Bergen County Republican Organization ByLaws
BCRO By Laws, revised September 10, 2013 (PRINTABLE PDF)
Revised September 10, 2013
WHEREAS, the Bergen County Republican Committee is duly constituted according to the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey, 19:5-3 and its membership and organization as defined therein; and
WHEREAS, the statute provides: “Such committee shall have power to adopt a constitution and bylaws for its proper government”, and
WHEREAS, our nation is a Republic wherein elected officials are representatives of their constituency, and elected County Com-mittee members must act within their obligation to represent Republican voters in their respective district; and
WHEREAS a County Committee member is a trustee of the voter’s rights and interest in party affairs; and
WHEREAS it is the purpose of the Bergen County Republican County Committee to strengthen party effectiveness and to elect Republican officials, responsive and accountable to Republican voters; and
NOW, THEREFORE, to insure the proper government of the Bergen County Republican Committee, to strengthen party effectiveness and to represent Republican voters in the election of Republican Officials who are responsive and accountable to these voters, these ByLaws, revised on the 11th day of June, 2013.
The name of this organization shall be the Bergen County Republican Organization.
ARTICLE II – OBJECT
The object of this organization shall be to strengthen party effectiveness by selecting Republican candidates for county office and endorsing Republican candidates for state and federal office who are responsive and accountable to the Republican voters. It is also the object of this organization to coordinate all elements of the Republican Party in Bergen County, to endorse and recommend candidates for public office, to promote the Republican philosophy at all levels of government and to assemble the energy and resources of the organization to enhance the election potential of Republican candidates.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The membership of this organization shall be composed of members of the Bergen County Republican County Committee who have been duly elected or appointed pursuant to Title 19.
Section 2. The members of the Republican State Committee, Legislative Delegation, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives represent-ing constituencies in Bergen County and elected Republican county and localofficials from Bergen County shall be ex-officio members of this organization and shall be entitled to all of the privileges except those of making motions, of voting, and of holding office within the Organization, unless they are duly elected or appointed members of Bergen County Republican County Committee.
Section 3. Vacancies in the membership of the Organization may occur upon the death, resignation, recall, the member’s removal from a district of election, or upon the failure to elect a member in the primary. Vacancies occurring as a result of a failure to elect a district member in the primary, shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Title 19 and these ByLaws and shall be effective only after notice in writing from the Municipal Chair to the Secretary of this Organization no later than 5 days after the Primary. Other vacancies shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Title 19 and these ByLaws and shall be effective only after notice in writing to the Secretary of this Organization, such notice to be delivered no less than two weeks prior to any convention for the selection of candidates to fill vacant elective offices.
Section 4. Members of this organization may be recalled pursuant to the following provisions:
a. A complaint can be lodged by a majority of the members of the County Committee residing in the municipality in which the member is elected, and a majority of the County Committee in the case of an officer of the Organization, the Chair shall notify the member of the complaint. If the complaint is lodged against the Chair, the Secretary shall assume the responsibility of setting up the hearing.
b. The grounds for recall are:
i. Support of a candidate of another party;
ii. Any violation of Title 19 of the Revised Statues
iii. Failure to responsibly carry out the duties and obligations of membership or office.
c. A date shall be set for a hearing at least five days but not more than 15 days after the receipt of the complaint.
d. A committee appointed by the County Chairman of not more than 7 members, and approved by the Policy Committee to investigate the complaint. The Committee shall report to the County Chairman no later than 30 days after the formation of the committee with recommendations which may include:
i. Suspension of voting privileges for a stated period of time;
ii. Removal from Bergen County Republican Organization;
iii. No fault found;
iv. Denied county line the next time they run for election.
e. If fault is found on the part of the member or officer who is the subject of the complaint, a hearing before the full Executive Board on the issue of the issue of the complaint shall be scheduled no later than two weeks after the receipt of the recommendation of the committee.
f. The member or officer who is the subject of the complaint shall be given adequate notice of the investigation and hearing, if a hearing is held, in order that he or she shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
g. The Policy Committee may either agree with or overturn the recommendation of the Committee.
ARTICLE IV – DISTRICT COMMITTEES
Section 1. The County shall be divided into Legislative Districts as determined by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission from time to time. There shall be, in each such Legislative District, an organization comprised of the members of the Bergen County Republican Committee residing in the Legislative District known as Legislative District __th Republican Committee.
