RBCA to vote on proposed changes to bylaws April 18

The Ravenna-Bryant Community Association’s annual general membership meeting is Tuesday, April 18, starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. After 15 minutes of required board business, the Seattle Office of Emergency Management will conduct an emergency preparedness workshop.

One of the business items is a vote on proposed changes to the RBCA bylaws. Current bylaws are available here. Proposed bylaws are below. Paper copies will also be available on April 18.

Proposed Amended Bylaws for the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association

Notes: New section

Preamble

Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA) activities are guided by a common vision for the future: Ravenna-Bryant is a welcoming, thriving, safe, diverse, and connected neighborhood.

Notes: No change

Article 1: Name

The name of this organization shall be the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA).

Notes: Similar content, updated language

Article II: Purpose of the Association

To represent the interests of the Ravenna-Bryant community RBCA:

  1. Defines and advocates for proposed action on issues of concern to the community.’
  2. Proposes and/or endorses legislative or governmental action when it relates to the concerns or needs of the community.
  3. Supports or opposes any action, governmental or otherwise, that affects the community or its members.
  4. Informs appropriate governmental bodies, agencies or other entities of the community concern.
  5. Establishes and maintains communication with the community, governmental bodies, agencies, and other entities that relate to the community’s interests.

Notes: New section to more clearly define purpose of the board.

Article III: Purpose of the Board

To create a stronger community, RBCA elects a board whose members guide association activities. The RBCA board:

  1. Establishes and maintains communication channels with the community that may include but are not limited to a website, social media sites, posters in the community, email lists, mailings, flyers, and/or newsletters.
  2. Initiates and coordinates activities within the community.
  3. Actively seeks input and involvement from Ravenna-Bryant neighbors and community organizations.

Notes: No change

Article IV: Geographical Area

RBCA shall serve the area of the city of Seattle within the following boundaries:

  • 15th Ave. NE on the west.
  • Southward to NE 62nd St.
  • Southeastward along the northern and eastern edges of Ravenna Park to NE 55 St. & 25th Ave NE
  • Southward along 25th Ave. NE to NE Blakeley St.
  • Eastward along NE Blakeley St. to 37th Ave. NE
  • Northeastward along Sand Point Way NE to 45th Ave. NE
  • Northward to NE 65th St.
  • Westward to 40th Ave. NE
  • Northward to NE 75th St.
  • Westward to 25th Ave. NE
  • Northward to NE 85th St.
  • Westward to Lake City Way NE
  • Southward to 15th Ave. NE

Notes:

  • Updated membership definition – removed “owning property” as a separate category
  • Updated dues information to reflect current practice
  • Combines resident and business member voting

Article V: Membership and Dues

  1. Membership of the organization shall be comprised of all persons living in or owning a business within the geographical area.
  2. Dues are voluntary. Suggested dues will be set by the board.
  3. Every member shall be entitled to one vote at general membership meetings.

Notes:

  • Eliminated Second Vice President office
  • Moved section to precede Officers and their Duties because Officers are bound by duties of board as well as of Officers.
  • Removes the need for a quorum for the board to meet.
  • Adds e-mail voting.
  • Adds activity to recruit people representing Ravenna-Bryant to the board.
  • Adds attendance requirement.
  • Adds a 2/3 majority vote on positions/endorsements.
  • Adds the recording in the minute of individual member’s votes on endorsements.

Article VI: Board, Board Meetings, and Board Duties

  1. The Board will have up to 15 members including officers and at-large members.
  2. Any Board member may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board for failure to carry out the duties of the board member or open disregard for the by-laws of the organization.
  3. Meetings of the Board:
    • The Board shall meet monthly at a regularly scheduled time and place designated by the President. The President may call additional meetings when needed.
    • All meetings of the Board are open to everyone.
    • A quorum for board meeting votes shall be six members of the Board.
    • Decisions of the Board are approved by a simple majority of members present, unless noted elsewhere in the by-laws.
    • When decisions must be made prior to a board meeting, they may be made via email. Any motion for an email vote must be sent to all board members’ email on file, include a deadline of no less than five (5) days and be seconded before discussion commences and voting occurs. When a decision is needed in less than five days, the email will include a motion requesting immediate action. Board members must reply to all to discuss and vote on a motion. The vote will be recorded in the next meeting’s minutes. E-mail voting should only occur when necessary and due to time constraints.

