WHEATON AMERICAN LEGION POST 268

CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS & HOUSE RULES

 

CONSTITUTION

 

PREAMBLE

 

For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:

     To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States Of America;

     To maintain law and order;

     To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism;

     To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars;

     To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation;

     To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses;

     To make right the master of might;

     To promote peace and good-will on earth;

     To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy;

     To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.

 

ARTICLE I - NAME & LOCATION

 

Section 1.  The name of this organization shall be Wheaton Post#268, The American Legion, Department of Maryland, Incorporated, hereinafter referred to as the Post, which is located at 11225 Fern Street, Wheaton, Maryland, 20902.

 

ARTICLE II - NATURE

 

Section 1.  The Post is a civilian organization and rank does not exist in the American Legion.  No member shall be addressed by his military or naval title in any meeting of the Post.

 

Section 2.  The object and purpose of this Post is to promote the principles and policies as set forth in the Preamble, and in the National and Department Constitution and By-laws of the American Legion.  The Adjutant will maintain an up-to-date copy of the National, State and Post Constitution and By-laws which shall be made available to any member for reference purposes.

 

Section 3.  The Post shall be absolutely nonpolitical and shall not be used for dissemination of partisan principles nor for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment.

 

Section 4.  There will be a regular monthly meeting from January through November of the Post membership as specified in the By-laws.

 

ARTICLE III - CHARTER MEMBERS

 

Section 1.  Members who joined this Post prior to August 31, 1954, shall be known as charter members.

 

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY

 

Section 1.  Any person shall be eligible for membership who meets the requirements as prescribed in Article IV of the National Constitution and By-laws of the American Legion.

 

Section 2.  There shall be no form or class of membership except an active membership and dues shall be paid annually, or for life.  Social or honorary memberships are specifically prohibited.

 

Section 3.  No person who has been expelled by another Post shall be admitted to membership in this Post, except as provided in Article IV, Section 4 of the Department Constitution and By-laws.

 

ARTICLE V - AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY

 

Section 1.  This Post recognizes an Auxiliary Organization known as “Unit 268, The American Legion Auxiliary”, Department of Maryland.

 

Section 2.  Membership in the Auxiliary shall be as prescribed by the National Constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary.

 

ARTICLE VI - SONS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION

 

Section 1.  This Post recognizes a Sons of the American Legion Organization known as “Squadron 268, The Sons of the American Legion, Department of Maryland.

 

Section 2.  Membership in the Sons of the American Legion shall be as prescribed by the National Constitution of the Sons of the American Legion.

 

ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS

 

Section 1.  The Constitution and By-laws are adopted subject to the provisions of the National and Department Constitutions and By-laws of the American Legion.  Any amendment to the National or Department Constitutions or By-laws in conflict with any provisions herein shall automatically repeal or modify the provisions of the Constitution and By-laws to the extent off such conflict.

 

Section 2.  This Constitution and By-laws may be amended at any regular Post meeting by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Post attending the regular meeting, provided that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing, have been read at a preceding meeting and shall, together with a notice of vote on the amendment, have been included in a prior edition of the official publication of Wheaton Post #268.

 

Section 3.  All proceedings of this Post shall be conducted under the provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order, except as otherwise herein provided.

 

ARTICLE VIII - DISSOLUTION OF POST

 

Section 1.  Upon dissolution of the Post and Corporation, all available assets will be transferred to Legion programs as directed by the Department of Maryland within the laws of the State of Maryland.

 

Constitution amendment dates:

April 15, 1980 - original adoption.

Dec. 23, 1980 - Article VII, Section 1 and 2.

Jan. 26, 1988 - Article II, Section 5.

Nov. 28, 1989 - Article II, Section 3,4.

Jan. 23, 1996 - Article IV, Section 2.

 

 

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AMERICAN LEGION

WHEATON POST 268

BY-LAWS

 

ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1. Any person shall be eligible for membership in Wheaton Post #268, The American Legion, Department of Maryland, Inc., who meets the requirements for membership described in the National Constitution of The American Legion.

 

Section 2. A person desiring membership must submit a completed membership application together with a copy of their discharge or other service document and their dues.

 

If such documentation is reviewed by the Post Adjutant, Commander, or a Vice-Commander and found to meet requirements for membership, the application shall be forwarded for a vote at the next Executive Committee meeting.

