Bylaws of the Leona Valley Town Council
ARTICLE 1. NAME
The name of this organization shall be the “LEONA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL”.
ARTICLE 2. AUTHORITY
The Leona Valley Town Council derives its authority from the “LEONA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL CHARTER OF INCORPORATION,” hereafter called “CHARTER.” The CHARTER takes precedence over these bylaws.
ARTICLE 3. PURPOSE
The purpose of the Leona Valley Town Council shall be to engage in such activities as may promote the common good of the community of Leona Valley and provide for the preservation of the community's values, lifestyles, and rural environment. The Leona Valley Town Council shall provide a frequent forum and/or other means of gathering community views, wishes and concerns on issues to be brought before the Leona Valley Town Council; to present community concerns to appropriate agencies; and to review public or private proposals that may affect the community. The Leona Valley Town council shall be apolitical, neither supporting nor opposing any political party or candidate.
ARTICLE 4. ORGANIZATION OF THE LEONA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL
SECTION 1. Duties and Responsibilities: The duties and responsibilities of the Leona Valley Town Council shall include the following:
A. The Leona Valley Town Council shall at all times:
1. Strive to accurately mirror in its policies and actions the positions and concerns of the Leona Valley community.
2. Function as a voluntary organization of elected members who receive no remuneration.
3. Encourage the flow of information among individuals and community organizations who are working for the betterment of Leona Valley.
B. Represent the Leona Valley Town Council and the community with equal authority and position.
C. And, shall not borrow money nor incur any indebtedness.
SECTION 2. Contracts: Leona Valley Town Council contracts must be:
A. Authorized and executed by a majority vote of the Leona Valley Town Council with all member present.
B. Fully funded.
C. Unless authorized by the Leona Valley Town Council, no officer or agent shall have any power or authority to contractually obligate the Leona Valley Town Council.
SECTION 3. Reports: The reports of the Leona Valley Town Council shall be as follows:
A. Records. The Leona Valley Town Council shall cause to be kept detailed records of the actions of the Council, minutes of the meetings of the Council, minutes of the meetings and actions of the Committees, and the financial records and books of the Leona Valley Town Council.
B. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year for accounting, and for the annual audit, shall be from December 1 through November 30.
C. Annual Report. The Leona Valley Town Council shall generate an annual report of the receipts and expenditures of the Leona Valley Town Council at the end of each fiscal year and report to the community of Leona Valley at the next regularly scheduled Leona Valley Town Council meeting.
ARTICLE 5. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. The Council shall be composed of five (5) members and two alternate members elected by Leona Valley registered voters.
SECTION 2. To be eligible, a candidate shall be at least 18 years of age at the time of announcement of candidacy, a resident of Leona Valley for a minimum of 2 years, as defined by the boundaries described in Leona Valley Community Standards District, reside in Leona Valley for 90% of the year, and be a registered voter.
SECTION 3. Each Leona Valley Council Member shall have one vote. Absentee or proxy voting shall be prohibited.
ARTICLE 6. OFFICERS
SECTION 1. The officers of the Leona Valley Town Council shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Member-at-Large.
SECTION 2. Election of Officers
A. After the Election, the Leona Valley Town Council shall convene a special personnel meeting at which the Leona Valley Town Council members shall prepare a list of Officer Candidates and present the list to the public at the next Leona Valley Town Council meeting. A Leona Valley resident or Committee of residents can prepare a list of recommended Officer Candidates for vote by the Leona Valley Town Council. The recommended list of Officer Candidates shall be presented from the floor before the Officer election and the list shall be accepted at the time of election for voting.
B. The election of officers shall take place at the first regularly scheduled Leona Valley Town Council meeting after the Election of the new Council Members.
C. The Leona Valley Town Council shall elect officers from the nominated candidates by majority vote.
SECTION 3. Duties of Officers: The duties of the Officers shall be as follows:
A. President: The President shall preside at each meeting of the Council. The President shall be responsible for preparing the agenda, presiding at the meeting, maintaining order and keeping the meeting on schedule according to parliamentary authority as defined in these bylaws.
