ROCKBRIDGE AREA REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE
(Combined Republican Committees of the County of Rockbridge, the City of Buena Vista and the City of Lexington, Virginia)
Article I – NAME
Republicans from Rockbridge County, Buena Vista and Lexington, Virginia created the ROCKBRIDGE AREA REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE and hereafter referred to as the COMBINED COMMITTEE, by the 1976 By-Laws and the 1982 and 1998 amendments, pursuant to the authority of Article VI, Section F of the “Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Virginia,” hereafter referred to as the “State Party Plan.”
Article II – MISSION
The COMBINED COMMITTEE serves as a free association organized for the purpose of promoting and promulgating the principles of the Republican Party as articulated in the Virginia Republican Creed; electing Republican candidates to public office; generally assisting the citizens County wide; and assisting, informing and holding accountable elected Republican officials in the execution of their responsibilities.
Article III – MEMBERSHIP
SECTION A. COMBINED COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
1. Qualifications for membership:
a. All registered voters who are legal residents of the County of Rockbridge, the City of Buena Vista and the City of Lexington under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, regardless of race, religion, color, national origin or sex, and who are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party, and who, if requested, express in open meeting either orally or in writing as may be required, their intent to support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election, may participate as members of the COMBINED COMMITTEE in its Mass Meetings, Party Canvasses, Conventions and Primaries encompassing their respective election districts.
b. A voter who, subsequent to making a statement of intent, publicly supports a candidate in opposition to a Republican nominee shall not be qualified for participation in party actions as defined in Article I for a period of four (4) years.
c. In addition to the foregoing, to be in accord with the principles of the Republican Party, a person not currently a member of the Republican Party but otherwise qualified hereunder shall not have participated in Virginia in the nomination process of a party other than the Republican Party within the last five (5) years.
d. A single exception to Paragraph 1c above shall be approved for a voter that renounces affiliation with any other party in writing, who expresses in writing that they are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party and intends, at the time of the writing, to support the nominees of the Republican Party in the future. Any voter that utilizes the foregoing exception and thereafter participates in the nomination process of a party other than the Republican Party, shall not have benefit of the exception identified in this paragraph thereafter. The COMBINED COMMITTEE Secretary shall maintain such written renunciation statements for a period of five (5) years.
e. A person who made application for registration and who meets all other requirements of this Article, but whose name does not appear on the local registration books solely because the books have been closed in connection with a local election, will nevertheless be deemed a legal and qualified voter.
2. The membership of the COMBINED COMMITTEE shall consist of the following:
a. Unit Chair.
b. Precinct Members. The number from each precinct shall be determined biennially on every even numbered year by the COMBINED COMMITTEE on the basis of one member for each one hundred (100) votes or major portion thereof cast for the Republican candidate for Sixth Congressional District Representative to the United States House of Representatives in the most recent congressional election. All precincts shall be represented by at least one member who resides in that district.
c. At-Large Members. Additional at-large memberships, who shall not exceed thirty (30) percent of the total membership of the COMBINED COMMITTEE, may be elected.
d. Elected Public Officials. All publicly elected Republican officials of the County of Rockbridge, the City of Buena Vista and the City of Lexington shall be additional members of the COMBINED COMMITTEE with full power to vote. They shall not be classified as at-large members.
e. COMBINED COMMITTEE members elect Vice Chairs, a Secretary and a Treasurer, with duties defined at Article IV.
f. Associate Members. An Associate Member shall meet all of the requirements for members of the COMBINED COMMITTEE except for the attendance requirement of Article III, SECTION A, paragraph 3. Associate Members shall have all privileges of other members except they shall not be entitled to a vote. Associate Members shall not count toward any limits on Precinct or At-Large Memberships nor shall they be counted when establishing a quorum.
3. Attendance policies:
a. The COMBINED COMMITTEE identifies as delinquent any member who fails to participate in person or by proxy at two (2) consecutive meetings. The Secretary will notify that member in writing to inform them that their membership self-terminates should they not be present in person or by proxy at a third consecutive meeting. Such notification may be by e-mail if the member in question maintains an active e-mail account. Members absent from a third consecutive meeting shall not factor into the determination of a quorum for that or subsequent meetings.
b. The COMBINED COMMITTEE Secretary shall notify the member in writing of the pending loss of membership at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which the loss of membership would be effective.
c. A person having lost their COMBINED COMMITTEE membership for failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings may appeal to the Executive Committee for reinstatement if the absences were beyond their control. Said appeal shall be made in writing to the COMBINED COMMITTEE Secretary within ten (10) days after the meeting at which loss of membership became effective. Postmarks govern to establish compliance.
d. The Executive Committee may reinstate terminated members by majority vote.
