Somerset County Democratic Committee Bylaws

  1. Name – The name of this organization shall be the Somerset County Democratic Committee (Hereinafter, County Committee).
  2. Purpose – The purpose of the County Committee shall be to promote the principles and ideals of the Democratic Party in Somerset County, in the State of Maine, and in the United States of America by the election of Democratic candidates.

III.       Membership

  1. Classification – The County Committee shall consist of the following classes of membership:
    • Elected Members;
    • At-Large Members;
    • Ex Officio Members;
    • Non-Voting Members; and (e) Honorary Members.
  2. Elected Members – Each municipality in Somerset County shall be entitled to:
    • A minimum of three members on the County Committee; and
    • One additional member for every 250 Democrats enrolled in the municipality on the date of the last general election.
    • When possible, the County Committee members of each municipality shall be gender balanced.
  3. At-Large Members
    • Additional members may be made by a majority vote at a regular meeting.
    • At-Large Members shall take office immediately following election and shall serve until the next biennial caucus.
    • Members who no longer qualify as ex officio members of the County Committee during the term of membership shall immediately become At-Large Members upon losing such qualification.
    • Members who no longer reside in the municipality from which they were elected but continue to reside in Somerset County shall immediately become At-Large Members upon being registered as a Democrat in the new municipality.
  4. Ex Officio Members – The following people shall be ex officio members of the County Committee:
    • The chairs of Municipal Committees and Regional Committees who reside in Somerset County;
    • The officers of the County Committee;
    • The members and alternates of the State Committee residing in Somerset County; (d) The members of the Rules Committee residing in Somerset County;
  • The members of the Committees of the State Convention representing Somerset County;
  • All Democrats elected to political office who reside in Somerset County; and (g) All Democrats who are Constitutional Officers residing in Somerset County.
  1. Non-Voting Members

The following people shall be non-voting ex officio members of the County Committee:

  • Non-Resident Democrats elected to partisan political office who appeared on a ballot in Somerset County; and
  • Non-Resident Regional Committee Chairs whose Regional Committee includes at least one municipality in Somerset County.
  1. Honorary Members
    • The County Committee may confer Honorary Membership to individuals who have provided distinguished service to further advance the purposes of the Democratic Party in Somerset County by a majority vote at a County Committee meeting called for that purpose.
    • Honorary Members need not be current residents of Somerset County.
    • Honorary Members shall have the right to attend and speak at meetings of the County Committee, and, notwithstanding voting membership, shall have none of the other duties, rights, and privileges of membership.
  2. Overlapping Membership Status
    • No individual may serve simultaneously in more than one membership class.
    • Service as an Elected Member ends immediately upon assuming any office entitled to Ex Officio Membership, and the Elected Membership seat shall become vacant.
    • This section does not restrict an Ex Officio Member from holding multiple offices, but each voting member has only one vote regardless of the number of offices held.
  3. Qualifications

Notwithstanding non-voting ex officio and honorary membership, all members of the County Committee must:

  • Reside in Somerset County; and
  • Be registered to vote in the State of Maine as a Democrat.
  • Elected Members of the County Committee must reside in the municipality they represent.
  1. Election
    • At each biennial caucus, Municipal Committees shall elect members of the County Committee.
    • County Committee members shall assume office as soon as elected by the Municipal Committees and serve until the next biennial caucus or until their successors are elected.
  2. Vacancies
    • The County Chair shall notify the appropriate Chair of the Municipal Committee or Regional Committee of any vacancy that may arise from the resignation, removal, incapacitation, or death of an elected member.
    • The Municipal Committee or Regional Committee members from the municipality of the vacancy shall fill such vacancy as soon as feasible.
  3. Duties

Members of the County Committee shall:

  • Attend meetings of the County Committee;
  • Participate in the governance and direction of the affairs and activities of the County Committee;
  • Work closely with Municipal Chairs to promote a grassroots Democratic organization;
  • Serve as liaison between the Municipal Committee and the County Committee;
  • Aid and cooperate with the campaigns of Democratic candidates; and
  • Assist in fundraising for County Committee activities and Democratic campaigns.

