RULES OF THE GENESEE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE
OF GENESEE COUNTY
In accordance with all applicable provisions of the NYS Election Law, the Democratic County Committee of Genesee County, State of New York, does hereby constitute the following rules governing the Democratic Party in said County:
ARTICLE I: The name of the committee is The Genesee County Democratic Committee hereinafter also referred to as the Committee, the Party or the County Committee.
ARTICLE II: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
The purpose of the Genesee County Democratic Committee is many fold. Primarily its purpose is to seek out and support credible candidates for elected offices throughout the county and help in their election. However, an equally important focus of the Committee is to continue to support those Democratic Party candidates who are elected to any office in Genesee County.
In order to carry out the above proposed, several other important objectives must be implemented.
The Party must also develop a plan to seek out and welcome new members who move into the county.
The Party must develop and maintain communications between the local Parties and the county organization. It must strive to promote countywide unity between it and the local units and between the local Parties themselves.
In order to insure the financial viability of the County Committee and to be able to provide ongoing financial assistance to candidates, the County Committee must develop a year long fund raising mechanism.
The County Committee must develop a positive working relationship with the local news media.
It is not enough merely to recognize these objectives, the Committee must also develop and implement a structure designed to promote and fulfill them. Also, everyone who is elected to the County Committee must be determined to do what they can to assist in achieving these goals. This must be recognized to be a continuing commitment, as these objectives will need to be a yearly commitment for all County Committee members. This is a mission that has no end, it is only a beginning.
ARTICLE III MEMBERSHIP
Section I. The County Committee shall consist of two members of such committee from each election district in said county to be elected biannually by a majority vote of the Democratic voters of each respective election district, AS SPECIFIED BY NYS Election Law
A. ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE:
Members of the Democratic Committee shall be elected in each odd numbered year at the fall primary. Petitions for the nomination of committee members for each election district are passed before the primary. Dates during which signatures can be collected and the deadline for petition submission can be found out from the County Election Office. Petitions can list 1 or 2 names for a single election district. Petitions must collect signatures from 5% of the registered Democrats in that district. Only registered Democrats can sign the petitions. A person can sign one of their own petition forms as long as someone else signs as a witness at the bottom of the petition. A Democrat in a town can either only sign 1 petition with 2 names or 2 petitions with 1 name within that town. A sample petition is made available as an attachment to these rules.
If only 1 or 2 people have valid petitions submitted for a given election district, then those people will become committee members as of the date of the primary.
If more than 2 people have valid petitions submitted for a given election district, then a primary election is held for that election district. The top 2 vote getters become committee members as of the date of the primary.
This is with the exception that such town or wards of the City of Batavia, as may have one election district shall be entitled to four members of such committee to be elected from said towns or wards of the City of Batavia.
Members shall hold office for two years.
Each member of the County Committee shall be an enrolled voter of the Democratic Party residing in Genesee County and the 139
Assembly District from which or in the Assembly District in which such member is elected.
Section II. Any vacancy which may occur in offices of the County Committee by reason of death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be filled at a regular meeting of the Genesee County Committee by a majority vote of those members present. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chair
or Treasurer, such duties will devolve upon the Vice-Chair or a special election called by the Chair.
Section III. In accordance with NYS Election Law, officers need not be members of local committees.
Section IV. When a candidate, referendum and/or policy are endorsed by a majority of the Democratic Committee at an announced County Committee meeting, it is expected that said Committee members will not willingly and publicly support oppositional policies or publicly support the opponent of an endorsed candidate.
Taking a public position against a candidate, referendum and/or policy may include the following; a public endorsement of an opposing candidate in local media, displaying of an opponent’s yard sign, sending a letter of public endorsement on campaign literature or mailer.
Under the discretion of the Executive Committee, if an allegation of an infraction of this policy is brought to the attention of the Committee it may result in expulsion from the Committee and/or loss of funding if you are an official candidate.
