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VDTC Bylaws

Vernon Democratic Town
Committee Rules
(Revision Adopted – June 27th 2007)

Preamble
1. All meetings of the Democratic Party of the Town of Vernon shall be open to all members of the public.

2. No test for membership in, nor any oaths of loyalty to, the Democratic Town Committee shall be required or used which has the effect of requiring prospective or current members of the Democratic Town Committee to acquiesce in, condone or support discrimination.

3. The time and place for all public meetings of the Democratic Town Committee shall be publicized fully and in such manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons. Such meetings must be held in places accessible to all Party members and large enough to accommodate all interested persons.

4. The Democratic Town Committee shall support the broadest possible registration without discrimination of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, or physical or mental disability.

Article I
Policies

The policies and principles of the Democratic Party of the Town of Vernon shall be formed, directed and executed by the Democratic Town Committee of the Town of Vernon.

Article II
Election of Town Committee

Section 1: The Town Committee shall consist of not more than 75 members who shall be elected at large. Candidates for membership to the Town Committee may seek the party endorsement of the Democratic Party at a caucus called for that purpose in even numbered years in accordance with the rules of the Democratic Party of the State of Connecticut, as amended from time to time.

Section 2: In the event no party endorsement is made, election of the Town Committee shall be made by direct primary in accordance with the rules of the Democratic Party of the State of Connecticut, as amended from time to time. No person shall be elected to or shall, hold the position of Town Committee Member unless the candidate’s name appears on the current enrollment list of the Democratic Party.

Section 3: The first Tuesday in March shall be designated Primary Day for the election of the Town Committee Members.

Section 4: Candidates for Town Committee Members chosen as provided in Section 1 above, shall run in the Primary for Town Committee as party-endorsed candidates provided such candidates shall be elected as Members of the Town Committee if no valid opposing candidacy has been filed.

Section 5: Members of the Town Committee shall serve for a term of two (2) years, commencing on the day following the day established for holding the primary for election of said Town Committee Members and ending on the day established for the holding of the primary for the election of the Members of the succeeding Town Committee. The provisions of this section shall apply notwithstanding the lack of cause for a primary to elect said Members.

Section 6: Any vacancy on the Town Committee, arising from any cause including failure to elect, may be filled by the Town Committee, by a majority vote of the Town Committee Members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose. In the event that a vote is taken that shall result in a tie, such tie vote shall be resolved by the vote of the Chair of the Town Committee, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to cast any vote as a member of the Town Committee, to which he or she is otherwise entitled.

Section 7: The Town Committee, at a meeting called for that purpose, may, by a majority vote of those present and voting, increase its membership, provided that all new members shall be duly elected and begin their term on the day following the day established for the holding of the primary for the election of the members of the succeeding Town Committee.

Article III
Officers

Section 1: Within thirty days after the day fixed for the holding of a primary election, the Members-elect of the Town Committee shall meet for organization and shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Chair of the Town Committee in office immediately prior to the day of said primary shall call said organizational meeting. If such Chair fails, for any reason, to call such. organizational meeting within the period prescribed, it shall be the duty of the Vice Chair serving concurrently with said Chair to do so with 48 hours. If such Vice Chair fails, for any reason, to call such organizational meeting, it shall be the duty of the State Central Committee members who represent the Town of Vernon to call such organizational meeting within 48 hours.

Section 2: The officers of the Town Committee will be elected from within the membership of the Town Committee. In the event that a vote is taken that shall result in a tie, such tie vote shall be resolved by the vote of the Chair of the Town Committee, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to cast any vote as a Member of the Town Committee to which he or she is otherwise entitled.

Section 3: Officers so elected shall hold office for the term of the Town Committee electing them or until their successors have been elected.

Section 4: Each officer shall have the duties usually incident to his or her office and such other duties as the Town Committee may from time to time prescribe. In addition to the officers stated above, the Town Committee may elect a Second Vice Chair to perform duties as prescribed by the Chair. The succession will be First Vice Chair then Second Vice Chair. The First Vice Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair in his/her absence. The Second Vice Chair will assume the duties of the First Vice Chair.

Section 5: Within one week after organization of the Town Committee, the Secretary shall file ‘with the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee a list of the names and addresses of the officers and members of the Town Committee and the name of the Democratic Registrar of Voters.

Section 6: If there shall be a vacancy in any office of the Town Committee arising from any cause, the Town Committee shall fill the same by a majority vote of the Town Committee members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose. In the event that a vote is taken that shall result in a tie, such tie vote shall be resolved by the vote of the Chair of the Town Committee, or the acting chair as the case may be, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to cast any vote as a Member of the Town Committee to which he or she is otherwise entitled.

Article IV
Meetings

Section 1: The Town Committee shall meet at least six (6) times a year.