 

For a transfer membership from any post other than Post 297, a positive recommendation from the previous Post Commander or Adjutant shall be requested.  If reasonable attempts are made and the previous post is unresponsive, the Executive Committee may consider the transfer application.  A positive vote by a majority of the Executive Committee shall forward the prospective member to the Post membership for a vote.

 

Section 3. If the application is rejected by either the Executive Committee or the membership, the applicant shall be so notified and his or her application shall not be considered again for a period of six (6) months from the date of the notice of rejection.

 

Section 4. Any member whose membership has been forfeited for nonpayment of dues may be reinstated by application and payment of dues.

 

Section 5. No “Honorary Life Member” will be considered for transfer from another Post unless he or she is willing to surrender their “Life Membership” status.

 

ARTICLE II - DUES

 

Section 1. The annual rate of dues shall be set by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 2. Members in arrears on January 1 shall be classified as delinquent, automatically forfeiting all privileges of the Post Home.  If dues have not been paid by February 1, the member is suspended.  However, a person who has not paid his dues by February 1 will retain his membership until June 30, at which time the member is dropped from the rolls and membership is forfeited.

 

ARTICLE III - OFFICERS

 

Section 1. The Officers of this Post shall be a Commander, who is the President of the Corporation; First, Second and Third Vice Commanders, who are the First, Second and Third Vice Presidents respectively, of the Corporation; Historian, Chaplain and Sergeant-At-Arms,  The Officers shall be elected in accordance with Article X of these by-laws.

 

Section 2. The Adjutant shall be Secretary of the Corporation and the Finance Officer shall be the Treasurer of the Corporation.

 

Section 3. Every member in good standing shall be eligible to hold office.  The Finance Officer must meet qualifications set by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 4. All Officers and Committees shall be subject to the control of the membership and shall adhere to the instructions of the membership as directed at regular or special meetings, except as provided elsewhere in these by-laws.

 

ARTICLE IV - MEETINGS

 

Section 1. Membership meetings.

 

A. Regular meetings of the membership shall be held on the fourth (4th) Tuesday of each month from January through November at 19:30 hours.

 

B. Special meetings of the membership may be called by the Commander or by the Adjutant upon the request of a majority of the Executive Committee members.

 

C. Upon written request of at least ten percent (10%) of the paid-up members, the Commander shall call a special meeting of the membership.

 

D.  The membership shall be provided notification at least three (3) days prior to any special membership meeting.

 

E. The Commander, the First, Second or Third Vice Commander, in that order, shall preside at membership meetings.  In the event of their absence, another Post Officer shall call the meeting to order and such meeting shall elect its own presiding officer.

 

F.  Sixteen (16) members of the Post’s total membership shall constitute a quorum at any membership meeting.

 

G. Minutes of membership meetings shall be duly recorded in writing and shall be posted before and distributed at the next membership meeting.

 

H. Should any regular membership meeting fall on a holiday, said meeting may be held on some other date as determined by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 2. Executive Committee meetings.

 

A. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a month from January through November, at least ten (10) days prior to the regular meeting of the membership.

 

B. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the Commander.

 

C. The Executive Committee members shall be provided at least one (1) days notice for Special Executive Committee meetings.

 

D. Nine (9) voting members of the Executive Committee in attendance at any meeting shall constitute a quorum.

 

E. Minutes of Executive Committee meetings, containing roll call, shall be recorded in writing and posted before and distributed at the next membership meeting.

 

F. Should any regular Executive Committee meeting fall on a holiday, said meeting may be held on some other date as determined by the Executive Committee.

 

G. The Commander, the First, Second or Third Vice Commander, in that order, shall preside at Executive Committee meetings.  In the event of their absence, another Post Officer shall call the meeting to order and such meeting shall elect its own presiding officer.

 

ARTICLE V - DUTIES OF OFFICERS

 

Section 1. The Commander shall have general supervision over business affairs. In an emergency and pending a meeting of the Executive Committee or the membership the Commander shall take action to maintain or protect the well-being of the Post members and property.  This includes denying the privileges of the Post for up to forty-eight (48) hours to anyone involved in disturbing instances on Post property.  This denial will be terminated at the end of the forty-eight (48) hours if no charges are made against the parties involved or when the Executive Committee takes action on charges. 

 

The Commander shall also have the authority to approve expenditures not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for non-emergency requirements between regular membership meetings.  The Commander can expend whatever funds are necessary to alleviate situations that threaten the life or limb of a Post member, guest or patron or would threaten the continued existence of the Post home.  This expenditure should be reported to the budget committee for possible amendment to the budget.  It is the responsibility of the Commander to carry out the directives and policies set by the membership or the Executive Committee.

