ONONDAGA COUNTY LIBERTARIAN PARTY BYLAWS
The Onondaga County Libertarian Party (OCLP) is dedicated to serving the interests of individuals who have publicly affiliated themselves with the libertarian philosophy and who embrace the following principles:
- The proper role of government is to protect the rights of the individual, amongst others, to life, liberty and property.
- Government should empower good people to earn a living, to defend themselves, and to live life as each individual so chooses, provided they do no harm to another.
- Both the individual and government should embrace the principle of the non- initiation of force.
1.1 The Onondaga County Libertarian Party (OCLP) is a chapter of the Libertarian Party of New York.
1.2 The purpose of the OCLP is to be a political organization with the express goal of working to place Libertarians into public office.
1.3 The OCLP is committed to the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence and supports those principles as incorporated into the Constitution for the United States of America. The OCLP holds that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, limited only by the obligation to recognize the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
1.4 Section 1.3 above shall constitute a statement of commitment to be verbally agreed upon by all officers of and candidates endorsed by the OCLP.
2: MEMBERSHIP & DUES
2.1 CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP: General Members and Governing Body.
2.1.1 GENERAL MEMBERS: General membership in the OCLP is open to individuals who reside in Onondaga County. General Members must demonstrate active involvement by paying nominal annual dues as prescribed in Section 2.2, and must meet at least one (1) of the following requirements:
2.1.1a Member of the Libertarian Party of New York 2.1.1b Member of the National Libertarian Party
2.1.1c Enrolled with the Libertarian Party with the Onondaga County Board of Elections
2.1.2 GOVERNING BODY: Members of the Governing Body of the OCLP shall reside in Onondaga County and meet both of the following requirements:
2.1.2a Member of the Libertarian Party of New York
2.1.2b Paid dues to the OCLP in accordance with the requirements established in Section 2.2 of the bylaws.
2.1.3 Membership year. The Membership year coincides with a calendar year (January 1st through December 31st).
2.2.1 Annual dues are required from all members. Dues for General Members shall be $5.00 and dues for Governing Body Members shall be $25.00.
2.2.2 Dues are payable to the Treasurer of the OCLP on or before January 1st of each membership year.
2.2.3 The Treasurer shall maintain a Membership Roll based on payment of dues. Any member who has not paid current year dues by February 15th shall be removed from the Membership Roll. Individuals removed from the Membership Roll may be restored at anytime by written request and payment of dues to the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall report changes to the Membership Roll at each Governing Body meeting.
2.2.4 Separate dues may be required for membership in the Libertarian Party of New York. The amount, time span covered, and method of payment are to be determined solely by the LPNY, in accordance with their bylaws.
2.3 RIGHTS OF MEMBERSHIPS
2.3.1 General Members of the OCLP:
2.3.1a Shall have voting privileges at any convention.
2.3.1b Shall be entitled to join the Governing Body by written notice to the Treasurer and by paying the associated additional dues.
2.3.2 Governing Body members:
2.3.2a Have voting rights at all meetings of the Governing Body and at the annual convention.
2.3.2b Are eligible to serve as officers of the OCLP.
3.1 The officers of the OCLP shall be the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Representative to the LPNY state committee. The Chairman, Vice- Chairman, Secretary, or Treasurer may serve simultaneously as the Representative to the LPNY state committee.
3.2 All officers of the OCLP must be members of the Governing Body as specified in Section 2.1.2 of these bylaws.
3.3 All officers must be enrolled with the Board of Elections as a Libertarian and must be a current member of both the LPNY and the OCLP Governing Body.
3.4 A Chairperson, a Vice-chairperson, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and a State Representative shall be nominated and elected by a majority vote of General & Governing Body Members present at the annual convention, or elected as provided for elsewhere in these bylaws. No proxy voting is permitted.
3.5 All elected officers will serve a 2-year term; or special elected officers will serve until the previous officer holder’s term expires.
3.5.1 Elections for Chairperson, Secretary and State Representative will be held in odd years. Elections for the Vice-Chairperson and Treasurer will be held in even years.
3.5.2 Every ballot must have an entry for ‘none of the above’ (NOTA). After each ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes is dropped and the voting is continued until one candidate wins a majority of votes. If NOTA wins a majority of votes, none of the previously nominated candidates may be re-nominated and if no candidate meeting the requirements of office is nominated, the position will remain empty until otherwise filled as specified here or elsewhere in these By-Laws.
