Proposed changes to bylaws
The American Legion
Department of North Carolina
Central Mecklenburg Post 321
Constitution & By-Laws
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 per cent 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
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be Central Mecklenburg Post No. 321, Huntersville, The American Legion, Department of North Carolina.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
Section 1. The objects and purposes of this Post shall be to promote the principles and policies as set forth in the foregoing preamble, and the National and Departmental Constitutions of The American Legion.
ARTICLE III – NATURE
Section 1. This Post is a civilian organization and membership therein does not affect or increase liability for military or police service.
Section 2. This organization shall be absolutely non-political and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles or for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment.
Section 3. Rank does not exist in the American Legion; no member shall be addressed by his military or naval title in any meeting of this Post.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Eligibility to membership in this Post shall be as prescribed by the National Constitution of the American Legion.
Section 2. Applications for membership shall be made in writing under such regulations as may from time to time be prescribed by the Post Executive Committee.
Section 3. All applications for membership shall be acted upon at the next Post meeting following the making of such application, and shall at such meeting, be accepted, rejected or referred for, further investigation and consideration. If one-third of the members present cast their vote against the acceptance of said application, then such application shall be recorded as rejected. A rejected application shall not again be considered until after the expiration of six months from the date of such rejection. Post may set such other reasonable standards of qualification for membership as it may determine. Race, religion, sex, creed, or national origin shall not be a barrier to membership.
Section 4. Any member of this Post may be expelled for cause by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee after charges are preferred under oath in writing and a fair trial had upon the same.
Section 5. A member who has been expelled or suspended from this Post for any cause may be reinstated to membership by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership present in Post meeting, and the payment of current dues for the year in which the reinstatement occurs.
Section 6. No person who has been expelled by a Post shall be admitted to membership in this Post, without the consent of the expelling Post, except that where such consent has been asked for and denied by such Post, he may then appeal to the State Executive Committee of the Department of the expelling Post for permission to apply for membership in this Post, and shall be ineligible for membership until such permission is granted.
Section 7. A member whose dues for the current year have not been paid by January 1 shall be classed as delinquent. If dues are paid on or before February 1 reinstatement shall be automatic. If still delinquent after February 1 all privileges shall be suspended. If still under such suspension on June 30 of such year, membership in the American Legion shall be forfeited. A member so suspended or whose membership has been so forfeited may be reinstated to active membership in good standing by vote of the Post and payment of current dues for the year in which the reinstatement occurs. Provided, however, that the Post, Department, and the National organization may waive the provisions hereof, upon payment of dues for the year in which reinstatement occurs, with the reference to former members who have been prevented from the payment of dues by reason of active military service.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS
Section 1. The administrative affairs of this Post of the American Legion shall, except as may be otherwise provided by the By-Laws, be under the supervision of an Executive Committee which shall consist of three members in addition to the officers of the Post. The term of office of members of the Executive Committee shall be for one year. This Post, by its By-Laws, may provide for such other standing Committees as the business of the organization may require.
Section 2. The officers of this Post shall be a Commander, a First Vice Commander, a Second Vice Commander, an Adjutant, a Finance Officer, a Post Historian, a Post Chaplain, a Post Service Officer, a Post Judge Advocate, a Sergeant-At-Arms and an Assistant Sergeant-At-Arms, and such other officers as may be deemed necessary by this organization, who shall be nominated from the floor at the meeting preceding the annual election.
Section 3. All officers and executive Committeemen shall be elected annually, and they shall hold office until their successors are duly installed or as otherwise provided. Any officer or executive committeeman may be removed for inefficiency by the Executive Committee, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of said committee being necessary to effect such removal.
Section 4. Every member of this Post in good standing shall be eligible to hold office in this Post.
Section 5. The duties of officers and the executive committeemen shall be those usually appertaining to such officers or committeemen and as further provided in the By-Laws.
ARTICLE VI – FINANCE
Section 1. The revenue of this Post shall be derived from membership or initiation fees, from annual membership dues and from such other sources as may be approved by The Executive Committee.