 

Section 2. The Commander, upon taking office, shall immediately appoint an Adjutant and a Judge Advocate whose names shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval and then to the membership for confirmation.  Upon appointment, however, these persons shall assume the respective duties and responsibilities of their positions and perform same until their successor is otherwise provided.

 

Section 3. In the event of the Commander’s absence or inability to act, the Vice Commanders, in their order of position, shall assume and discharge the duties of the Commander.  Each Vice Commander shall have a specific committee assignment for which they have primary responsibility.  The First Vice Commander shall be assigned the Membership & Credentials Committee.  The Second Vice Commander shall be assigned the Americanism Committee.  The Third Vice Commander shall be assigned the Children & Youth Committee.

 

Section 4. The Adjutant shall have charge of and keep a full and correct record of all proceedings of all Executive Committee meetings and meetings of the membership; keep such records as the Department and National Organizations may require; and under the direction of the Commander, handle all correspondence.  The Adjutant shall issue membership cards and may designate an assistant to aid in keeping records and handling correspondence.  Any Post funds received by the Adjutant shall be turned over to the Finance Officer.

 

Section 5. The Finance Officer is responsible for protecting the assets of the Post and for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of all financial books and records, including the recording of all assets, liabilities, income and expense; making regular deposits of receipts in an approved depository; paying all obligations by check and assuring that all disbursements are properly supported by receipted documents, properly cross referenced to the disbursement checks; submitting a monthly financial report indicating cash balance at the end of the previous month, itemized income and expense during the month, and cash balance at the end of the month.  The total amount deposited and interest earned shall also be shown and reconciled with the closing cash balance.  A copy of this report shall be retained by the Finance Officer as a part of the official records.

 

All disbursements made by check will be signed by the Finance Officer and/or the Commander or the First Vice Commander.  At the request of and with a recommendation from the Post Finance Officer, the Commander shall appoint an Assistant Finance Officer, who shall stand before the Executive Committee for confirmation and serve during the Finance Officers term of office and at the pleasure of the Finance Officer.  The duties, responsibilities and work assignments of the Assistant Finance Officer shall be as directed by the Finance Officer.  The Assistant Finance Officer shall report directly to and be responsible to the Finance Officer.

 

Section 6. The Post Historian shall assemble pertinent news articles, photographs, etc., relative to Post activities and shall submit an annual report at the conclusion of the term of office.

 

Section 7. The Post Chaplain is responsible for providing devout but nonsectarian services in the event of dedications, funerals, public functions, etc., adhering to such ceremonial rituals as are recommended by the National and Department Headquarters.  The Chaplain shall render a report at each meeting of sickness or death and may also purchase flowers, etc. for the welfare of any member or of the members immediate family, including father, mother, sisters and/or brothers, in an amount not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) per member, per occurrence, except as otherwise authorized by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 8. The Sergeant-At-Arms shall preserve order at all meetings and shall perform any other appropriate duties as assigned by the Commander or the Executive Committee.

 

ARTICLE VI - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

Section 1. Administrative affairs, except as otherwise provided by these by-laws, shall be the responsibility of and under the direction of the Executive Committee.

 

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall consist of: (1) The Post Officers, (2) The immediate Past Commander and (3) One additional at-large member for each 100 paid up members of the Post in excess of 100, but in no case shall the Executive Committee exceed a total of twenty (20) members.  For membership between 700-799, there will be six (6) at-large members.  For membership between 800-899, there will be seven (7) at-large members.

 

Section 3. This Committee shall set the annual dues for the membership.

 

Section 4. The Adjutant and Finance Officer shall serve on the Executive Committee without a vote, but will be granted the privileges of the floor.

 

Section 5. The term of office for members of the Executive Committee is one (1) year, or until the next annual installation of elected Officers, whichever is earlier.  Members of the Executive Committee shall constitute the Board of Directors of the Corporation.

 

Section 6. The unauthorized absence of any Officer or Executive Committee member from three (3) consecutive meetings of the membership and/or the Executive Committee shall automatically vacate the office.

 

Section 7. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to approve expenditures not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1000.00) per Executive Committee meeting.  The expenditure shall be reported to the budget committee for possible appropriate amendment to the budget.

 

All proposals or expenditures of funds in excess of one thousand dollars ($1000.00) must first be presented to the Executive Committee for consideration and/or recommendation prior to final action by the Post membership.

 

Section 8. The Executive Committee will approve and present to the membership a set of House Rules governing the conduct of members and guests while on the premises.