4. Duties of the Board. The Board shall, within its discretion:

  • Actively seek members that represent the diversity of the community including but not limited to race, ethnicity, age, gender, income, and residence type to sit on the board and/or committees.
  • Perform duties on behalf of the community as defined in the Article III: Purpose of the Board.
  • Attend a majority of the RBCA board meetings. Any Board member with three unexcused absences in a row or four unexcused absences within a year will no longer be considered a member of the Board.
  • Appoint representatives to committees and recommend individuals to various governmental/agency bodies for appointment to committees.
  • Review all work of the committees and of community liaisons.
  • Approve the disbursement of funds.
  • Propose statements of position and/or endorse policies relating to issues of interest to the community. Such statements shall be presented for approval at monthly Board meetings or through email when decisions must be made before the next Board meeting (see Article VI: e. email voting). Position statements and policy endorsements require a two-thirds majority vote of the Board. Individual Board member’s votes on endorsements and policy statements will be recorded upon request.

Article VII: Officers and Their Duties

  1. The officers of the organization shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  2. Any officer may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board for failure to carry out the responsibilities of the office or open disregard for the by-laws of the organization.
  3. Duties of the officers:
    • The President shall preside at meetings and serve as chief executive coordinating all activities and programs of the organization.
    • The Vice-President shall serve in the absence of the President and shall plan and organize or oversee general membership meetings serving as program chairman.
    • The Secretary shall maintain a permanent file of all minutes including individual votes on conflicts of interest, and the outcome of electronic votes, unfinished business, and records utilized in the business of the organization. The secretary shall organize clerical services for the organization including keeping a roster of attendance at all meetings.
    • The Treasurer shall maintain accounting records, receive and disburse funds, prepare financial statements as required by the Board or President, and shall propose criteria for expenditure limits to the Board.

 Notes:

  • Removes term limits

Article VIII: Elections

  1. An election of board members shall be held at the general membership meeting in the spring of each year. Officers will be voted on by the board subsequently.
  2. A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the President in spring of each year to seek out and nominate potential board members.
  3. Nominations will be made at the general membership meeting by the nominating committee and may also be made by the general membership from the floor with the consent of the person nominated.
  4. All terms of office are for two years.

Notes: Changes number of members needed for a quorum.

Article IX: General Membership/Community Meetings 

  1. General membership meetings shall be held in spring to elect the board and at such times as the Board determines to inform the community on issues of concerns.
  2. A quorum at a general membership meeting shall consist of 20 members.
  3. All members shall sign-in before voting on any issue or candidate.

Notes:

  • Adds requirement that committee chairs must be members of the board
  • Defines that community members to be part of committees without being board members
  • Adds committee reporting expectations to reflect current practice
  • Adds a standing Membership Committee to conduct duties previously identified under Second VP

Article X: Committees

  1. The Board may establish standing and/or ad hoc committees deemed necessary to carry out the purpose of the Association or of the Board.
  2. Committees are chaired by board members and any community member may serve on a committee.
  3. Committees report their activities at the monthly board meetings.
  4. A standing Membership Committee shall be responsible for membership development and community involvement; maintaining the association membership list; and maintaining a map showing the association boundaries.

Notes: No changes

Article XI: Amendment of By-Laws

  1. Amendments to the by-laws shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Board present at a board meeting after reading at one previous board meeting followed by a simple majority of a quorum at a general membership meeting.
William

I know this sounds silly but if membership is automatic and free for people living in your boundaries (I would suggest adding a map to accompany your bylaws because I could not follow Article IV), then shouldn’t your bylaws provide some means for residents to elect not be members.

I am also concerned that 20 seems to be an awfully small quorum for an organization that is set up to represent 1000’s of residents. That means 14 motivated residents could in principle adopt any position on behalf of their neighborhood.

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