Bylaws

Cochrane SAR comes under the jurisdiction of Alberta’s Societies Act, and is ruled by a set of bylaws ratified by the membership.

BYLAWS OF THE COCHRANE SEARCH AND RESCUE ASSOCIATION

Article 1 – Name and Purpose
============================
1.1 The name of the organization is “Cochrane Search and Rescue Association,” hereafter referred to as CSAR.
1.2 The purpose of CSAR is to maintain a viable ground search and rescue capability, primarily serving the area around Cochrane.
1.3 CSAR is a volunteer group.
1.3.1 No member shall be paid for contributing to the group as a volunteer, including Board service.

Article 2 – Membership
======================
2.1 Eligibility
2.1.1 CSAR is open to anyone who
a) is 18 years or older
b) supports the purpose of the organization as in Article 1.2
c) completes the application information
d) is ratified by a majority vote of the Board
e) has paid the annual dues
f) agrees to the disclosure of personal information statement
g) has provided a security clearance in accordance with 2.5 below
2.2 Annual Dues
2.1.1 Dues are paid for a calendar year.
2.1.2 Annual dues are due on the first day of the calendar year.
2.1.3 The annual dues are set and/or changed by a majority vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
2.1.4 No refunds on annual dues will be made.
2.1.5 A member will be excluded from voting and participation in searches, if dues are not paid by February 15.
2.1.6 Rights of a member can be reinstated, by approval of the Board, by paying dues in arrears during the calendar year.
2.1.7 Failure to pay dues by December 31 of the current calendar year will result in automatic termination of membership.
2.3 Rights of Members
2.3.1 Members in good standing may vote at all CSAR general, special and AGM meetings. All members of the Executive Committee and the Board members-at-large may vote at all Board meetings.
2.3.2 Members who are not a member of any other ground search and rescue organization in Alberta (excluding SAR Alberta) may hold a Board position.
2.3.3 Members may review their records providing the secretary is given a minimum two weeks written notice to provide the member’s records.
2.4 Resignation and Termination
2.4.1 Members resign by written notification to the Board.
2.4.2 Any member in good standing can make representation to the Board requesting the termination with due cause of another member. The Board will investigate and decide if termination is warranted.
2.5 Security Clearance
2.5.1 The member shall provide a security clearance acceptable to the Board.
2.5.2 The Board may review or investigate any security clearance at any time.
2.5.3 Any member under review/investigation will be notified by the Board.
2.5.3 The Board may request a new security clearance for any member at any time.
2.5.4 The Board must allow at least 60 days for any member to provide a security clearance. If a new security clearance is not received within that 60 day period, the membership will be terminated.
2.6 Information Release
2.6.1 As standard within the requirements of the Provincial and Federal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Board may disclose information on members at any time.
2.6.2 The Board may amend the Disclosure Statement.
2.6.3 The membership will be notified at least 30 days prior to any amendments being made to the Disclosure Statement.

Article 3 – Meetings
=============================
3.1 General Meetings
3.1.1 General Meetings are scheduled once a month, with the exception of December. Members will be notified of the meeting no fewer than 5 days before the meeting.
3.1.2 Membership meetings will be called by the President or designate.
3.1.3 General meetings must be held at least every 3 months.
3.2 Annual General Meeting
3.2.1 The AGM will be held before April 1 each year.
3.2.2 Election of Board members will be held at the AGM.
3.2.3 The Board will report on the year’s activities.
3.2.4 The direction of the organization is set by the membership at the AGM.
3.3 Special Meetings
3.3.1 The President, a majority of the Executive Committee, or a majority of the Board of Directors, can call Special Meetings.
3.3.2 A petition of 25% of the membership, with an explanatory letter, sent to the Board, can call a Special Meeting.
3.3.3 Special Meetings must be held within 21 days of the call for a meeting.
3.4 Quorum
3.4.1 One-quarter of the membership in good standing, at any meeting, is quorum.
3.5 Voting
3.5.1 Issues shall be decided by simple majority of members present at a meeting where there is quorum.
3.5.2 The Board will not accept proxy votes in writing or by email.

