THE WESTHAMPTON BEACH HISTORICAL SOCIETY
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
Adopted January 2011
The name of this Society shall be The Westhampton Beach Historical Society.
The Society is a not-for-profit corporation formed under the laws of New York State. Accumulated funds, if any, shall be devoted exclusively to uses and purposes as defined by the mission statements in Article III herein.
The mission of The Westhampton Beach Historical Society is to:
- Collect and preserve materials pertaining to Eastern Long Island, focusing on the Greater Westhampton area, which includes Eastport, Speonk, Remsenburg, Westhampton, Westhampton Beach, Westhampton Dunes, and Quiogue.
- Interpret the history of the area through exhibitions, educational programs, and publications.
- Advocate the preservation of historic structures and sites.
- Facilitate historic research.
Section 1. Classifications
Any person who applies for membership in an appropriate classification and who tenders the necessary dues shall thereby become a member.
The membership of this Society shall consist of individuals, families, institutions, patrons, and honorary members.
- Individual: Shall be an adult, 18 years or older.
- Family: Shall include one or two adults and their children up to age 18.
- Institutional: Shall be an organization, business, school, or library interested in the mission of the Society.
- Patron: Shall be a person, group, or firm, offering special support to the mission of the Society.
- Honorary: Shall be a person whose activities have contributed substantially to the mission of the Society. The President must receive a written nomination from a member. The nominee’s name shall be submitted to the Society’s Executive Board for consideration.
Section 2. Non Discrimination
Under no circumstance is membership in the Society to be determined or influenced by race, creed, color, sex, or national origin.
Section 3. Forfeiture of Membership
- Any act which, in the judgment of the Executive Board, is contrary to the welfare and best interests of the Society, is cause for forfeiture of membership. All charges setting forth such act or acts by a member, with supporting evidence, must be presented to the Executive Board, which shall have full power to act thereon. This action shall be final and binding on any member of the Society. The corresponding secretary shall give written notice to the offending individual.
- Any member delinquent in the payment of dues for six months shall automatically forfeit membership.
Section 4. Voting Membership
All classes of members in good standing shall have voting privileges.
Section 5. Dues
- Annual dues for all classes of membership shall be proposed by the Executive Board and established by a majority vote of the members present and voting at the annual meeting.
- Annual dues are due six weeks after the annual meeting and a member shall be deemed delinquent if dues are not paid by June first of that year.
Officers, Trustees, and Executive Board
Section 1. Composition and Conditions
- The officers of the Society shall be a President, Vice-president, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer.
- Officers shall be elected for a term of one year.
- Officers shall attend a minimum of 80% of Executive Board meetings.
- Shall be elected for a term of three (3) years. Their number shall not be less than five (5) nor more than twenty-five (25).
- A trustee may not simultaneously serve as an officer.
- Executive Board:
- The officers and trustees shall constitute the Executive Board of the Society.
- Executive Board members who absent themselves from meetings of the Society for three (3) consecutive meetings, without notifying the President, may be replaced by the President with approval of the Executive Board.
- The museum curator, village liaison, and village historian shall be ex-officio non voting members of the Executive Board
Section 2. Duties
- Shall preside at all meetings and have executive supervision over the activities of the Society within the scope provided by these bylaws.
- Shall create special committees and delegations and appoint their members.
- Shall assume the duties of the President in the event of absence, incapacity, resignation, or removal of the President.
- Shall keep a permanent record of the minutes of meetings of the Society and the Executive Board.
- Shall distribute the minutes of each meeting, with notice of the next meeting, to Executive Board members approximately two (2) weeks prior to the next meeting.
- Shall keep or cause to be kept, in proper storage conditions at the Historical Society’s premises, all documents submitted at Executive Board meetings together with minutes of each meeting.
- Shall deliver forms, showing present officers and trustees, to members of the Nominating Committee no less than three (3) months prior to the annual meeting.
- Shall initiate correspondence and correspond when so directed by the Executive Board.
- Shall present a tentative budget for the forthcoming year for consideration by the Executive Board prior to the last meeting of the calendar year.
- Shall present, during the Annual meeting, the budget approved by the Executive Board.
- Shall present, during the Annual meeting, an annual report based on the previous calendar year.
- Shall, annually, file at the Society’s office a permanent copy of the year’s records.
- Shall be responsible for the safekeeping of Society funds, for maintaining permanent, detailed, financial records including recording the sources of all monies received and receipts for monies disbursed, and for depositing all monies with a reliable banking company in the name of: The Westhampton Beach Historical Society.
- Shall keep records of all escrow and grant monies separate from the general operating fund.
- Shall not commit any of the Society’s assets in excess of the approved budget without approval from the Executive Board.
- Shall promptly bring to the attention of the Executive Board any financial conditions that might impair the ability of the Society to fulfill its mission.
- Shall attend a minimum of fifty (50) percent of Executive Board meetings.
- Shall govern the business affairs of the Society. The Board may request committee chairs be present at its meetings.
- Shall have full control over the property and the affairs of the museum and shall establish its policies.
- May appoint a director of the museum.
- Shall select candidates for office in keeping with the Society’s mission.
- Shall decide questions of policy that, for any reason, cannot be acted upon at a meeting of the Society. It shall perform such other functions as designated in the Constitution and Bylaws or otherwise assigned.
- Shall function as the Nominating Committee.
- Shall approve a budget for the forthcoming year at the last meeting of the calendar year.
Election of Officers and Trustees
Section 1. Procedures
- The Executive Board shall select a slate of nominees for officer and trustee positions and ensure that it is provided to the Society membership no less than thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting. The chair of the Nominating Committee will present the selected slate of nominees at the annual meeting.
