THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FREDERICKSBURG ROCKHOUNDS

ARTICLE I – NAME

SECTION 1. The name of the organization shall be The Fredericksburg Rockhounds.

SECTION 2. The organization shall be ongoing and non-profit.

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

SECTION 1. The organization shall exist exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes within SECTION 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. These purposes include:

  1. To bring about a close association of those persons interested in earth sciences and lapidary art.
  2. To increase and disseminate knowledge about rocks, minerals, fossils and other geologic materials.
  3. To encourage lapidary art and the collection of rocks, minerals and fossils.
  4. To conduct field trips. meetings, lectures, displays and participate in an annual show.
  5. To participate in worthwhile projects – local, state and national.

SECTION 2. In furtherance of the above purposes, the organization will be affiliated with the South Central Federation of the Mineral Societies and the American Federation of Mineral Societies, provided this affiliation is based upon recommendation by the Executive Council and approval by the membership.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1. Membership in the organization will be open to all persons interested in earth sciences and lapidary art.

SECTION 2. Membership categories consist of:

  1. Regular (Over age 19)
  2. Junior (18 years or younger)
  3. Honorary – The name of any person who has provided outstanding service to the organization may be submitted to the Executive Council for consideration as an honorary life member.

ARTICLE IV – DUES

SECTION 1. The fiscal year will begin January 1 of each year. All dues will be payable at the beginning of the fiscal year. Any member who has not paid his/her membership dues by January 31 will be automatically dropped from the membership rolls.

SECTION 2. Regular members will pay annual dues of $8.00

SECTION 3. Junior members will pay annual dues of $3.00

SECTION 4. Families will pay annual dues of $15.00

SECTION 5. Honorary life members do not pay dues.

ARTICLE V – NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS

SECTION 1. A Nominating Committee shall be organized at the regular September meeting. It shall consist of one member appointed by the Executive Council and two members elected by the membership-at-large. The committee shall elect its own Chairperson. This committee will submit a slate of candidates at the November meeting: nominations may also be made from the floor at that time, providing the nominees are willing to accept the nomination. New officers will be elected at the November meeting. They will be installed at the December meeting and will assume their duties on Jan 1.

SECTION 2. Elected and non-elected officers and members of standing committees will serve two-year terms. No officer shall be eligible to serve for more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

SECTION 3. An election will be held each year. Elections for President, Secretary and Second Vice-President will be held during odd numbered years and elections for Treasurer and First Vice President will be held during even numbered years.

SECTION 4. A vacancy in an elected office will be filled by appointment by the Executive Council.

ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS

SECTION 1. The elected officers of the organization shall be:

  1. President
  2. First Vice President
  3. Second Vice President
  4. Secretary
  5. Treasurer

ARTICLE VII – DUTIES OF OFFICERS

SECTION 1. The President will:

  1. Supervise ongoing activities of the organization.
  2. Represent the organization to the general public.
  3. Preside of the regular meetings of the general membership and call and preside over special meetings.
  4. Call and preside over meetings of the Executive Council.
  5. Install new officers
  6. Appoint non-elected officers and members of standing committees.
  7. Serve as an ex-officio member on all committees
  8. Appoint an ad-hoc officer to assume responsibilities for an officer who is absent from a meeting, and appoint and ad-hoc committee member to assume responsibilities for a standing committee member who is absent from a meeting.

SECTION 2. The First Vice President will:

  1. Preside at meetings in the absence of the President.
  2. Organize a summer picnic.

SECTION 3. The Second Vice President will:

  1. Preside at meetings in the absence of the President and the First Vice President.
  2. Serve as chairperson of the Nominating Committee.
  3. Serve as Program Chairperson

SECTION 4. The Secretary will:

  1. Attend to all correspondence and related matters of the organization.
  2. Take minutes at the regular meetings, maintain a complete and current record of minutes and make the minutes available upon request.

