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45 Raymond Rd., West Hartford, CT

HAYES-VELHAGE POST 96

HAYES-VELHAGE POST 96
THE AMERICAN LEGION, INCORPORATED
45 RAYMOND ROAD
WEST HARTFORD, CT 06107-2211

December 8, 2010

POST CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

CONSTITUTION

Preamble

For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:  To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to Posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.

Article I – Name

Section 1.  The name of this organization shall be the Waldo C. Hayes – Francis H. Velhage Post 96, The American Legion, Incorporated, Department of Connecticut.  It shall be known as Hayes-Velhage Post 96, a non-profit, non-stock corporation incorporated under the Laws of the State of Connecticut with its principle place of business located at 45 Raymond Road, West Hartford, Connecticut.

Article II – Objects

Section 1.  The objects and purposes of this Post shall be to promote the principles and policies as set forth in the foregoing preamble, and the National and Department of Connecticut Constitutions of The American Legion.

Article III – Nature

Section 1.  This Post is a civilian organization and membership therein does not affect or increase liability for military or police service.

Section 2.  This organization shall be absolutely nonpolitical and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles or for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment.

Section 3.  Rank does not exist in The American Legion; no member shall be addressed by his military or naval title in any meeting in this Post.
 

Article IV – Membership

Section 1.  Eligibility for membership in this Post shall be as prescribed by the National Constitution of The American Legion.

Section 2.  Application for membership shall be made in writing under such regulations as may from time to time be prescribed by the Post Executive Committee.

Section 3.  All applications for membership shall be acted upon at the next Post meeting following the making of such application, and shall at such meeting, be accepted, rejected or referred for further investigation and consideration by majority vote of the members present at the meeting. 

Section 4.  Any member of this Post may be expelled for cause under the provisions of Article V of the Bylaws of the American Legion, Department of Connecticut.

Section 5.  A member who has been expelled or suspended from this Post for any cause may be reinstated to membership after a hearing at a Post meeting and an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of members attending a Post meeting and a payment of all current dues for that year.

Article V – Officers

Section 1.  The Administrative Affairs of this Post of the American Legion shall, except as may be provided by the Bylaws of the Post, be under the supervision of an Executive Committee consisting of the officers of the Post, (exclusive of the Sergeant-at-Arms), the chairman of the Facilities and Operations committee plus two additional members of the Post, one being the immediate past commander and one member duly elected to the positions by the membership.  If the immediate past commander is unable to serve in the position, both members shall be elected by the membership.  The Post Bylaws may also provide for such other committees as the business of the Post may require.

Section 2.  The officers of this Post shall be the Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Finance Officer, Judge Advocate, Adjutant, Chaplain and Sergeant-at-Arms, and such other officers as may be deemed necessary by this organization, who shall be nominated at the meeting preceding the annual election.

Section 3.  Said officers, except the adjutant and sergeant-at-arms, shall be elected and obligated at the annual Post meeting.  The adjutant and the sergeant-at-arms shall be appointed by the commander subject to approval of the Executive Committee.  Any additional officers deemed essential and necessary may be appointed by the commander subject to approval by the Executive Committee.  A vacancy in any office may be filled, (or left unfilled), by the commander by appointing a member to serve until the next election. 

Section 4.  Every member of this Post in good standing shall be eligible to hold office in this Post.

Section 5.  Any officer may resign from his position verbally or in writing.  An officer may be removed from office for neglect of responsibility or for the offenses listed in Article V of the American Legion Department of Connecticut Constitution under the procedures outlined in the Article. 

Section 6.  The duties of officers and the Executive Committee shall be those usually appertaining to such officers and committees and as further provided in the Bylaws.

Article VI – Finance

Section 1.  The revenue of this Post shall be derived from annual membership dues and from such other sources as may be approved by the Post Executive Committee.

Section 2.  The amount of such annual Post dues shall be fixed and determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 3.  The Post shall pay to the Department of Connecticut the National and Departmental annual membership dues for every member of the Post.

Article VII – Amendments

Section 1.  This Constitution is adopted subject to the provisions of the National Constitution of The American Legion and of the Constitution of the Department of Connecticut, The American Legion.  Any amendment to said National Constitution or Department Constitution, which is in conflict with any provisions hereof, shall be regarded as automatically repealing or modifying the provisions of this Constitution to the extent of such conflict. 

Section 2.  This Constitution may be amended at any regular Post meeting by vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of said Post attending such regular meeting, providing the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing and read at the next preceding regular meeting of said Post, and providing, further, written notice shall have been given to all members at least thirty (30) days in advance of the date of the Post meeting when such amendment is to be voted upon, notifying said members that at that meeting a proposal to amend the Constitution is to be voted upon.

