Bylaws

BYLAWS OF THE NORTH CENTRAL REGION OF THE ASTRONOMICAL LEAGUE INTRODUCTION

As provided by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Astronomical League, the North Central Region is hereby established by the member organizations concerned and in convention assembled this 30th day of August 1947 in Duluth, Minnesota and they do hereby adopt these bylaws. For the better management and operation of the Region the several organizations and individuals have likewise amended these bylaws on 18 May 1974 in Chicago, Illinois, 14 May 1988 in Marquette, Michigan and 1 May 2004 in Burlington, lowa.

ARTICLE I MEMBERSHIP AND GEOGRAPHY

Section 1.

The North Central Region of the Astronomical League, hereinafter referred to as the NCRAL, shall include all members of the Astronomical League, hereinafter referred to as the League, residing in the geographic area defined by the League’s standing Resolution #13.

Section 2.

Definition and privileges of membership classes shall be the same as specified in League Bylaws Article 1. Except that each member of a member society in attendance at the regional business meeting shall have one vote on items that come before the regional business meeting.

Section 3.

The home city and address of the Regional Chair of the NCRAL shall be considered the headquarters of the Region.

ARTICLE II OFFICERS

Section 1.

The NCRAL officers shall be the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary-Treasurer.

Section 2.

The terms of the offices shall be for two (2) years or until the close of the Regional Convention immediately thereafter. The term of office shall begin at the close of the convention at which they are elected or, if no convention is held, at the time of election. The Chair and Vice Chair shall be elected in odd numbered years and the Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected in even numbered years.

Section 3.

An elected Chair shall not succeed himself/herself in office more than two (2) times.

Section 4.

The duties of the NCRAL Officers shall consist of the following and such other duties as the Council may, from time to time, assign:

a. Chair. The chair shall:

1. Be the chief executive officer of the NCRAL, and perform such duties as are customarily associated with such an office.

2. Preside over the Regional Business and Council meetings, and may call special meetings of the Council or the Executive Committee described in Section 5.

3. Appoint a nominating committee chair as specified in Article V.2.

4. Prepare an annual report on the state of, and activities within, the NCRAL and submit it to the Executive Secretary of the League at or before the National Convention of the League.

5. Serve as a member of the National Council of the League, and endeavor to find a proxy to serve if he/she is absent.

6. Not exercise any authority, nor execute any contracts or obligations, which exceed the purpose or authority of the Astronomical League, nor which infringe on the autonomy of the Region’s individual societies in a confederation.

7. Appoint a Webmaster for the NCRAL.

b. Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall:

1. Assist the Chair in the discharge of all duties and perform them in the case of the absence, death, disability, resignation, or removal of the Chair.

2. Lead the Regional Award Committee.

c. Secretary-Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer shall:

1. Record and preserve the minutes of the Council and Regional Business meetings, and distribute these minutes within thirty (30) days following said meetings to the officers and the Regional Representative to the National Council.

2. ln cooperation with the Executive Secretary of the League, maintain an accurate and up-to-date list of all member societies, patrons and members-at-large within the NCRAL, and call the roll of member societies at the Regional Business Meeting.

3. Execute all financial transactions of the NCRAL, and keep proper books of account of such.

4. Place the funds in a repository approved by the NCRAL officers and shall present an account of all transactions and of the financial condition of the NCRAL annually at the Regional Business meeting.

5. Submit an annual report of the NCRAL financial status to the league treasurer in accordance with the League’s Standing Resolution #4.4.

Section 5.

The NCRAL Officers, together with the Regional Representative to the League Council, shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Council. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to act on behalf of the Council, and with its full authority, on matters requiring its action at such times as the Council is not in session.

Section 6.

Any officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Regional Council (hereinafter referred to as the Council) described in Article III provided that notification of intent to do so, together with the reasons therefore, has been given by mail to said officer and to the Council not less than thirty (30) days prior to such vote.

Section 7.

Vacancies in any offices other than the Chair shall be filled by appointment by the Chair and approval of the remaining officer.

ARTICLE III COUNCIL

Section 1.

The affairs of the NCRAL shall be administered by a Council, consisting of the Regional officers, the Representative to the National Council, the President or the Presidents proxy from each society, a second representative from each society, and one representative selected from and by the members-at-large in the NCRAL who are in attendance at the meeting.

Section 2.

ln order to pass any motion requiring action in a Council session, a majority vote of the members present shall be necessary, except for matters requiring a larger vote as provided for in these bylaws or by common law. The presence of ten (10) Council members shall constitute a quorum, provided that at least four (4) societies are represented. Except for those matters designated in these bylaws, the Council may elect to designate its decisions as non-binding, advisory votes or topics scheduled for discussion, pending a final decision by the members attending the Regional Business Meeting.

Section 3.

The Council shall neither approve nor sanction any actions which conflict with these bylaws or the League Constitution and By-Laws.

ARTICLE IV REPRESENTATIVE TO LEAGUE COUNCIL

Section 1.

The members attending the Regional business meeting shall elect by majority vote a member of the Council of the League, separate from the Regional Chair, called the NCRAL Regional Representative (hereinafter abbreviated Region. Rep.). The Region Rep. shall reside within the geographical boundaries of the NCRAL.

Section 2.

The Region. Rep. shall serve for a term of three (3) years, or until the close of the third successive year’s Regional Convention. The Region Rep’s. term of office shall begin at the close of the convention at which elected, or at the close of the election if no convention is held, in a year designated by the National Council.

Section 3.

The Region. Rep. may be removed from office by, and vacancies filled by, the same method as for the NCRAL Officers.