Section 2: Special meetings of the Town Committee may be called by the Chair or upon written request, signed by fifty percent (50%) of the members of the committee presented to the Chair. Upon the decision of the Chair to call a special meeting or upon receipt of such written request the Chair shall instruct the Secretary to give at least five (5) days notice of the time, place and purpose of such meeting to all members of the Town Committee.

Section 3: Two-fifths (2/5ths) of the membership of the Town Committee shall constitute a quorum.

Section 4: Robert’s Rules of Order (newly revised) shall be construed as applicable, controlling and conclusive on parliamentary issues, except as herein otherwise provided.

Section 5: The use of secret ballots, or any form of secret voting is prohibited for any vote being held at a Town Committee meeting.
Article V
Committees

Section 1: The Chair of the Town Committee shall appoint all members of Standing or Ad Hoc committees, and shall appoint the chairperson of each committee. The Chair shall be ex-officio member of all committees. The Chair shall be able to create additional Ad Hoc committees, provided that such Ad Hoc committees shall not usurp the duties of the Standing committees established herein. Standing committees shall include:

(a) Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall aid in clarifying the Townof Vernon Democratic Party’s position on relevant issues, campaigns, platforms, and other matters. The officers of the Town Committee shall be members of Executive Committee.

(b) Nomination and Vacancy Filling Committee: The Nomination and Vacancy Filling Committee shall recruit, screen and select from among candidates to fill vacancies in town offices, boards, commissions and the Town Committee. The Committee shall invite other Democratic members of the boards or commissions owhich a vacancy exists to participate in its activities. The Committee shall present the name of each candidate selected to fill a vacancy to the Town Committee. TTown Committee may approve the Committee selection by a majority vote of the Town Committee Members present and voting at a meeting called for that purposeThe Chair of the Town Committee shall recommend in writing the name of Democratic candidate selected to fill such vacancy to the appointing authority.

Article VI
Duties And Obligations

Section 1. Membership in the Town Committee constitutes a firm commitment to the Democratic Party. Each member of the Town Committee shall make a valuable contribution to the Town Committee.

Article VII
Endorsement of Candidates, Nomination of Municipal Officers,
and Selection of Delegates

Section 1. The Town Committee, at a meeting called for that purpose, shall, by a majority vote of the Town Committee members present voting, select party endorsed candidates for each municipal office.

Section 2. The enrolled members of the Democratic Party in the municipality at a caucus called for the purpose shall, by a majority vote of those present and voting, select party-endorsed candidates for the Town Committee. Notice of the time, place and purpose of said caucus shall be given to all enrolled Democratic voters of the municipality at least five (5) days, but not more than fifteen (15) days in advance of the caucus by publication of the same in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town of Vernon and by posting the same in the town hall.

Section 3. All nominations to the Vernon Democratic Town Committee shall be made from the floor at the meeting where the members of the Town Committee are elected.

Section 4. The Town Committee, at a meeting called for the purpose, shall select delegates to conventions. The selection of delegates to any convention shall be by nomination of a slate or by nominations of individual candidates equal to the number of delegates to which the town is entitled under the state rules of the Democratic Party. All nominees must be a duly enrolled party member.

Section 5. Candidates for municipal office chosen as provided in Section I above shall run in the primary for such office as party-endorsed candidates, provided any such candidate shall be the nominee of the Democratic Party for the office for which he or she is a candidate if no valid opposing candidacy has been filed for nomination to such office by four o’clock on the twenty-first day preceding the day of the Democratic primary for such office.

Section 6. Candidates for Town Committee members chosen as provided in Section 2 above shall run in the primary for Town Committee members as party-endorsed candidates, provided such candidates shall be deemed elected as members of the Town Committee if no valid opposing candidacy has been filed for Town Committee member by four o’clock on the twenty-first day preceding the day of the Democratic primary for Town Committee members.

Section 7. If for any reason the Town Committee fails to make sufficient endorsements of candidates for municipal office or selection of delegates to conventions, State Party Rules should be used.

Section 8. The secretary and the chairperson or presiding officer of the Town Committee or caucus, as the case may be, shall certify to the Town Clerk the names and street addresses of the party-endorsed candidates and delegates selected as provided in Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 above, the title of the office or position as delegate for which each person is endorsed or selected, and where appropriate, the date upon which the primary is to be held. In the case of the endorsement of a person for an office for whom only the electors of a political sub-division of the municipality may vote, the secretary of the Town Committee shall certify to the Town Clerk the name or number of such political sub-division.

Section 9. Each party endorsement of a candidate to run in a primary for the nomination of candidates for municipal office shall be made not earlier than the fifty-sixth (56th) day nor later than the forty-ninth (49th) day preceding the day of the primary and shall be certified to the clerk of the municipality, by the chairperson or presiding officer and secretary of the Town Committee not later than the forty-eighth (48th) day preceding the day of the primary.