BYLAWS

Article 1 – Management

Section 1.  The government and management of the Post are entrusted to an Executive Committee.

Section 2.  The Executive Committee shall be constituted as set forth in Article V of the Post Constitution.

Section 3.  All vacancies existing in the Executive Committee, or in any office of the Post from any cause other than the expiration of the term, shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the committee, and a person so appointed shall hold office for the unexpired term of the member of the committee or officer they succeeded.  A vacancy shall be deemed to exist when a member or officer is absent from the Post without authorization or approval of the Executive Committee for a continuous period considered detrimental to the interest of the Post by the Executive Committee. 

Section 4.  The Post Executive Committee shall be chaired by the Post Commander.  Thereafter, the Post Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the commander, as often as said commander may deem necessary.  The commander shall call a meeting of the Post Executive Committee upon the joint written request of five or more members of said Post Executive Committee.  Six members of the committee shall constitute a quorum thereof.

Section 5.  The Post Executive Committee shall approve the hiring of such employees as may be necessary; shall authorize and approve all expenditures either directly or by delegation and oversight of the Post Finance Officer; shall require adequate bonds from all persons having the custody of Post funds; shall hear the reports of Post committee chairs; and generally, shall have charge of and be responsible for the management of the affairs of this Post. 

Section 6.  The Post Commander may invite one representative each from Hayes-Velhage Auxiliary Unit 96 and SAL Squadron 96 to serve as associate members of the Executive Committee with the right of voice but not the right of vote.  The associate members of the Executive Committee, and any member of Post 96, may be appointed by the Post Commander to audit any of the committees of the Post for the purpose of gaining knowledge and experience of the committee’s duties and responsibilities.

Article 2 – Duties of Officers

Section 1.  Post Commander.  All powers and duties not specifically or by implication vested in the officers and not contrary to any vote of the post, shall be vested in the Executive Committee for which the Post Commander shall serve as the Chairman.  The commander shall be the chief executive officer of the Post, and shall, from time to time, appoint officers and such special committees of the Post, as he may deem necessary.  (With the exception of the Finance Committee, he shall be an ex-officio member of all committees).  In the absence of the commander, the Senior Vice Commander shall assume the duties of the Commander.  In the absence of both Commander and Senior Vice Commander, the Junior Vice Commander or in case of his unavailability an officer shall preside at all meetings of the Post and Executive Committee.

Section 2.  Senior Vice Commander.  In addition to acting as presiding officer in the absence of the commander, the Senior Vice Commander shall also be the Chairman of the Membership Committee. 

Section 3.  Junior Vice Commander shall fill in as Presiding Officer in the absence of the Commander and Senior Vice Commander.  He shall also work with the Post Adjutant on Post communications, public relations activities and publicity and shall also be chairman of the Americanism Committee. 

Section 4.  The Finance Officer of the Post shall have charge of all finances and see that they are safely deposited in a local bank or banks and shall report once a month to the Executive Committee on the condition of the finances of the Post, with such recommendations as may be deem expedient or necessary for raising funds with which to carry on the activities of the Post.  The Finance Officer shall sign all checks disbursing the monies of the Post and pay all properly vouchered bills in the manner prescribed by the Post Executive Committee and the Finance Committee, and the Finance Officer shall furnish such surety bonds in such sum as shall be fixed by the Post Executive Committee and the premium for the surety bond shall be paid by the Post.

Section 5.  Judge Advocate.  The Judge Advocate shall render all advice and recommendations of a legal nature to every and all areas of the Post’s operations and activities, including all officers and committees.

Section 6.  Chaplain.  The Chaplain shall be charged with the spiritual welfare of the Post and its members.  He will offer divine but nonsectarian service in the event of dedication, funerals, public functions, etc. and adhere to such ceremonial rituals recommended by National and Department Headquarters.  He shall also monitor news media for news of Legion members and send of get well and/or condolence messages to members and their families.

Section 7.  The Sergeant-at-Arms shall preserve order at meetings and perform such other duties as may be from time to time assigned by the Post Executive Committee. 

Section 8.  Post Adjutant.  The Post Adjutant shall serve as the chief administrative officer.  He shall give notice of all meetings of the Post and Executive Committee.  The Post Adjutant shall receive and maintain all written reports submitted by Post officers and committee chairmen.  The Post Adjutant shall have charge of and keep a full and correct record of all proceedings of all meetings, keep such records as the Department and National Organizations may require, render reports of membership annually or when called upon at a meeting, and under direction of the Commander handle all correspondence of the Post.  The Post Adjutant shall be responsible for the Post newsletter, bulletins, web page and public relations activities. 