Section 2. The amount of such membership or initiation fees and the amount of such annual Post dues shall be fixed and determined by this Post.
Section 3. The Post shall pay to Departmental headquarters the national and Departmental
annual membership dues for every member of the Post.
Section 4. Department dues, and such National dues as are established by the National Convention, shall be payable in advance on October 20th of each year; and those dues shall be collected and transmitted within thirty (30) days after receipt to the Department.
Section 5. The Post shall furnish such surety bond for selected officers and in such sum as shall be fixed by the Executive Committee.
Section 6. The fiscal year of the Post shall be from July 1 through June 30.
ARTICLE VII – CHARTER MEMBERS
Section 1. Members who joined this Post prior to the issuance of the charter shall be known as charter members.
ARTICLE VIII – AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY
Section 1. This Post recognizes an auxiliary organization to be known as the Auxiliary Unit of Huntersville Post No. 321, The American Legion.
Section 2. Membership in the Auxiliary shall be as prescribed by the National Constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. This Constitution is adopted subject to the provisions of the National Constitution of the American Legion and of the Department Constitution of the Department of North Carolina, The American Legion. Any amendment to said National Constitution or Department Constitution which is in conflict with any provisions hereof shall be regarded as automatically repealing or modifying the provisions of this Constitution to the extent of such conflict.
Section 2. This Constitution may be amended at any regular Post meeting by vote of two- thirds (2/3) of the members of said Post attending such regular meeting, providing that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing and read at the next preceding regular meeting of this Post, and providing, further, that written notice shall have been given to all members at least two (2) weeks in advance of the date when such amendment is to be voted upon, notifying said members that at such meeting a proposal to amend the Constitution is to be voted on.
ARTICLE X – SONS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
Section 1. This Post may sponsor a Sons of The American Legion (SAL) Squadron. Such Squadron, once formed, shall be subject to the rules, regulations and supervision of Post 321 as may be promulgated by the Post Executive Committee and ratified by the Post Membership, and which shall not be in conflict with the rules and regulations set up for the Sons of The American Legion by the National Executive Committee and the Department of North Carolina.
Section 2. Said SAL Squadron 321 may adopt its own Constitution and By-Laws, subject to approval of same by the Post Executive Committee. Until SAL Squadron 321 adopts its own Constitution and By-Laws, it shall be governed by Post 321 rules and regulations and by the Department of North Carolina.
Section 3. Once created, this Post may cease its sponsorship of SAL Squadron 321 for good cause, such as failure to maintain a minimum membership of at least ten (10) members, failure to function, participating in activities illegal, immoral or opposed to our form of Government and the American way of life, and in the discretion of the Post Executive Committee, subject to ratification by the Post membership.
ARTICLE XI – MASCULINE AND FEMININE GENDERS
Section 1. Wherever in this Constitution and in the By-Laws reference is made to the words “him”, “he”, “his” and similar references shall be deemed to include, as appropriate, “her”, “she”, “hers”, and similar references, to the end that all distinction between the male and female sexes, for purposes of this Constitution and By-Laws, shall be deemed eliminated.
ARTICLE I – NAME
Section 1. The Post existing under these By-laws is to be known as Central Mecklenburg Post No. 321, The American Legion, Huntersville, Department of North Carolina.
Section 2. The objects of this Post are as set forth in the Constitution.
ARTICLE II – MANAGEMENT
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of three members in addition to the officers of the Post and together with the other officers of this Post shall be elected annually at the regularly scheduled meeting that will allow the Post to meet the Department requirements for the submission of the appropriate election reports and take office at the meeting next following that of the election. All elections of officers and executive committeemen shall be by ballot and the candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to the respective office or offices for which they are candidates. In the case of an uncontested election for any officer or Executive Committee position, with only one candidate, the requirement for an election by ballot is hereby waived.