IV.       Officers

  1. Officers – The elected officers of the County Committee shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary, a Communications Director, and a Treasurer. The County Committee may optionally elect an Assistant Treasurer.
  2. General Provisions
    • All persons seeking office must be voting members of the County Committee.
    • No person shall hold more than one office.
    • Officers shall assume office immediately upon election and serve for a term of two years or until their successors are elected.
  3. Elections

Elections of officers shall be:

(a)        Held at the Organizational Meeting; and (b) Decided by a majority vote.

  • Elections with two or more candidates nominated for an office shall be decided by ballot.
  • Elections with three or more candidates are nominated an office shall be decided by preferential ballot with the winner determined by instant runoff procedure.
  1. Chair

The Chair shall:

  • Be the general executive officer of the County Committee;
  • Make available to the County Committee and the office of the State Democratic Headquarters a current list of all members and officers of the county and municipal committees of the Democratic Party of Somerset County;
  • Preside at all meetings of the County Committee;
  • Sign checks when necessary to make payments in the absence of the Treasurer;
  • Participate in meetings of the Caucus of County Chairs and the Democratic State Committee;
  • Unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws, be an ex officio member of each standing subcommittee and appoint a chair for each; and
  • With a majority vote, establish ad hoc subcommittees as needed to address the interests and concerns of the County Committee members.
  1. Vice-Chair

The Vice-Chair shall:

  • Be vested with all of the powers and shall perform all of the duties of Chair in the event of the absence or disability of the Chair;
  • Preside over the election of a new Chair in the event of a vacancy in the Chair; (c) Be an ex officio member of each standing subcommittee; and

                              (d)     Perform any other duties that the County Committee may assign.

  1. Secretary

The Secretary shall:

  • Keep a complete and accurate record of the Committee meetings and to file a duplicate copy of such record with the Chair prior to the next regular meeting;
  • Make available to any member of the Committee for examination or copying any such record of meetings;
  • Keep a record of the attendance of the Committee members at each meeting;
  • Upon request of the Chair of the member’s Municipal Committee, make

attendance records available to the Municipal Committee;

  • Maintain a current list of all members and officers of the County and municipal committees of the Democratic Party of Somerset County; and (f) Perform any duties that the County Committee may assign.
  1. Communications Director

The Communications Director shall:

  • Write press releases on special meetings, events, and specific issues as directed by the County Committee;
  • Maintain the County Committee’s website and social media sites;
  • Maintain the mailing lists of the County Committee;
  • Coordinate with the officers and all subcommittees to compile all information needed to send out meeting notices;
  • Make recommendations for funding and maintaining different media sites

including but not limited to an official Committee website;

  • Gather and share information and photos from Committee events and the Secretary with the public through appropriate media outlets; and (g) Perform any duties that the County Committee may assign.
  1. Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

  • Keep a full and accurate record of all receipts and disbursements;
  • Deposit all Committee monies in the name of the Somerset County Democratic Committee in a recognized bank or trust company;
  • Disburse the funds of the County Committee as may be ordered or required by the County Committee;
  • Render to the Chair or to the County Committee reports of the Treasurer’s transactions and of the financial condition of the County Committee at all regular meetings of the County Committee;
  • Submit written reports as requested by the County Committee no less than once per year;
  • Comply on a timely basis with all legal requirements relating to the receipt and disbursement of funds;
  • Be an ex officio member of the Finance Subcommittee; and (h) Perform any duties that the County Committee may assign.
  1. Assistant Treasurer

If an Assistant Treasurer is elected, the Assistant Treasurer shall:

  • Assist in the performance of the Treasurer’s duties;
  • Perform the tasks of the Treasurer in the event of the absence or disability of the Treasurer;
  • Act as Treasurer in the event of a vacancy in the Treasurer;
  • Be an ex officio member of the Finance Subcommittee; and (e) Perform any duties that the County Committee may assign.
  1. Vacancies
    • The Chair or any member of the County Committee may announce a vacancy in an office; and
    • Such vacancy shall be filled at the next regular meeting called for that purpose following the announcement.