4. Ex Officio Members. One representative from each independent Republican club, society or other Republican organization in Rockbridge County or the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington may serve as ex officio members of the COMBINED COMMITTEE without power to vote. Such ex officio members may include, but not be limited to, representatives from the Republican Club at the Washington and Lee University Law School, as well as the College Republicans of the Virginia Military Institute and the Southern Virginia University. Persons are eligible to these ex officio memberships irrespective of whether they would otherwise be eligible for COMBINED COMMITTEE membership. The creation of these ex officio memberships shall not preclude any person who is a member from being elected a precinct or at-large COMBINED COMMITTEE member with full voting power, if otherwise eligible for full membership.
5. The Chair, Vice Chairs and all members of Official Committees provided for in these By-Laws shall be members of the COMBINED COMMITTEE as stated in this Article and must be legally qualified voters of the respective Election Districts which they represent as Chair, members, or voters.
6. The Executive Committee may establish annual dues to fund the operations of the COMBINED COMMITTEE, said dues to be a requirement for membership. The COMBINED COMMITTEE Secretary shall notify in writing any member who failed to pay their dues in a timely manner. Members shall automatically lose their committee office, speaking and voting privileges after thirty (30) days after that notification has been mailed, if their dues remain unpaid; postmarks govern to determine compliance. The COMBINED COMMITTEE shall consider such members delinquent and not include them in calculating a quorum until they are restored to full membership.
7. The COMBINED COMMITTEE shall operate on a “pay as you go” basis and shall not incur debts which will result in a deficit.
8. The COMBINED COMMITTEE shall not be responsible for campaign debts of any candidate. The COMBINED COMMITTEE may, by majority vote, contribute from its operating funds to any campaign or other worthwhile Republican endeavor.
9. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year. An operating budget for the COMBINED COMMITTEE may be presented at the first quarterly COMBINED COMMITTEE meeting held in each year.
SECTION B. ELECTION AND TERM
1. The Chair and other COMBINED COMMITTEE members shall be elected by a Mass Meeting called for the purpose of electing delegates to the Biennial District Conventions for a term of two (2) years, or until their successors are elected. The remaining COMBINED COMMITTEE members shall be elected at the first COMBINED COMMITTEE meeting after the Mass Meeting. The validity of the election of any COMBINED COMMITTEE member shall not be imperiled by the fact that the authorized number of members from the precincts may not yet have been elected.
2. The Vice Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected from the COMBINED COMMITTEE at the first committee meeting following the Mass Meeting in which the Chair is elected. These Officers must remain members in good standing of the COMBINED COMMITTEE.
3. The COMBINED COMMITTEE shall elect two (2) Vice Chairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer as provided in Article IV, plus four (4) additional members of the Executive Committee provided for in Article VI.
4. The three (3) offices of Chair and Vice Chairs shall be filled by one (1) resident each from Rockbridge County, Buena Vista and Lexington, thus ensuring representation of all three (3) jurisdictions.
SECTION C. VACANCIES
1. The COMBINED COMMITTEE shall fill vacancies in the offices of Chair, Vice Chairs, Secretary, or Treasurer by majority vote of the established quorum, their replacement to serve the remaining unexpired portion of the term. Vacancies shall be filled after notice of such intent has been included in the call of the meeting.
2. Transfers within the COMBINED COMMITTEE from precinct member to at-large member, or from at-large member to precinct member, or from one precinct to another, can be made by a majority vote of the COMBINED COMMITTEE.
3. The Chair, Vice Chairs and other elected members of the Executive Committee may be removed from office by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the COMBINED COMMITTEE, after being furnished with notice that such removal will be sought, with the charges, in writing, signed by not less than one-third (1/3) of the Committee members, and allowing the incumbent not less than thirty (30) days within which to appear and defend themselves, or remedy any deficiency.
