and provide amendments to that budget as necessary throughout the year.
4. Amend the by-laws of the ECDP.
5. Approve Committee Chairs and Committee memberships appointed by the Chairperson as provided in these by-laws.
6. Meet at other times in special meetings upon the call of (a) the Chairperson, or (b) any six of the officers, or at least twenty (20) members of the County Committee.
Section 3. Duties of the Chairperson
The Chairperson shall
a. Call meetings and prepare meeting agendum as provided in these bylaws
b. Preside at all meetings when business comes before the ECDP
c. Appoint chairs and members of standing and special committees as are required by these by-laws, subject to confirmation by the County Committee.
d. Ensure that expenditures are made according to the requirements of the budget as established in these by-laws and approved by the County Committee.
e. Act as Chief Executive Officer of the ECDP. The Chairperson shall carry out activities necessary to further the goals and policies of the ECDP as long as they are consistent with these by-laws, statutes and the rules of the Michigan Democratic Party.
f. Be recognized as the ECDP spokesperson.
Section 4. Duties of the Vice Chairperson
The Vice Chairperson shall preside in the absence of the Chairperson and/or when the Chairperson finds it necessary to leave the Chair during a meeting. In the extended absence of the Chairperson, due to travel, illness, etc., the Vice Chairperson shall assume the duties of the Chairperson.
Section 5. Duties of the Recording Secretary
The Recording Secretary shall
a. Keep a record and prepare minutes of all meetings of the Executive Committee, the County Committee and the ECDP Officers. When approved, the minutes shall become the official record of the body approving the minutes and shall be made available to the membership.
b. Prepare and keep a record of the membership of all ECDP committees.
c. Give notice of the meetings of the Statutory Executive Committee, the County Committee, and the Officers.
d. See that all records produced during his/her term are maintained and made available to officers and others designated by the officers, according to policies established by the Statutory Executive Committee or the County Committee.
Section 6. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be bonded prior to authorizing and signing checks and shall:
a. Act as the official custodian of the funds of the organization; keeping funds in a manner approved by the Executive Committee or the County Committee; and recording the source and use of all moneys.
b. Be responsible for the payment of all bills that are authorized by the CHAIRPERSON, officers, or the County Committee. The Treasurer shall see that expenditures are made according to the requirements of the budget as established in these by-laws, except the Treasurer may pay non pre-approved expenditures up to $100.00 each or a total of $500.00 subject to the approval of the Chairperson. Such expenditures shall become a line item of the Treasurer’s report at the next regular meeting of the ECDP. All checks and transfers of money over $1000 must have two signatures. Four officers shall be authorized to sign checks, but one of the signatures must be the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer or Chairperson.
c. Have an annual internal audit or reconciliation made of the financial records in December of each year, with a summary of the results reported to the Executive and County Committees.
d. Provide the members of the County committee with a monthly Treasurer’s report. This report shall include, at a minimum, a report of the balance of all ECDP accounts, a report of all monies collected during the month covered by the report, a report of all monies spent during the month covered by the report. These monthly totals shall be reported alongside the budget approved in accordance with these by-laws. The Treasurer shall make available to any County Committee member, upon request, a monthly listing of itemized revenues and expenditures. In the event that the Treasurer is unable to present a report, it shall be delivered by the Assistant Treasurer or the Chairperson.
e. When a new Treasurer is elected, the past Treasurer shall forthwith deliver to the new Treasurer the funds of the ECDP and all financial records kept during his/her tenure of office.
F. The Treasurer of the ECDP may act as Treasurer of a Political Party Committee established by the Executive Committee.
Section 7. Duties of the Assistant Officers
The Assistant Officers shall provide back-up and consultation to the office to which they are assigned and assist in providing continuity to the duties outlined for those offices.
Section 8. Officer Vacancies
If the office of the Chairperson becomes vacant, the Vice Chairperson shall assume to office until a new Chairperson is elected. An election shall take place within 60 days following the creation of a vacancy in any office. Vacancies in any office shall be filled by the Executive Committee pursuant to MCL 168.599 (4).
Article VI. Establishment of a Political Party Committee
Section 1. Creation of the Committee
The executive committee may, by a majority vote, establish a political party committee which will operate under Michigan statute. The treasurer of the committees may be the treasurer of the ECDP, and a record keeper may be named to record receipts and expenses and file required reports to the bureau of elections.
Section 2. Audit of campaign finance reports.
All reports filed with the state of Michigan are available online for review by the executive committee, and any member of the executive committee may request review of receipts and expenses recorded between filings.
Section 3. Endorsement procedures.
The executive committee shall establish criteria for making donations to candidates which shall reflect endorsement policies set by the ECDP.
ARTICLE VII. APPROVAL OF BUDGET
Section 1. Creation of budget
a. The Chair and the Treasurer, in consultation with other officers, shall prepare a balanced budget for one (1) or two (2) years, which the Chair shall distribute to the members of the County Committee after January 1 of odd-number years.
b. The County Committee shall meet before March 31 of odd-numbered years and adopt a balanced budget for either one or two years.
d. In January of even-numbered years, the County Committee shall meet to review, amend and adopt the budget for that year.