Section 2. All vacancies existing in the Executive Committee, or in any office of the Post from any cause other than the expiration of the term, shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the committee, and a person so appointed shall hold office for the unexpired term of the member of the committee or officer whom he succeeds. A vacancy shall exist when a member or officer is absent from his Post for a continuous period considered detrimental to the interest of the Post by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE III – POST EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. The Post Executive Committee shall meet for organization and such other business as may come before it at the call of the Post Commander within ten (10) days after the installation of new officers. Thereafter the Post Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the Commander at least every month and as often as said commander may deem necessary. The Commander shall call a meeting of the Post Executive Committee upon the joint written request of three or more members of said Post Executive Committee. Five (5) members of the committee will constitute a quorum thereof.
Section 2. The Post Executive Committee shall hire such employees as may be necessary; shall authorize and approve all expenditures; shall require adequate bonds from all persons having the custody of Post funds; shall hear the reports of Post committee chairmen; and generally, shall have charge of and be responsible for the management of the affairs of this Post.
ARTICLE IV – DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Duties of Post Commander. It shall be the duty of the Post Commander to preside at all meetings of the Post and to have general supervision over the business and the affairs of the Post, and such officer shall be the chief executive officer of the Post. He shall approve all orders directing the disbursement of funds and shall make an annual report covering a proposed budget and the business of the Post for the year, and recommendations for the ensuing year, which shall be read at the annual meeting and a copy thereof immediately forwarded to the Department Adjutant. He shall perform such other duties as directed by the Post.
Section 2. Duties of First Vice Commander. The Post First Vice Commander shall assume and discharge the duties of the office of Commander in the absence or disability of, or when called upon by the Post Commander. In this Post he will also perform the duties as Chairman of the Membership Committee.
Section 3. Duties of Second Vice Commander. The Post Second Vice Commander shall assume the duties of the office of Commander in the absence of the Commander and First Vice Commander. He will also perform the duties as Chairman of the House and Entertainment Committee and will put emphasis on providing special programs to make meetings interesting, coordinating patriotic observances, and directing other activities and fundraisers
Section 4. Duties of Post Adjutant. The Post Adjutant shall have charge of and keep a full and correct record of all proceedings of all meetings, keep such records as the Department and national organizations may require; render reports of membership annually or when called upon at a meeting, and under direction of the Commander handle all correspondence of the Post.
Section 5. Duties of Finance Officer. The Post Finance Officer of the Post shall have charge of all finances and see that they are safely deposited in the bank and shall report once a month to the Executive Committee the condition of the finances of the Post, with such recommendations as he may deem expedient or necessary for raising funds with which to carry on the activities of the Post. He shall sign all checks disbursing the moneys of the Post. He shall ensure that such surety bonds in such sum as shall be fixed by the Post Executive Committee are in effect for the appropriate officer positions.
Section 6. Duties of Post Historian. The Post Historian shall be charged with the individual records and incidents of the Post and Post members, and shall perform such other duties as may properly pertain to the office as may be determined by the Post or Executive Committee.
Section 7. Duties of Post Chaplain. The Post Chaplain shall be charged with the spiritual welfare of the Post comrades and will offer divine but non-sectarian service in the event of dedications, funerals, public functions, etc., adhere to such ceremonial rituals as are recommended by the national or Department headquarters from time to time.
Section 8. Duties of Sergeant-at-Arms. The Post Sergeant-at-Arms shall preserve order at all meetings and shall perform such other duties as may be from time to time assigned to him by the Post Executive Committee
Section 9. Duties of Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms. The Post Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms shall assist the Sergeant-at-Arms in preserving order at all meetings and shall perform such other duties as may be from time to time assigned to him by the Commander, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Post Executive Committee.
Section 10. Duties of Judge Advocate. The Post Judge Advocate shall supply professional advice in the conduct of Post business, ensure compliance with published guidance, to include Robert’s Rules of Order and appropriate Constitutions and By-Laws, and procure proper counsel if necessary. He shall be the Chairman of any committee concerning the Constitution & By-Laws revision. He shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of disciplinary procedures.