 

Section 9. The Executive Committee will establish the Post hours of operation, which will be posted with the House Rules in the foyer and other appropriate locations. Post hours shall be displayed on primary entry doors.

 

Section 10. The Executive Committee shall establish written position descriptions for each class of employment in the Post, except as elsewhere covered in these by-laws, and shall establish a salary schedule and leave policy for all Post employees.

 

Section 11. The Executive Committee shall review the qualifications of any candidate for the office of Post Finance Officer.  The Executive Committee shall appoint the Finance Officer with approval of the membership.

 

ARTICLE VII - JUDGE ADVOCATE

 

The Post Judge Advocate shall attend all meetings possible of the membership and Executive Committee and shall advise the Commander, Executive Committee, and the membership on all Legion matters relating to the Post including the interpretation and construction of the National, Department and Post Constitutions and By-laws and Post House Rules.  However, the final ruling is the responsibility of the presiding officer unless his decision is contrary to the National, Department and/or Post Constitution and By-laws, Roberts Rules of Order, or is overruled by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership in attendance at the meeting.

 

ARTICLE VIII -ADMINISTRATION

 

Section 1. No member of this Post shall release to nonmembers any resolution, news item or other publicity pertaining to the policy of the American Legion, or any publicity, which attacks or accuses any individual or organization, unless such person has first obtained the authorization from the Commander.

 

Section 2. Audits

 

A. The Post shall, upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at a membership meeting or a two-thirds (2/3) vote of voting Executive Committee members present at an Executive Committee meeting, conduct an outside audit of Post Financial records within sixty (60) days of such vote.  Additionally, an audit should be conducted within sixty (60) days of appointment of a new Finance Officer.

 

B. At any point, the Post Commander or two-thirds (2/3) of the voting Executive Committee members present at an Executive Committee meeting can call for the appointment of an internal Audit Committee to review Post financial records.  The Audit Committee shall consist of three (3) members in good standing.  Members shall be nominated by the Commander, the Finance Officer, or a member of the Executive Committee and must be confirmed by a majority of the Executive Committee.

 

C. Any audit shall be presented to the Executive Committee in the form of a written report.

 

Section 3. No member, group of members, or committee shall incur any unbudgeted obligation or liability in the name of the Post unless specifically and duly authorized by the membership or the Executive Committee.

 

Section 4. No Post Home property or equipment shall be loaned to another organization or to a member of this Post without prior approval of the Commander.  It shall be the responsibility of the Commander to see that such equipment and/or property is returned in the same condition as when loaned out.

 

Section 5. Committee of the Whole

 

A. In the event sufficient members are not present to attain the required quorum for the conduct of business at a regular meeting of the membership, the presiding officer may declare those members present to be a Committee of the Whole for the sole purpose of receiving the report and recommendations on those applicants for Post membership.

 

B. After hearing the report and recommendations, the Committee of the Whole shall take whatever action is necessary on the applications, including, but not limited to, election of the applicant into full Post membership.  Election to Post membership by the Committee of the Whole shall be considered the same as if the election was held at any Post membership meeting, conveying full rights and privileges of Post membership to those so elected.

 

C. Immediately following the completion of action on Post membership applications, the presiding officer shall declare the Committee of the Whole to be dismissed and the Sergeant-At-Arms shall be requested to take a quorum call of members present.

 

ARTICLE IX - BUDGET

 

Section 1. All fiscal affairs of the Post shall be established in an annual budget that reflects the receipts, expenditures and capital outlays for the fiscal year beginning on the first day of July and ending on the last day of June.  In no case shall the budget provide for deficit spending nor shall deficit spending be permitted in the operations of the Post.  In no case will any Post Activities be excluded from the budget.

 

Section 2. As soon as the budget committee is appointed, the Post Finance Officer shall provide the committee members with historical financial data and orientation and guidelines on the Post budget process. 

 

The committee shall immediately seek input in the form of budget request from all Officers, committee chairs and others who are responsible for generating revenue and/or incurring expenditures.  These budget requests must be submitted to the budget committee no later than July 15th of each year and any person who fails to meet this deadline shall forfeit their right to submit a budget request and the budget committee shall determine the budgetary needs of that Officer, committee, or other person.

 

The budget committee has the right to seek any additional information pertinent to its budgetary determinations. 

 

No later than the end of the third week of the fiscal year, the budget committee shall submit its budget proposal to the Post Finance Officer, who shall present the proposed budget to the Executive Committee and to the membership for approval and adoption at the August Post meeting.

 

Section 3. Until the budget is adopted, interim budget expenditures are authorized at a level no greater than authorized for the same months in the prior fiscal year.  No capital expenditures are authorized under the provisions of this section.

 

Section 4. The Post Finance Officer shall report on the status of the Post budget and the financial condition of the Post at each regular scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee and the Post membership.

 

ARTICLE X - ELECTIONS

 

Section 1. The annual election shall be held by written ballot on the date of the regularly scheduled membership meeting in the month of May.  Officers elected shall be the Commander, First, Second, and Third Vice Commanders, Historian, Chaplain, Sergeant-At-Arms, and Executive Committee members, Delegates and Alternates to the Department Convention, the Southern Maryland District, and the Montgomery County Council.

 

Section 2. Nominations shall be made from the floor at the March and April membership meetings and the March, April, and May Executive Committee meetings. Nominations shall be closed at the May Executive Committee meeting.  Only the names of those members willing to serve if elected will be accepted for nomination.  A member may be nominated for more than one office. If elected to more than one office, the nominee must immediately select which office he or she wishes to fill.  The vacant office (or offices) shall be filled according to the vacancy provision of these by-laws.

 

Section 3. After the close of nominations and prior to the adjournment of the May Executive Committee meeting, (1) the Adjutant shall remove the from the list of at-large nominees to the Executive Committee the name of anyone who is the only nominee for a position (such as Commander or Chaplain) that constitutes automatic service on the Executive Committee and (2) the Adjutant shall read the names of candidates for each office.  The listing of candidates read shall constitute the official ballot for the election.

 

Section 4. The Adjutant shall prepare a sufficient number of ballots with names of candidates.  There shall be three ballots: a ballot for Post Officers; a ballot for at-large members of the Executive Committee, and a ballot for Delegates and Alternates to the Department Convention, the Southern Maryland District and the Montgomery County Council.  No other ballot shall be legal.

 

Section 5. The Commander shall appoint at least one (1) Judge and up to three (3) Tellers (one of whom shall be designated Head Teller) and such additional assistants as may be required.

 

Votes shall be cast at the Post home on the day of the May regular Post membership meeting from 11:00 A. M. until 7:30 P.M.  Prior to 11:00 A.M. on the date of the election, the Adjutant shall provide the Head Teller with a roster of Post members who are eligible to vote, blank ballots and two ballot boxes (one for completed ballots for Post Officers and the Executive Committee and one box for completed ballots for Delegates).

 

Section 6. The Post Commander shall designate an appropriate place to be used as the polling place and no blank ballots shall be taken from that place. 

 

In order to vote, a member must (1) present his current membership card to the Teller on duty or have his current membership status verified by the Adjutant or other Post Officer, and (2) sign in the space beside his name on the election roster.  The Teller shall furnish the voter with blank ballots.  Completed ballots shall be placed in the appropriate ballot boxes.  The Commander shall announce at 7:15 P.M. that the polls will close at 7:30 P.M. and only those voters who are actually in the polling place at 7:30 P.M. shall be permitted to vote.

 

Under the supervision of the Judges, counting of the ballots on hand may be started at 6:00 P.M. or at any time thereafter as determined by the Judge(s).

 

When the last ballot is cast, the Judge(s) shall take charge of the election roster and the two ballot boxes.  The Judge(s) and Tellers shall review all ballots for authenticity and tabulate the votes.  In the case of a tie vote, a run-off election for those positions shall be held immediately.  Only those members casting ballots in the initial vote, as evidenced by the election roster, shall be eligible to vote in the run-off election.

 

Section 7. Write-ins will be ignored.

 

Section 8. When the counting of the ballots for Post Officers and at-large members of the Executive Committee has been completed, the Head Teller will present the results to the Adjutant, including the total number of voters and the total number of votes received by each candidate.  The Adjutant will then report to the membership the name of each person elected to a Post Office and, in order based on the highest number of votes received, the names of those elected as at-large members of the Executive Committee.

 

The actual numbers of votes received by each candidate for any office will be read if requested by a candidate who was unsuccessful for such office.

 

Within 24 hours following the closing of the polls, the Head Teller will present to the Post Adjutant the results of the counting of the ballots for Delegates and Alternates to the Department Convention, the Southern Maryland District and Montgomery County Council.

 

The Adjutant will post the names of those elected on a bulletin board within the Post Home within 24 hours of receiving the results.

 

Section 9. Members elected as Officers, Executive Committee members, the appointed Adjutant, Finance Officer and Judge Advocate shall be installed at the next regular membership meeting or on a date specified by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 10. Any member may request a recount of the ballots prior to the next regular membership meeting.

 

This request must be made in writing to the Executive Committee and must show cause for the request.  If the Executive Committee considers the request valid, it will take any action necessary for the recount, including the presence of the Commander of the Montgomery County Council.  In the case of a recount, the total number of votes cast and totals received by each candidate shall be posted on a bulletin board within the Post Home.

 

Section 11. All ballots from any election shall be sealed and held by the Adjutant until after the next Post regular membership meeting and then destroyed unless a recount is requested.  After such recount, destruction shall be as directed by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 12. Vacancies occurring in any position within the thirty (30) days immediately following the annual Post elections shall be automatically filled by the person obtaining the next highest number of votes.  Any vacancies occurring more than thirty (30) days after the election shall be filled pursuant to Section 13 of this Article.

 

Section 13. Any vacancies occurring more than thirty (30) days after the annual Post elections shall be filled as follows.  An election will be held at the next regular membership meeting following notification of the vacancy, provided the notice of the vacancy has been published in the Post newsletter and an opportunity to nominate was available at one (1) regular membership meeting and one (1) Executive Committee meeting prior to the meeting at which the election is to take place.

 

ARTICLE XI - DELEGATES

 

Section 1. Delegates and Alternates to the Department Convention, the Southern Maryland District and the Montgomery County Council shall be elected at the regular Post elections in the month of May.

 

Section 2. The Commander and the immediate Past Commander shall automatically be Delegates to the Department Convention and the Southern Maryland District.  In addition to the Commander and the immediate Past Commander, the First Vice Commander shall automatically be a Delegate to the Montgomery County Council.

 

Other delegates shall be nominated and elected in accordance with Article X of these by-laws.  The apportionment of Delegates to the Southern Maryland District and the Montgomery County Council shall be as established by the District and Council.

 

Section 3. Delegates to the Department of Maryland Convention shall not be eligible to receive convention reimbursement monies from the Post unless they have attended at least seven (7) membership meetings of the Post during the immediate Legion year and attended all convention sessions to which they are assigned.

 

ARTICLE XII - DISCIPLINE

 

Section 1. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the Commander or any other elected Officer from taking immediate action against a member of the American Legion, the Sons of the American Legion, the Ladies Auxiliary or a guest in order to maintain order and decorum regarding the use of Post facilities and/or Post property.

 

The Commander may, without a hearing, suspend a member from the use of the Post facilities for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days.  Within ten (10) days of being advised of said suspension, the member can request, in writing, a hearing before the Post Executive Committee, or if the suspended member is a Post Officer, before the Post Membership.  A requested hearing must be held within ten (10) days of the Post receiving such request.

 

Section 2. A member, with a showing of cause, can bring charges against another member requesting that the accused member be reprimanded, denied use of Post facilities (except as otherwise stated in these by-laws), suspended from the Post or expelled from the American Legion.  Charges shall be based upon disloyalty, neglect of duty, dishonesty or conduct unbecoming a member of the American Legion.  No member shall be so disciplined until given a fair hearing by the Post Executive Committee.

 

In the event an Executive Committee Member (including a Post Officer) is involved as a principle or witness in the charges he or she may not act as a juror.  When there are insufficient Executive Committee Members for a minimum jury of five (5) members, the Commander shall select, or have the Sergeant-At-Arms select, additional members of the Post to serve as jurors, provided the members are not principles or witnesses to the charges.

 

The section, Practice and Procedure in the Expulsion or Suspension of a Member of the American Legion, in the current Officers Guide, shall be used as a guide in disciplinary cases of Post Members.

 

Section 3. Any charges filed against a member shall be made in accordance with the by-laws of the Department of Maryland.

 

Section 4. In the event of charges filed against a Post member, a screening committee shall examine the validity of such charges and make a determination as to whether the charges are sufficient for hearing by the Executive Committee.  The screening committee shall be composed of five (5) members of the Executive Committee, less the Adjutant, Commander and any Executive Committee member involved as a principle or witness in the charges.

 

Screening committee names shall be drawn at random by the Commander and witnessed by the Adjutant.  The selected members shall pick a chairperson, review the charges and make their determination.

 

Section 5. Any member who has been charged may be barred from Post activities.  Should such charges involve physical violence the member shall be immediately barred from Post activities.  Any member so barred shall continue in that status until final determination is completed on the charges.  However, the member may attend Post membership meetings.