Section 2. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the ECDP shall be January 1 to December 31, except that in odd-numbered years, the ECDP shall operate on an interim budget approved by the newly elected officers until the final budget is adopted by the County Committee.
ARTICLE VIII. MEETINGS
Section 1. Meeting Frequency. The Executive Committee and the County Committee will hold their required meetings at the call of the Chairperson. The Executive Committee shall meet as required by state law and these by-laws, and the County Committee shall meet at least nine (9) months a year on dates approved by the County Committee.
Section 2. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of the following:
a. For the Officers at least five (5) officers currently serving.
b. For the Executive Committee at least twenty (20) members currently serving.
c. For the County Committee at least two (2) Officers and eight (8) members currently serving.
Section 3. Proxies. Proxies shall not be given for any member of the ECDP except where provided by statute.
Section 4. Notice of meetings. Notice of the place and time of meetings of the Executive Committee and the County Committee shall be made in advance for all regular and special meetings of those committees by email or mail if requested, to members of the committee that is scheduled to meet. To the extent possible, notice will also be provided via the ECDP website and publication in community newpapers.
Section 5. Resolutions. No anonymously proposed resolutions may be considered by the Rules & By-laws Committee, the Policy and Resolutions Committee, the Executive Committee or County Committee, or at any County Convention. Only an Eaton County Democratic Party member, as defined in these by-laws, may propose a resolution for consideration.
ARTICLE IX. COMMITTEES
Section 1. Appointment of Committees.l
The Chairperson, subject to the approval of the County Committee, shall appoint committee chairpersons and members as deemed necessary.
Section 2. Standing Committees.
Standing committees shall be the following:
Membership & Outreach
Rules & Bylaws
Policy and Resolutions
Section 3. Special Committees
Special committees may be appointed by the Chair with the approval of the County Committee. In appointing a special committee, the Chair may specify the subject matter to be covered by the committee and its time frame.
Section 4. Committee Membership
Membership in all committees shall be open to any current member of the Democratic Party in Eaton County and be subject to the approval of the County Committee.
Section 5. The Chair of the ECDP shall be an ex officio member of all standing and special committees.
ARTICLE X. AMENDMENTS AND CONTINUING EFFECT OF THESE BY-LAWS
Section 1. Continuous Effect. These by-laws may be amended and are in continuous effect until repealed in their entirety or until the ECDP ceases to exist.
Section 2. Amendment process. These by-laws may be amended by the Executive Committee or the County Committee. Proposed amendments may be included in the mailing for a meeting or presented at a meeting under New Business. A proposed amendment shall be referred to the Rules and By-Laws Committee for consideration and reported back to a meeting as an agenda item. At that meeting it may be discussed and referred to the next meeting as an agenda item to be voted on, or it may be sent back to the Rules and By-Laws Committee for further consideration along with any proposed amendments.
Section 3. Rules of the ECDP. The Executive Committee or the County Committee may adopt rules to govern the activities of the ECDP. These rules shall not conflict with these by-laws or applicable statutes or rules of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Section 4. Roberts Rules of Order. All matters not expressly covered by these by-laws, rules of the ECDP, statutes, or the rules of the Michigan Democratic Party shall be governed by the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order, except that a person’s prior vote will not affect that person’s right to move to reconsider a vote.
Section 5. Submission of amendments to the M.D.P. Any amendments to these by-laws shall be submitted to the Corresponding Secretary of the Michigan Democratic Party within 30 days of adoption.
ARTICLE XI. ENDORSEMENTS
Section 1. Referral of endorsements. Requests for endorsements shall be in writing and shall be referred to the Elections Committee. All endorsements shall require support of two-thirds of the County Committee members voting, except as provided in section 3.
Section 2. Endorsement process. The Elections Committee shall report their recommendation to the County Committee no later than two months after receiving a request for endorsement. In the event that the committee fails to do so, a motion to endorse may be made at a County Committee meeting. Every attempt shall be made to inform members through the meeting notification process that endorsements are going to be considered at a meeting.
Section 3. Pre-primary endorsements. Pre-primary endorsements may be made only in extraordinary circumstances and shall require the support of three-fourths of the County Committee members voting.
Section 4. Extraordinary circumstances. In extraordinary circumstances, an endorsement motion may be brought before the County Committee without going through the committee process if there are no objections from the floor.
Section 5. Michigan Democratic Party membership required. Only those officeholders and candidates who are members of the Michigan Democratic Party shall be eligible to receive election assistance of any kind, including endorsement from the Eaton County Democratic Party. Nonpartisan races may be treated as an exception to this rule.
Amendments adopted March 28, 2011: Article VIII. Committees, Section 2. Remove “Bingo” and add “Fundraising.”
In Articles IV through X, in sections and subsections, change “Expanded Executive Committee” to “County Committee.”
Amendments adopted February 14, 2013. Clean up language in Articles V, Sections 1a, 2a. Remove Corresponding Secretary from list of officers (Article V); change signature requirements for checks to two signatures if amount over $1000; new Article VI, Establish Political Party Committee; Article IX, Committees, remove Building & Maintenance and Communications; retitle Elections, add Website.