Constitution and By-laws
ARTICLE I – Name
The name of this organization shall be Piscataquis County Extension Association. The governing body of this organization shall be known as the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE II – Purpose
The purpose of this Association is to cooperate with and assist the faculty and staff of the Piscataquis County Extension Office of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMCE) in planning, promoting, developing, implementing and evaluating and reporting of Extension programs which meet the needs and interests of area residents, and are consistent with UMCE’s mission.
ARTICLE III – Association Membership
Section 1 – Composition
Any resident or person employed in Piscataquis County, who expresses an interest in Extension and a desire to support its work, shall be considered to be a member. Interest and support may be shown by attendance at Association meetings, contributions of money, materials or services as a volunteer, or by participation in an Extension program or activity.
Section 2 – Membership Fees
There shall be no annual membership fees or dues.
ARTICLE IV – Officers of the Association
Section 1 – Officers, their terms, and election
The officers of the Association shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. They shall be members of the Executive Committee, nominated by the sub-Committee or by the members, and elected for two-year terms at the annual meeting of the Association. The officers of the Association shall also be the officers of the Executive Committee
Section 2 – Vacancies
A vacancy occurring in any office because of illness, death or other incapacities to perform the duties of the office shall be filled by the Executive Committee, except that in the case of a vacancy in the office of President, the Vice President shall succeed to that office.
Section 3 – Duties of the Officers
The President shall perform such duties as usually pertain to the office of the President. He/she shall preside at all meetings of the Association and the Executive Committee. He/she shall appoint members of committees as authorized in Article VI, and sign all documents requiring the President’s signature.
The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President in the absences or incapacity of the President and shall assume other responsibilities assigned by the President.
The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of the activities of the Association and the Executive Committee; shall be responsible for the correspondence of the Committee; shall prepare and keep a list of members of all special and standing committees for the current and two· previous years; and shall provide the County Extension office a copy of all records of the Committee. The Secretary may assign a recorder to take minutes of the Committee meetings.
The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds and securities of the Association, except as otherwise provided in Article VI, Section 1-8; shall see that all funds are properly disbursed and shall sign all checks, drafts and other financial obligations of the Association; shall keep an accurate record of all receipts and disbursements; and shall report the financial standing of the Association at the annual meeting, at meetings of the Executive Committee and at such other times as the Committee may require.
The actions of the Treasurer in the exercise of his/her responsibilities shall be subject to the direction and approval of the Executive Committee.
The Treasurer shall serve as Chairman of the Finance Committee. (See Article VI.)
ARTICLE V – Executive Committee
Section 1 – Establishment
There shall be an Executive Committee of eight to ten (8-10) members in addition to the officers. They shall be nominated by the Nominations Committee, or by the members, and elected at the annual meeting of the Association.
Section 2 – Function
The function of the Executive Committee is to serve as the governing body of the Association. The Committee is the legal representative of Piscataquis County in the three-party cooperative relationship of Extension, the other two parties being University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMaine Extension) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture.
Section 3 – Term of Office
The term of office of a member of the Executive Committee shall be three (3) years, except that the Nominating Committee may recommend in selective cases a term of lesser or greater length, if such is deemed advisable to restore the principle of staggered terms which may have been eroded by error or oversight.
A member of the Executive Committee may serve only two (2) consecutive terms, after which he/she shall be ineligible for one year to serve on the Committee.
Service as a member appointed to fill a vacancy or service as a member elected to serve the remainder of another’s term shall not be counted as contributing to ineligibility.
Section 4 – Vacancies
The Executive Committee may fill a vacancy. The appointee shall serve until the next annual meeting, at which time the appointee or another shall be elected to serve the remainder of the term.
Section 5 – Remuneration
Members of the executive committee shall serve without remuneration, but they may be reimbursed for approved travel and expenses. The Committee shall determine the amount of reimbursement.
Section 6 – Attendance at Meetings
Executive Committee members are expected to participate to the fullest extent. Any member failing to attend three (3) consecutive meetings, without notifying the President or the Extension office in advance and giving a reasonable explanation, shall be notified of the failure to comply with the by-laws, and at the next regular meeting, the Committee may declare a vacancy in the position.