Section 9.  All officers and committee members shall at all times communicate, cooperate and aid all other officers and committee members in their duties and responsibilities for the benefit of the Post.  In the event there is a conflict of parties the matter shall be resolved by the Executive Committee. 


Article 3 – Delegates

Section 1.  Delegates and alternates to a Department convention shall be elected by the Post at a regular meeting of the Post to be held at least twenty (20) days prior to the date of such convention.

Article 4 – Committees/Appointments

Section 1.  The Post shall have the following committees:  Membership, Nominating, and Sons of The American Legion.  Such standing committees shall consist of such members appointed by the Post commander unless indicated otherwise in these Bylaws, and the chair thereof, shall be designated by the Post commander unless otherwise provided for herein.

Section 2.  Americanism Committee.  The Committee, which will be chaired by the Junior Vice Commander, and consist of two or three other members, shall administer the School Awards program and the nomination of West Hartford candidates for Connecticut Boys and Girls State.  It shall also assist in the administration and promotion of the Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year Awards and other patriotic community programs, including the Legion Oratorical Contest.

Section 3.  Finance Committee.  The Finance Committee shall be comprised of three members elected to a two year term of office.  The committee shall be charged with the administration of the financial policy, preparation of budget recommendations and supervision of receiving, disbursing and accounting of all Post funds.  The committee shall serve as the “watch dog” of all Post finances and assets and ensure that the finances of the Post are handled in a secure and business like manner including over seeing that the accounting records of the Post are maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  It shall recommend a public accountant to advise the Post on financial and tax matters and to serve as an outside auditor.  The Finance Committee in conjunction with the Judge Advocate shall review yearly all the Post’s insurance programs to insure we are obtaining the best coverage at the best possible rate.  All proposed expenditure of post funds that are not in the budget and approved by a simple majority vote on the floor of any Post meeting, shall be referred to the Finance Committee for its approval or disapproval.  A disapproval ruling by the Finance Committee may be overruled by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at the next meeting of the Post after the Finance Committee announces its disapproval.  The committee shall meet as necessary to complete the duties enumerated herein. 

Section 4.  Facilities and Operations Committee.  There shall be a Facilities and Operations Committee composed of seven (7) members who shall be elected to a two year term of office at the annual Post meeting in May.  This committee shall report to the Executive Committee and shall have full responsibility for the management of all real estate, furnishings and equipment of the Post and shall also control the operation of the restaurant and bar.  The committee shall annually elect its own chairman and secretary.  That election shall take place at a time and place agreed upon by the Committee members within sixty (60) days of the annual Post meeting in May.  The Committee shall render a report on committee activities to the membership at the regular scheduled meetings of the Post.  The committee shall establish two (2) subcommittees of three (3) members known as the Facilities Committee and the Operations Committee.  The chairman of the Facilities and Operations Committee shall be a member of both the committees’ subcommittees. 

a. The Operations Committee, consisting of three members, shall be responsible for the food and bar operations and related activities.  It will have the responsibility of the hiring and training of staff to ensure that the Post is in full compliance with local and state laws and codes governing food service and serving of legal beverages.  It will also be responsible for the maintenance of the kitchen and bar facilities to the highest level consistent with the objectives of the Post.  It will also ensure that all employees understand the rules and regulations of the Post and that those employees are in full compliance with those rules and regulations.  The Manager of the Bar and Food Service shall report to this Committee.  The Committee shall also advise the Executive Committee on matters relating to personnel policies and practices, compensation and benefits, staffing and organizational structure.  Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to approving job descriptions and establishing a wage rate and scale based on the duties and responsibilities of the job description.  Any and all proposed wage and manpower increases shall require approval of the Finance Committee before taking effect.  An unfavorable decision by the Finance Committee on a proposal for a wage or manpower increase may be overturned by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee present and voting.  The committee shall meet as necessary to complete the duties enumerated herein.

b. The Facilities Committee, also consisting of three members, shall be responsible for the Post’s physical plant including its maintenance, up keep, renovation and anything necessary to maintain the facilities in the highest possible condition.  The committee shall also be responsible for the Post’s rental property including providing recommendations to the Executive Committee regarding the acquisition and/or retention of tenants for the rental space. 

c. The Facilities and Operations subcommittees will cooperate and coordinate with each other to avoid any conflicts and to ensure efficiency of the activities and operations of the Post.