B. Vice President: In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside and perform the duties of the President.
C. Secretary: The Secretary is the recording officer of the Leona Valley Town Council and the custodian of the records except those records assigned to other officers. The secretary shall keep one book containing the bylaws and policies; prepare and certify the correctness of the minutes of each regular or special meeting and enter them in the official minute book; notify the members of special and regular meetings, bring to all meetings the bylaws, rules, minute books, and a list of standing and special committees, and a copy of Robert's Rules of Order, Modern Edition. The Secretary will also maintain all files of the Leona Valley Town Council, including written reports from Committees, and Leona Valley Town Council correspondence. The secretary will conduct the correspondence of the Council.
D. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall receive and hold funds, conduct necessary banking, maintain pertinent financial books and records and sign checks. The Treasurer shall also serve as chair of the Finance, and Ways and Means Committee.
E. Alternates: Alternates replace vacant Leona Valley Town Council positions. Alternates are not members of the Leona Valley Town Council and do not vote. The President of the Leona Valley Town Council can assign Alternates tasks. If assigned a task, Alternates can represent the Leona Valley Town Council.
SECTION 4. Appointed positions: The Leona Valley Town Council may establish positions as needed to further the goals of the Council.
ARTICLE 7. MEETINGS
SECTION 1. The Leona Valley Town Council shall transact the business of the community as may come before them at Leona Valley Town Council meetings held at least once per month. Each Council member and Alternate shall be notified and provided a copy of the agenda 72 hours in advance of the meeting. In order to notify the community, The Agenda shall also be posted to the LVTC website 72 hours in advance of council meetings.
SECTION 2. Monthly Leona Valley Town Council meeting dates, times, and places shall be established by the Council at the first meeting of each fiscal year. SECTION 3. “Special/Emergency" meetings of the Council may be called by any two members of the Council or by the President. Leona Valley Town Council Members shall be notified of the time, place and subject of a "special/emergency" meeting of the Leona Valley Town Council. The "special/emergency” meeting shall be limited to the announced subject. The Leona Valley Community shall be notified.
SECTION 4. A Leona Valley Town Council quorum shall consist of three Council members.
SECTION 5. Leona Valley Town Council Alternates are encouraged to attend all Leona Valley Town Council meetings.
SECTION 6. In addition to the elected members, representatives from interested community organizations and business groups are encouraged to attend Council meetings and will be given an opportunity to speak and be consulted.
SECTION 7. Every effort shall be made to hold Town Council and "special" meetings in public areas or buildings.
ARTICLE 8. COMMITTEES
SECTION 1. Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall consist of the five members of the Council. Any three members shall make up a quorum.
A. The Executive Committee shall act as a steering committee formulating recommendations for Council action, initiating the preparation of the agenda for Council meetings and generally addressing the routine business of the organization of the Council.
B. Meetings of the Executive Committee can be called by the President or by any two of the five members.
C. The power of the Executive Committee shall be limited to executing existing Council policy and shall not be empowered to establish new or conflicting policy. The scope of the power of the Executive Committee shall include emergency situations and routine operational business. Recommendations, findings, and action on such shall be brought before the Council for further action.
SECTION 2. Standing Committees: The four Standing Committees shall be: a) Community Standards and Land Use, b) Community and Public Relations, c) Finance, and Ways and Means, and d) Community Health, Safety, and Welfare.
A. The President shall appoint a Town Council member to serve as a Standing Committee chairman each elective year or when necessary. The selections shall be confirmed by a majority vote of the Council.
B. Standing Subcommittees may be established as needed by the Standing Committee chairperson who shall also appoint a chairperson for each subcommittee.
C. Committees and Sub-committees shall meet at the direction of the Chairperson.
D. Committees shall make a report at regular meetings or at “special” meetings when requested by the Town Council President, or at the first Leona Valley Town Council meeting following a meeting of the committee. Standing Subcommittees shall report to their respective Standing Committee Chairperson, who shall report to the Leona Valley Town Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
E. The powers of any Committee shall be set forth in the bylaws except when specific powers are given by a majority vote of the Council.
F. All committees and subcommittees shall produce minutes. Minutes shall be submitted to the Leona Valley Town Council Secretary for filing.
SECTION 3. Community Standards and Land Use: The Community Standards and Land Use Committee shall serve as liaison for the Council, with respect to growth and land use policies and shall act accordingly with governmental agencies as well as public and private interest groups.
SECTION 4. Community and Public Relations: The Community and Public Relations Committee shall facilitate communications for the Council and strive to develop and maintain communications within the community and the public sector.