Article IV – OFFICERS
1. Officers of the COMBINED COMMITTEE consist of the Unit Chair, Vice Chairs, a Secretary and a Treasurer.
a. Duties of the Chair shall include:
(1) Chairs and leads the COMBINED COMMITTEE.
(2) Issues calls for Unit Mass Meetings, Party Canvasses or Conventions, and presides until a temporary organization is effected. Under the authority of Article VIII, Section A of the State Party Plan, issues calls for Mass Meetings, for Party Canvasses or for Unit Conventions as prescribed in paragraph 2 of said Article.
(3) Convenes the COMBINED COMMITTEE when required, but in no event less than once during each calendar quarter, with no more than four (4) months between each meeting. Presides over COMBINED COMMITTEE meetings. Sends written notice of the call for a Committee meeting to all members at least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the proposed meeting date, which shall include the agenda for the meeting.
(4) Provides a prescribed time and place, which shall be supervised by the Unit Chair or a designated representative, for filing such declaration of candidacy and petitions as may be required by State law of a candidate in any primary election.
b. Duties of the two (2) Vice Chairs:
(1) Assist the Chair in such manner as the Chair and/or the COMBINED COMMITTEE may direct.
(2) Alternate in serving as Acting Chair in the absence of the Chair.
c. Duties of the Secretary shall include:
(1) Records and maintains COMBINED COMMITTEE and Executive Committee minutes.
(2) Maintains the COMBINED COMMITTEE roster and attendance record.
(3) Notifies members pending loss of membership per Article II Section E herein.
(4) Signs, together with the Chair, all official documents; calls a COMBINED COMMITTEE or Executive Committee meeting upon the petition of any five (5) unit committee members.
(5) Calls within thirty (30) days a COMBINED COMMITTEE meeting upon the death, resignation or incapacity of the Chair, for the purpose of electing a new Chair.
d. Duties of the Treasurer include:
(1) Serves as the custodian of COMBINED COMMITTEE funds, which includes receiving, safekeeping, disbursing and recording all monetary transactions; raising funds (in the absence of a Finance Chair) for the COMBINED COMMITTEE; when directed by the Committee, preparing the annual budget.
(2) Maintain all funds in a checking account with the Treasurer and the Chair, individually, authorized to sign checks.
(3) Administer funds raised by the COMBINED COMMITTEE or Finance Committee (if applicable) for election campaigns or other non-operating purposes. Such funds may be deposited in the checking account but shall be recorded separately in the Treasurer’s books.
(4) The Treasurer shall be authorized to disburse operating funds according to the following:
(a) By their discretion and subject to the availability of funds for an amount not to exceed $100.00 per calendar month for postage, stationery and similar items.
(b) By Executive Committee authorization for routine items such as rental of a meeting place.
(c) By COMBINED COMMITTEE authorization for non-routine items. In cases of emergency, the Executive Committee may approve such expenditure by a vote of three-fourths (3/4 of their membership.
(5) Prepare and present an operating budget for the COMBINED COMMITTEE, to be presented at the first quarterly COMBINED COMMITTEE meeting held in each year unless otherwise directed by the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
(6) The Treasurer shall be authorized to disburse campaign or other non-operating funds upon the authorization of the Chair, Finance Chair (if applicable), and/or Chair of the special committee for which said funds were collected.
(7) The Treasurer’s books must be reviewed before transferring responsibility from one Treasurer to another, when requested by a quorum of the COMBINED COMMITTEE membership, or at the discretion of the Executive Committee. Such review shall be completed within thirty (30) days. The Chair shall designate the reviewer(s), subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee, and such review is to be certified to the COMBINED COMMITTEE, with a written copy to the Treasurer.
Article V – MEETINGS
1. COMBINED COMMITTEE meetings shall be called in accordance with the State Party Plan, with at least one (1) meeting in each calendar quarter. Additional meetings may be called by the Chair or shall be called upon the petition of one-third (1/3) of the COMBINED COMMITTEE members in good standing, defined as not delinquent or terminated.
2. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE meetings shall be called by the Chair, or upon the petition of one- third (1/3) of the COMBINED COMMITTEE members in good standing. The Executive Committee shall meet prior to each COMBINED COMMITTEE meeting.