Section 5.  Membership Committee.  This will be a committee of three (3) with the Senior Vice Commander as chairman.  The chairman will solicit and select the additional members with the approval of the Executive Committee.  The Committee is responsible for continually revising the membership roster to keep it up to date.  They are also responsible for all records and copies of application and for ensuring complete information on the member’s branch of service, dates of war time service and sign off on verification of applicant veteran’s eligibility.  They will also ensure that all copies of applications and supporting material are retained in the Post’s files.  The responsibilities include membership recruitment, reinstatement and eligibility of all members.  The Committee will also review all nominations for Honorary Life Membership, payment of dues for hardship cases and will work with the Chaplain relating to the reporting of incapacitated and deceased members including making arrangement of funeral and ceremonial participation by representatives of the Post.  The Committee will also be responsible for making sure all members have been provided a copy of the Post Constitution and Bylaws and that all new members are initiated into the Post. 

Section 6.  Nominating Committee.  This Committee shall be composed of three past post commanders appointed by the Post Commander who shall also designate one of the past post commanders as chairman of the Committee.  The Committee shall recommend a slate of officers and committee members to serve the Post for the coming program year and shall report that slate to the members at the April meeting of the Post.  After the Committee renders its report, the chairman shall call three times for further nominations from the floor.  If further nominations are received from the floor, the names so received shall be placed on the slate for which they have been nominated.  After receiving no further nominations, the chairman shall announce the nominations are closed.  Nominations may be reopened with the unanimous consent of members present at the annual meeting of the Post before the vote of the membership on the election of officers.

Section 7.  Sons of The American Legion Committee.  The Committee which shall elect its own chairman shall have supervision over the operations of the Post’s squadron of the Sons of The American Legion.

Article 5 – Resolutions

Section 1.  All resolutions of state or national scope presented to this Post by a member or reported to this Post by a committee shall merely embody the opinion of this Post on the subject and copy of same shall be forwarded to the Department headquarters for its approval before any publicity is given or action other than mere passage by the Post is taken.

Article 6 – Meetings

Section 1.  There shall be a regular meeting of the Post each month except during July and August at a date and time determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 2.  The Post Commander or a majority of the Executive Committee shall have power to call a special meeting of the Post at any time.

Section 3.  Upon the written request ten percent (10%) of Post members in good standing, the Executive Committee shall call a special meeting of the Post. 

Section 4.  At a special meeting ten (10) members in good standing of which at least two must be elected officers shall constitute a quorum.

Section 5.  The annual meeting which shall be held on the date of the regular Post meeting in May.  The call of the annual meeting shall specify the election of officers and members of the Executive and Finance Committees and the Facilities and Operations Committee.  Such officers and committee members shall assume office immediately following their election and obligation of office at the meeting in May.  Elective officers shall be installed at a date determine by the commander elect. 

Article 7 – Notices

Section 1.  Every member shall furnish the Post adjutant with an address for mailing.

Section 2.  The Post adjutant shall cause notice of the annual election and any special meeting to be given to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting dates.

Article 8 – Rules of Order

Section 1.  All proceedings of this Post shall be conducted under and pursuant to Roberts’ Rule(s) of Order, except as herein otherwise provided.

Article 9 – Limitations of Liabilities

Section 1.  The Post shall incur, or cause to be incurred, no liability nor obligation whatever which shall subject to liability any other Post, subdivision, members of The American Legion, or other individuals, corporations or organizations. 

Article 10 – Amendments

Section 1.  These Bylaws may be amended at any regular Post meeting by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of said Post attending such regular meeting:  Provided that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing and read at the next preceding regular meeting of said Post:  and, provided further, that written notice shall have been given to all members at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the date when such amendment is to be voted upon, notifying said members that at such meeting a proposal to amend the Bylaws is to be voted upon.

Article 11 – Miscellaneous

Section 1.  Spouses of members of Hayes-Velhage Post 96 and members and spouses of Auxiliary Unit 96 and SAL Squadron 96 are considered members for the purpose of complying with the Connecticut State Liquor Laws and therefore are not required to sign the Guest Book.

Section 2.  The days and hours the Post Home is open shall be posted at the main entrance.

Section 3.  The masculine gender wherever used in these Bylaws shall include the feminine gender.


ANDREW J. BATTISTONE
Commander

OFFICIAL:

CHARLES R. BERRY
Adjutant

_____________
This Constitution and Bylaws supersedes all previous editions of the Constitution and Bylaws of Hayes-Velhage Post 96. 

This document was approved by the membership at a regular scheduled meeting of the Post on December 8, 2010 and is so recorded in the minutes of this Post meeting.

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