New By-Laws November 18, 2015
Prepared by Past President Craig Landolt
Article I: Name.
The organization shall be known as: “The Georgia Fire Inspector’s Association” (from here forth the term Association or Corporation shall refer to The Georgia Fire Inspector’s Association, Inc.)
Article II: Mission and Purpose
“The mission of the Georgia Fire Inspector’s Association is to coordinate and standardize fire inspection and code enforcement programs throughout the state of Georgia through consistent training and educational interaction between members of city, county, state, federal and private agencies.”
- To represent the interests of the men and women who are charged with the responsibility of protecting lives and property within the State of Georgia through fire prevention, the enforcement of fire and related codes, and Community Risk Reduction activities.
- To provide a network by which the Association’s members can share information that betters the cause and supports the tenants of the Association’s Mission Statement.
- To insure that the organization does not conduct activities that would place it in violation of its tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Federal income tax code.
- To work closely to support the efforts of the Office of the Georgia State Fire Marshal, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs, the Georgia State Firefighters Association, and other associations of similar interest so long as those activities are not in conflict with the Mission Statement of this Association.
- To encourage highly professional standards of conduct among the members of the Association and to continually strive to elevate the profession of fire code enforcement in the public sector and fire prevention within the private sector.
Article III: Membership
Applications for Member and Associate Member to the Association shall be in writing in such forms as the Board of Directors shall prescribe. An applicant shall become a Member or Associate Member when such applicant has been approved by the Board of Directors, and when such applicant has paid any Membership fee prescribed by the Board of Directors. Only Members are entitled to vote in the affairs of the Association, and to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. Associate members are not allowed to vote or hold office. Member status is open to anyone who bears the responsibility of enforcing the fire code in the State of Georgia whether practicing or retired, public or private. Associate Member status is open to anyone who has an interest in the core mission of the Association.
Membership fees shall be established by the Association and are due at the beginning of each calendar year. A grace period of sixty days may be extended for training, meeting, and voting purposes to any member in good standing in the prior year.
Article IV: Meetings, Business Meetings, Training, and Definitions
Meetings shall be held on the third Thursday of the odd month unless determined otherwise by a majority vote of members present during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Association. Training shall be provided to the Association at every meeting unless determined otherwise by a majority vote of members present during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Association.
A Business Meeting shall be held at each bi-monthly meeting. In order for a meeting to be an Official meeting of the Association a quorum of the Board members is required. For the purposes of this Article, a quorum is a minimum of four Board members being present.
A Super Majority shall be an amount equal to or greater than two thirds of the qualified Association members present at the time of voting.
A Simple Majority shall be an amount greater than fifty percent of the qualified Association members present at the time of voting.
Article V: Officers/Board of Directors/Board Members
- It is the intent of this Article to have the selection of the Board Members to be one of progressively increasing responsibility, involvement, and knowledge. Whereas the interruption of business is likely to occur due to the loss in continuity associated with Board Members being elected with no prior board experience, the objective of the members and sitting board is to seek seamless transitions in leadership. The affairs of the Georgia Fire Inspector’s Association, Inc. shall be controlled and administered by a Board of Directors, which shall be composed of seven (7) members. The Board of Directors shall consist of the following positions beginning with Member at Large One, Member at Large Two, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice-President, President, and Past President.
- The Board of Directors shall be selected at an annual meeting of the members and shall serve a two (2) year term. Directors shall not serve in the same capacity for more than two (2) consecutive terms unless otherwise determined by a supermajority vote of the members of the Association. The exception shall be that of the Treasurer who may serve consecutive terms without limit upon continual nomination and election.
- In July, or as soon thereafter as possible, of the year of elections the Board shall accept nominations for a Nominating Committee that shall be chaired by the Past President. With a simple majority vote the Nominating Committee shall be established by the Association. The Nominating Committee’s responsibility shall be to prepare a slate of candidates who are in good standing in accordance with the Association bylaws, experienced, and regularly involved in the business of the Georgia Fire Inspector’s Association. In the event a Nominating Committee cannot be seated due to a lack of nominees the Past President may appoint a Nominating Committee. In the event there are no members willing to serve on the Nominating Committee, the Past President shall serve as the Nominating Committee.
- In September or as soon thereafter as possible, of the year of elections the Nominating Committee shall submit to the membership a slate of proposed Board members for the new term. At that time the Board shall also invite nominations from the membership. If seconded and passed by a majority vote the nominations shall be included with those submitted by the Nominating Committee. Upon a motion, second, and majority vote the nominations shall be closed until the November meeting at which time an election shall be held. No new additions to the ballot shall be accepted after the September meeting.