Section 2. The Legislative District Committee shall organize within 30 days after the Primary in each year in which members of the County Committee are chosen and shall elect from among the members of the District committee who are duly elected members of the county committee a chairperson and vice chairperson of the opposite sex and such other officers as they may deem necessary. Notice of the election of such officers shall be provided to the County Chairperson of the Bergen County Republican Committee within two weeks of election.
In the event that any Legislative District Committee fails to reorganize within 30 days after the Primary in which members are elected, the County Chairperson of this Organization shall take such steps as may be necessary to facilitate reorganization within 45 days of Primary.
Section 3. Each Legislative District shall be governed by these bylaws; however, each shall promulgate such bylaws as may be supplementary to the provisions for the selection and endorsement of legislative candidates for Republican candidate as deemed appropriate by the District Committee.
ARTICLE V – MUNICIPAL COMMITTEES
Section 1. There shall be, in each municipality in Bergen County, an organization comprised of the members of the Municipal Committee elected or appointed pursuant to Title 19 known as the ____________ Republican Municipal Committee.
Section 2. The annual meeting of each Municipal Committee shall be held on the first Monday following the primary election in each year and shall elect suitable persons as chairperson and vice chairperson who shall be of the opposite sex and such other officers as the Municipal Committee may deem necessary. Notice of the election of such officers shall be provided to the Chairperson of the Bergen County Republican County Committee within two weeks of election.
In the event that any Municipal Committee fails to reorganize within 30 days after the Primary in which members are elected, the Chairperson of this organization shall take such steps as may be necessary to facilitate reorganization.
Section 3. Each Municipal Committee shall be governed by these bylaws; however, each shall promulgate such bylaws as may be supplementary to the provisions of these ByLaws.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1. The officer of this Organization shall be limited to a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, a Deputy Vice Chairperson, Secretary, an Assistant Secretary, a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer, and a Parliamentarian who shall be designated by the Chair and a Sergeant-at-Arms. All officers with the exception of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson shall be members of the Bergen County Republican County Committee. These officers shall perform duties described by these bylaws. The Deputy Chairperson and the Deputy Vice-Chairperson shall, in effect, be assistants to their respective senior officers who shall designate their duties.
Section 2. The duties of the officers shall be set forth herein:
The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings, appoint all committees subject to the approval of the Policy Committee and perform such duties as ordinarily pertain to the office.
The Vice-Chairperson shall preside in the absence of the Chairperson and be vested with all the power of the office.
The Deputy Chairperson and the Deputy Vice-Chairperson shall, in ef-fect, be assistants to their respective senior officers who will designate their du-ties. The Deputy Chairperson shall assume the duties of the Chair in the ab-sence of the Chair and the Vice Chair. The Deputy Vice-Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair in the absence of the Chair, Vice-Chair and the Deputy Chair.
The Secretary shall keep a true record of the proceedings of the Commit-tee and record the attendance and business transacted at all meetings of the County Committee and the Executive Committee, and perform any other duty which may be assigned by the Chairperson. The Secretary shall send timely no-tices of all meetings and elections to the members and perform other duties as may be directed by the Chairperson.
The Assistant Secretary shall act in the absence of the Secretary. The Assistant Secretary shall maintain a roll of the members within their places of residence and post office addresses.
The Treasurer shall, upon election, take all necessary steps for the establishment of a Bank Account. The Treasurer shall also receive all monies and deposit same in a bank or banks to the credit of the County Committee. All bills and checks shall carry the signature of the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson and the signature of either the Treasurer or the Assistant Treasurer. The Treas-urer shall file all financial reports as required by law and give reports at County Committee Meetings.
The Assistant Treasurer shall act in the absence of the Treasurer and be vested with the duties of that office.
The Parliamentarian shall advise the Chairperson and officers, commit-tees and members on matters of parliamentarian procedure.
The Sergeant-At-Arms shall maintain order at the direction of the Chairman.
ARTICLE VII – ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers shall be elected by ballot to serve for a term of two years or until their successors are elected. Such election shall take place at the re-organizational meeting pursuant to Title 19.
Section 2. The Chairman shall appoint a nominating committee at the meeting at least 3 months prior to the Primary date, consisting of five members of the County Committee.
Section 3. The Nominating Committee shall report its recommendations to the County Committee at the April meeting. Other nominations may be made by petition in writing signed by a minimum of twenty-five members of the Bergen County Republican Committee, said signatures representing at least five legislative Districts. The nominations thus made by petition must be submitted and read to the Secretary of the Organization at the May meeting.
Section 4. In the event there is more than one (1) nominee for any office, or in the event an Election of any kind is necessary for any purpose whether for an office or otherwise, the election shall be conducted by secret ballot. When there is only one candidate for a particular office, the members may vote by acclamation.
