Nevada Council of the Blind: Constitution and Bylaws

Nevada Council of the Blind Constitution

Article I

Sec. 1. The name of the organization shall be the Nevada Council of the Blind and shall hereinafter be referred to as: The Council.

Sec. 2. The Council shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Nevada.

Sec. 3. The purpose of The Council shall be to provide a forum for friendly, free and open discussion and exchange of ideas; to promote the general welfare of visually handicapped persons; to engage in enterprises and services; to represent the interests of its members, individually and collectively, in order to assist them in the obtaining of maximum services, benefits, and security; to cooperate with and encourage public and private agencies and instrumentalities to educate the public as to the capabilities of the blind; to do all other acts necessary and incidental to the achievement of these purposes; and to do all other lawful things.

Article II

Sec. 1. The primary authority of The Council shall rest in the membership assembled.

Sec. 2. Membership in The Council shall be open to all visually handicapped persons and to sighted persons who are interested in the purposes and programs of this organization. Membership shall be by written application and approval of the Board of Directors.

Sec. 3. Members shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age. All members in good standing shall be entitled to vote at conventions and other general membership meetings. Any person between the age of fourteen (14) and eighteen (18) years may become a Junior member without a vote.

Sec. 4. The Board of Directors may establish a registration fee for any convention to help defray expenses.

Article III

Sec. 1. The Council shall hold an annual convention and such additional general membership meetings as the Board of Directors deem warranted.

Sec. 2. The time and place for all meetings and annual conventions shall be fixed by the Board of Directors.

Sec. 3. Written notice of the annual convention shall be mailed to each member at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the convention. Written notice of other general membership meetings shall be mailed to each member at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting.

Sec. 4. Special conventions may be called by the Board of Directors or by thirty-three (33) per cent of the membership petitioning the Secretary in writing. If the Secretary and/or the Board of Directors fails to act upon the petition within ten (10) days, the petitioning members may delegate a person to act as secretary for the purpose of calling a special convention.

Sec. 5. A simple majority of the members registered at a convention or other general membership meeting shall constitute a quorum.

Sec. 6. This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at any regular convention and at no other time. The proposed amendments to the constitution shall be read to the convention at one session and voted upon at a subsequent session.

Sec. 7. Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be incorporated, and are incorporated, in this constitution and made a part hereof by this reference and shall govern all matters and proceedings, including recall and impeachment of officers and board members of The Council, except as otherwise specifically provided in this constitution.

Article IV

Sec. 1. The Council shall have the following officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer and five (5) Members at Large.

A. The President, Secretary, Member at Large #1, Member at Large #2 and Member at Large #3 shall be elected to a two (2) year term in odd numbered years, beginning in 2003.

B. The Vice President, Treasurer, Member at Large #4 and Member at Large #5 shall be elected to a two year term in even numbered years, beginning in 2004.

C. These officers and members at large of the Board of Directors shall be elected at annual convention by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting.

Sec. 2. Officers and members at large of the Board of Directors shall be elected in the following manner:

A. The President may appoint a nominating committee of three members to select a slate of officers and members at large of the Board of Directors. The report of the nominating committee shall be presented to the convention at the first session. Nominations from the floor will be accepted for any position from any member in good standing. The President may elect not to appoint a nominating committee and may permit all nominations to be made directly from the floor.

B. Election of officers and members at large of the Board of Directors shall be by secret ballot. A simple majority vote of the members in good standing present and voting shall constitute election to any position. The retiring President shall serve for one year as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.

Sec. 3. The Board of Directors shall be charged with the responsibilities of:

A. Carrying out the policies and programs adopted by the membership in convention assembled.

B. Formulating policies and programs as need therefore arises between conventions.

C. Assuring the efficient functioning of all officers and committee chairmen.

D. Planning of all conventions.

E. Managing all business affairs of the Council, including making a yearly budget and executing same.

Sec. 4. Any vacancy which may occur on the Board of Directors between conventions shall be filled by that Board.

Sec. 5. The President, Vice President and a majority of the Board of Directors shall be legally blind.

Sec. 6. The President shall be the chief administrative official of The Council and shall be charged with the responsibilities of:

A. Carrying out the policies and programs of the Board of Directors.

B. Presiding over all conventions and meetings of the Board of Directors.

C. Making appointments of committees and other representatives of The Council with the concurrence of the Board of Directors.