- During the November business meeting, or as soon thereafter as possible, the Nominating Committee shall be responsible for the proper collection and counting of ballots. Each candidate shall be permitted to have a representative present during the counting of ballots. Paper ballots or by other means acceptable to the majority of the membership, shall be distributed and shall bear the name of those nominated. After distribution of ballots to those members who are eligible to vote in accordance with these Bylaws, members shall record their vote. The Panel shall collect the ballots and in a place away from the membership tally the ballots. After reaching a consensus the Panel shall return the results to the sitting President or their designee. The President or their designee shall announce the results. As a show of support and unity for the newly elected Board, a motion to approve the board as elected shall be entertained and after a second the membership shall vote on the motion.
- Prior to the January meeting the President elect shall convene a meeting of the Board members elect to coordinate the smooth transition of the Board. The sitting President shall provide assistance in every manner possible to the President elect. The continuity in managing the affairs of the Association shall be of supreme importance. It shall be the responsibility and commitment of every person seeking the post of President to likewise commit to the duties and responsibilities of Past-President for a minimum term of two (2) years.
- After a supermajority vote at a regularly scheduled meeting and upon proper notification of the members and all Board members, a Board member may be recalled for cause. Grounds for such recall shall be as follows but is not limited to:
- Failure to execute the duties of office as outlined in Article VII;
- Conviction of a felony;
- Moral misconduct unbecoming of a director of the Association
A Board member being considered for a recall of their position shall be afforded the opportunity to give an explanation prior to a recall vote by the members in a regular meeting. Failure or an inability of the Board member being considered for recall to be present at the time of the recall vote shall not constitute sufficient reason for postponing or withholding the vote.
- Upon the voluntary or involuntary removal of a member of the Board of Directors the Board of Director may appoint a member in good standing to complete the unexpired term, or at the President’s discretion, may hold an election to fill the unexpired term.
Article VI: Fire Inspector of the Year
In September or as soon thereafter as possible, of each year the Nominating Committee shall present to the Association a slate of at least two (2) candidates for Fire Inspector of the Year. Candidates shall be selected based upon their contributions to the Fire Code Enforcement profession, participation and support of the Georgia Fire Inspector’s Association, and the overall respect bestowed upon them by the membership of the Association. Nominations shall also be accepted from the floor during the September meeting and shall be substantiated with information to support their nomination. The nominations shall be closed and accepted by a simple majority vote of the association. During the November business meeting a vote shall be taken of the nominees and with a simple majority vote the Fire Inspector of the Year shall be selected.
Article VII: Conducting of Business
All meetings of the Association shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. The Association shall provide a copy of the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order to the President and Vice President. The President shall preside over all meetings. The Vice President shall preside over meetings in the absence of the President and the Secretary in the absence of the Vice President and in the absence of the Secretary an At Large Board member. In the absence of the preceding four (4) board members the meeting shall be postponed until a quorum is reached.
Article VIII: Duties of Office
The Directors shall serve without compensation, although reasonable expenses incurred on behalf of the Association may be reimbursed with the approval of the Board of Directors. Examples of such acceptable reimbursable expenses would be hotel, conference registrations, and fuel expenses for vehicles.
The Directors shall hold a meeting, conference call, or equivalent during the last quarter of each year at a place, time, and date that shall be fixed by the President. The Directors shall hold such meetings as may be necessary from time to time upon call of the President, which shall specify the place, time and date of the meeting, conference call, or equivalent.
The Office of President shall be responsible for the overall direction of the Association. The President or their designee shall participate in and represent the Association in conferences, Unification Partner meetings, and other events on behalf of the Association. The President shall have the power to appoint appropriate committees to conduct the activities of the Association.
The Vice president shall assist the President in the responsibilities of the organization as determined by the President.
The Secretary shall be custodian of the minutes of the Corporation and shall accurately keep minutes of the meetings. The Secretary shall be responsible for the retention and distribution of the minutes.
The Treasurer shall have the authority and responsibility for the safekeeping of the funds and securities of the Corporation. The Treasurer shall at all times maintain records evidencing the property owned by the Corporation and its disbursements, and present the same at the annual meeting of the Directors. The records of the Corporation shall be open for inspection by any director.
The Board of Directors shall be directly active with all committees and/or sub-committees, which involve affairs of the Association.
Any sale or transfer of any stock, bond, security, or any other property standing in the name of the Corporation shall be valid only if signed by the Corporation acting through a majority vote of the officers. Any transfer signed in this manner, having affixed thereon the seal of the Corporation, shall in all respects bind the Corporation as fully and completely as if each transaction had been authorized by a specific vote of the directors, and any person, firm, or corporation to whom a copy of this Article VII shall have been certified by the Secretary shall be entitled to rely thereon until notified of its repeal.
The Board of Directors shall have the power to propose to the membership or alter, amend, or repeal the Bylaws or adopt new Bylaws, provided that the Bylaws at no time shall contain any provision inconsistent with the Georgia Non-Profit Corporation Code or the Articles of incorporation. Any alteration of the Bylaws shall be presented at a regular meeting for review and comments. The alteration of the Bylaws shall then be voted on by the membership at the following meeting for approval or denial. A supermajority vote shall be required to alter, amend, or repeal the Bylaws.