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Council Bylaws

Approved 8/26/2009


South Fidalgo Island is comprised of three voter precincts on Fidalgo Island as defined within Skagit County, WA-Dewey, Fidalgo and Rosario Precincts.

Council refers to the South Fidalgo Community Council.

A Registered Voter is anyone registered to vote within any one of the three precincts.

A Resident is anyone residing within the boundaries of those precincts.

Chapter I. Council Composition

Section 1. Council Membership

The Council shall be composed of no less than seven nor more than nine members. Council members must be registered voters in one of the three precincts as defined above.

The Council shall be composed of two members from each of the three precincts and three additional members elected at-large. 

Precinct representatives shall be determined by the highest number of votes for candidates from a given precinct. At-large members shall be selected by the next highest number of overall votes, regardless of precinct, after the precinct positions are filled.

If the Council is composed of less than nine members, the Council shall attempt to fill precinct positions with a resident of the appropriate precinct first before filling the open positions with at-large members.

Section 2. Council Terms

Council members shall be elected for three-year terms.

Elections shall be held each year for the positions with expiring terms. New terms shall commence at the first Council meeting following the fall Annual Meeting. The current Council remains in office until the first meeting of the new council which must be within two weeks of the election validation.

The initial (2009) election shall include positions with one-, two- and three-year terms to synchronize the staggered terms in future elections. The election shall provide for the terms as follows: Dewey (a two- and a three-year term); Fidalgo (a one- and a three-year term); Rosario (a one- and a two-year term); At-large candidates (one- two-, and three-year terms).

In order to provide continuity between the 2007-2009 Council and new 2009-2010 Council, those 2007-2009 Council members with unexpired terms may continue in their positions for one year on the 2009-2010 Council and shall be granted a one-year term within their precinct or a one-year term at-large.

Section 3. Resignation, Absences, and Termination

Resignation from the Council or from a position as officer must be in writing and received by the Secretary. A Council member shall be dropped for excess absences from the Council if that Council member has three unexcused absences from regular Council meetings in a year. A Council member may be removed for other reasons by a three-fourths vote of the Council members.

Section 4. Council Vacancies

The Council shall have the authority to fill any vacancy.

Any person selected to fill a vacancy shall be a registered voter from South Fidalgo Island and shall fill the remaining term of the position to which they are appointed.

In the event that an insufficient number of candidates file for an election, the new Council may, following the completion of the election, appoint registered South Fidalgo precincts voters to fill Council positions to the maximum of nine members.

Chapter II.  Council Officers

Section 1. Officer Elections

The Council shall choose from among its members the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Officers shall be elected for one-year terms; their election shall occur at the initial meeting of the newly elected Council.

A single Council member may not hold more than one officer position except that a Council member may be elected as both Secretary and Treasurer.

When a vacancy among the officers exists, the Council shall vote upon a Council member to fill the vacancy at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting.

Section 2. Chair

The Chair shall convene any scheduled Council meeting, shall prepare the meeting agenda and shall preside or arrange for other members of the Council to preside at each meeting in the following order: Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The Chair is empowered to take action on behalf of the Council provided that action is approved by a majority of the Council.

The Chair shall sign any contracts, agreements, or other instruments that the Council has authorized to be executed.

Section 3. Vice Chair

The Vice Chair shall serve as the Chair when the Chair is unavailable.

Section 4. Secretary

The Secretary shall keep and maintain the Council's business and corporate records; take, prepare and distribute meeting minutes to Council members; and ensure Council minutes, notices and documents are posted to the Council website.

The Secretary shall record the attendance of Council members at meetings, and record the vote of each Council member on formal motions.

Section 5. Treasurer

The Treasurer shall keep the Council's financial records; file the Council's tax forms; issue receipts to donors; and make financial information available to the Council and the public. The Treasurer shall make a report at each regular public meeting.

The Treasurer shall disburse monies at the direction of the Council. Checks shall be signed by the Treasurer and one other officer of the Council.

Chapter III. Council Duties and Powers

Section 1. Council Business

The Council shall make final decisions regarding Council operating policies and procedures, publication of documents, public testimony, and other activities of the Council.

Section 2. Budget and Finances

The council shall prepare an annual budget to be presented for review and comment by South Fidalgo residents at the Annual Meeting.

The budget shall be adopted by the new Council following the Annual Meeting and before January 1. The budget shall become effective January 1. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year.

The Council shall maintain its standing as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization within the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service.

The Council shall be responsible for managing ongoing efforts to raise money to support the work of the Council.

Council members may not be compensated for their time. The Council may authorize Council members and working group members to be paid pre-approved expenses incurred for conducting Council business.

Section 3. Responsibilities to Residents

The Council shall be responsible for soliciting the input of residents and other parties concerning the areas of interest to residents and the willingness of residents or other parties to volunteer to work in those areas.

The Council shall organize and/or authorize working groups, comprised of residents and other interested participants in order to accomplish the goals adopted by the Council.

Working groups shall be accountable to and shall exist at the discretion of the Council.

The Council shall coordinate the working groups and provide at least one Council representative to serve on each working group.

Section 4. Communication

The Council shall be responsible for reporting its work and that of working groups to the residents of South Fidalgo Island.

The Council shall maintain an interactive website. The Council shall develop a set of policies and procedures governing the management and use of that website.

The Council shall hold occasional community meetings to review Council work, to provide information about issues affecting South Fidalgo Island, and to solicit pubic input.

Chapter IV. Meetings

Section 1. Regular Public Meetings

The Council's regular public meetings shall be held at least quarterly, at times and locations to be published no later than the week prior to the meeting.

There shall be time allocated for public questions and comments at all regular public meetings.

Section 2. Special Meetings

A special meeting may be called by the Chair or by two Council members with at least 24 hours notice and shall include the option of an electronic meeting. Council business may be transacted at these meetings.

Residents or interested parties may request a special meeting by contacting the Chair. If the Council deems the request of sufficient importance or when time is of the essence, the Chair shall call a special meeting of the Council.

Section 3. Quorum

A quorum is required to conduct business at any meeting. This requirement is satisfied if at least 51% of Council members are present.

Section 4. Annual Meeting

The Council shall hold a fall Annual Meeting. It shall occur following the annual election and will be the initial venue for announcing the results of the election.

The Annual Meeting agenda shall include:

  • Announcement of the new Council members
  • Annual Council report
  • Discussion of Council goals
  • Information about working groups
  • Draft budget and funding sources
  • Issues likely to impact South Fidalgo Island

At the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, the new Council shall set the date of its first meeting, which shall take place no later than the end of the second week of November.

Section 5. Procedures

Meetings shall be conducted pursuant to Robert's Rules of Order.

The Chair shall be allowed a vote.

The Chair shall maintain order in all meetings. The Chair shall have the power to limit the length of any individual response, cause disruptive persons to be removed, or declare a meeting ended if order cannot be maintained.

Chapter V. Council Election

The Council shall develop policies and procedures for the annual election that shall include provisions for:

  • A timeline to allow announcement of election results at the next annual meeting, including
  • o deadlines for candidate filing and voter registration
  • o date of the election
  • One mailing to announce election procedures, information and dates
  • Availability of ballots and information electronically and at designated locations
  • Mail-in ballots and one polling place
  • Voter verification
  • Independent election monitors

Chapter V. Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the Council at a public meeting. The purpose and general content of proposed amendments shall be shared with the public prior to a meeting at which a vote on the amendment is held.