ARTICLE V – DELEGATES
Section 1. Delegates and alternates to a Department convention shall be elected by ballot by the Post at a regular meeting of the Post to be held at least 20 days prior to the date of such convention. In the case of an uncontested election for any officer or Executive Committee position, with only one candidate, the requirement for an election by ballot is hereby waived.
ARTICLE VI – APPOINTMENTS
Section 1. The Post Commander, immediately upon taking office each year, shall appoint the following standing committees: Americanism, Ceremonials, Children and Youth, Economic, Finance, Foreign Relations, Graves Registration and Memorials, Nominating, House and Entertainment, Legislative, Membership, Public Relations, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Sons of the American Legion and Visiting or VAVS. Such standing committees shall consist of such members, and the chairman thereof, as shall be designated by the Post Commander and ratified by the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Americanism Committee shall be charged with the inspiration of patriotism and good citizenship by arrangement for proper observance of patriotic occasions; encouragement of patriotic and civic phases of instructions in schools; Americanization of aliens, combating anti-American propaganda by education of the general public in American ideals through public forums, etc.; and activities for community and civic betterment.
Section 3. Ceremonials Committee. The principle duty of this committee is to insure that all new members are properly initiated. The committee must also concern itself with proper presentation of other rituals outlined in the Manual of Ceremonies, burial detail and the wearing of the Legion regalia.
Section 4. Children and Youth Committee shall be charged with aid and service to children of veterans, cooperating with other established agencies in the community; laboring for the betterment of child conditions and in coordinating services and agencies in the community for the above purposes. To act as intermediary for the needy child of a veteran in obtaining the fulfillment of the Legion’s pledge that “no child of a war veteran shall be in need of the necessities of life” and “a square deal for every child”.
Section 5. Economic Committee. The Post Economic Committee is primarily concerned with local employment programs, Veterans preference, government employment and reemployment rights.
Section 6. Finance Committee. This committee shall be charged with the administration
of the financial policy, preparation of budget recommendations and supervision of receiving, disbursing and accounting of all Post funds.
Section 7. Foreign Relations. This committee has become active as America has recognized its responsibility as a world leader. Maintaining and securing world peace and friendship abroad through community endeavors have become as essential as any aspect of treaty law.
Section 8. Graves Registration and Memorial Committee. The duties of this committee involve recording of grave sites and complete information on veterans’ burial in cemeteries assigned to the Post. Special assistance can be given the Service Officer in providing flags, headstones or proper interment in National Cemeteries.
Section 9. House and Entertainment Committee shall have charge of all matters pertaining
to the care of the Post quarters, promotion of club advantages and arrangement for social activities.
Section 10. Legislative Committee. The Legislative Committee needs to have knowledge of what is going on in Congress – what we favor or oppose, and should be ready to initiate action in support of our position when requested by the National or Department organization. Any opportunities to assist the State Legislature in implementing legislation to assist and support the principles and policies of The American Legion should be considered, as well.
Section 11. Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall have charge of all matters pertaining to the membership of the Post, including the procuring of new members, renewals, reinstatements and eligibility of members. An appropriate document to verify eligibility is required.
Section 12. Public Relations Committee shall be charged with the promotion of public support of the Legion’s programs by the establishment of proper contact with the American Legion Magazine, Department and National Legion News Service and by local publicity of Post programs and activities.
Section 13. Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee shall be to assist veterans in obtaining needed hospitalization, in the pursuance of claims and in obtaining other veteran’s rights and benefits; to visit comrades who are sick or disabled; and to visit and comfort members of their families when sick or bereaved.
Section 14. Security Committee. The Security Committee shall work with and coordinate Legion efforts with Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, Military, and Homeland Security agencies on matters pertaining to national, civilian and home defenses. It shall assist the armed forces of the United States in recruiting efforts and in every way be active in community activities for the defense of the nation and the security of the American home.