SECTION 5. Finance, and Ways and Means: The Finance, and Ways and Means Committee shall prepare a budget for the coming year and shall oversee the finances as well as raise funds for the Council as necessary.
SECTION 6. Community Health, Safety, and Welfare: The Community Health, Safety, and Welfare Committee shall develop and maintain programs to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the community of Leona Valley.
SECTION 7. Special Committees:
A. Special Committees of the Council shall perform special tasks as directed by the Council. A Council member shall serve as chair and shall appoint additional committee members as needed. A special committee shall cease to exist when its final report is disposed of.
B. The Election Committee shall be a special committee composed of Council and/or community members, as needed, to coordinate the annual election of Council Members. No member of the Election Committee can run for election or reelection. The Elections Committee shall prepare for, conduct, and report on elections in compliance with these bylaws.
ARTICLE 9. FINANCES
SECTION 1. Dues: The Council shall not adopt a system of fixed dues.
SECTION 2. Audit: The financial books of the Council shall be audited annually. The audit shall be conducted by an outside auditor selected by the Council or be reviewed by a committee of three community members and/or Leona Valley Town Council members who do not have authority to sign checks. The Audit shall be completed within one month of the new fiscal year.
SECTION 3. Signature: Two Council member signatures are required for all banking transactions.
ARTICLE 10. TERMS OF OFFICE
SECTION 1. Length of Term: The Leona Valley Town Council member’s term of office is two years. No one may serve continuously for more than 5 years.
SECTION 2. Initial Term Determination and Alternates: The three candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the initial Council election shall serve two-year terms. The next two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the initial Council election shall serve one-year terms. Thereafter, two Council members shall be elected to full two-year terms in each even-numbered year and three Council members shall be elected to a full two year term in each odd-numbered year. Each year, including the initial year of Council elections, the two candidates receiving the next highest number of cast votes, following the candidates elected to fill the vacant Council seats, shall be Alternate Council members. The length of an Alternate Council Member’s term is one year.
SECTION 3. Alternate Leona Valley Town Council members, in the order of their vote count shall fill Council seats made vacant by resignation, death or removal of a member and shall serve the full unexpired term of the replaced Leona Valley Town Council member.
ARTICLE 11. VACANCIES, RESIGNATIONS
SECTION 1. In the event a member of the Council does not complete his or her term of office, the Council shall fill the vacancy by designating the alternate receiving the next highest number of votes in the most recent election.
In the event there is no Alternate to fill the vacated Council position(s), the Town Council shall, by a majority vote, appoint an eligible resident(s) of Leona Valley to complete the unexpired term(s) created by the vacancy(ies).
SECTION 2. The resignation of a Leona Valley Town Council member shall become effective immediately upon receipt by the highest-ranking Leona Valley Town Council member of written notice thereof. Order of ranking; President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member-at-large.
ARTICLE 12. REMOVAL AND DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS
SECTION 1. Grounds for Removal and Discipline:
A. Continued, gross, or willful neglect of duties of the office.
B. Malfeasance of office.
C. Failure or refusal to disclose necessary information on matters of Council or Leona Valley community business or issues.
D. Unauthorized expenditures, signing of checks, or misuse of Council funds.
E. Misrepresentation of the Leona Valley Town Council or Leona Valley community to outside parties.
F. Absenteeism amounting to two (2) consecutive regular meetings of the Council, without an excuse acceptable to the majority of the Council, shall indicate a lack of interest in serving on the Town Council and shall result in removal at the third consecutive missed regular meeting with a majority vote of the Council members.
G. Failure to remove oneself from a vote where a Council member has a conflict of interest regarding the parties or issue involved. Conflict of Interest is defined as a situation in which a person has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of his or her official duties.
H. For living in a residence outside the Community of Leona Valley for more than 10% of the year.
SECTION 2. Investigation, Hearing, and Final Action by the Council: When a motion to consider charges against a Council member is passed, it shall be immediately referred to an investigation committee as appointed by the Council President who shall meet and deliberate in a closed session. The committee shall be composed of three (3) Council members. After deliberation, the committee shall present its findings to the Council for action in a closed session. A motion to either remove or discipline shall require a 75% vote of the Leona Valley Town Council excluding the member in question. The vote shall be by secret ballot. The party in question shall not have a vote.