Article 4 – Board of Directors
============================
4.1 Board Role, Size and Compensation
4.1.1 The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall policy, direction and operation of CSAR.
4.1.2 The Board may have from 5 to 15 members.
4.1.3 Board members receive no compensation for serving on the Board.
4.1.4 Board members other than the President, Vice President and Past President may serve a maximum of 6 years in any position.
4.1.5 Any Board member may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the members in good standing.
4.2 Board Structure
4.2.1 The Board shall constitute two parts: The Executive Committee and the Directors at Large.
4.2.2 The Executive Committee consists of the following: President, Past President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
4.2.3 The Directors at Large shall be responsible for: Fundraising, Training, Public Relations, Quartermaster and/or other assigned roles.
4.3 Board Meetings
4.3.1 Board meetings must be held at least once every three months.
4.3.2 Quorum is at least forty percent of sitting Board members.
4.4 Election of Board Members
4.4.1 A Board Development Committee (BDC) will be appointed by the Board at least 3 months prior to the planned AGM.
a) the BDC is responsible for finding at least one nominee for each available position
b) the BDC shall remain active until all Board positions are filled, or it is dissolved by the Board
c) the BDC consists of at least three members in good standing not seeking re-election to the Board
d) any member of CSAR can submit nominations to the BDC
e) the BDC will announce its findings at least 30 days prior to the AGM
f) at the AGM additional nominations for any position will be taken from members present
4.4.2 The incumbent President may choose to step down or stand for ratification
a) should the incumbent President step down or not be ratified, the incumbent President becomes the Past President
b) the Vice President automatically becomes President, subject to a ratification vote
c) if, at the end of this process, the position of President is still vacant, the President will be elected from those present
d) the President may not serve more than three consecutive one-year terms
4.4.3 Every year the Vice President position is available for election.
4.4.4 Where possible, the Secretary and the Treasurer are elected for two-year terms on alternating years.
a) should either position be vacated early, a member may be elected to fill the role for the remaining length of the term
4.5 Election Procedures
4.5.1 All elections will be done by secret ballot.
4.5.2 The BDC will appoint a scrutineer from the membership.
4.5.3 The membership shall vote a second scrutineer.
4.5.4 Scrutineers must remain impartial and may not vote.
4.5.5 Vote tallies must be done independently and must agree.
4.5.6 Voting will take place one position at a time, starting with the President position.
4.5.7 Only members in good standing may vote.
4.5.8 Each member in good standing is allowed one vote per position to be filled.
4.6 Board Responsibilities
4.6.1 Responsibilities of President
a) convene regularly scheduled Board meetings
b) call General meetings and the AGM
b) preside over meetings
4.6.2 Responsibilities of Vice President
a) chair committees on special subjects
b) act on behalf of the President, when the President is absent
c) fill the role of President until the AGM, should the President step down
4.6.3 Responsibilities of Secretary
a) keep records of Board actions
b) keep records of General Meetings and the AGM
c) send meeting announcements and agendas
d) distribute copies of the minutes of the meetings
e) maintain the records of CSAR including
i) the correspondence of CSAR
ii) the membership list, including contact information
iii) training records
4.6.4 Responsibilities of Treasurer
a) report on the finances at each Board meeting
b) chair the Finance Committee
c) prepare the budget
e) make financial information available, at the Board’s discretion
f) receive all income and deposit it to the financial institution chosen by the Board
g) make payments as directed by the Board
h) make full disclosure of receipts and disbursements to the Board as directed
i) prepare a statement of the year’s accounting for presentation at the AGM
j) prepare the year’s accounting for audit
k) issue receipts for all annual dues and donations
4.6.5 Responsibilities of Fundraising Director
a) organize fundraising events
b) solicit monetary and equipment donations
4.6.6 Responsibilities of Training Director
a) organize courses
b) prepare mock searches
c) set up recertification courses
d) organize educational sessions
4.6.7 Responsibilities of Public Relations Director
a) organize community awareness events
b) organize public presentations for community groups
c) manage and update website
d) keep photo records of events and activities
4.6.8 Responsibilities of Quartermaster Director
a) oversee the acquisition, control, organization, maintenance and inventory of CSAR equipment
4.7 Board Vacancies
4.7.1 The Board may deal with any vacant position as it sees fit by
a) leaving any position vacant until the next AGM
b) appointing a person to fill the role until the next AGM
c) calling a special election to fill the position
4.7.2 Acting appointments to fill Board positions do not contribute time toward any term limitations should the individual be elected to the position.
4.8 Vacating Board Positions
4.8.1 A Board member must submit his or her resignation in writing to the remaining Board members.
4.8.2 Board members may be removed by a three-fourths vote of the other Board members.
4.8.3 Board members may be removed by a two-thirds majority of all members of CSAR.
4.9 Special Elections
The Secretary must receive nominations to fill a vacant position(s) from the present Board members two weeks in advance of a Board meeting; these nominations shall be sent out to all Board members. The Board will then hold a vote at the following Board meeting. A majority vote will instate the new member of the Executive; the vote must be ratified at the next Regular meeting by the membership. The vacant position will be filled only to the end of the particular Board member’s term or the next AGM, which ever is first.
4.10 Borrowing Powers
On behalf of CSAR, the Board may borrow or raise funds to meet the purpose of CSAR.

Article 5 – Amendments
====================
5.1 These Bylaws may be amended by the following process:
a) The amendment must be submitted to the Secretary.
b) The Secretary is obligated to distribute the amendment to all CSAR members promptly.
c) A meeting to vote on the amendment will be called no sooner than 21 days from the notice in 5.1b above.
d) The amendment is affirmed by at least three-fourths of the members at the meeting, providing quorum is met.

Certification
=============
These Bylaws were approved at a General Meeting of the membership by a three-quarters majority vote.
Date: _______________________
President (print): _______________________
Signed: _______________________
Witness (print): _______________________
Signed: ___________________