SECTION 5. The Treasurer will:

  1. Collect all money due to the organization.
  2. Pay all bills. The Executive Council may grant the Treasurer blanket authority to pay a bill of $300 or less at his or her convenience, an expenditure greater than $300 or more must be approved in advance of the expenditure by the Executive Council.
  3. Prepare receipts and maintain a record of all expenditures.
  4. Maintain a bank account in the name of the organization.
  5. Report on the financial status of the organization at regular meetings and upon request.

SECTION 6. The Immediate Past President will:

  1. Attend meetings of the Executive Council.
  2. Vote on issues brought before the Executive Council.
  3. Accept responsibility for the duties assigned by the President.

ARTICLE VIII – EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

SECTION 1. The Executive Council shall consist of the elected officers and the immediate past president

SECTION 2. The Executive Council will:

  1. Establish policies and procedures to facilitate the ongoing activity of the organization.
  2. Submit recommendations to the general membership for consideration and possible action.
  3. Provide advice and support to the President and other elected and appointed officers as deemed appropriate.
  4. Approve expenditures for payment. The Executive Council is authorized to approve bills up to $500, any expenditure over $500 must be approved by the general membership.
  5. The Executive Council will meet before each regular meeting.

ARTICLE IX – STANDING COMMITTEES AND THEIR DUTIES

SECTION 1. The Program Committee, under direction of the Program Committee Chairperson (Second Vice President), will plan all programs and facilitate their presentation.

SECTION 2. The Publicity Committee, under the direction of the Publicity Committee Chairperson, will solicit publicity for all activities of the organization.

SECTION 3. Field Trip Committee, under the direction of the Field Trip Committee Chairperson, will plan and conduct all field trips.

SECTION 4. The Show Committee, under the direction of the Show Committee Chairperson, will organize and conduct the annual show.

SECTION 5. The Editor will publish a monthly newsletter, and will serve as a clearinghouse for information about members and activities of the organization.

SECTION 6. The Membership Committee, under the direction of the Membership Committee Chairperson, will facilitate the membership applications and welcoming of new members, and will represent the organization in communications of good will to members experiencing significant events in their lives. The committee will maintain and distribute an updated membership directory in coordination with the treasurer and newsletter editor. The Membership Committee will also prepare and maintain name tags for all current members.

SECTION 7. The Social Committee, under the direction of the Social Committee Chairperson, will ensure that refreshments are served at regular meetings and will help plan and coordinate special events undertaken by the organization.

SECTION 8. The Historian will organize and maintain an ongoing record of the organization’s activity and will serve as custodian of all papers and permanent records of the organization.

SECTION 9. The President will appoint other standing committees as necessary.

SECTION 10. The Webmaster will maintain an ongoing website which distributes and promotes information about the Club, its members and activities.

ARTICLE X – MEETINGS

SECTION 1. A regular meeting of the organization will be held on the first Monday of each month, at a time recommended by the Executive Council and approved by the general membership.

SECTION 2. Special meetings of the organization may be called by the President or upon written petition by at least five members-at-large.

SECTION 3. A quorum at a regular or special meeting shall consist of not less than twenty percent of the membership and/or ten members, provided that either the President or one of the Vice Presidents is present and presiding.

SECTION 4. The Executive Council will meet when called by the President or upon a receipt of a written request by three or more Council members or five or more members-at-large.

SECTION 5. Any member-at-large who wishes to attend a meeting of the Executive Council may do so and raise an issue or offer comments and suggestions but may not vote.

SECTION 6. Meetings of the Executive Council will be announced in advance so that members-at-large may attend if they so desire. If it is necessary to conduct a meeting without prior announcement, decisions made at the meeting will be submitted to the general membership at a regular meeting for approval.

SECTION 7. Committee meetings will be subject to the call of their respective chairpersons.

ARTICLE XI – ORDER OF BUSINESS

  1. EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING
  2. REGISTRATION
  3. CALL TO ORDER
  4. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
  5. INTRODUCTION OF NEW MEMBERS AND GUESTS
  6. PROGRAM
  7. DRAWING FOR DOOR PRIZES
  8. REFRESHMENTS
  9. BUSINESS MEETING
  10. ADJOURNMENT

ARTICLE XII – RULES OF ORDER

SECTION 1. All questions of parliamentary procedure not covered by this Constitution will be covered by the latest edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly revised.

ARTICLE XIII – REGULATIONS

SECTION 1. No absentee or proxy vote shall be recognized by the organization.

SECTION 2. The organization shall not be responsible for any indebtedness incurred by any member without authorization of the Executive Council.

SECTION 3. The organization shall not assume responsibility for injuries incurred on any field trip. Members or guests who participate in a field trip sponsored by the organization do so at their own risk.

SECTION 4. Gifts or donations to benefit the organization are welcome at any time, however, acceptance is based upon approval by the Executive Council.

SECTION 5. All members may vote on policy matters.

ARTICLE XIV – AMENDMENTS

SECTION 1. This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members at a regular meeting, a quorum being present, provided that the proposal has been presented in writing to the members at a previous meeting.

ARTICLE XV – DISSOLUTION

SECTION 1. In the event the Fredericksburg Rockhounds deem it necessary to dissolve, all real assets and equipment shall be sold and the money deposited in the Fredericksburg Rockhounds bank account. After all outstanding debts of the organization have been paid, the balance of all remaining cash on hand shall be donated to a 501 (c) (3) organization chosen by the Executive Council. A 501 (c) (3) organization operated exclusively for charitable, educational or scientific purposes must qualify under SECTION 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future IRS Law). Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the County Court of Gillespie County, Texas, exclusively for such purposes or to such an organization or organizations as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purpose.

STANDING RULE 1 – IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TREASURERS DUTIES

BASIC RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. A record should be maintained of all income.
  2. No funds shall be disbursed without proper authorization. This might consist of a blanket authorization for routine items, an item in the minutes of an Executive Council meeting or a meeting of the general membership, or a written authorization but a club officer.
  3. Copies should be kept of all invoices.
  4. The Treasurer’s records shall be reconciled monthly with bank statements.
  5. An outgoing treasurer is responsible for submitting all financial records to the incoming Treasurer by the February meeting. This includes monthly account statements and record reconciliations.
  6. If the Treasurer will not be able to attend a meeting, he should give the checkbook to another member who is authorized to sign checks, so that disbursements may be made in the Treasurer’s absence.
  7. In the event that a Treasurer is unable to fulfill the duties of the office, the First Vice President will perform those duties until the Executive Council can appoint a replacement.

BANK ACCOUNTS

Accounts should have two members as signatories. These members are to be appointed annually by the Executive Council.

AUDIT

There shall be an annual audit of the club’s monies by an Audit Committee consisting of two club members who are neither signatories nor related to the signatories. Members of the Audit Committee are appointed by the President. The Audit Committee shall report to the membership no later than the March meeting. The audit should consist of:

  1. A review of all bank accounts
  2. Verification of the December 31 balance of each of the bank accounts, as shown on bank statements.
  3. Spot checks of reconciliation statements of bank accounts with the Treasurer’s records and the actual receipts, checks and invoices.

STANDING RULE 2 – PROCEDURE FOR AWARDING A SCHOLARSHIP

Each year during the summer or early fall, the Executive Committee will determine an amount that is felt to be appropriate to be awarded as a scholarship to an individual or as a grant to an institution during the following fiscal year. In either case, the award will be given to an institution with a program in the earth sciences with the intention that the funds are to go directly to the scholarship recipient identified by the club or to be used in the earth sciences department to directly benefit students. This amount is presented to the general membership for approval at the October meeting. The individual or institution receiving the funds will be determined at the February meeting and notification and disbursement of funds will be made by the March meeting.

STANDING RULE 3 – GUIDELINES FOR DEFRAYING EXPENSES OF GUEST SPEAKERS

The Program Committee may reimburse a guest speaker for expenses incurred if the following conditions are met:

  1. The distance travelled is greater than 50 miles.
  2. The presentation is judged to be of significant interest and/or benefit to the club.
  3. Presentations where reimbursement is appropriate should be limited to one or two a year.
  4. The Club does not normally pay an honorarium and will only do so for a program of unusual merit.
  5. The total reimbursement (room, meals, mileage) will be limited to approximately $250.00. Actual expenditures will be used to determine allowances for room and meals: the current IRS allowance will be used to determine mileage. This limitation is to be made known to both the potential speaker and the Club sponsor during initial contacts.
  6. The sponsor is expected to accompany the guest speaker to dinner but to pay for his/her own meal.
  7. Anyone who provides accommodations for a guest speaker should be invited to dinner with the guest speaker and his/her meal should be paid for by the Club.
  8. Common sense should dictate when it is appropriate to reimburse a guest speaker. If a program is judged to be of such merit that the Program Committee wishes to schedule a guest speaker whose expenses would be significantly greater than $250, prior approval should be obtained from the Executive Council.
  9. The Program Chairman or the Program Committee will make the arbitrary decision in applying these guidelines.

STANDING RULE – 4 PROCEDURE TO AWARD HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIPS

There are a number of members of the Fredericksburg Rockhounds who have made significant contributions to the club over the years and who would seem to be candidates for Honorary Life Memberships.

Any member of the club may nominate another member or couple for Honorary Life Membership. This nomination is to be submitted in writing to the President for consideration and action by the Executive Council.

The written nomination is to include the name or names of the member or couple being nominated and the reasons why the member or couple is considered to be worthy of this recognition. Reasons will generally specify significant contributions to the club over a number of years. Length of membership is an important criterion but not by itself sufficient justification for awarding Honorary Life Membership; a nomination must speak to active participation in club activities and personal contributions. A nomination presented to the President is to be submitted to the Executive Council promptly and acted upon at the earliest opportune time.

A nomination is to be submitted to the President in private: discussion and action by the Executive Council are to be undertaken in Executive Session. An announcement regarding a positive decision by the Executive Council will be made by the President at the next regular meeting of the club, at which time an award will be made to the individual or couple so honored and congratulations extended. A negative decision by the Executive Council will be transmitted to the President in private to the member who submitted the nomination; no reasons will be given. A member or couple rejected for the Honorary Life Membership may be renominated at a later date.

Members with Honorary Life Memberships will be so designated in the club’s membership directory.

STANDING RULE -5 CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION

Members of the Fredericksburg Rockhounds who have made significant contributions to the club over the years may be nominated as candidates for Honorary Life Memberships. This is the highest honor the Club can award and it normally is presented in recognition of exceptional service to the club over an extensive period of time.

Any member of the Club may nominate another member or couple for Honorary Life Membership.

A second type of award may be awarded to recognize service to the Club or to the geology/paleontology/natural sciences fields in general. The individual or couple considered for the award do not have to be long time members of the Club and the contribution does not have to be to the Fredericksburg Rockhounds specifically. Other than the purchase of a frame certificate or similar token of recognition, there will be no cost to the club. The Executive Council will choose the individuals or couples to receive this award; the general membership will not be a part of this process other than to informally suggest individuals or couples for consideration, if they choose to. The awarding of this certificate does not preclude the awarding of an Honorary LIfe Membership at a different time.

STANDING RULE -6 APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR MONTHLY CLUB MEETINGS

The minutes of monthly club meetings as published in the club’s monthly newsletter will be considered “approved” by the membership unless any club member raises the question for corrections or amendments to these published minutes at the next monthly club meeting. This eliminates the need for the President having to ask the membership for approval at every monthly meeting.

This revision of the Constitution was adopted by the general membership on August 3, 2015.