 

Section 6. In all cases, if the accuser or the accused is an Officer of the Post or an Executive Committee member, he or she will be required to leave the hearing during the deliberation by the Executive Committee, and will not be permitted to participate in the decision of the Committee.

 

Section 7. The Executive Committee by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting, upon a finding of guilty, may impose the following actions: reprimand; denial of the use of Post Home and social facilities open to other members for up to two (2) years; suspension from all Post activities for a period not exceeding one (1) year; or expulsion from the American Legion.

 

Section 8. A member brought up on charges must be considered for expulsion from the American Legion if he or she has been found guilty three times for violations during the previous twenty-four (24) month period.

 

Section 9. Any member who has been disciplined has the right to appeal to the Department Executive Committee, whose decision on appeal shall be final. Said appeal must be in writing and filed with the Department within thirty (30) days after the date of decision by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 10. The Executive Committee is empowered to take necessary action to recover any damages to Legion property, including prosecution by civil authorities.

 

Section 11. A Post Officer, or an elected Delegate or Alternate, may be removed from office for neglect of duty, or conduct unbecoming the office held, by action of two-thirds (2/3) of the membership of the Post present and voting at a regular membership meeting and no formal charges shall be necessary to initiate such removal.

 

A member shall be afforded thirty (30) days notice prior to such action.  The affected member shall be entitled to know the reason for such action and, upon request, to be heard at a regular membership meeting in the Officers own defense either before or after the action has been taken.  If the defense is first heard after the action has been taken, the membership of the Post shall reconsider the motion of removal from office and once again vote on the removal motion.

 

Section 12. The Post recognizes the right of the Auxiliary Unit 268 and The Sons of the American Legion Squadron 268 to discipline its members. However, the Post reserves the right to take the necessary action when an Auxiliary or Squadron member violates any portion to the Constitution or By-laws, and/or House Rules.  The action will be coordinated with the Auxiliary or Squadron. Results of disciplinary actions by the Auxiliary or Squadron must be reported to the Post Commander when the action affects the status of the member as it pertains to Post Home functions.

 

ARTICLE XIII - COMMITTEES

 

Section 1. The Commander, immediately upon taking office should appoint the following standing committees or positions; Membership & Credentials, Sports, Ways and Means, Hall Rental, Press and Publicity, Americanism, Children & Youth, Budget, Post Home Improvements and Service Officer.

 

He should also appoint chairpersons for any other committees deemed necessary.

 

Standing committees shall consist of a Chairperson as designated by the Commander and such members as designated by the Chairperson, with the approval of the Executive Committee.

 

If the Commander has not appointed such committees within fifteen (15) days after installation, the Executive Committee may appoint the aforesaid committees and designate the Chairpersons. 

 

Special committees shall be appointed by the Commander as the occasion warrants.

 

Standing committees shall submit reports at each regular membership meeting.  Special committees shall submit final reports in writing to the membership at the conclusion of their work.

 

The Commander shall appoint a Chairperson of the Baseball Committee in August, who shall be presented to the Executive Committee and the Membership for approval in September.  The Chairperson is responsible for the administration and operation of all baseball programs.  He may not be relieved from this assignment during the year of his assignment unless such removal is approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee and two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership in attendance at a meeting.

 

Section 2. Each standing committee may draw an advance of funds from the Finance Officer for use for expenses in making preliminary arrangements for any special function or activity approved by the Executive Committee and/or the Commander.  Such advances must be accounted for in the report submitted to the Finance

Officer and must be supported by receipts and an itemized statement of expenditures.  All monies over and above monies expended shall be given to the Finance Officer for deposit to the General Fund Account of the Post after completion of each separate special function or activity.

 

Section 3. Each Committee’s monthly report shall include a detailed statement covering all receipts and/or disbursement of funds handled by the committee, including a listing of any outstanding indebtedness or accounts receivable.

 

Section 4. Immediately following the annual installation of Post Officers, the Commander should appoint a Budget Committee consisting of at least 3 members who posses experience in financial management and knowledge of Post operations.  The Post Finance Officer shall serve as an advisory member and secretary to the Committee.

 

Section 5. The Membership & Credentials Committee is responsible for the administration of all solicitations for membership and review of applications submitted.  The committee shall receive all applications for membership, transfer and/or reinstatement.  The Chairperson shall be responsible for the investigation of all prospective new members, reviewing their application and appropriate documents to assure that the candidate meets all requirements as prescribed in the National Constitution and By-laws of the American Legion, and collects the current year’s dues.