D. Representing The Council whenever necessary or desirable.

E. Co-signing all checks.

Sec. 7. The Vice President shall act as the President in the event of the absence or the disability of the President and shall perform other duties as prescribed by the convention and the Board of Directors. In the absence of the President or the Treasurer, the Vice President may co-sign checks for the absent officer.

Sec. 8. The Secretary shall:

A. Keep a record of all convention proceedings and minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors.

B. Receive a copy of all commercial papers from the Treasurer.

Sec. 9. The Treasurer shall:

A. Be the custodian of all monies and papers of The Council.

B. Keep an accurate written record of each financial transaction.

C. Make a complete financial report at each convention and at each meeting of the Board of Directors.

D. Make available a copy of the financial report at all times to all members.

E. Co-sign with the President on all checks.

F. Supply the Secretary with a list of all members registered at each convention.

Sec. 10. The Board of Directors of The Council shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and five (5) Board Members at large.

Sec. 11. The President shall appoint, annually, an Internal Audit Committee, consisting of three (3) members, to review the financial records of the organization for the period of September 1 through August 31. The Committee shall present its report at the organization's annual convention.

Sec. 12. No profit accruing to this organization shall inure to any individual.

Article V

Sec. 1. Local Chapters of The Council may be organized to facilitate the achievement of the purposes of The Council.

Sec. 2.

A. A chapter shall be composed of eight (8) or more members in good standing residing in the same general area.

B. Such groups shall meet and adopt a constitution, elect officers, and petition in writing to the Nevada Council of the Blind Board of Directors for a charter.

C. A charter shall be granted upon the approval of the Board of Directors of The Council by a simple majority vote.

D. The provisions of this Section shall apply to any chapter requesting a charter in the State of Nevada after the adoption of this constitution.

Article VI

Sec. 1. This constitution shall become operative from the date of adoption.

Sec. 2. Any and all changes made in this constitution, after its adoption, shall be recorded in written form. This record shall be kept with the Secretary's copy of the constitution. The record of these changes shall include the date and place where they occurred or said changes shall not become a part of this constitution.

Nevada Council of the Blind By-Laws

The By-laws of the Nevada Council of the Blind in effect on December 31, 2001, are hereby repealed and the following By-laws shall be in effect on and after January 1, 2002:

  1. Beginning January 1, 2003, membership dues shall be ten (10) dollars per calendar year thereafter. Junior membership dues shall be one ($1.00) dollar. New members enrolling on and after July 1, 2002, shall be subject to the payment of ten (10) dollar dues. However, persons joining as members between July 1 and December 31 of any year, shall be exempt from payment of dues for the following calendar year. October 1 through December 31 of each year shall be considered as the annual membership renewal period. The dues, except those of Junior members, provided for by these By-laws shall entitle a person to membership in both the American Council of the Blind and the Nevada Council of the Blind. Any person who is delinquent in payment of dues for a full calendar year during which at least two written notices are given by mail, shall be removed from the membership list. Dues may be waived by the Board of Directors of the Nevada Council of the Blind in cases of extreme hardship.
  2. Local chapters of the Nevada Council of the Blind which may be organized within the State of Nevada shall adopt and comply with the Constitution and By Laws of the American Council of the Blind and the Nevada Council of the Blind.
  3. The Board of Directors of the Nevada Council of the Blind is hereby authorized to reimburse officers, directors, or members for actual out-of-pocket expenses accrued while conducting Council business. Any such reimbursement shall be contingent upon prior approval by the Board of Directors and conditions stipulated by the Board of Directors. Expenses incurred without prior approval by the Board of Directors shall not be reimbursed unless approved by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the membership of the Board of Directors.
  4. The Board of Directors of the Nevada Council of the Blind is hereby authorized to issue certificates of honorary membership to persons deemed deserving of special recognition for making a significant contribution in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the Nevada Council of the Blind and/or the American Council of the Blind. Honorary members will not be entitled to voting privileges at meetings and conventions of the Nevada Council of the Blind. Any member of the Nevada Council of the Blind may nominate a person to receive a certificate of honorary membership. Issuance of such a certificate, however, shall be contingent upon approval of the nomination by at least six (6) members of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Council of the Blind.
  5. The Board of Directors of the Nevada Council of the Blind may amend or repeal these By-laws by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the officers and directors present and voting at any legally constituted meeting of the Board of Directors.

The original Constitution and By Laws for the Nevada Council of the Blind was adopted 1972.

August 1998, an investigation was conducted to track the amendments made to the Constitution and By Laws. The following are the findings: