LAKELAND AMATEUR RADIO CLUB, INC.
(REVISED September 2023)
SECTION 1: General Purpose The purpose of Lakeland Amateur Radio Club, Inc. (LARC, Inc.) is to engage in any lawful act or activity for which a non-profit club may be incorporated under such laws of the State of Florida.
SECTION 2: Specific Purpose In the context of this general purpose, LARC, Inc. is organized and operated exclusively for educational and service purposes. It shall be the purpose of LARC, Inc. to provide education, training, knowledge, and insight into all aspects of amateur radio communication, technologies, techniques, and procedures for the effective and efficient accomplishment of emergency and disaster communications by individual radio operators when such need exists and for other such electronic communications services vested in the public good. Operator training and education, technical acuity and experience, shall serve the interests of public safety and disaster preparedness within the affected community and will provide a corps of trained individuals to support local civil defense activities and other such public communications for the general welfare of the community.
SECTION 3: No Other Activity Also in the context of these purposes, LARC, Inc. shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that do not further these stated purposes.
SECTION 1: Eligibility There shall be four types of membership open to all persons who are in good standing with the Federal Communications Commission, (when licensed) and who subscribe to the objectives of this club. The designation of such types and the qualifications and rights of the members of each type shall be as follows:
A. Active Members Active members shall be persons who are of good moral character and who are interested in and support the objectives of the organization as set forth in the Charter. Active members must hold a valid amateur radio license.
B. Honorary Members Honorary members shall be persons who shall have rendered service of outstanding merit to the club or to the public. Honorary members may be nominated and approved by the Board of Directors at their discretion. Honorary members shall not pay dues, nor vote, nor hold an office and are valid for a one year period as with other memberships.
C. Associate Members Associate members shall be persons who are of good moral character and who are interested in and support the objectives of the organization as set forth in the Charter. The requirement of possession of a valid amateur radio license does not apply.
D. Repeater Supporter Repeater Supporters are licensed individuals who contribute to the club but do not enjoy any of the club functions, events or have any voting privileges. A minimum donation of $15.00 per year applies. This membership is designed for local people who do not wish to join the club, but would like to use and support the LARC repeater.
While membership is to be unrestricted as to residence, the clubs constituency is to be representative of the amateur radio fraternity in the immediate area. No member shall use the name of the club to promote his or her own private business.
SECTION 2: Dues
Dues Initiation fees, regular membership dues and reinstatement fees will be determined each year by the Board of Directors. Dues shall be payable on or before the lapse in membership lapse as outlined in Section 5, subsection B.
SECTION 3: Election to Membership Each applicant for membership shall apply on a form as approved by the Board of Directors and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by these Charter, Repeater Policy and By-Laws. The application shall state his or her name, address, and call sign (if any). Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit dues for the current year and pay an initiation fee, if required.
SECTION 4: Approval for Membership Membership approval will take effect at the next regular meeting. There will be a One Month "probationary period" for all new members before full membership takes effect automatically at the following meeting.
During the probationary period, any member may object to this person becoming a full member by coming forth to the Board of Directors and presenting reasoning. The Board of Directors will evaluate and take action as needed, and then decide what action will be taken. Any applicant that is not approved for full membership will receive a full refund on any dues and or initiation fees paid.
Applicants for membership who have been rejected by the club may not reapply within six months after such rejection.
SECTION 5: Termination of Membership Membership may be terminated:
A. By Resignation Any member in good standing may resign in good standing from the club upon written notice to the Secretary, provided any debts owed by the member have been satisfied. Dues obligations are considered a debt to the club and they become incurred on the first day of membership and are not refundable.
B. By Lapsing A membership will be considered as lapsed if such members dues remain unpaid as of one day following the most recent year of paid membership. A lapsed membership may be renewed as outlined in Section 2 .
C. By Expulsion A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these By-Laws.
SECTION 6: Reinstatement Upon written request filed with the Secretary, the Board of Directors may reinstate such former members to membership upon such terms as the Board of Directors may deem appropriate; such action of the Board shall always be subject to reversal by the membership by a majority vote of the members.
SECTION 1: Club Meetings Meetings of the club shall be held within 25 miles of the City of Lakeland, Florida on the first Monday of each month, at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board of Directors.
SECTION 2: Special Club Meetings Special club meetings may be called by the President or by a majority vote of the Board who are present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the Board or shall be called by the Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 5 members of the club who are in good standing. Such special meetings shall be held within 25 miles of the City of Lakeland, Florida, at such place, date and hour as may be designated by the person or persons authorized to call such meetings. Notification of such meeting shall be given by the Secretary at least 5 days and not more than 15 days prior to the date of the meeting, and said notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and that no other club business may be transacted thereat. Notification shall be made via Group email and by postings on the club website. The quorum for such a meeting shall be 20% of the members in good standing.
SECTION 3: Board Meetings Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held within 25 miles of the City of Lakeland, Florida at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board. The quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board. A tie vote by the quorum present at the meeting will result in a poll of those board members not present at the meeting where the vote was tied. The non-present members will have five calendar days to respond to the poll. At the close of those five days, the poll will close with no subsequent votes counted and the majority will carry. Members in good standing shall be welcome at any Board meeting as spectators, but shall have no voice in the meeting unless recognized and called upon by the Board.
SECTION 4: Special Board Meetings Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President, or shall be called by the Secretary upon receipt of a request signed by at least three members of the Board. Such special meetings shall be held within 25 miles of the City of Lakeland, Florida, at such place, date and hour as may be designated by the persons authorized herein to call such a meeting. Notification of such meeting shall be given by the Secretary at least 5 days and not more than 15 days prior to the date of the meeting. Notification shall be made via Group email and by postings on the club website. Any such notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and that no other business shall be transacted thereat. A quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board.
SECTION 5: Voting Each Active member in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to vote at any meeting of the club at which the member is present and is otherwise permitted to vote. In no case, may a person whose dues are unpaid as of the date of that meeting be entitled to vote at any club meeting.
SECTION 5a: Voting Method The President shall, at his discretion, call for a vote by either a show of hands, or a secret ballot. When a secret ballot vote is called for, all eligible voters present at the meeting will be given two poker chips - one red and one green. Each member will proceed up to a voting area away from normal sight of other members and place their green (Yes vote) or red (No vote) into a container marked "Vote Here". The remaining chip will be placed into a container marked "Chip Return". The votes will be counted and confirmed by the Secretary.
SECTION 1: Board of Directors The Board shall be comprised of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and at least five but no more than nine other members, including the Repeater Trustee and Public Information Officer, both of whom are de facto Directors, all of whom shall be members in good standing and elected for selected terms at the Club's annual meeting as provided in Article IV and shall serve until their successors are elected. General management of the club's affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors. If the Board of Directors so elects, committee members may be asked to sit in at Board Meetings as needed.
SECTION 2: Officers The Club's officers, consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings. There will be no restriction to limit the number of terms any officer may serve in office.
A. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and the Board and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of the President, act as chairman of the Board of Directors, and be an ex-officio member of all other committees, except the nominating committee. The President may select an individual to conduct any meeting if so desired. The President shall sign with the Secretary or any other proper officer of the club authorized by the Board, any deeds, mortgages, contracts or other instruments that the membership have authorized to be executed.
B. The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the power of the President in case of the President's absence or incapacity.
C. The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the club and the Board and of all meetings of which a record shall be ordered by the club. He shall have charge of the correspondence, notify members of meetings, notify new members of their membership in the club, keep a roll of members of the club with their addresses and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these By-Laws.
D. The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due or belonging to the club. He shall deposit the same in a bank designated by the Board in the name of the club. His books shall at all times be open to inspection by the Board and he shall report the condition of the club's finances at every meeting. At the annual meeting he shall render an account of all moneys received and expended during the previous fiscal year. The Treasurer shall be bonded should the Board of Directors so determine. The Treasurer shall be authorized to maintain a check debit card, a savings and a checking account. The checking account balance should be kept at an amount projected to both pay for budgeted expenditures and to prevent bank service charges. Anything in excess, at the Board's discretion, shall be deposited in the savings account. Expenditures over $500 for single procurements cannot be made unless approved by the membership at a regular monthly meeting. The payment for such procurements with two or more checks that are each less than $500 is prohibited. The dollar limitation will not be binding in the event emergency repairs which exceed this amount must be made to the LARC repeater(s) or other equipment necessary to facilitate radio communication via LARC repeater(s) such as EchoLink or IRLP servers. Emergency repairs exceeding the $500 limitation must be authorized by the President, or in his absence the Vice President.
SECTION 3: Vacancies Any vacancies occurring on the Board or among the officers during the year shall be filled for the unexpired term of office by a majority vote of all the members of the Board at its first regular meeting following the creation of such vacancy, or at a Special Board Meeting called for that purpose, except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the Vice President and the resulting vacancy in the office of Vice President shall be filled by the Board.
SECTION 1: Club Year The club's fiscal year shall begin on January 1 and shall end on December 31. The accounts of the club shall be audited by an auditing committee within 30 days following the end of the fiscal year. This auditing committee shall consist of the Treasurer and two additional club members in good standing, one of which must not be an Officer or Board Member.
SECTION 2: Annual Meetings The annual meeting shall be in December and presided over by the outgoing leadership. The new leadership shall take over at the end of the meeting by the outgoing President. Each retiring officer will turn over all properties and records within 30 days to their replacement.
SECTION 3: Nominations and Elections During the September general meeting, the President shall select a Nominating Committee of three members, not more than one of whom may be a member of the Board.
SECTION 1: The President shall each year with the approval of the Board of Directors appoint standing committee chairmen to advance the work of the club in such matters as Program, Membership, Field Day Participation, Education, Public Relations, Hospitality and other fields which may well be served by committees. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to aid it on particular projects. Detailed descriptions of responsibilities and duties will be defined by the Board of Directors as necessary.
SECTION 2: Any committee member appointed may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the Board upon written notice to the appointee, and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose services have been terminated.
SECTION 1: Federal Communications Commission Suspension Any member who is suspended by the FCC, and thereby forfeits his license, shall be automatically suspended from the privileges of this club for a like period.
SECTION 2: Charges Any member may prefer charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the club. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Secretary together with a deposit of $10.00, which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Board following a hearing. The Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Board or present them at a Board meeting, and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the club. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date for a hearing by the Board not less than 3 weeks nor more than 6 weeks thereafter. The Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by registered mail together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his own defense and bring witnesses if he wishes.
SECTION 3: Board Hearing The Board shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard. Should the charges be sustained, and after hearing all the testimony and evidence presented by the complainant and the defendant, the Board may, by a majority vote of those present, suspend the defendant from all privileges of the club for not more than six months from the date of the hearing. And if it deems that punishment is insufficient, it may also recommend to the membership that the penalty be expulsion. In such case the suspension shall not restrict the defendant's right to appear before his fellow members at the ensuing club meeting which considers the Board's recommendation. Immediately after the Board has reached a decision, its findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary. The Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties of the Board's decision and penalty, if any.
SECTION 4: Expulsion Expulsion of a member from the club may be accomplished only at a meeting of the club following a Board hearing and upon the Board's recommendation. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the club to be held within 60 days, but not earlier than 7 days after the date of the Board's recommendation of expulsion. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Board's findings and recommendations if he wishes. This meeting shall then vote by secret ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. Votes will be counted by two club officers.
SECTION 1: Amendments to the By-Laws may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Secretary. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be considered by the Board of Directors within two months of the date when the petition was received by the Secretary.
SECTION 2: The By-Laws may be amended by majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting and submitted to each member at least five days prior to the date of the meeting.
SECTION 1: Dissolution The club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of the members. In the event of the dissolution of the club, whether voluntary or involuntary; or by operation of the law, none of the property of the club nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the club shall be distributed, but after payment of the debts of the club, its property and assets shall be given to a recognized and qualified charitable, educational, or governmental organization. Preferably selected will be groups or organizations involved in or benefiting from amateur radio activities, as selected by the Board of Directors, subject to the approval of the Internal Revenue Service or any governmental unit having jurisdiction of the organization.
SECTION 1: All meetings shall be conducted by the President, Vice President or his appointee in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, excepting where conflicting with these By-Laws.
SECTION 2: At meetings of the club, the order of business, so far as the charter and nature of the meetings may permit, shall be as follows:
SECTION 3: At meetings of the Board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present, shall be as follows:
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