Suncoast Chapter - Florida Trail Association

Suncoast Chapter By-Laws

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Chapter by-laws as amended January 2002.
download By-Laws as Word document


  The Suncoast Chapter (the Chapter), a certified chapter of the Florida Trail Association will endeavor to work within the structure of Florida Trail Association By-Laws.


  The Suncoast Chapter area shall be designated by the Board of Directors, Florida Trail Association.


  The purpose of the Chapter is to advance the purpose, objectives, goals, and responsibilities as set forth by the Board of Directors, Florida Trail association.


  Section 1: Members of the Florida Trail Association residing in the Suncoast area are normally members of the Chapter. However, a member may affiliate with a chapter other than the one for the member's residence by requesting the change from the FTA office.
  Section 2: Every adult Chapter member shall have a vote in the business of the Chapter.
  Section 3: Members of other chapters may subscribe to the Suncoast newsletter (Footnotes) by proper payment of an amount equal to the chapter portion of the Association dues.


  Section 1: Regular Chapter Business Meetings: The Chapter shall conduct six business meetings annually, normally in January, March, May, July, September, and November.
  Section 2: Special Business Meetings: When justified by urgency of time a special business meeting can be scheduled by any one of the following: the Chairman or a majority of the Executive Board or petition of the membership bearing signatures of not less than twenty (20) members, stating the exact purpose and urgency.
  Section 3: Non-Business Meetings: All non-business meetings shall be referred to as activities, and are covered elsewhere under that subject.
  Section 4: Scheduling and Conduct of Meetings: All meetings shall be announced by mail to all the membership at lease fifteen (15) days before the scheduled meeting. The announcement shall include the date, place, time, and, when important issues are planned, an agenda. All meetings shall be conducted by the Chairman using rules of order. Announcement of regular meetings shall be made to all Florida Trail Association members via the Footprint, and again to Chapter members in the newsletter (Footnotes.) Special mailings to Chapter members shall be used for all special meetings.
  Section 5: Quorum: No general membership vote or confirmation shall be carried with fewer than twenty (20) affirmative votes.
  Section 6: Voting: Voting may be by voice vote (except for Article VI, Section 4). If the outcome cannot be determined by voice vote, vote will be by a show of hands or a written ballot.


  Section 1: General: The efficient operation of the Chapter shall be the responsibility of the Chair. To assist the Chair in this responsibility, to increase membership participation, and to take advantage of special talents of the members, additional Chapter positions are created as follows: officers, standing committees, special committees, advisors, and executive board.
  Section 2: Officers: The Chapter officers shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. Each shall serve a term of two (2) years after being elected by the general membership. Vacancies that occur during a term may be filled through appointment by the executive board, subject to confirmation by the general membership.
  Section 3: Standing Committees: Standing committee chairs may be appointed by the Chair and/or executive board, subject to confirmation by the general membership. Committee members are recruited by its chair. Chair and membership of standing committees are without term.

Standing committees are:
  1. Trails - Trails Coordinator, Section Leaders, Trailmasters in the Chapter, and Chapter members.
  2. Activities - Chapter Activity Coordinator, all activity leaders in the Chapter, and Trails Coordinator.>
  3. Newsletter - Chaired by the Editor.
  4. Public Relations - Chair and appointed members.
  5. Membership - Chair and appointed members.
  6. Scrapbook/History - Historian.
  7. Awards - Chaired by the Chapter Chair; all Chapter members are on this committee.
  Section 4: Special Committees: Special committee chairs are appointed by the Chair as the need arises. Membership may be recruited by the Chapter or Committee Chair. There is no term of office, each serving until such time as there is no longer a need for the committee. Examples of special committees are: Nominating, Events, Projects, Conferences.
  Section 5: Advisors: All past Chapter Chairs who served a complete term of office are eligible to be advisors at the request of the Chapter Chair.
  Section 6: Executive Board: The executive board shall consist of the elected officers. Subject to agreement of three of the four officers, the board may be augmented from selected chairs and/or advisors. The board shall be as small as practical to expedite the decision process. The function of the board is to plan, research, and make recommendations. It is the board's duty to insure that problems are not brought to the general membership for resolution without a complete analysis to include courses of action and rational recommendations. The board must keep a broad perspective to properly accomplish planning and operations. Should complex issues arise, the matter should be referred to special committee. All appointive members must be reconstituted with change of Chair.
  Section 7: Membership: The general membership shall bear overall responsibility for Chapter business and activities. During each meeting there shall be an opportunity for the membership to voice opinions, to open discussion, and to make motions for vote. Commitment of Chapter resources can only be approved by general membership vote. However, once a commitment has been made, expenditures for normal operation and/or maintenance may be assumed.


