Melrose Democratic City Committee By-Laws
The Melrose Democratic City Committee’s mission is to be an active and engaging member of the community with its primary responsibility of supporting Democratic causes and candidates.
Purpose and Function
The Melrose Democratic City Committee, hereafter known as the committee, shall have responsibility for the general management of the affairs of the Democratic Party in Melrose and shall have the power and duty to act in all matters pertaining to the interests of the Democratic Party and its members. These activities shall include, without limitation, the endorsement of candidates, the endorsement of or opposition to referenda, the adoption of resolutions and platforms, voter registration campaigns, the calling of caucuses, and any other party business. The Committee shall be committed to promoting diversity in both itself and the community at large.
A) The committee shall be composed of persons registered as Democrats in the City of Melrose who are voted on to a ward committee in a presidential primary election or through the process outlined in paragraph B of this section.
B) Vacancies in the membership of a ward committee shall be filled by a majority vote of the members of that ward committee present and voting at a committee meeting. To be eligible, a member needs to have attended no less than 3 meetings prior to being considered for nomination as a full member of the Committee.
C) The Committee may, by vote at any meeting, authorize the election of new members. Notification of newly elected members of the Committee should be provided to the applicable entities within thirty (30) days of the election.
The Chairperson shall call and preside over committee meetings, executive committee meetings, and caucuses. He/she shall be the chief officer of the committee and shall have general supervision over its affairs. He/she shall be the public voice and spokesperson of the Committee, or his/her designee.
The Vice-Chairperson(s) shall act as chairperson in the absence of the chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson(s) position may be held by not more than two (2) individuals.
The secretary shall be responsible for notifying members of committee meetings, shall keep and distribute the minutes of meetings, and shall keep such records as are appropriate (i.e. the by-laws/membership lists). Within ten (10) days after any organizational meeting of the committee, the secretary shall file with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the Secretary of State, the Melrose City Clerk, and the Democratic State Committee:
A) A list of the officers of the city committee along with their addresses and phone numbers;
B) A list of the officers of each ward committee along with their addresses, as well as a list of the members of each ward committee.
The secretary shall report any changes in these lists that may occur from time to time.
A temporary secretary may be appointed by the chairperson in the absence of the secretary.
The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds belonging to the committee, shall maintain adequate financial records, and shall file such reports as required by applicable law. The Treasurer shall maintain a bank account. The funds of such an account shall be subject to withdrawal by the signature of either the chairperson or the treasurer. The Treasurer shall give a Financial Report of all transactions in the previous month and up until the next meeting at each meeting. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the billing of voluntary dues and assessments.
Affirmative Action/Outreach Officer
The affirmative action/outreach officer shall be responsible for developing strategies and activities to expand participation in the Committee of the Party’s Affirmative Action target groups.
The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson(s), Secretary, Treasurer, Affirmative Action/Outreach officer, and the Chairpersons of the seven (7) ward committees shall be the officers of the committee. Anyone who holds or is a candidate for public elective office shall not serve as chairperson or vice-chairperson of the committee.
The officers of the committee shall constitute an executive committee, which shall meet as necessary, as called by the Chairperson or three (3) officers, in between regular committee meetings to formulate plans, implement policies, make recommendations to the committee, and attend to other necessary matters. In the event of such Executive Committee meeting being called the Chair will notify the Secretary and announce the meeting to all members of the Melrose Democratic City Committee.
Election of Officers
The chairperson, vice-chairperson(s), secretary, treasurer and affirmative action/outreach officer shall be elected every two years (during even-numbered years) by a majority vote of the members present and voting at the organizational meeting, which shall be held no later than April 15 in non-presidential election years and which shall be held within thirty (30) days following that presidential primary in presidential election years. If none of the candidates for an office receives majority support in the first ballot, a run-off will be held between the two candidates who received the most votes.
The officers of each of the seven (7) ward committees (i.e. ward chairperson, ward vice-chairperson, ward secretary, and ward treasurer) shall be elected by a majority vote of the members of the appropriate ward committee present and voting at the organizational meeting. If none of the candidates for a ward office receives majority support in the first ballot, a run-off will be held between the two candidates who received the most votes.