Section 5. A majority of those present is required for election to any office. (Fifty percent plus one.) A run off will be held between the two highest vote getters.
Section 6. An Election Committee, including a representative of each Chairperson candidate and the Parliamentarian, shall be appointed by the Chairperson to supervise the procedures for contested elections at least ten days prior to the organization meeting. Such procedures shall be determined at least three days prior to the organization meeting.
Section 7. Vacancies in Bergen may occur in any of the foregoing offices upon resignation, removal from the County, Death, Recall or Inability to serve. Such vacancies, other than the Chairman, shall be filled by the Chairman at the next regular meeting or at a special meeting.
Section 8. Vacancy of the Chairman shall be filled within 45 days and with at least ten day previous notice and a special meeting called for the purpose of a special election to fill the position of Chairman, called by the Vice-Chair.
ARTICLE VIII – TENURE
Member and Officers of the Bergen County Republican Committee shall hold office for a term of two (2) years until their successors have been elected.
ARTICLE IX – MEETINGS
Section 1. The regular meetings of this Organization shall be held during the second full week of the month, September and October, February to June. Notice shall be sent out by the Secretary.
Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the Chair, the Executive Board or when 100 members, as set forth below, shall sign and present a petition to the Chair and to the Secretary which sets forth the purpose of the special meeting. The Chairperson, or in the case of the neglect or refusal of the Chair, the Secretary, having had notice of any of the above conditions served on him personally, must issue a call within 20 days of the receipt of such petition, for a meeting to take place within 15 days of the call. The notice so given shall set forth the purpose of the special meeting and the meeting shall be confined to that purpose.
Section 3. When a written petition, as set forth in Section 2 above, is presented it shall be in the form of declaration of the purpose set forth at the time of the page under which the petitioners shall subscribe their signatures, addresses and telephone numbers. The petition may consist of more than one page; how-ever, each page must contain the declaration of purpose at the top and must be certified by one of the petitioners who shall state that to his knowledge, the signers of the petition are members in good standing of this organization.
Section 4. The minimum of one hundred signatures must be distributed among the five major legislative districts which comprise the county committee, 15 signatures of members from each district and the remainder of the signatures from any members of the County Committee.
Section 5. Notice in writing of regular and special meetings shall be sent to the members by the Secretary at least 6 days before the time of the meeting. Meetings shall commence at 8:00 pm, unless otherwise ordered by the Organization.
Section 6. One hundred members of the Organization shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE X – RESOLUTIONS
Any member of the County Committee may propose a resolution regarding the County, State or Federal Issues, to be voted on by the County Committee at a regular County Committee Meeting.
Resolutions supporting or endorsing candidates are not permitted…that is the function of the convention.
Such resolution must be in the following format:
a. Must be typed.
b. Have signatures of at least 50 County Committee members including seven Municipal Chairs.
c. It must be received by the Secretary with a copy to the Chairperson at least 20 days prior to a regular meeting.
The Secretary shall check the resolution for the proper signatures and if all is in order, she/he shall forward a copy of said resolution with a notice of the next regular County Committee meeting. The notice shall state that the said resolution will be discussed and scheduled for a vote. In order to pass, such a resolution will require 2/3 of those members present and voting provided there is a quorum.
ARTICLE XI – COMMITTEES
Section 1. There is hereby composed a Policy Committee consisting of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, their Deputies, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Parliamentarian, the Chairperson of the Legislative District Committees residing within Bergen County or their designees, all elected officials on the State and County level, the Bergen County State Committee people, the Immediate Past Chair (for one term only), the presiding officer of the Women’s Club, Young Republican’s Club, African American Republican Club, Hispanic Republican Club, Lawyers Organization, Middle Eastern Christian American Republican Club and all Municipal Chairs. Other county-wide Republican Organizations may apply to the Chair for a seat on the Policy Committee. In order to qualify they must have regular meetings, reorganize annually and show evidence that they actively supported the Republican ticket in the last election.
The purpose of the Policy Committee shall be to advise the parent organization through the Chairperson on matters which affect the welfare of the Republican Party in Bergen County, to review and make recommendations to the Organization regarding the selection of candidates for the appointment to various positions by recommending candidates and advising elected Republican officials in the selection of appointments to various Federal, State and County positions.
The Policy Committee shall promulgate such bylaws as are consistent with these ByLaws.
Section 2. A Finance Committee composed of a Finance Chairman, the Treasurer or the Designee of the Treasurer and other members of this Organization shall be appointed by the Chairman promptly after each reorganization meeting. It shall be the duty of this committee to prepare a budget for the organization and to submit it to the Policy Committee at its regular meeting in June.