REMOVING A COMMITTEE MEMBER
The Executive Committee (or Democratic Committee if there is no Executive Committee) shall be and is hereby vested with the power in its discretion, to remove any member of the Democratic Committee for the reason specified in Section 2-116 of the NYS Election Law and with the power, in its discretion, to appoint a subcommittee to hear the charges and report its finding to the Committee. Any member of the Democratic Committee sought to be removed pursuant to this Article shall have the right to appear with counsel and be heard by such subcommittee.
Removal of member or officer of a party committee shall be in Accordance with Section 2-116
of the Election Law of the State of New York which provides as follows: A member or officer of a party committee may be removed by such committee for disloyalty to the party or corruption in office after notice is given and a hearing upon written charges has been had. The hearing shall be held by the committee or a subcommittee thereof appointed for that purpose which subcommittee shall report its findings to the full Committee. Removal of a committee member for disloyalty should only be taken under extraordinary circumstances.
ARTICLE IV ORGANIZATION AND OFFICERS
Section I. Re-organization and Election of Officers
Pursuant to NYS Election Law, the County Committee shall meet within 20 days following the state Primary date in September, in the odd year following committee petitioning.
Town Committees are a subsidiary of the County Committee and will re-organize, in the odd year after committee petitions, anytime after the Primary date in September, but before January 1
of the next calendar year.
Town Committees will file their reorganization with the Chair of the County Committee.
Section II. The committee shall meet pursuant to NYS Election law and organize by electing the following:
Chair, whose duties are;
Preside at all meeting of the County Committee
Appoint Standing and Ad Hoc committees as needed
Be an ex-officio member of all committees
Authorized to sign with the bank.
Appoint to fill vacancies
Designate chair for standing and other committees
Vice-Chair, whose duties are;
Perform the duties of the Chair whenever required
Assist the Chair as necessary
Chair the Executive Committee
Second Vice-Chair, whose duties are;
Assist with Finance
Assist with Fundraising
If Treasurer resigns unexpectedly, second Vice Chair assumes lead in search for new Treasurer
Authorized to sign with the bank
Secretary, whose duties are;
Record the proceedings of all business meetings
Read the minutes at each business meeting.
Be the Committee’s archivist. Collect any historical information, maintain a history of the Committee, send and receive all correspondences of the County Committee
Treasurer, whose duties are;
Make a financial report at each business meeting; list balance, expenditures, and income
Receive all party funds and deposit the same in bank account
Make the books available for audit as required
File timely periodical reports as required by NYS election law
5. Treasurer should be authorized to sign with the bank
6. Oversee payment of approved bills
Treasurer shall be a paid position, $400/year to be paid quarterly for on time reports
Sergeant of Arms, whose duties are:
Maintain order and security at the direction of the chair
Section III Standing Committees should have regularly scheduled meetings, may opt to communicate electronically
The Executive Committee shall be made up of officers of the County Committee and the Chair of each town committee
The Executive Committee shall meet either every other month or by call of the Chair or by the request of 5 members of the Committee
The Vice-Chair of the Committee shall act as Chair of the Executive Committee
Quorum is four members of the active committee
Review and make recommendations on policy, programs and amendments to the By-Laws to the County Committee and to the Chair.
The Committee must forward all proposed amendments to the County Committee with a recommendation, positive or negative.
Proposed amendment is then voted on at the next County Committee business meeting.
Make recommendations for development of long term goals and objectives
Serve as financial auditing body
Make recommendations, advise and help setup necessary committees to promote the Democratic County Committee and its candidates.
Serve as committee to fill vacancies for local candidates if requested.
Fund Raising Committee
The Fund-Raising Committee shall consist of 3 members appointed by the Party Chair.
The purpose of the Fund-Raising Committee is to oversee fund raising activities for the County Committee.
The Committee’s responsibility shall include, but not limited to;
Fund raising events
Schedule and organize annual events (summer picnics, etc.)
Create, schedule and organize fund raising events as necessary or requested.
Make a report to the County Committee after each event
Turn in all bills to the County Treasurer.
Maintain a database of contributors
Database shall include, name, address, phone number, email address and contribution history, check number, amount, date of contribution in accordance with NYS Election Law and accepted general accounting practices.
Communications shall consist of 3 members appointed by the Party Chair.