Section 15. Sons of the American Legion Committee. This committee shall have supervision over the operations of the Post’s squadron of the Sons of the American Legion.
Section 16. Visiting or VAVS Committee. This committee is charged with the visiting and comforting of members and their families when sick or bereaved and with visiting ex-servicemen in nearby hospitals.
Section 17. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will evaluate the officer, executive committee, and convention delegate positions of the Post, determine the skills and characteristics required to handle those responsibilities, identify suitable candidates, and report its findings to the membership. The work should begin no later than January of each year, the first report will be made at the meeting preceding the election, and the second report will be made at the election meeting. Nominations from the floor will also be accepted at those meetings.
ARTICLE VII – RESOLUTIONS
Section 1. All resolutions of state or national scope presented to this Post by a member or reported to this Post by a committee shall merely embody the opinion of this Post on the subject and copy of same shall be forwarded to the Department headquarters for its approval before any publicity is given or action other than mere passage by the Post is taken
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS
Section 1. The regular meeting of the Post shall be held at the meeting room on the first Thursday of each month, at which may be transacted such business as may properly be brought up for action; such meeting may be converted into entertainment meetings, as may be deemed advisable by the officers of the Post.
Section 2. The Post Commander or a majority of the Executive Committee shall have the power to call a special meeting of the Post, and the notice of the call for this meeting sent to the membership shall contain the subject matter to be discussed at the said meeting, and the said meeting shall not discuss other matters not relating to said notice.
Section 3. Upon the written request by signed petition of not less than twenty-five (25) per cent of the members in good standing of this Post delivered to the Commander requesting a special meeting of the Post, the Commander shall call the said special meeting within not less than two (2) weeks, nor more than three (3) weeks after receipt of the said petition. In the said petition shall be stated the purpose for which the meeting is requested, and matters not pertaining to said purpose for the meeting shall not be considered at such meeting. In notices given to the membership of said meeting, the subject matter to be discussed shall be stated.
Section 4. A quorum for a Post meeting is that percentage as required by the Department Constitution & By-Laws.
Section 5. All meetings of the Post Executive Committee and other Committees, except those where personnel issues are discussed, shall be open to all members.
ARTICLE IX – NOTICES
Section 1. Every member shall furnish the Post Adjutant with his address for mailing purposes.
Section 2. The Post Adjutant shall cause notice of the annual election to be given at least two (2) weeks prior thereto.
ARTICLE X – RULES OF ORDER
Section 1. All proceedings of this Post shall be conducted under and pursuant to Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except as herein otherwise provided.
ARTICLE XI – LIMITATIONS AND LIABILITIES
Section 1. This Post shall incur, or cause to be incurred, no liability nor obligations whatever which shall subject liability any other Post, subdivisions, group of men, members of the American Legion, or other individuals, corporations or organizations.
Section 2. The Post Executive Committee shall incur no indebtedness of any kind without the approval of the membership.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These By-Laws or any article therein may be amended at any regular Post meeting by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of this Posting attending such regular meeting; provided that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing and read at the next preceding regular meeting of this Post; and provided, further, that written notice shall have been to all members at least two (2) weeks in advance of the date when such amendment is to be voted upon, notifying said members that at such meeting a proposal to amend the By-Laws is to be voted upon.
ARTICLE XIII – REAL PROPERTY
Real Property owned by the Post may be sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of, where control of said property is involved, at any regular meeting of the Post by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of said Post attending such regular meeting; provided that the proposal shall have been submitted in writing and read at a meeting of the Executive Committee and approved by a majority of the Executive Committee present and voting, and further provided that the proposal shall have been submitted in writing and read at the first regular meeting of said Post following action by the Executive Committee; provided further that notice shall have been given to all members by mail at two (2) weeks in advance of the date when such proposal is to be voted upon, provided further that notices of the proposal have been given publication in area press, radio, and the bulletin board in The American Legion Post, notifying the said members that at such a meeting a proposal to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of said property is to be voted upon.