Westchester Council of the Blind (WCBNY)
ARTICLE I – Name
As of January 2002, the name of this organization became “Westchester Council of the Blind,” hereinafter referred to in the Constitution as WCBNY.
ARTICLE II – Mission
WCBNY is the Westchester County chapter of the American Council of the Blind of New York. Our purpose is to support and promote the educational, vocational and social advancement of blind and visually impaired persons living in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley.
ARTICLE III – Membership
(1) Any person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age and who is concerned with the attainment of the goals and objectives set forth in Article II of this Constitution shall be entitled to membership in WCBNY provided that at least 60% of the membership consists of blind or visually impaired persons at all times.
(2) Each member shall be entitled to one (1) vote, to serve on committees and, except as provided in Article V and Article VI of this Constitution, to hold elective office.
(3) In order to become a member of WCBNY, one must first pay the full amount that the organization has designated as dues for that fiscal year.
(4) Any person who joins WCBNY during the last three (3) months of any fiscal year and pays his or her dues during that time period, shall be considered as “paid-up” for the fiscal year immediately following.
(5) Except for those members covered under item 4 above, in order to remain a member in good standing of WCBNY, one must pay the full amount that the organization designates as dues for the fiscal year within ninety (90) days following start of said fiscal year.
(6) Upon payment of delinquent dues pursuant to section 5, a member will immediately be deemed in good standing within this organization. There shall be no attendance or participation requirements of members to be deemed in good standing except as set forth in Article VI, section 1, b, concerning meeting attendance by members of the Board of Directors.
(7) Membership Committee
A Membership Committee shall be appointed by the President, for the purpose of advising and assisting the officers and Board of Directors on the development of criteria for membership, determination of the benefits of membership, recruitment of new members, and on the delivery of programs for members. The Membership Committee should be comprised of at least three WCBNY members in good standing, of which at least one should be an officer or a member of the Board of Directors. The terms of the committee members may be no longer than the duration of the current term of the President who appoints them, although each may be re-appointed by future Presidents, or by the same President in subsequent terms. The committee shall set its own operational procedures and meeting schedule.
ARTICLE IV – Meetings
(1) Regular meetings shall be held on a monthly basis, EXCEPT DURING THE MONTHS OF JULY AND AUGUST.
(2) Special meetings may be called by either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors at a time and place to be designated by the Board. All members of the Board shall receive notice of such meetings at least three (3) days in advance.
(3) Written notice as to the time and place for each meeting of WCBNY shall be sent to all members by the secretary, or, if there are 2 secretarial positions, by the Recording secretary, at least seven (7) days prior to the date of such meeting.
(4) The quorum for all meetings of WCBNY shall be one- QUARTER of the members in good standing at the time the meeting is scheduled to begin.
(5) Minutes of each meeting shall be taken by the secretary, or, if applicable, by the recording secretary, and maintained by that person in a digital format.
ARTICLE V – Officers
(1) This organization shall have five (5) officers:
- Vice President
- Immediate Past President
(2) Election of officers shall be by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting at the election meeting, which shall be held in the month of November of each election year.
(3) A nominating committee shall be appointed by the President no later than the regular meeting immediately preceding the election meeting. This committee shall present a slate of candidates for office to the secretary in sufficient time for the secretary to include the slate of candidates in the written notice of the election meeting.
Nominations from the floor shall also be accepted at the election meeting.
(4) The term of office for the four (4) elected officers shall run for two (2) years, beginning on January 1 in the year following the November election and ending December 31 two years later.
(5) No officer, excepting the treasurer, shall hold the same office for more than three (3) consecutive terms. There is no limit to the number of terms the treasurer may serve.
(6) No officer may serve in more than one (1) elective office in WCBNY at any one (1) time.
(7) The President and the Vice President of WCBNY must be either blind or visually impaired.
(8) At any time, if deemed to be in the best interest of WCBNY and based on a proposal of any WCBNY member and an affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at a general meeting, the position of Secretary may be split into two (2) positions, that of Recording Secretary and that of Corresponding Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall take minutes of all meetings and notify members of upcoming meetings. The Corresponding Secretary shall handle all correspondence.
