Chapter 08: Bylaws

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The following document was adopted by the membership of the Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol to bring order and consistency to the affairs and functions of this organization. The Tahoe Back country Ski Patrol is a duly registered patrol of the National Ski Patrol (NSP) and, as such, is guided by the rules, regulations, policies and ideals of the bylaws of the NSP, a nonprofit federally chartered organization. The Tahoe Back country Ski Patrol bylaws were written in accordance with the National Ski Patrol's bylaws and are subject to NSP bylaws as they are amended from time to time.

Article I: Name

The official name of this organization will be the Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol.

Article II: Purpose

It is the philosophy of the Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol (hereinafter "Patrol") to be organized and dedicated to the service of the Tahoe National Forest and its winter visitors, and the Toiyabe National Forest and its winter visitors. However, it should be understood that the members of this patrol are not limited to ski patrol activities at these areas, and may be directed by area management to handle other duties.

Article Ill: Membership

The Patrol will consist of members chosen for admittance who have met current NSP and local patrol requirements. All members may be invited to renew membership each year if, in the previous year, they have met all NSP requirements and all standards set forth by the NSP and the Patrol in duly published operations manuals and have remitted such annual dues as established by the Patrol board of directors. All non-candidate members of the Patrol will be entitled to a single vote in all patrol elections in accordance with the policies established by these bylaws.

Article IV: Board of Directors

Section A: Powers and Purpose

The business and affairs of the Patrol shall be managed by a board of directors, which shall have authority only within the patrol organization. Members of the board of directors will be elected by the general membership of the Patrol, according to the procedures set forth in these bylaws. The purpose of the board of directors will be to develop and define the policies that govern the operation of the Patrol, to promote the implementation of these policies, and to provide counsel and advice to the patrol director in the operation of the Patrol. The board's actions must not conflict with area management policies.

Section B: Membership of Board

Membership of the board of directors will consist of six persons who have been members of the Patrol for at least one year, and who are elected by the Patrol's general membership at the spring election. Additionally, the patrol director will be considered a full voting member of the board of directors. With the exception of the patrol director, each member will serve a two-year term. Terms shall be staggered so that three board members are elected each year. The board year will commence on June 1 of each year. Any member may resign by providing written notice of resignation to the chairperson of the board. In the event a board member has been absent from three consecutive regular board meetings, the remaining members may determine that a vacancy exists, and the member will be deemed to have resigned-

Section C: Board Officers

The officers of the board of directors will consist of a chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary and treasurer-registrar. The patrol director shall serve as chairperson. All other board officers shall be elected annually by the board membership at the first regular meeting of the board year. The duties of the officers will include the following:

  1. The chairperson will (a) preside at all regular and special meetings of the board, (b) direct scheduling so that the board has ample opportunity to consider proposals before taking final action, and (c) have authority to assign,with board approval, additional duties and responsibilities to individual board members in support of the purposes of the board.
  2. The vice chairperson, in the absence of the chairperson, will perform all of the duties of the chairperson.
  3. The secretary will (a) prepare and distribute an agenda for all members, (b) conduct all official correspondence on behalf of the board, (c) maintain written records of all meetings and distribute copies of minutes as directed by the board, (d) preserve and maintain all the reports, documents, and records of the board committed to the secretary's care, and (e) perform any other duties directed by the board.
  4. The treasurer-registrar will (a) maintain all financial records of the Patrol, (b) maintain all registration records of the Patrol, and file all registration forms and other documents required to be filed in connection with the registration of patrollers with the NSP, (c) with the assistance of the patrol director, submit an operating budget to the board at the September meeting and a financial report to the board at the end of each year. This report may be audited, at the discretion of the board, by two other board members. The treasurer must also render a financial report to the general membership at the fall operations refresher.