Section 4.

The Region. Rep. shall attend, or in cooperation with the Regional Chair, assign a proxy to attend, all League Council meetings which occur during his/her term of office.

ARTICLE V ELECTIONS

Section 1.

The NCRAL Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the members present at the Regional Business Meeting of the NCRAL or, if none is held in a given year, by a majority vote of the Council.

Section 2.

The NCRAL Chair shall appoint a nominating committee chair who will not be eligible to stand for election to any NCRAL office. The nominating committee chair shall select, from among the NCRAL membership, one or more candidates for each office to be elected and the committee chair shall issue a report to the NCRAL Chair prior to the Regional business meeting or the lapse of one (1) year following the previous convention. Additional nominations may also be made by any NCRAL member to the committee chair and provision shall be made for nominations from the floor at the Regional Business Meeting of Article Vll.

Section 3.

Elections for each office shall be conducted separately in the following order: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary-Treasurer and in year in which the Region Rep. is to be elected, the Region Rep. Nominations for each office shall not close until the results of the previous election have been announced, unless there is no more than one nominee for each office. No person shall be nominated or elected without their consent. lf no majority is obtained on the first ballot, a single secondary ballot shall decide the election.

ARTICLE VI REGIONAL CONVENTION

Section 1.

A Regional Convention may be held annually in the NCRAL, hosted by one or more societies or groups of members within the NCRAL, at a time and place selected by the NCRAL Convention of prior year(s), or by the Regional Council when in session, or by the NCRAL Executive Committee. The NCRAL will receive all profits or be liable for all losses from Regional Conventions. (up to $500 maximum – handwritten comment)

Section 2.

The registration fees for NCRAL Conventions will be established by the host society(ies) or group on approval by the Executive Committee.

Section 3.

ln the event that a National Convention of the League is being hosted by an NCRAL group or society in a given year, the NCRAL Convention or Council of prior year(s) may elect to consider the NCRAL Convention of that year as being concurrent with it.

Section 4.

Provision shall be made in the schedule of the NCRAL Convention for the Regional Business and Council meetings.

ARTICLE VII MEETINGS

Section 1.

The Regional Business Meeting of the NCRAL shall be held annually at the place and time of the NCRAL Convention. The exact time will be fixed by the host(s) with the approval of the Executive Committee. Twenty (20) members shall constitute a quorum, provided that at least five (5) member societies are present. Only members residing in the NCRAL may vote. All decisions will be by majority vote.

Section 2.

The Council shall meet in regular session immediately preceding the Regional Business Meeting among scheduled convention activities.

Section 3.

lf no convention is held in a given year, the Council may act on NCRAL business by mail or electronic vote.

Section 4.

The Council or its Executive Committee may hold additional meetings or conduct business by mail or, if its outcome is not challenged, by telephone or other electronic means, as called by the Chair or by petition to the Chair of a majority of either the Council or the Executive Committee.

Section 5.

The parliamentary authority for operation of all NCRAL meetings shall be the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

ARTICLE VIII ACTIVITIES AND PUBLICATION

Section 1.

Various committees may be established by the Council for such purposes as observing, youth activities, scholarship awards, and other educational and scientific endeavors. Each shall be conducted by a Committee chair who shall be appointed by the NCRAL Chair, and shall issue a financial report annually.

Section 2.

The NCRAL may produce a publication for distribution by subscription, or otherwise, including electronic, at the discretion of its editor, on a regular basis. The editor of any such publication shall be selected at the Regional Business Meeting, or by the Council or its Executive Committee.

Section 3.

The NCRAL may establish an electronic site on the World Wide Web, or maintain a section of the website of the Astronomical League. ln either case, all information concerning the NCRAL must be approved by the NCRAL Webmaster. This approval does not apply to any information the NCRAL Convention that the host society(ies) may post on their own website(s).

ARTICLE IX FINANCIAL

Section 1.

The NCRAL is a geographic division of the Astronomical League pursuant to Article IX of the Astronomical League Bylaws and Standing Resolution #13. As such, the NCRAL can obtain property or accept tax-deductible contributions when and only when the same are undertaken or accepted on behalf of, and transferred to the auspices of, the parent body. ln the event of the dissolution of either the NCRAL (by redrawing of Regional boundaries) or the Astronomical League, the NCRAL shall transfer all net assets to accounts of the Astronomical League for disposal by the League Council.

Section 2.

ln order to facilitate the operation of NCRAL services or activities, or the operation of a convention, or any publication of the NCRAL, whether electronic or on paper, or aid in retiring debts incurred by the NCRAL, the Region may request financial assistance from the national treasury by the method established in the League’s Standing Resolution #3.

ARTICLE X CONSTRUCTION (Contradiction?)

Section 1.

No provision of these bylaws may conflict with the bylaws of the Astronomical League or its Standing Resolutions. Section 2.

lf a provision of these bylaws is found to be in conflict with the bylaws of the Astronomical League or its Standing Resolutions, the governing authority shall be the bylaws of the Astronomical League and its Standing Resolutions until such time as that conflict is removed by amending these bylaws.

ARTICLE XI AMENDMENTS

Section 1.

Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by a Regional Business Meeting, the Council, a member society, or by petition of three (3) or more members-at-large.

Section 2.

A proposed amendment shall be voted upon by mail ballot to the member societies and other members of the NCRAL. Mail ballots shall be returned to the Secretary-Treasurer for tallying. Members of the region shall have the numbers of votes assigned to them in League elections as defined in the National Bylaws, Article 1, Section 2. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of all votes cast will be necessary to adopt a proposed amendment.

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