Vacancies in the leadership of the city committee (i.e. chairperson, vice chairperson, treasurer, secretary, affirmative action officer) shall be declared vacant and filled through a special election held at the next regularly scheduled committee meeting following the procedures outlined above. Vacancies in the leadership of a ward committee (i.e. ward chairperson. Vice chairperson, treasurer, secretary) shall be filled in the same manner as set forth above with the exception that only the members of the ward committee which has the vacancy will participate in the election.
The chairperson shall appoint such subcommittees as the committee shall from time to time determine to be necessary and he/she shall designate the subcommittee chairperson.
The chairperson shall call at least four (4) meetings of the committee each year and at least one (1) meeting per quarter. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson. Special meetings may also be called by the secretary upon receipt of a written petition signed by at least twenty (20) percent of the members of the committee.
Notice of Meetings
To the extent possible, the secretary shall notify committee members of the time and place of each regular committee meeting at least three (3) days prior to the meeting. Notice of meetings shall indicate whether the agenda will include the removal of a member, the filling of leadership vacancies, a proposal to amend the by-laws, or the endorsement of a candidate or candidates. With respect to a special meeting, the secretary shall attempt to provide members at least twenty-four (24) hours notice of the meeting by any reasonable means.
A quorum shall be reached when five (5) members, including an officer are present at a committee meeting. A quorum must be present to transact all committee business.
Unless otherwise noted, a majority vote of the members present and voting shall be sufficient to authorize the committee to take any action.
Both the Chairperson and the Treasurer shall have the authority to unilaterally withdraw funds from the committee’s bank account to cover routine expenditures. Non-routine expenditures shall only be withdrawn from the committee’s bank account upon a majority vote of the members present and voting at a committee meeting or at an executive committee meeting. All other expenditures are subject to the majority vote of the Committee.
All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, insofar as said rules do not conflict with the by-laws, the charter of the Democratic State Committee, or the laws of the Commonwealth.
All meetings of the committee, or sub-units thereof, shall be open to members of the Democratic Party.
Resignation/Removal of Members
Members and officers pledge themselves, as elected officials, to perform diligently and honorably their duties or resign. Members of the city and ward committees may be removed by procedures guaranteeing adequate notice and due process and by a majority vote of the entire membership of the committee of which he or she is a member.
Any member may resign by submitting his or her written resignation to the chairperson or secretary of the city committee or to the chairperson or secretary of the appropriate ward committee. Such resignation shall be effective upon receipt unless the effective date is otherwise provided for. When a member resigns or gives notice of his/her resignation it shall be declared at the next meeting by the Chairperson and, if required, filled at the following meeting following guidelines provided above. In cases of death or incapacitation, the status of those members will be considered resigned and/or vacant.
Members may be removed for the following reasons:
- Any member who changes his or her voting residence to one outside the city shall cease to be a member of the committee thirty (30) days after that change has occurred. Any member who changes his or her registration from the Democratic Party shall cease to be a member of the committee immediately.
- Public support to an opponent of a nominee of the Democratic Party which nominee publicly supports the platform of the Democratic Party as adopted at the most recent state and national Democratic convention.
- Unauthorized use of the Party/Committee name or resources.
- Conviction after appeals are exhausted of a criminal offense other than a misdemeanor.
A member must be given an opportunity to resign before notice of the hearing on the question of removal is given to the membership of the committee. The Committee also reserves the right to seek removal of any member for any reason not stated specifically in this section. Such a motion would need to be approved by a majority of the members present at the meeting.
A majority vote of all ward committee members shall be needed to remove a member from a ward committee. A member removed under this section shall have thirty (30) days to file an appeal with the Judicial Council of the Democratic State Committee. The vacancy may not be filled until the final decision of the judicial council is made or, in the event that no appeal is taken, until the thirty (30) day period for filing an appeal has expired.
Dues and Assessments
The voluntary dues of members shall be payable by May 31st of each year. Voluntary Dues can be paid for online by visiting the Voluntary Dues Payment Page.
Applications of the By-Laws to Ward Committees
The by-laws of the Melrose Democratic City Committee shall govern the conduct of each ward committee until that ward committee establishes its own rules and/or by-laws.
Amendments to the By-Laws
The by-laws may only be amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a committee meeting. A proposed amendment may not be voted upon until it has been discussed at two (2) consecutive meetings.