Section D: Board Meetings

The board will meet quarterly on dates and at places to be arranged by the chairperson. The chairperson or, in the absence of the chairperson, the vice chairperson may call special meetings, as needed. Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, all meetings of the board will be conducted pursuant to the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

Section E: Quorum

For the purposes of transacting official business, at least four board members must be present to vote. Although a quorum may be present, if one or more members abstain from voting leaving less than four members to vote on a particular issue, the vote must be postponed until the necessary quorum is available.

Section F: Voting

Each member of the board will have the right to one vote and must be present to exercise that vote.

Section G: Responsibility and Authority

All policies developed and defined by the board of directors and these bylaws as established or amended must be consistent with the policies and directives of the NSP.

Section H: Vacancies

Vacancies occurring on the board of directors, for any reason, must be filled within 60 days. The remaining members of the board must submit a list of qualified candidates to the chairperson. The vacancy must then be filled by an individual who has received the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining members of the board.

Section I: Committees

The chairperson, with the approval of the board, may appoint chairpersons and members of committees. Membership on any committee need not be limited to members of the board. Special committees will cease to exist upon acceptance of their final report or by affirmative action of the board.

Article V: Officers

Section A: Patrol Director

The highest-ranking administrative officer of the Patrol will be the patrol director. This person will be responsible to the general membership for all administrative activities of the Patrol. The patrol director must be a patroller. Elections for this office will be held every two years by the general membership, and the patrol director will serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms. The election of this officer must be in accordance with the provisions set forth in these bylaws under Article VI: Elections. The patrol director shall also serve as chairperson of the board of directors of the Patrol.

  1. Vacancy of Office A vacancy that occurs in the office of patrol director due to resignation, death, or disqualification will be filled by an interim patrol director selected by majority vote of the board of directors, which must meet within 10 days of the vacancy. The general membership will then elect a new patrol director at the next regular business meeting. Until the interim patrol director is named by the board, the vice chairperson of the board will act as patrol director.
  2. Removal from Office To remove a patrol director from office, a simple majority of the general membership must sign a petition calling for the board of directors to hold a special election for the removal of the patrol director. After this petition has been presented to the board of directors, the board must hold an election within 10 days. Voting will be by mail. An affirmative two-thirds majority vote of all members voting will be required to remove a patrol director from office. Area management has the right to remove a patrol director at any time.

Section B: Assistant Patrol Director, Officers and Advisors

The patrol director may appoint an assistant patrol director, officers, and advisors as needed. The appointments must be confirmed by the board of directors. All such officers will report to the patrol director, serve at the patrol director's prerogative, and be accountable to the patrol director. The patrol director, in turn, will be accountable for the actions of these appointed officers.

Section C: Committees

The patrol director may appoint any number of special committees to assist in specific activities and to augment the expertise of the patrol advisors. These committees will serve only as long as their intended mission requires and will then be dismissed.

Article VI: General Meetings

The patrol director must conduct an annual fall meeting and also give the membership 30 days prior notice of the meeting. Whenever possible, this meeting should coincide with the fall operations refresher. The purpose of the annual meeting will be to confirm election of a patrol director and board members as required in Article VI: Elections, and to conduct any other routine business of the Patrol, including presentation of a financial statement and minutes of the previous general meeting. Additionally, the board of directors may call special meetings as needed. Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, all meetings of the Patrol will be conducted pursuant to the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order. Minutes of all meetings of the general membership and board of directors must be recorded and filed in a permanent binder to be stored in the Patrol's equipment shed.

Article VII: Elections

Section A: Qualifications for Election

To be eligible for the office of patrol director, an individual must be a patroller and must have been a member in good standing with the Patrol for at least two years, not counting the candidate year. To be eligible for one of the six positions on the board of directors, an individual must have been a member in good standing of the Patrol for at least one year. An individual who is nominated for any position must agree to run and to serve if elected. All members of the Patrol, except candidates, will be eligible for appointed offices without regard to patrol status designation.

Section B: Nominations for Election

On or before February 1 of each year, the chairperson of the board of directors will appoint a nominating committee consisting of three Patrol members. The nominating committee, working with appropriate input from the general membership, will select one appropriate, qualified candidate for each office about to be vacant. The nominees will be selected based on the majority decision of the nominating committee. No member of the nominating committee may be considered for nomination. The name of any candidate nominated for patrol director shall be submitted to area management before the election ballot is prepared.