3.5.3 Election of officers shall be conducted by secret ballot.
3.6 Nominations and elections may be held at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Governing Body to replace an officer unwilling or unable to complete his or her term of office. The voting procedure used to elect officers at the Annual Convention shall be followed.
3.7 No person shall hold an Elected Governing Body position while serving in elected public office.
3.8 No elected officer of the OCLP shall be a Chairperson of a committee; no one shall be the Chairperson of more than one committee at a time.
4: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
4.1 The duties of the Chairperson shall be to act as administrator and spokesperson for the chapter, and to preside over, call and organize regularly scheduled meetings of the Governing Body. The Chairperson may create committees and appoint a Chair to any committee. Appointees of the Chairperson shall serve at the discretion of the Chair and shall be subject to nullification by a majority vote of those present at a regularly scheduled Governing Body meeting.
4.2 The Vice-chairperson will be responsible for assuming all authority in the absence of the Chairperson. The Vice-chairperson will serve as liaison and coordinator for all committees.
4.3 The duties of the Treasurer shall be to collect, hold, and disburse funds, maintain records of all financial transactions, provide annual financial reports, report regularly on the General and Governing Body membership, and determine quorums (see section 5.2.2a). Upon request, the Treasurer shall provide a list of Governing Body members to any General or Governing Body member requesting the list.
4.4 The duties of the State Representative shall be to attend meetings of the LP State Committee, and to represent the OCLP and vote at said meetings with the best interests of the OCLP as prime consideration. The State Representative can be removed for cause by a majority vote at a regular meeting of the OCLP if the Representative fails to attend two consecutive meetings of the State Committee or fails to provide a written or oral report of the State Committee activities at two consecutive regular meetings of the OCLP Governing Body.
4.5 The duties of the Secretary shall be to record official meeting minutes, check for correspondences, track Membership Roll, and distribute appropriate information to the General Membership as defined in Article 10 of these bylaws. The Secretary will annually, or more frequently, if requested by the Chairman, obtain the list of enrolled Libertarian Party voters for Onondaga County.
4.6 Prior to any election, the Secretary shall notify the membership of any members who may be subject to censure and the grounds therefore.
5.1 All regularly scheduled meetings of the OCLP are open to the public.
5.2 A Convention shall be held each year at least two weeks before the start of election petitioning.
5.2.1 All members will be given timely notice of the date and location of the OCLP Annual Convention in a manner and time as determined by the chair
5.2.2 The chair or the chair’s designee shall call the annual convention to order. The Secretary or the Treasurer will immediately be asked for a report on the attendance at the time the convention was called to order.
5.2.2a A quorum for the annual convention shall consist of a number of members equal to 50% of the number of current Governing Body members who are listed on the Treasurer’s Membership Roll and in attendance at the time of the call to order. As individuals are free to come and go during a convention, a quorum may be represented by different individuals throughout the convention.
5.2.2b No decisions at the Annual Convention requiring a vote shall be made without a quorum present.
5.3 Governing Body meetings:
5.3.1 The OCLP shall hold regularly scheduled meetings of the Governing Body.
5.3.2 Special meetings of the Governing Body may be called by any Elected OCLP officer by providing notice to Governing Body members 14 days in advance.
5.3.3 A quorum for all regular and special meetings of the OCLP Governing Body shall consist of the Chair or Vice Chair, Secretary or Treasurer, and 35% of the Governing Body.
5.3.4 No decisions requiring a vote shall be made without a quorum present as defined in section 5.3.3.
5.3.5 Proxy voting is not permitted.
5.3.6 Any persons engaging in inappropriate conduct at a meeting may be asked to discontinue such conduct or leave.
5.3.7 The Chairperson may appoint a moderator for each meeting.
6.1 No expenditures of the funds of the OCLP shall be made without the approval of the Chairperson and the Treasurer.
6.2 The Treasurer shall make a report of income and expenditures at each Governing Body meeting.
7: CANDIDATE SELECTION
7.1 Endorsement Process: Candidates seeking the endorsement of the OCLP shall submit a written letter of intent to the Secretary. Such requests may, but need not be sponsored by an OCLP member. Such requests shall be reported promptly by the Secretary to the Governing Body and referred to the Vetting Committee.
7.2 Vetting Committee: The vetting committee shall be responsible for interviewing potential candidates for public office; determining the voter registration party affiliation of individuals seeking endorsement; background checks, or other inquiries as they deem appropriate. The Vetting Committee shall make a final report and recommendation to the Governing Body.