 

Upon completion of the review, it is the Chairperson’s responsibility to read the prospective member’s qualifying credential information at the next Post Executive Committee meeting, at which time a recommendation is considered for acceptance or rejection.

 

If a prospective member is not eligible, the Chairperson shall turn over all of the candidate’s papers to the Adjutant to return to the candidate.  If the prospective member is recommended for acceptance by the Executive Committee, the Chairperson will then recommend acceptance of the candidate at the next regular meeting of the membership.

 

Section 6. The Ways and Means Committee is responsible for the development, administration, and operation of all special programs to raise funds for, and to promote social functions for the Post.  The Chairperson is authorized an advance not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for any special projects and all money received shall be given to the Finance Officer for deposit in the general Fund Account.

 

Section 7. The Press and Publicity Committee is responsible for the dissemination and publication of all items of interest to the public concerning Legion matters and any advertising of the Post or its activities.

 

Section 8. The Service Officer shall assist veterans, Legion members and their dependents in matters regarding claims, burial arrangements, VA and Military pensions, insurance applications, benefits, and other Legion service programs.

 

Section 9 . The Americanism Committee shall organize, promote, and administer all ceremonies, i.e., Memorial and Veterans’ Day, the Oratorical contest, school awards, Boys State, presentation of flags, etc. as prescribed by the National and Department Headquarters.

 

Section 10. The Children & Youth Committee shall work with the Auxiliary unit on a Children & Youth program as outlined by the National and Department headquarters.

 

Section 11. The Sports Committee Chairperson shall be responsible for the organization, administration and promotion of all tournaments and other events held in the name of Wheaton Post #268, whether they are held in or outside of the Post Home.

 

Section 12. Hall Rental Committee

 

A. The Chairperson of the Hall Rental Committee shall be responsible to the Commander only.

 

B. Any commitments for hall rentals made by other than the Chairperson or Post Commander are null and void.

 

C. The Chairperson, or designated officer, shall execute a written contract for any rental of the hall.

 

D. The Executive Committee shall establish prices for rental of the Post Home hall and shall adopt guidelines for hall rentals.  Such prices and guidelines should be categorized into usage by American Legion activities, member activities and nonmember activities.

 

E. All beer, wine and alcoholic beverages to be used at rental functions must be purchased through the Post Home bar.

 

F. The Chairperson of the Hall Rental Committee will coordinate each hall rental with the Bar Chairman and Food Committee Chairman to ensure that hall facilities and food and beverage requirements under the terms of the rental contract are adequately met.

 

G. No member of the Post is authorized to attend rental functions unless specifically invited by the renter. Unauthorized attendance will subject a member to disciplinary action under the provisions of Article XII of these By-laws.

 

Section 13. The Commander shall appoint a Life Membership Committee.  The Committee shall function solely at their discretion to recommend and vet candidates for consideration.  Honorary Life Membership shall be granted only upon recommendation of the committee followed by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Committee and a 2/3 vote of the Membership present at the meeting at which the Honorary Life membership is proposed.

 

ARTICLE XIV - BAR CHAIRMAN

 

Section 1. The Post Commander shall appoint a Bar Chairperson, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.  The Chairperson serves at the pleasure of the Post Commander and is remunerated at the rate of one dollar per year.

 

Section 2. The Chairperson is responsible for the operation of the Bar with sufficient authority to meet this responsibility. The Chairperson reports monthly to the Executive Committee and may seek or receive guidance on interim matters from the Commander.

 

Section 3. The Chairperson shall hire employees for the bar, pursuant to the policies adopted by the Executive Committee.

 

Section 4. The Chairperson shall establish rules governing operations and conduct of employees not covered by these by-laws or the House Rules.  The Chairperson’s rules shall supplement the actual by-laws and House Rules and shall not enter the areas of Post policy, standards, or objectives.  Violation of the Bar

Chairperson’s rules, unless the violation is specifically contrary to the by-laws or House Rules, is not a matter for disciplinary action by the Executive Committee.  The rules shall be posted in the employee areas of the Post Home.  It is the responsibility of the Chairperson to see that these rules are adhered to.

 

Section 5. The Bar Chairperson, with cause, may terminate the employment of any employee under the Chairperson’s jurisdiction.  The Commander must be notified of any such action within 48 hours and all Executive Committee members must be notified within one week of such action and of the justification for such action.  Any employee so terminated may appeal to the Executive Committee.

 

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