Section C: Notification or Nominations

When the committee has selected its candidates and the candidates have indicated their willingness to stand for election and to serve if elected, the nominating committee will announce its recommendations in the Patrol newsletter, or by a special mailing to Patrol members. This announcement must be made on or before April of each year.

Section D: Nominations from the Floor

Additional nominations will be accepted from qualified Patrol members between April and April 15. Nominees not recommended by the nominating committee must accept or reject the nomination and must meet all qualifications for the office for which they have been nominated.

Section E: Elections

The registrar shall conduct all elections by mail. On or about May 1 of each year the registrar shall forward a written ballot to each qualified member. These ballots shall be numbered to assure validity. Members shall have until May 15 to mark and return their ballots to the registrar. Ballots postmarked after May 15 shall not be valid. On or about May 20 the registrar will count the ballots and report the results to the chairperson of the board. The ballots will be retained until the board is sure that the general membership is satisfied with the count. A simple majority of the votes cast will be sufficient to .win an office where a single position is at stake (i.e., patrol director). Where the election is for more than one equal office (i.e., seats on the board of directors), the candidates receiving the highest numbers of votes, consistent with the number of seats available, will be deemed the winners.

Section F: Quorum

At least 30 percent of the total membership will constitute a quorum for the purposes of electing officers or transacting other routine business.

Section G: Qualifications to Vote

All members of the Patrol, except candidates, will be eligible to vote.

Section H: Voting Procedures

In cases where there is no contest, the chairperson of the board will rule that the election is by acclamation. In cases of contested elections, all voting will be done by secret written ballot. In the event of a tie vote, the registrar will immediately order a run-off vote between the tied candidates. The run-off will be done by secret written ballot. A newly elected patrol director or board member will assume office on June 1.

Article VIII: Financial Administration

Section A: Dues

To exist as an organization, the Patrol has certain financial requirements that must be met by membership fees and various fundraising activities. To be considered a member in good standing able to vote in elections and take advantage of membership privileges, a member must pay all required dues by the date established each year by the patrol director and the treasurer of the board of directors. This date will be announced to the members in the early fall edition of the Patrol newsletter. The amount of dues will be established by the board of directors. These dues will be added to the national, division, and region assessments, and each member will be given a breakdown of the amount that goes to the national level and to each subunit of the organization. Every member will pay the total of all dues in one lump sum, and every member will pay the same amount of dues.

Section B: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Patrol will be October 1 through September 30. The treasurer of the board of directors, as the chief financial officer of the Patrol, must prepare a comprehensive, end-of-year financial statement for presentation to the general membership at the annual fall meeting.

The financial records of the Patrol must be available for formal audit by other higher NSP bodies as required, and for review by any voting member upon 20 days prior request. Should the Patrol be dissolved, all funds remaining in the treasury will pass to the National Ski Patrol.

Article IX: Amendments

These bylaws may be amended at any general membership meeting upon at least two weeks prior written notice to the membership. Such notice will include the original bylaw wording, proposed changes, reasons for the changes, and the date when the matter will be voted upon. Amendments may be proposed in writing to the board of directors by any Patrol member. Amendments must be accompanied by a petition signed by at least 5 Patrol members and must be presented to the general membership for consideration. A two-thirds majority of the qualified voting Patrol members who attend the meeting and vote on the amendment will be sufficient to carry the amendment. Where more than one bylaw amendment is presented, each amendment must be considered separately, unless there is unanimous agreement by those voting to the contrary.


This set of bylaws was adopted by the membership of the Patrol. Date: October 2, 1994 (as amended, April 19, 1997).

Patrol Director: Mike Kelly

Bylaws Committee: Annette Ausseresses, John Bidwell, Norman Bookstein, Chris Brown, Peter Sporleder, and Karla Rosen. Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol Manual

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