  Section 1: Schedule of Elections: Officers shall be elected by general membership vote during the regularly scheduled January meeting in odd numbered years, and shall be installed at the March meeting.
  Section 2: Nominations:
  1. The Chairman shall appoint a chair of the nominating committee and announce this appointment during the November meeting. The next Footnotes will list the name, address, and telephone number of the Chair and members of the nominating committee. The membership will be encouraged to recommend individuals for office to the nominating committee. Specific duties of the nominating committee are: actively recruit one or more competent candidates for each office; establish the willingness of each candidate to serve; prepare an initial slate of eligible candidates; present a verbal biographical sketch of each candidate on their slate at the January election meeting; be prepared to conduct a secret written ballot if necessary.
  2. The Chapter Chairman will open the slate for nominations from the floor. Persons making nominations must have prior commitment from the nominee and present a biographic sketch at the time of the nomination.
  Section 3: Eligibility for Office: All chapter members are eligible to be a candidate for office subject to:
  1. A person must be an eligible voter as defined in Article III, Section 2.
  2. The person must willingly accept the position.
  3. A Chapter Chair who has served a full twenty-four (24) month-term may not be immediately re-elected for that office.
  Section 4: Voting:
  1. Whenever more than one eligible candidate desires a specific office, the general membership shall vote using a secret written ballot in accordance with Article IV,Section 5.
  2. Any office for which only one candidate remains after nominations from the floor may be confirmed by a verbal confirmation vote in accordance with Article IV, Sections 5 & 6.


  Section 1: General: The Suncoast Chapter is functionally organized in the pattern of the parent association. Similarities of organization are intentional to facilitate communications and avoid complicating routine operations. Statements of duties, responsibilities, and power of the Florida Trail Association are, in general, applicable to comparable positions within the Chapter.
  Section 2: Officers:
  1. Chair -- The executive officer and spokesperson for the Chapter, the Chair shall call and preside over meetings of the general membership and the executive board. The Chair shall be responsible for appointments of all standing committee chairs. The Chair is the official link between the President and the Vice Presidents of the Florida Trail Association and represents the Chapter at the Florida Trail Association Chapter Council.
  2. Vice-Chairman -- Performs the duties of the Chair in the absence of the Chair or as the Chair might delegate. The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair by coordinating the meeting site arrangements.
  3. Treasurer -- Shall be custodian of the Chapter funds. The Treasurer is the advisor to the Chairman and to the membership on Chapter financial business, and shall report at each meeting a summary of the disbursements,receipts, and current balance. All financial management and reporting requirements of the Florida Trail Association Chapter Guidelines (revised) are the responsibility of the Treasurer. All claims on the treasury must be supported by an appropriate document.
  4. Secretary -- Shall record the proceedings of all meetings of the membership and the executive board. The Secretary shall publish and maintain minutes of the meetings.
  Section 3: Advisors -- Assist the Chair in the execution of his or her duties by providing expertise.
  Section 4: Committee Chairs:
  1. Trails: The chair shall call and preside over meetings of the Trails Committee to establish priorities for expenditure of manpower and funds; review all proposals for trail development; be a member of the Activity Committee for the purpose of advising on trail development and maintenance activities; coordinate with the Florida Trail Association Vice President of Trails and Trails Committee Chairman all trail development and maintenance; maintain a roster of all Section Leaders and Trail Masters in the Chapter and recruit volunteers for vacancies.
  2. Activities: Coordinator shall: call and preside over meetings of the activities committee to develop the schedule of activities; maintain the official Chapter calendar consolidating all scheduled work and social activities and meetings; provide calendar input to the Florida Trail Association Activity Coordinator and to the editor of the Footnotes; cooperate with the Florida Trail Association Activity Coordinator to maintain a list of Chapter members who are Florida Trail Association recognized activity leaders; insure that all sanctioned activities are led by a recognized activity leader.
  3. News Letter: The editor shall: Coordinate committee volunteers and the general membership to publish a bi-monthly news letter titled Footnotes; edit all material submitted for publication for appropriateness, correctness, and format.
  4. Public Relations: The chair shall: publicize meetings and activities of the Chapter through local media; publicize the Florida Trail Association by all means available and appropriate.
  5. Membership: The chairman shall assist non-members who seek information about the Florida Trail Association; seek methods to increase retention of membership; work with Public Relations to encourage new members.
  6. Scrapbook/History: The historian shall: maintain the Chapter Scrapbooks by encouraging all members to submit appropriate articles published in the public media; collect and properly file all important documents for preservation.
  7. Awards -- The Chair shall: encourage all members to be aware of members worthy of awards and to notify her/him; check all awards for appropriateness and quality.


  Section 1: Florida Trail Association: Any portion of these By-Laws found to be in conflict with the By-Laws of the Florida Trail Association shall be declared invalid. The Chapter Chair shall initiate action to correct the conflict at the next scheduled meeting using the procedures described in Section 2.
  Section 2: Suncoast Chapter Initiative: Any Chapter member may request "Consideration for Change to the By-Laws". This may be done in writing and presented to the Chapter Chair, or it may be done verbally, after recognition by the Chair at a meeting. The Chair, reading the written request, or the person making the request, must identify the part and wording to be changed and give the rationale for the change. The Chair will entertain open discussion on the subject and ask for a motion that the proposed change be submitted for vote at the next meeting. If the motion is carried, the next Footnotes will summarize it. The executive board shall make a detailed analysis with recommendations which the Chair shall present at the meeting at which the vote is taken. The issue shall again be opened for discussion before the vote is taken.
  Section 3: Exceptions: A one-time exception can be made, approved by the general membership vote, to any part of these By-Laws. If a Chair should find need for a second exception to any part of the By-Laws, the change procedure must be followed.