- Nominations from the floor may be made by any member of the Society prior to voting at the annual meeting.
- A candidate must be a member in good standing who is present at the annual meeting or who has accepted the nomination.
- Officers and trustees shall be elected by a majority of affirmative votes cast by attendees during the annual meeting.
- Officers and trustees shall be Officers and trustees shall be installed at the close of the annual meeting and shall serve until their successors have been elected and installed.
- In the event of a resignation or incapacity of any officer or trustee, except the President, the vacancy may be filled by the Executive Board for the unexpired term. The candidate must have attended at least one Executive Board meeting before being appointed.
Schedule and Quorum for Meetings
Section 1. Annual Meeting
A meeting of the general membership shall be held annually. The annual meeting of the Society shall need at least twenty (20) members to constitute a quorum.
Section 2. Executive Board
The Executive Board shall meet at least every other month. Six (6) members shall constitute a quorum.
As needed, standing committees may be established by the Executive Board to perform certain functions.
The following rules apply to all standing committees except where noted.
- Committees shall consist of a minimum of two (2) members selected by the President and considered by the Executive Board.
- The Board may effect changes and shall be the final authority in appointing all committees and committee chairs.
- Committee chairs shall be appointed during the first Executive Board meeting after the annual meeting, or thereafter, as needed.
Section 1. Audit
Shall be composed of a minimum of two members of the Executive Board other than the Treasurer and President and may include outside qualified personnel. The committee shall review the Society’s financial transactions and reports. The Treasurer shall be an ad hoc non-voting member.
Section 2. Building and Grounds
Shall be responsible for maintaining the interior and exterior of the buildings and the building grounds.
Section 3. Finance
Shall consist of a minimum of three members of the Executive Board. In addition, the present Treasurer shall be a non-voting member. The committee shall examine the Society’s finances, insurance coverage, and investments, review the Treasurer’s annual report, and make recommendations to the Executive Board.
Section 4. Historic Sites Preservation
Shall establish the historic validity for sites proposed for marking, for marking historic sites, for encouraging preservation of historic sites, and for arranging tours of the sites.
Section 5. Membership
Shall promote regular membership drives and process new candidates for membership.
Section 6. Archives and Database
- Shall clean, repair, and store historic objects.
- Shall keep an accessioning record.
- Shall collect, catalogue, care for, and arrange books, manuscripts, newspapers, and other reference material within the Society’s library.
- Shall assist the Exhibit Committee with locating items from the collection to be used in exhibits
- Shall coordinate the upkeep of the Museum buildings with Buildings and Grounds Committee
- Shall supervise the computerizingof all archival material
- Shall develop and recommend to the Executive Board an overall plan for the permanent exhibit.
- Shall create and acquisition “wish list” and be responsible for locating sources of material for the permanent display.
- Shall discuss substantial purchases with the Executive Board.
- Shall secure and train Museum guides.
Section 7. Exhibit
- Shall coordinate all temporary exhibits and report to the Executive Board.
- Shall work with the Archives and Database Committee to identify items from the collection to be exhibited.
- Shall promote sharing of temporary exhibits with other museums.
- Shall be responsible for all temporary exhibits by securing chairpersons and by arranging for exhibit placement and removal.
Section 8. Collections Management
- Shall ensure that the Society’s Collections Management policy is kept current through review and recommended changes to be enacted following approval by the Executive Board.
- Shall review, where appropriate, all proposed acquisitions to ensure that they meet the Society’s needs and are manageable with the available resources.
- Shall review loans, including both loans to and from an institution.
- Shall recommend items for de-accessioning.
- Shall implement all other rules and regulations set forth in the Society’s Collections Management policy.
Section 9. Museum Shop
- Shall organize the gift shop area, sales procedures, and purchasing and storing of stock.
- Shall work closely with the Treasurer and give periodic reports to the Executive Board.
Section 10. Hospitality
Shall serve refreshments at membership meetings and other Society events.
Section 11. Nominating
Shall be responsible for selecting nominees for officers and trustees.
Section 12. Future Planning
Shall establish future goals, awards, and projects, doing so in coordination with the Fund Raising, Exhibit, Collections Management, and Archives/Database Committees.
Section 13. Program
Shall arrange suitable programs and coordinate the time, place, and date of general membership meetings.
Section 14. Publicity/Website
Shall send regular newsletters to the membership, and provide publicity for meetings and events.
Section 15. Fund Raising
Shall be responsible for raising funds to support the mission of the Society.
Section 1. Definition
Policies shall reflect the beliefs and philosophy of the Society.
Section 2. Formation and Amending
- Policies may be created during any duly called meeting of the Executive Board or Society.
- Policies shall require a favorable majority vote, of those present and voting, for adoption.
Section 3. Maintenance
Policies shall be maintained in a manual separate and distinct from this Constitution and Bylaws.
Code of Ethics
The Society recognizes and adopts the Code of Ethics for Museums (2000) published by the American Association of Museums, which is recognized by the Museum Association of New York as applicable to historical societies, museums and related agencies in New York State.
Distribution of Assets Upon Dissolution
In the event of dissolution all the remaining assets and property of the Society shall be distributed in accordance with New York State laws, rules, and regulations.
The current edition of Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure shall govern the Society in all parliamentary situations for which there is no provision in this Constitution and Bylaws or adopted policies.
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended, at any regular or special meeting by being ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the membership present and voting. To be considered an amendment must have been submitted, in writing, to the membership at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.