By Laws and Standing Rules

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Merced Garden Club, Inc. By-Laws

Article I - Name

The name of this organization shall be the MERCED GARDEN CLUB, INC., a non-profit, educational, service organization.

Article II - Objective

The objective of this organization is to promote an active interest in gardening and related subjects and assist in movements for conserving our natural resources and enhancing the beauties of our community and state.

Article III — Membership and Dues

Section 1: Qualification

Any person with a sincere, active interest in gardening and related subjects, who attends three (3) regular club functions as a guest of a member, may become a member with the approval of the Executive Board by complying with the following requirements:

1.    Fill out and return application to the Membership Chairman

2.    Payment of dues

3.    Procedures as outlined in Standing Rules

4.    Fulfillment of obligations as outlined in Article III, Section 3

Section 2: Class of Members

A.     Active: Active membership shall be limited to 99 members who have fulfilled the above requirements. They shall be eligible to vote and hold office.

B.     Sustaining: After 10 years of active membership, a member desiring release from duties of active membership may upon written request to the

Membership Chairman, with the approval of the Executive Board, become a sustaining member. In case of a temporary inability to serve, a member may make a written request to the Membership Chairman for a sustaining membership and at the discretion of the Executive Board, the time

requirements may be waived. These members shall pay dues as outlined in Standing Rules #1 (p. 22), will not be eligible to hold an elective office and shall have no voting privileges. Sustaining members may apply for reinstatement to active status and shall be given precedence over new applications.

C.     Merced Garden Club Life: Members who have 25 consecutive or accumulated years of active membership in Merced Garden Club shall be eligible to apply for a Merced Garden Club Life Membership. If granted, they shall be exempt from paying dues. Fulfillment of membership obligations shall be on a voluntary basis.


D.     Honorary: Honorary membership may be extended by the Executive Board to any non-member of any National or State Garden Club whose interest and efforts on behalf of the Club's objectives have been continuously outstanding. They shall have the privilege of attending meetings as an Honored Guest. They will not be eligible to hold an elected office and shall have no voting privilege.

Section 3: Duties

All active members shall consider it a primary obligation to:

1.  Attend a majority (6) of the Club's regular scheduled meetings without three consecutive unexcused absences.

2.  Serve on the committees as assigned.

3.  Give full cooperation toward success of the projects undertaken by the Club.

Failure to meet these obligations will constitute due cause for review of the circumstances by the Executive Board for possible terminations of the membership.

Section 4: Dues

A.       The dues for members of this organization shall be set by recommendation of the Executive Board and vote of the membership, and shall include state dues, district assessments, and subscription to Golden Gardens magazine.

B.       The dues for the sustaining members of this organization shall not exceed triple active members' dues per year.

C.       Merced Life Members shall be exempt from paying Club dues. The Club shall pay their state dues, district assessments, and Golden Gardens subscription.

D.      Dues for active and sustaining members as set forth in the standing rules shall be payable May 1, and become delinquent June 1st. If not paid by June 15th, membership shall automatically be terminated.

E.       Dues for persons coming into the Club after January 31st, shall be one-half the regular dues.

F.       Honorary membership is a title only. This membership is not counted on the CGCI Roster.

G.      Amount of dues for active and sustaining members shall be established or changed, upon recommendation of the Executive Board, at any regular meeting by a 2/3 majority of those voting, a quorum being present.


Article IV — Officers

Section 1: Elected Officers

The elected officers of this Club shall be President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer. A Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the President (see Article IV, Section 3, C.)

Section 2: Duties of the Officers

A.     President: The President shall preside at all meetings and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, except the Nominating Committee. The President shall appoint the Parliamentarian, all committees and committee chairmen, except the Nominating Committee. She is a member of the Yosemite Gateway District Executive Board and shall attend all Executive Board and District Meetings. She signs checks in the absence of the Treasurer. The president shall designate an auditor. _

B.     1st Vice President: The 1st Vice President shall aid the President, perform duties of President in her absence, and be Yearbook Chairman.

C.     2nd Vice President: The 2nd Vice President shall serve as Membership Chairman. She shall collect dues, and maintain a duplicate copy receipt book; one copy of the receipt, with the money, is to be turned over to the Treasurer. She shall issue membership cards and Yearbooks. She shall receive, date, and file all applications for membership, for presentation to the Executive Board. She shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the 1st Vice President.

D.    Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary shall record all actions of the regular and board meetings. She shall handle all publicity for the Club, unless otherwise designated. She may be an alternate cosigner of the Club's checks, along with the President and Treasurer.

E.     Corresponding Secretary: The Corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for all correspondence as directed by the President.

F.     Treasurer: The Treasurer shall receive, record, bank and disburse all moneys of the Club. She shall report receipts and disbursements at each meeting. She signs all checks. The Treasurer shall have books ready for audit two (2) weeks prior to the end of the fiscal year. (See Article VI, Section 5.)


G. Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian shall interpret Club By-laws and advise the presiding officer on points of the parliamentary law. upon request.

Section 3: Nominations and Elections

A.        A nominating committee of three members shall be elected at the February meeting. They shall designate one of themselves to act as chairman. Members of the nominating committee are eligible for office. The nominee for President must have served on the Executive Board at least one ( 1 ) year or as chairman of any standing committee for at least one year.

B.        The Chairman shall present a slate of proposed officers to the Club at the March meeting, at which time nominations from the floor may be made.

C.        Officers shall be elected at the March meeting for a one year term. or until their successors are installed, and shall assume office upon installation at the annual meeting in June.