The Finance Committee may from time to time submit amendments to the budget for the current fiscal year, which may be adopted by a majority vote of the Policy Committee. The Finance Committee shall report to the Organization at each regular meeting.
Section 3. A Personnel Committee composed of the Chairperson, Chairpersons of the Legislative District Committees or their Designees, and the Republican County Executive or a Designee who shall be a member of the County Committee, shall meet at least once a month to make recommendations to appointive positions. Such recommendations shall be reported to the Policy Committee, which shall make final recommendations to the appropriate appointive person or body.
Section 4. A Program Committee of five members shall be appointed by the Chair promptly after the Organizational meeting, whose duty it shall be to plan the program of the Organization. The committee’s report shall be submitted to the Organization for its approval at its regular meeting in September.
Section 5. An Auditing Committee of three members shall be appointed by the Chair at the Organization’s March meeting in a year when members are to be chosen at Primary, whose duty it shall be to audit the Treasurer’s accounts at the close of the fiscal year and to report at the organizational meeting.
Section 6. The Chair shall appoint a standing ByLaws Committee to continuously review and suggest amendments in order that these bylaws may reflect the current requirements of the law and the Republican Party. The Parliamentarian shall be a member of this committee.
Section 7. The Chair shall appoint a Credentials Committee consisting of the Chairpersons of each of the Legislative District Committees at least one week prior to any meeting at which time candidates for public office are to be selected. The Credentials Committee shall choose a Chair from among its members and shall review the eligibility of any member to participate in the ensuing selection upon the presentation of a challenge of that member’s eligibility.
Section 8. The Chair shall appoint an Election Committee composed of at least five members of the organization and one representative of each candidate to supervise and ensure a fair election at least one week prior to any meeting at which an election is to be held to select candidates, fill vacancies in public office, or to choose officers of this Organization.
Section 9. Such other committees, standing or special, shall be appointed by the Chairperson as the Organization or Policy Committee shall from time to time deem necessary.
ARTICLE XII – CANDIDATE SELECTION PROCEDURE
Section 1. The provisions of this article shall apply to the selection of candidates for nomination to office in the annual primary election and for the endorsement of candidates for office by the organization. Candidates seeking the Republican designation and endorsement by the Bergen County Republican County Organization shall follow the procedure set forth herein.
Section 2. Any candidate who wishes to seek the nomination to office from the Republican County Organization, whether or not the candidate is an incumbent, shall file with the Republican County Chairman and with the secretary of this organization in writing of intention to seek nomination on or before February 1 of the year in which nomination is sought. This written notice shall be accompanied by a resume setting forth the professional, civic and political qualifications of the candidates.
In addition to submitting the above by February 1 all individuals running for Freeholder will submit a written statement naming the Republican County Chairman their campaign manager for purposes including but not limited to the rights of a campaign manager as set forth in N.J.S.A. 19:49-2. Also, to the extent not otherwise inconsistent with Title 19 the Freeholder candidate(s) may designate any individual (s) to manage their day to day campaign.
Section 3. The candidates shall be reviewed by the policy committee which shall interview each person filing a notice of intent. Upon completion of the review process, if there is more than one person seeking office for any position on the ballot, the policy committee may make a recommendation of the person best suited n their opinion, to be a candidate for election for that office. Such recommendation shall be indicated on the convention ballot by an asterisk or some other suitable symbol. If only one person seeking nomination to office, the Policy Committee may, in its discretion, support the candidacy or in the alternative, take no action.
Section 4. There shall be a special meeting or Convention called by the Republican County Chairman each year at an appropriate time prior to the last day for filing petitions for nomination in the primary. The purpose of such meeting or Convention shall be to select candidates for office who shall run in the Republican column in the ensuring primary election. For purposes of a Convention only, all elected Republican Party and public officials who are not members of the Republican Committee shall be permitted to vote.
Section 5. The selection of candidates shall take place in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Election Committee as set forth above.
Section 6. The Republican Party Chairman shall certify to the County Clerk, in accordance with the provisions of Title 19, those candidates who are selected or endorsed by the Convention for placement in the Republican column on the Primary Ballot. The selections and endorsements of the Convention shall be binding.
ARTICLE XIII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, newly re-vised shall govern the Organization in all cases to which they are applicable and which they are not inconsistent with these ByLaws and any special rules of order the Organization may adopt.
ARTICLE XIV – AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
These ByLaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Organization by a two-thirds vote, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.