Section 10. Each selection of delegates to a state or district convention shall be made not earlier than the one-hundred-fortieth (140th) day and not later than the one hundred-thirty-third (133rd) day preceding the day of the primary for such state or district office, and shall be certified to the Town Clerk by the presiding officer and Secretary of the Caucus not later than the one-hundred-thirty-second (132nd) day preceding the day of the primary.

Section 11. In the event that a vote taken on the selection of a party-endorsed candidate or delegate results in a tie, such tie vote shall be resolved by the vote of the chairperson of the Town Committee /caucus, but this provision shall not affect the chairperson’s right to cast any vote as a member of the Town Committee/participant of the caucus to which he or she is otherwise entitled.

Section 12. Each delegate to a convention selected in conformity with these rules may in writing designate an alternate delegate or a proxy to act for he or she in his or her absence.

Section 13. If a party-endorsed candidate for nomination to a municipal office prior to twenty-four (24) hours before the opening of the polls at the primary, dies, or, prior to ten (10) days before the day of the primary, withdraws his or her name from nomination, or for any reason becomes disqualified to hold the office or position for which he or she is a candidate, an endorsement may be made to fill such vacancy by the Town Committee, by a majority of the Town Committee members present and voting, at a meeting called for that purpose. The chairperson of the Town Committee may cast a vote on such endorsement to break a tie, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to cast any vote as a member of the Town Committee to which he or she is otherwise entitled. The corresponding secretary of the Town Committee shall immediately certify the endorsement to fill such vacancy to the Democratic Registrar of Voters. No candidate shall be deemed to have withdrawn until a letter of withdrawal signed by such candidate is filed with the municipal clerk.

Section 14. Whenever the Town Committee is officially notified that a Democratic Party vacancy exists in an elective Town office, the Town Committee shall, by a majority vote of members present at a meeting called for that purpose, endorse a single candidate to fill that Town office, and certify that endorsement to the proper Town official in timely fashion.

Section 15. As used in these rules, “municipal office” means any office for which only the electors of the town or service district may vote and includes the office of each elective public official of the town or service district and justice of the peace.

Article VIII –
Primaries: Nominations To Office And Election Of Committee Members And Delegates

Section I. The nominations of the Democratic Party to all offices and the election of members of the Town Committee shall be made in all respects as provided in the State Party Rules, as the same may be amended from time to time.

Section 2. Whenever a primary for nomination to a municipal office or election of Town Committee members is to be held, the nominee of the Democratic Party for such office and the members of the Town Committee shall be determined by a plurality of votes cast.

Section 3. If a nomination has been made for a municipal office and the nominee thereafter but prior to twenty-four (24) hours before such opening of the polls on the day of the election for which such nomination has been made, dies, withdraws his or her name, or for any reason becomes disqualified to hold the office or position for which he or she has been nominated, a nomination to fill such vacancy may be made by the Town Committee, by a majority of the Town Committee members present and voting, at a meeting called for that purpose. The chairperson of the Town Committee may cast a vote on such endorsement to break a tie, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to cast any vote as a member of the Town Committee to which he or she is otherwise entitled. In the case of a withdrawal, said nomination shall not be valid until the candidate who has withdrawn has filed a letter of withdrawal signed by such candidate with the Secretary of the State and also has filed a copy with the municipal clerk. The chairperson of the Town Committee shall certify the nomination to fill such vacancy to the Secretary of the State, and shall file a copy with the municipal clerk. Such certifications of a nomination to fill a vacancy due to death or disqualification shall include a statement setting forth the reason for such vacancy.

Article IX
Amendments

Section 1: The Town Committee may amend these rules by a majority vote of its entire membership at a regular or special meeting called that purpose. These rules may also be amended by a caucus of enrolled party members called by the Chair of the Town Committee upon the filing of a petition signed by at least five (5) percent, but not more than five hundred (500) enrolled party members with the Democratic Registrar of Voters. The Chair, or in the event of his or her failure to act, the Vice Chair, shall call such caucus to take action on said petition within twenty (20) days upon filing of said petition with the Democratic Registrar of Voters.

Article X
Filing of Local Rules

A copy of these rules, or any amendments thereof, shall be filed with the Town Clerk, the Secretary of the State and the secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee within fourteen (14) days after adoption by the Democratic Party in the Town of Vernon. These rules or any amendments to these rules shall not be effective until sixty (60) days after the filing of the same with the Secretary of the State, and shall be deemed to cover the operations of the Democratic Party in Name of Municipality until such time as the party adopts a rule or amendment on the same subject matter, consistent with these rules and the State Party Rules.

Article XI
Conflict with Laws

If any provision of these rules is found to be in conflict with the provisions of the State Party Rules, the provisions of the State Party Rules shall govern. The nominations of the Democratic Party to all public offices and the election of Town Committee Members and delegates to conventions shall be made in all respects as provided in the State Party Rules, as amended.

Conclusion
The above revised and amended Rules governing the Democratic Party of the Town of Vernon were approved at a duly warned meeting of the Democratic Town Committee on June 27th 2007.