(9) The Immediate Past President, a non-elected officer, shall have the full voting rights equal to all other officers and shall remain an officer of WCBNY for as long as the next president remains in office, or, if the next president leaves office prematurely, shall remain in office until the election of a new president.
ARTICLE VI – Board of Directors
(1) a. The four (4) elected officers, the four (4) Board members-at-large, and the past president shall comprise the Board of Directors of WCBNY.
- Any member of the Board of directors who is absent from more than three (3) consecutive meetings or does not maintain regular contact with the president of WCBNY shall be removed from said position. However, thirty (30) days prior to removal from office, said person shall be notified in writing by the president of their impending removal in order to provide an opportunity for the individual to explain their absences.
(2) The four (4) Board members shall be elected at the same time and take office at the same time as the four (4) elected officers. no person shall serve as a Board member for more than three (3) consecutive terms.
(3) The quorum for a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be a majority of the members of the Board of Directors.
(4) The Board of Directors shall, at all times, be comprised of a majority of blind or visually impaired persons.
(5) In the event that the position of President becomes vacant prematurely, the Vice President shall assume the Presidency for the duration of that term. In the event any other position of the Board of Directors becomes vacant prematurely, the remaining members of the Board of Directors shall choose a person to fill the vacant position until the next regularly scheduled election for that position.
(6) Unless otherwise specifically set forth herein, all decisions of the Board of Directors shall be made by the majority of those Board members present and voting at the meeting or a majority of the total Board if a vote is being sought by mail or by phone.
ARTICLE VII – Fiscal Operation
(1) The fiscal year of WCBNY shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of each year.
(2) WCBNY shall establish and maintain a checking account at a bank to be designated by the Board of Directors, and once the account is established, all monies received by the organization shall be deposited therein, and all disbursements shall be made by check drawn thereon.
(3) All disbursements of funds must first be approved by either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors, and if the amount of the disbursement is to exceed $50.00, either a majority of the Board of Directors or at least the President, Treasurer, and one (1) Board member.
(4) Dues will be set by the Board of Directors and voted on by the membership at the annual election meeting or, on off election years, in November of the year.
(5) Persons not gainfully employed shall be eligible for dues at half the yearly rate.
(6) Finance Committee
A Finance Committee shall be appointed by the President For the purpose of monitoring fiscal operations and advising the WCBNY Officers and Board of Directors on budgeting, policies and procedures, and long-term financial planning. The Finance Committee should be comprised of at least three WCBNY members in good standing, of which at least one should be an officer or a member of the Board of Directors. The terms of the committee members may be no longer than the duration of the current term of the President who appoints them, although each may be re-appointed by future Presidents, or by the same President in subsequent terms. The committee shall set its own operational procedures and meeting schedule.
ARTICLE VIII – Procedure
Unless otherwise specifically set forth herein, all meetings, business functions, and business operations of WCBNY shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER REVISED EDITION, as revised from time to time.
ARTICLE IX – Affiliation
In order to facilitate the attainment of the goals and objectives set forth in Article II of this Constitution, WCBNY shall maintain an affiliation with the American Council of the Blind of New York State, Inc.
ARTICLE X – Amendment Procedure
(1) Any member of WCBNY may propose an amendment to this Constitution at any regular meeting. If the proposal is properly seconded, such amendment shall be voted upon by the membership at the next regular meeting.
(2) The secretary, or, if applicable, the corresponding secretary, shall provide each member with the written text of any proposed amendment at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted upon.
(3) Affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the voting members present shall be required in order to adopt a proposed amendment to this Constitution.
(4) The secretary, or, if applicable, the corresponding secretary, shall include notice as to the outcome of the vote(s) on any proposed amendment(s) to this Constitution with the written notice of the next meeting following the vote.
ARTICLE XI – Effective Date
This revised constitution shall take effect upon a vote of acceptance by the general membership.
Latest Revision: 5/2018