V.        Meetings

  1. Regular Meetings
    • Regular meetings of the County Committee shall be held:
      • At least once each month during the year of the general election; and (ii) Once every two months during the year prior to the general election.
    • Meetings shall be held at a time and place designated by the Chair unless otherwise agreed to by a majority vote at a regular County Committee meeting.
    • Unless otherwise required in these Bylaws, the Chair shall notify in writing each member of the County Committee of the time, place, and agenda of each regular meeting at least five days prior to a regular meeting.
  2. Organizational Meeting
    • The organizational meeting of the County Committee shall be held in January of the year following the general election but before the election of officers by the Democratic State Committee in lieu of a regular meeting.
    • The County Committee may perform business at the organizational meeting that would be conducted at a regular meeting.
    • The Chair shall notify in writing each member of the County Committee of the time, place, and agenda of the organizational meeting at least ten days prior to the organizational meeting.
  3. Special Meetings
    • Special meetings may be called:
      • By the Chair; or
      • Upon written request to the Secretary signed by any five members representing at least two municipalities of the County Committee.
    • Such a request shall state the purpose for which the meeting is requested.
    • The Chair shall call a special meeting within one month following the receipt of the appropriate request.
    • The Chair shall notify in writing each member of the County Committee of the time, place, and agenda of the special meeting at least seven days prior to the meeting.
  4. Cancellation
    • Cancellation of meetings of the County Committee shall be announced as soon as such decision is made. Cancelled meetings shall be rescheduled as soon as feasible.
    • A meeting that is scheduled to be held wholly or partially in person may be converted to a fully electronic meeting. Such a decision shall be announced as soon as possible.
  5. Quorum – Three members present and eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum.
  6. Proxy Voting – No votes may be cast by proxy.
  7. Electronic Meetings
    • The County Committee may adopt procedures for members participating in meetings via electronic means.
    • All members participating electronically shall be able to communicate with each other and with those participating in person simultaneously.
    • Members who participate electronically shall be deemed to be in attendance at the meeting.

VI.       Executive Council

  1. Members

The membership of the Executive Council shall consist of:

  • The Officers of the County Committee; and
  • The Elected Members of the State Committee representing Somerset County.
  1. Meetings
    • A majority of members present and eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of the Executive Council.
    • When necessary, meetings may be conducted via electronic means, including voting by e-mail, provided at least one attempt is made to contact each member.
    • Records
      • The Executive Council shall keep minutes of all meetings and all votes shall be recorded by name.
      • All records of the Executive Council shall be open and available to all members at the next County Committee meeting or upon request of any member.
  1. Duties
    • The Executive Council shall act in an advisory capacity to the County Committee.
    • The Executive Council may make recommendations to be ratified by the County Committee except for situations of an urgent nature requiring immediate action.
    • In situations of an urgent nature requiring immediate action, the Executive Council may make a necessary and proper action by a two-thirds vote at a duly called and constituted meeting.
    • The Executive Council shall perform any duties the County Committee may assign.

VII.     Standing Subcommittees

  1. Subcommittee on Finance

The charge of the Subcommittee on Finance shall be:

  • To raise funds to support County Committee activities;
  • To provide financial assistance to Democratic candidates seeking election; and (c) To prepare a biennial budget for approval by the County Committee.
  1. Subcommittee on the Caucuses and the State Convention

The charge of the Subcommittee on the Caucuses and the State Convention shall be:

  • To see that caucuses are held prior to the biennial State Convention in accordance with the legal requirements of the State;
  • To see that the chair of each municipality is reasonably notified of the number of delegates and alternates to be elected to the State Convention and the number of County Committee members to be elected from the municipality;
  • To see that the post-caucus meetings to fill vacancies for delegates and alternates to the State Convention are held in accordance with the rules of the Maine Democratic Party; and
  • To perform any duties the County Committee may assign.
  • The member of the Committee on Credentials for the Maine Democratic State Convention representing Somerset County shall be an ex officio member of the Subcommittee on the Caucuses and the State Convention.
  1. Additional Standing Subcommittees
    • The Chair shall provide the County Committee with a list of additional standing subcommittees at a regular meeting within three months after the Chair’s election.
    • The Chair, with the approval of a majority vote, shall establish the standing subcommittees submitted in accordance with this section or at any regular meeting of the County Committee as deemed necessary and appropriate.