7.2.1 The OCLP Chairperson will appoint the Chair of the Vetting Committee. The Vetting Committee shall be comprised of the elected officers and interested Governing Body members. The size of the Vetting committee will be determined at the discretion of the OCLP Chair.
7.2.2 The Vetting Committee will meet at the call of its chairperson and will establish its own evaluation procedures, which will include personal interviews.
7.3.3: Notification that a candidate for political office will be interviewed/reviewed by the Vetting Committee is to be made known to the Governing Body membership as widely as possible, so that members can have an opportunity to have input to the committee concerning the potential candidate. However, the manner of notification shall be at the discretion of the Vetting Committee Chair and shall be in such a manner as to not unduly delay the process.
7.2.4 The Vetting Committee shall make a positive recommendation of each candidate supported by an absolute majority of the Vetting Committee. An absolute majority is defined as 50% plus one. Any candidate who is not supported by such a majority shall receive a negative recommendation.
7.2.5 The primary criterion for a positive recommendation will be the candidate’s general agreement with libertarian principles.
7.2.6 Candidates may appeal negative recommendations to the OCLP Governing Body at any meeting of such body. With a quorum, the Governing Body may overturn the recommendation of the Vetting Committee with a supermajority vote (60% plus one) of the members present.
7.3 Nomination & Endorsement:
7.3.1: Any OCLP member in good standing may nominate an eligible candidate, including himself or herself.
7.3.2: Eligibility for Nomination at the Convention. Any candidate who has been duly vetted pursuant to section 7.2 is eligible to be nominated by an OCLP member at the next nominating convention. The body of the full membership shall vote at the convention to determine whether to endorse nominated candidates.
7.3.3: Eligible candidates can be nominated from the floor of the nominating convention, or, if no endorsement was made at the nominating convention, at any regular or special meeting of the Governing Body held after the convention.
7.3.4: All nominations require a second nomination by a Governing Body member.
7.3.5 All nominated candidates will be considered during any vote, and the nominated candidate with the majority of votes shall be the endorsed candidate. Voting with multiple candidates will be run as customary, with NOTA as a choice, and dropping the candidate with the least votes each round. If and when NOTA receives the majority of votes, none of the candidates will be endorsed.
7.3.6 Any candidate who seeks a vacant endorsement after the Annual Convention must first obtain a positive recommendation of the Vetting Committee, and then must be approved by a majority vote at a meeting of the Governing Body. If vetting is impracticable due to time constraints, or the Vetting Committee has issued a negative recommendation, the Governing Body may make an endorsement by a vote equivalent to a supermajority vote (60% plus one).
7.3.7 Any endorsed candidate may have that endorsement revoked. Endorsement may be revoked by a simple majority vote of the Governing Body.
7.3.8 If a potential candidate residing outside the area covered by the OCLP seeks endorsement to run for an office in a political unit that intersects with the area covered by the OCLP:
7.3.8a That person must be endorsed by all county organizations of the LPNY which intersect with that political unit; and
7.3.8b That person must be a member in good standing of the county organization, if any, covering the area where he or she resides, or if none, must be a member of the LPNY.
7.3.9: When an election district spans two or more LP County Chapter areas, and two or more candidates have been endorsed by the separate LP County Chapters, the OCLP will cooperate with the other LP County Chapter(s) in order to hold a joint candidate selection conference. The purpose of this conference will be to select a single Libertarian candidate. The rules of the joint conference will be agreed upon by the OCLP Chair and a representatives designated by the other Chapter Chair(s).
8: MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING
8.1 An individual is a General Member in good standing if the individual meets the requirements of section 2.1.1 and 2.2 as of the date of inquiry.
8.2 An individual is a member of the Governing Body in Good Standing if the individual meets the requirements of section 2.1.2 and 2.2 as of the date of inquiry.
9.1 These Bylaws shall take effect immediately if accepted by majority vote of the organizing members of the OCLP present at the founding convention to be held _____________________, and all founding members shall have thirty (30) days to pay dues according to their desired form of membership.
9.2 Amendments to the bylaws shall be ratified by supermajority vote (60% plus one) at a Governing Body meeting or at an annual convention of the OCLP provided the proposed amendments were communicated to the entire Governing Body in writing (USPS, email, text, or similar means) 14 days prior to the Governing Body meeting, or communicated to the General Membership via electronic means and/or by mail and/or by any other means approved by the Chairman within 14 days of the annual convention of the OCLP.
9.3: The text of properly disseminated proposed amendments to these Bylaws may be altered at the meeting by a simple verbal consent of all Governing Body members present.