The Public Relations Committee shall; send a letter welcoming new registered Democrats to Genesee County and an invitation to become involved
Act as source of information for the media and/or the public concerning elected Democrats, candidates and events
Develop new ideas and means to promote the Democratic Committee
Send a letter from the Chair of the Party thanking all candidates
Develop and manage social media presence
The Finance Committee shall consist of 3 members appointed by the Chair
It shall be the duty of the Finance committee to decide allocations of funds for candidates running for office
Candidates receiving funds must be endorsed by the County Committee
Any endorsed candidate, who is not a Democrat, will not be eligible to receive fund
Shall audit the book of the County Committee on an annual basis
The Campaign Committee shall consist of 3 members appointed by the Party Chair
Purpose – To organize the assistance given to an endorsed candidate by the County Committee
The Campaign Committee, through the Finance Committee will control and budget the money given to an endorsed candidate each election cycle
Candidates will NOT receive a funding check.
Within the budgeted allocation, the County Committee will pay for the following; literature, signs, advertisement, etc.
The Chair of the Campaign Committee will have the following duties:
Be a point of contact for any aspiring Democratic candidate, advising them concerning proper election procedures and how to become endorsed by the County Committee
b. Will present all prospective candidate’s names to the Campaign Committee for referral to the County Committee
c. With County Committee assistance, will help candidate make decisions on funding allocations
d. Will meet regularly with all endorsed candidates
e. Establish a registry of Democrats in the election district a candidate is running in for persuasion and support
f. Create a database of supporters that agree to host lawn signs
g. Establish a phone bank to help a candidate get message to the voter
h. Guide candidate in door to door canvassing
i. Create a system on election day for rides to the polling sites
5. The Campaign Committee and the County Committee will assist the Campaign Chair in carrying out his/her duties
6. The Campaign Committee will organize and direct petition campaigns for candidates in local, state and federal offices as needed.
1. A By-Laws committee shall be composed of 3 members of the County Committee appointed by the Chair
2. Any suggested By-Laws amendments shall be submitted to this committee for study and recommendations.
3. The By-Laws Committee shall make any recommendations to the Executive Committee for each amendment submitted
4. The author of the suggested amendment has the right to appear before the County Committee and bring the proposed amendment personally to the Executive Committee.
5. The By-Laws Committee must forward each proposed amendment with a recommendation, positive or negative
Ten (10) members of the County Committee shall be necessary to constitute a quorum at any meeting
1. The meetings of the County Committee shall be held at such times and places as may be named by law, designated by a resolution of the County Committee, or at the call of the Chair.
2. The County Committee shall meet quarterly for business, to include a meeting in late spring for petitions and one in the fall for re-organization. Any other meetings (such as endorsements and petitions for Congressional candidates, endorsements for state senate and assembly, endorsements of gubernatorial candidates) may be called at the discretion of the Chair with a 10-day notice, or by a quorum of ten members.
3. A meeting of the County Committee shall be called only by notice, either by post card or email sent to the member’s place of residence or to the email address provided by the member to the Secretary. A phone call can also serve as notice.
Any vacancy which may occur on the County Committee shall be filled by the appointment of the County Chair and a majority vote of the members present upon the recommendation of the committee chair from the town or district where a vacancy exists. All resignations from the County Committee must be filed in writing with the County Committee Secretary
The agenda of each meeting shall include, but not limited to the following;
1. Call to order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Reading of Minutes or Dispensing of minutes
4. Treasurer’s report
6. Old Business
7. New Business
8. Membership comments
SECTION VII AMENDMENTS
The rules and regulations of the County Committee may be amended by a majority vote of the members present at any general Genesee County Democratic Committee meeting, a quorum must be present, once the below procedures have been followed.
10. Anyone submitting a proposed amendment must first submit it to the Chair of the By-Laws Committee with a copy to the Secretary
11. The submitter has the right to appear before the By-Laws Committee to explain and defend the proposed amendment
12. The submitter also has the right to appear before the Executive Committee with it discusses the proposed amendment to explain and defend it
1. Any amendment presented to the Secretary by letter, and by the By-Laws and Executive Committees, must be presented to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the County Committee and be acted upon. A motion and a second is necessary to introduce the amendment for consideration