3. NOTICE - COMBINED COMMITTEE meetings shall be held upon written notice of not less than seven (7) calendar days on the call of the Chair, or on the call of one-third (1/3) of the members, such call meeting the requirements prescribed at Article IV paragraph 1a of this document.
4. QUORUM - 25% of the voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
5. PROXIES - A COMBINED COMMITTEE member may be represented by a proxy, subject to the following conditions articulated in Article VII of the State Party Plan. Proxies must qualify for membership as defined at Article III, Section A of this document.
6. PUBLIC MEETINGS - All official COMBINED COMMITTEE meetings shall be held in a building appropriate for public use and shall be open to the public.
Article VI – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall consist of nine (9) COMBINED COMMITTEE members:
1. Unit Chair
2. Two (2) Vice Chairs.
3. Unit Secretary.
4. Unit Treasurer:
5. Two (2) members from Rockbridge County, one (1) shall reside in the County north of US Route 60 and one (1) shall reside in the County south of US Route 60.
6. One (1) member who resides in the City of Buena Vista.
7. One (1) member who resides in the City of Lexington
8. The COMBINED COMMITTEE shall elect Executive Committee members, with their terms of office being two years.
9. The Executive Committee shall act and have the general authority to administer the affairs of the COMBINED COMMITTEE between meetings of the COMBINED COMMITTEE; provided that all of its actions shall be in conformity with the policies, programs and instructions of the COMBINED COMMITTEE. The Executive Committee shall report its actions at the next COMBINED COMMITTEE meeting for approval.
10. Subject to the availability of funds, the Executive Committee is empowered to disperse up to $500 between meetings without prior approval of the COMBINED COMMITTEE on items deemed urgent or required by these BY-LAWS that cannot wait until the next full meeting.
11. A simple majority of Executive Committee membership constitutes a quorum for the conduct of committee business.
Article VII – COMMITTEES
Each of these committees will be chaired by appointment of the Chair, with the advice of the COMBINED COMMITTEE. Membership will be flexible in number as established by the separate committee chairs under the rule of the COMBINED COMMITTEE Chair.
1. Precinct Chair. Individual Precinct Chairs shall be appointed by the Chair, subject to EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE approval, and they shall recruit and maintain active Precinct workers. A COMBINED COMMITTEE member from any precinct may also serve as Precinct Chair.
2. Nominating Committee. A Nominating Committee consisting of five (5) COMBINED COMMITTEE members in good standing shall be elected at the first quarterly COMBINED COMMITTEE meeting in years when COMBINED COMMITTEE members and delegates are to be elected by Mass Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall present to the Mass Meeting a slate of candidates, each of whom shall have previously agreed to serve as a member of the COMBINED COMMITTEE.
3. Membership. This committee (if applicable) shall recruit new people to attend Republican meetings and other functions. It shall review the percentages every two (2) years regarding the number of people who may serve as Precinct members.
4. Political Development. This committee (if applicable) shall plan for events such as discussion groups, reading groups, seminars and lectures which will develop a Conservative Republican culture, and invite leading Republicans to make presentation at such events.
a. The Rules Committee shall prepare the rules and order of business for the conduct of a Mass Meeting in advance thereof. Said rules and order of business shall then be submitted to the Mass Meeting for its consideration and approval.
b. The Rules Committee shall prepare the rules for the conduct of a Party Canvass, subject to the provisions of the State Party Plan.
6. The COMBINED COMMITTEE Chair may convene special committees as needed to work specific actions for the Executive Committee, the results of which shall be reported to the COMBINED COMMITTEE. The COMBINED COMMITTEE Chair, or their appointed surrogate, shall be an ex officio member of all such committees.
7. The COMBINED COMMITTEE membership as a whole:
a. Determines whether candidates for local and constitutional offices shall be nominated by Mass Meeting, Party Canvass, Convention or Primary, and whether the Unit Chair and Committee members shall be elected by Mass Meeting, Party Canvass, Convention or Primary.
b. Shall call all regular and special Mass Meetings, Party Canvasses, Conventions, and make all arrangements therefor and, if a Convention, determine the basis of representation. Authority to make such arrangements (other than the date, time and whether there shall be, and the requirements for, any pre-filing) may, at the discretion of the COMBINED COMMITTEE, be designated by the Unit Chair.
c. Shall cooperate with the State Central Committee, the 6 th Congressional District Committee and Legislative District Committees within our boundaries in conducting all elections and fund-raising activities within its boundaries.
d. Article VI, SECTION F of the State Party Plan states that a combined organization such as the COMBINED COMMITTEE “may be dissolved by the majority vote of a Mass Meeting of either the city or the County, provided notice of such proposal is included in the Call of the Mass Meeting.”