D.       While we do rotate officers. we do not necessarily progress through the offices to the Presidency.

E.        Election of officers shall be made by voice vote if unopposed: by secret ballot. if opposed.

Article V - Executive Board

Section 1: Membership

The business of the Merced Garden Club. Inc. shall be conducted by the Executive Board, which shall be comprised of elected officers of the organization. the Parliamentarian, and the Junior Past President. In the event the Junior Past President is unable to serve, her immediate predecessor shall sit with this body.

Section 2: Meeting

The Executive Board shall meet monthly at least one week prior to the regularly scheduled Club meeting,.

Section 3: Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by the President or upon request of three members of the Executive Board.

Section 4: Duties

Members of the Executive Board are expected to attend all meetings of the Board: three (3) unexcused absences shall constitute cause for replacement. The President, with approval of the Board, shall fill the vacancies on the Board: The Board shall review and may approve all requests for active and sustaining membership, all Honorary and Merced Life members. and yearly program submitted by the Program Chairman.


Section 5: Monetary Limits

The Executive Board cannot spend more than fifty dollars ($50) for unbudgeted expenses without approval of the membership.

Section 6: Non-Board Attendance

Any member may attend a Board Meeting upon request, or at the invitation of the President, or the Executive Board, but shall have no voting privileges.

Article VI - Meeting, Quorums & Fiscal Year

Section 1: Annual Meeting

The Annual meeting shall be held in June, at which time the duly elected officers shall be installed.

Section 2: Regular Meetings

Regular meetings shall be held on the second Wednesday of each month from September through June.

Section 3: Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called at the request of the President or upon written request of five (5) active Club members.

Section 4: Quorum

A quorum for regular meeting shall be one-fourth of the voting club members. A quorum at Executive Board shall be five (5) members.

Section 5: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of this organization shall be from July 1 through June 30.

Article VII - Standing Committees

Section 1: The President shall appoint as many committees and committee chairmen as necessary to carry on the work of the Club.

Article VIII - Amendments

Any proposed amendments to these By-Laws must be read at two (2) consecutive meetings before being voted upon. These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those voting, a quorum being present, and take effect immediately.

Article IX - Rules of Order

Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern this organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these By-Laws or special rules of the organization.

By-Laws revised in 1997: voted March 12, 1997 By-Laws revised in 2002: voted February 6, 2002 By-Laws revised in 2011: vote November 11, 2011

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Merced Garden Club, Inc. Standing Rules

1.      Annual dues for active and sustaining members become payable May 1, and delinquent June 1. Persons coming into the Club after January 31, shall pay one-half the regular dues. (See Article III, Section 4, D & E.) Annual Dues: Active $25, ; Sustaining $50.00.

2.      Each active member, excluding the Executive Board, is to serve on three (3) committees as specified in the yearbook.

3.      A member is to serve as a hostess on the month assigned. If unable to serve, find a substitute and inform the chairman. Every member on a hostess committee is responsible to share expenses incurred by the committee. Merced Garden Club, Inc. will reimburse up to $25.00 toward bread or rolls, butter, and paper products. The chairman should submit these bills to the Treasurer the day of the meeting. The chairman may also have to submit a bill for coffee or tea if there is none, or not enough, as the club will always supply these two (2) items. When turning the cupboard key over to the next chairman, please advise her if these two (2) commodities are low. If there is a charge for a meal, committee members are exempt from paying this charge, unless the meal is catered.

4.      On potluck days the hostess committee is to bring dessert and all others are to bring salad.

5.      ALL members, regardless of their category, attending a potluck luncheon are expected to bring a dish, as designated in the yearbook, to the luncheon with an appropriate serving implement and their own plate, knife, fork and spoon.

6.      Items made from materials purchased with Club funds become the property of the Club.

7.      The same guest should not be invited to more than three (3) functions a year unless she is a house guest.

8.      A memorial offering in the amount of $25 toward a National, State or Club project will be made in the name of a deceased member, unless otherwise requested by the family.

9.      Each year the Garden Club will offer at least one (1) scholarship in the Club's name to an ongoing Merced College student, designated by the horticulture instructor, who will continue their studies at Merced College. The amount of the scholarship will be itemized in the budget.

10.    All active members are responsible for the ticket sales and refreshments and any other duties needed by the chairman of the fund-raiser (e.g. the annual Garden Tour.) Full participation is also expected by each active member toward the presentation of a Flower Show.

11.    Standing Committees require attention a full 12 months. They serve from the first meeting in September to the following September.

Note: Roberts' Rules of Order indicates that Standing Rules may be adopted or amended by a majority vote at any business meeting without previous notice.

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New Member Guidelines

A prospective new member should be one who has a genuine interest in the Objectives/Mission Statement as set forth by the Merced Garden Club, Inc. (see page 7)

A new member must be sponsored by a current member of the Merced Garden Club, Inc and attend three (3) functions of the Club.

The sponsor has several responsibilities to the prospective member.

1.        Invite and encourage them to attend a variety of three (3) functions.

2.        Share the yearbook, Golden Gardens, and our newsletter, "Garden Chatter" with them. Review member obligations, By-Laws, and Standing Rules.

3.        Inform them of Yosemite Gateway District, California Garden Clubs, Inc., Pacific Region of NGCI, and National Garden Clubs, Inc.

4.        If you do not know the answers to their questions, get in touch with a member who does.

5.        Introduce them to Club members. Now they should be ready to apply for membership. Do not abandon them once they have been accepted for membership.

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