VIII.    Finances

  1. Expenditures may not be contracted by any officer or member of the County Committee unless previously authorized by vote of the County Committee.
  2. All bills shall be itemized and shall specifically identify the goods or services provided.
  3. The Treasurer may not pay any funds until approved by the Chair.
  4. Expenditures of an Urgent Nature
    • Expenditures of no more than $200.00 that are of an urgent nature may be contracted by the Chair with the approval of a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council.
    • The County Committee shall be notified of the expenditure at the next meeting.

IX.       Grievance

  1. Grievances shall be signed by the complainant and brought in writing to the County Committee for disposition.
  2. Grievances must allege actions or incidents that may have violated the Maine Democratic Party Charter or these Bylaws.
  3. The County Committee may refer the grievance to an ad hoc subcommittee of no more than five members for investigation and hearing. The Chair and the Vice-Chair of the County Committee shall not be members of the ad hoc subcommittee.
  4. The County Committee may adopt rules and procedures pertinent to the handling of grievances.
  5. Appeals of the decision of the County Committee may be made by written notice to the Grievance Committee of the Maine Democratic Party in accordance with the Maine Democratic Party Charter with a copy provided to the County Committee Chair.

X.        Resignation

  1. Voluntary Resignation – Any member or officer of the County Committee may at any time resign.
    • As a Member
      • Such resignation shall be tendered to the County Committee or the Chair and shall take effect immediately upon receipt by the Chair unless otherwise specified.
      • If said member represented a municipality, the County Chair shall notify the appropriate Chair of the Municipal Committee or Regional Committee.
    • As an Officer – Such resignation shall be tendered to the County Committee Chair and shall take effect immediately upon receipt unless otherwise specified.
    • Resignation as an officer shall not imply resignation as a member unless the notice of resignation explicitly states resignation as both an officer and a member.
  2. Automatic Resignation – A voting member or officer of the County Committee shall have automatically resigned if said member or officer no longer meets the qualifications for membership.

XI.       Removal

  1. Removal of Officers – An officer may be removed from office for inaction or impropriety by a two-thirds vote of the County Committee at a meeting called for that purpose.
  2. Removal of Members – A member may be removed from the County Committee for inaction or impropriety by:
    • A two-thirds vote of the respective Municipal Committee or Regional Committee from which the elected member represents; or
    • A two-thirds vote of County Committee members present at a meeting called for that purpose.
  3. Notice and Procedures
    • Notice shall be given at least ten days prior to such meeting for all removal cases.
    • Procedures – Members and officers may be removed at the discretion of their respective Committee in accordance with the Parliamentary Authority.
    • Removal as an officer shall not imply removal as a member unless the notice explicitly states removal as both an officer and a member.

XII. Parliamentary Authority – The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the meetings, organization and actions of the County Committee in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with any special rules that the County Committee may adopt, these  Bylaws, the Charter of the Maine Democratic Party, and all applicable local, state and federal laws.

XIII.    Availability and Amendment

  1. Availability
    • The Bylaws of the County Committee shall be publicly available on the website of the County Committee.
    • Copies of the Bylaws shall be available through the Secretary upon request.
  2. Amendment
    • These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at a meeting called for that purpose.
    • An amendment may be requested at any regular meeting of the County

Committee for consideration at the next regular meeting.

  • The notice shall:
    • Include the text of the proposed amendment and the text of the Bylaws to which the amendment is proposed; and
    • Be given at least seven days prior to the meeting.

Adopted on October 18, 2015

Amended on June 24, 2018

Revised on October 13, 2021

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