Article VIII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The COMBINED COMMITTEE derives all powers and duties from the State Party Plan. No actions or By-Laws of the COMBINED COMMITTEE shall conflict with the State Party Plan and amendments thereto. In the event these By-Laws vary from stipulations of the State Party Plan, provisions of the State Party Plan prevail. All Official Committee meetings shall, to the extent applicable, be governed by and conducted in accordance with, giving precedence as listed to the State Party Plan and the COMBINED COMMITTEE By-Laws, and otherwise in accordance with the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article IX – AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS
1. Amendments to these By-Laws and Plan of Organization may be proposed by a majority of those COMBINED COMMITTEE members who are present and voting at a duly called meeting on the COMBINED COMMITTEE. Said proposed amendment shall be effective as part of the By-Laws upon adoption by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of COMBINED COMMITTEE members in good standing present and voting at the next subsequent meeting. The call for such subsequent meeting shall specify that the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the meeting is to amend the By-Laws of the COMBINED COMMITTEE. Such call shall contain a copy of the proposed amendment, or a copy thereof shall be appended to the said call.
2. At the biennial Mass Meeting where the Chair is elected, a new local committee is formed. Because the old local committee is dissolved in favor of the new committee, the new committee shall, at their first meeting, adopt the dissolved committee’s bylaws as their own or create a new set of bylaws.
Amended 1982, 1998, 2018
2018 By-Laws Committee: Louis Preysz III, Albert Tucker, Scott Risser, Roger Jarrell, Esq (ex- officio)
ADDENDUM TO THE ROCKBRIDGE REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE
BY-LAWS AND PLAN OF ORGANIZATION
1. “State Party” or “Party” or “RPV” means the Republican Party of Virginia.
2. COMBINED COMMITTEE refers to the Rockbridge Area Republican Committee.
3. “Election District” mans the city, county, ward of a city, magisterial district of a county, precinct or portions or combinations of such political subdivisions which comprise the area defined by law in which an election is to be held.
4. “Congressional District” means the election district for a member of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.
5. “Legislative District” mans the election district for a member of the House of Delegates or the State Senate of the Virginia General Assembly.
6. “District Committee” means the Republican Congressional District Committee for each Congressional District.
7. “Legislative District Committee” means the Republican District Committee for each State Senatorial District and each House of Delegates District as the context may apply.
8. “Unit” means County or City.
9. “Unit Committee” means the County or City Republican Committee.
10. “Quadrennial State Convention” means the State convention held in Presidential election years for the purpose of nominating electors-at-large to the Electoral College and electing delegates-at- large and alternates-at-large to the Quadrennial National Republican convention.
11. “Quadrenniel District Convention” means the District convention held in Presidential election years for the purpose of nominating an elector to the Electoral College and electing delegates and alternates to the Quadrennial National Republican convention.
12. “Biennial District Convention” means the District convention held in Congressional election years and is the same as the Quadrenniel District Convention in Presidential election years.
13. “Official Committees” are the State Central Committee, each District Committee, each Legislative District Committee, and each Unit Committee.
14. “Mass Meeting” is as defined in Robert’s Rules of Order, subject to the provisions of the State Party Plan.
15. “Party Canvass” is a method of electing a Chair and members of Official Committees, delegates to conventions, or Party nominees which shall include prefiling candidacies, the secret balloting by Party members at convenient polling places and hours after proper notice.
16. “Convention” is as defined in Robert’s Rules of Order, subject to the provisions of the State Party Plan.
17. “Primary” is as defined in and subject to the Election laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, except to the extent that any provisions of such laws conflict with the State Party Plan, infringe the right of freedom of association, or are otherwise invalid.
18. “Robert’s Rules of Order” shall mean the then current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
19. All terms within this document, including but not limited to Chairman, he or his, shall be construed to denote either male or female.