Section 7 – Powers of the Executive Committee
As the governing body of the Association, the Executive Committee shall have all of the authority, which the Association may legally delegate to it to manage the affairs of the Association. Additionally, the Executive Committee possesses certain powers under state and federal law. Conversely, the Committee is subject to certain restraint by virtue of the cooperative relationship with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Executive Committee may delegate authority to individuals, committees or other subordinate entities. Any such delegation of authority, whether granted explicitly or by implication, may be revoked by the Executive Committee.
Section 8 – Responsibilities of the Executive Committee
The basic responsibility of the Executive Committee is to fulfill the purposes of the Association, some of which are stated in Article II.
Particular responsibilities, some of which are carried out in cooperation with the professional staff and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, are to:
- Identify the major issues facing Piscataquis County, and assess the needs of the inhabitants.
- Evaluate the resources, which Extension may possess to address the major issues while evaluating for consistency with state issues and priorities, and determine the priority of time and effort to be devoted to a particular issue.
- Develop plans for programs and projects to address major needs. Plans might include changes priorities, scope or emphasis, or termination of existing programs, or the implementation of new programs.
- Develop and approve, in consultation with the professional staff and University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the County Plan of Work.
- Approve all programs to be conducted by Piscataquis Extension or its subsidiaries.
- Approve all applications for grants-in-aid for the support of Extension programs.
- Evaluate and periodically review Extension programs to determine their effectiveness in meeting the needs for which they were created. Major programs should be reviewed at least every three years, lesser programs more often.
- Approve the annual budget prepared by the Finance Committee for presentation and adoption at the annual meeting of the Association.
- Approve revision of the annual budget adopted by the Association, if the Finance Committee finds that changed circumstances require such revision.
- Develop and administer policies and procedures to ensure fiscal accountability in the expenditure of funds.
- Participate in staff selection.
- Promote among the general public, increased understanding and awareness of the work of Extension.
- Ensure that the county office is operated according to sound management principles and personnel policies.
- Encourage and promote a wholesome collegial relationship among the professional and support staff.
ARTICLE VI – Committees
Section 1 – Standing Committees
The following Standing Committees may be appointed annually by the President. Other committees may be formed as needed to further the purposes of the Association.
The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least two (2) members of the Executive Committee, and at the option of the President one or more Extension Educators, staff persons or Association members.
The Committee shall perform the functions listed below and accept other duties assigned by the President:
- Coordinate efforts to increase public awareness, acceptance and use of Extension services.
- Coordinate efforts to project a favorable image of Piscataquis County Extension through newsletters, press releases, reports and whatever other means are available.
- Establish and nurture effective rapport with County Commissioners and County Budget Committee members.
- Coordinate arrangements for the annual meeting of the Association.
- Recruit and nominate Executive Committee members and officers.
- Plan and conduct an annual planning program for the members of the Executive Committee.
Other committees may be created as needed on an ad-hoc basis.
ARTICLE VII – Meetings
Section 1 – Regular Meetings of the Executive Committee
Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at a time and place agreed upon by the Committee. At least four (4) regular meetings shall be held during the year. A special meeting may be called by the President or at the written request of five (5) Committee members or fifteen (15) members of the Association.
A quorum shall constitute 50% members of the committee. Votes may be taken in person, by mail or electronically.
Section 2 – Annual Meeting of the Association
The Annual Meeting of the Association shall normally be held in the fall at a date, time and place chosen by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may choose another time of year at its discretion.
Section 3 – Order of Business
Where applicable, Roberts Rules of Order shall govern.
ARTICLE VIII – Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Association shall be the calendar year.
ARTICLE IX – Amendments
The By-laws of the Piscataquis County Extension Association may be amended by a majority vote of the members present at regular or duly called special meetings of the Association. A two-week notice of the Articles proposed to be amended must be given to the members. Notice may be a mailing to those persons on the general mailing list of the Association, participating in social media feeds of the Association, or publication in two consecutive issues of a newspaper published in Piscataquis County.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL
This Constitution and By-laws was approved by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the special/regular meeting of the Association held at the Extension office in Piscataquis County on Octoer 30, 2015.