SECTION 3. Recall: Recall of a Council member or alternate shall take place as follows:
A. A person or group of persons, eligible to vote in a regular Council election shall notify the Council in writing of intent to circulate a petition for recall of a Council member. Said person or persons will then have 60 calendar days to circulate the petition, which must contain signatures of citizens eligible to vote in a regular Council election amounting to at least 51% of the total vote cast in the previous regular Council election. The petition must then be presented to the Council for action along with a filing fee sufficient to defray the estimated cost of conducting the election as determined by the Election Committee.
B. The petition shall be turned over to the Election Committee for verification of signatures.
C. After verification, the Election Committee shall conduct a special recall election. The election shall be decided by a majority of the voters.
D. Any monies not required to defray the costs of a recall election shall be returned to the authorized representative of the recall petition.
ARTICLE 13. LOBBYING ACTIVITIES
No former Leona Valley Town Council member, who personally and substantively participated in a decision, proceeding, claim, contract, or other specific matter during his or her service, shall attempt to influence any community decision or action regarding that specific matter on behalf of any person or entity. This prohibition shall apply only if the specific matter is still pending before a governmental agency or if the Leona Valley community is a party to, or has a direct interest in the specific matter.
ARTICLE 14. ELECTIONS
SECTION 1. The annual election shall be concurrent with the November municipal or federal election. The election shall be by secret ballot on ballots prepared by the Election Committee. The election process shall follow policies and procedures as defined by the County Registrar of Voters.
SECTION 2. Voters must be registered to vote in Leona Valley 30 days in advance of the date of the election.
SECTION 3. The Election Committee shall report to the Council during its term of operation and shall submit a final written report to the Leona Valley Town Council.
SECTION 4. Any funds remaining from the Election Fund shall be turned over to the Town Council treasury upon submission of the final report.
SECTION 5. The Election Committee shall be formed a minimum four months prior to the election.
ARTICLE 15. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Modern Edition, shall govern the Council in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, or any special rules of order the Council may adopt.
ARTICLE 16. PROCEDURES TO AMEND THE BYLAWS
SECTION 1. Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by any member of the Leona Valley Town Council, by a Leona Valley Town Council committee delegated to revise the bylaws, or by a petition signed by at least 20% of the number of registered voters in the last regular Leona Valley Town Council election. Amendment petitions and/or proposals shall be in writing and filed with the Leona Valley Town Council Secretary who will verify the amendment proposal for compliance with these bylaws.
SECTION 2. The Secretary shall then deliver the amendment proposal to the President one meeting prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be considered. The amendment proposal shall define the exact points to be amended.
SECTION 3. When the proposed amendment is read to the Council for consideration, the motion to amend the bylaws is subject to amendments of primary and secondary degrees insofar as these amendments are within the scope of the motion and must carry a majority vote of the Council.
SECTION 4. Adoption of amendments to these bylaws shall require a majority vote of the Leona Valley Town Council members. In the event the Council declines to adopt an amendment proposed by petition, it shall become a ballot measure at the next annual Council election and shall be deemed adopted if a majority of the votes cast favor the amendment.
ARTICLE 17. DISSOLUTION
SECTION 1. In the event of the dissolution of the Council, whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, none of the property of the Council nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Council shall be distributed to any members of the Council. After payment of the debts of the Council, its property shall be transferred to the Leona Valley Improvement Association (LVIA).
SECTION 2. Dissolution of the Leona Valley Town Council may be proposed by any member of the Leona Valley Town Council, by a Leona Valley Town Council committee delegated to dissolution of the Leona Valley Town Council, or by a petition signed by at least 20% of the number of registered voters in the last regular Leona Valley Town Council election. Dissolution petitions and/or proposals shall be in writing and filed with the Council Secretary who will verify the amendment proposal for compliance with these bylaws.
SECTION 3. Dissolution of the Leona Valley Town Council shall require a majority vote of the Leona Valley Town Council members. In the event the Council declines to agree to dissolution proposed by petition, it shall become a ballot measure at the next annual Council election and shall be deemed to be dissolved if a majority of the votes cast favor the dissolution.
ARTICLE 18. Agendas
Leona Valley Town Council meeting agendas and posting of the agendas shall comply with Article 7 Section 1 of these bylaws and at as a minimum, the agenda shall contain a call to order, the pledge to the flag, roll call, approval of the previous meeting minutes, and an allotted time for public comments.
These Updated Bylaws are Approved and Adopted This Day by the Leona Valley Town Council.