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Alameda County Social Services
North Oakland Office
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Oakland CA 94612

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By Laws

By-Laws: Revised 1 26, 2012

Section I   – Definitions
Section II   – Officers
Section III  – Nominations and Elections Procedures
Section IV  – Executive Committee
Section V   – Chairperson Power and Duties
Section VI   – Vice-Chairperson Power and Duties
Section VII   – Secretary/Treasurer Powers and Duties
Section VIII  – Member-at-Large Powers and Duties
Section IX  – Committees
Section X   – Committee Conduct of Business
Section XI   – Committee Responsibilities
Section XII  – Times and Place of Commission Meetings
Section XIII  – Conduct of Meetings
Section XIV  – Unauthorized Statements or Actions
Section XV   – Amendments
Section XVI   – Appointment to the Commission on the Status of Women

 

Section I - Definitions Unless the provision or context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall govern the construction of these by-laws:

    A.  "Commission" means the Human Relations Commission of the County of Alameda
    B.  "County" means the County of Alameda, a political subdivision of the State of California.
    C. "Committee" means an ad hoc committee of the commission.
    D.  "Member" means a duly appointed and qualified commissioner of the Human Relations Commission of the County of Alameda.
    E.  "Rules" mean those by-laws for the conduct of business, adopted by the Commission pursuant to Alameda County Administrative Code, Section 2.32.080

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Section II - Officers

The officers of the Commission shall be a CHAIRPERSON, a FIRST VICECHAIRPERSON, a SECOND VICE-CHAIRPERSON, a SECRETARY/TREASURER, and a MEMBER-AT-LARGE. Terms of office of the officers shall not be limited with the exception of the Chairperson, who shall not serve more than three consecutive years.

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Section III - Nominations and Elections Procedures

At the regular May meeting, the Commission Chairperson shall open the floor to nominations for the offices of Chairperson, First Vice-Chairperson, Second Vice- Chairperson, Secretary/Treasurer, and Member-At-Large. Any member of the Commission shall be eligible to stand for not more than one office. Any nominee must give verbal consent at the time of nomination from the floor or prior written consent in the event the nominee cannot be present at the time of nomination.

Within two weeks following the regular May meeting, all Commissioners shall receive, either by first-class mail or electronic mail (email), a printed Official Ballot with instructions that shall ensure the secrecy of the ballot. The first-class mailed Official Ballot shall be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope for its return to Commission staff. Emailed ballots may be returned electronically. Ballots shall be returned by mail to Commission staff in the envelope as provided prior to the regular June meeting of the Commission or may be personally delivered to Commission staff prior to the counting of ballots which shall occur at such a time as the agenda of the regular June meeting shall so indicate.

Staff shall record and announce the names of all Commissioners whose Official Ballot was returned prior to the opening and counting of all the ballots, said count to be conducted by the Commission staff and one Commissioner not a nominee for any office who shall be appointed by the Chairperson.

In the event of a tie vote for any office, the winner shall be determined by the toss of a coin, such toss to be conducted by the senior Commission staff member present.

Newly elected officers shall be announced prior to adjournment of the regular June meeting and shall formally assume their duties on July 1st.

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Section IV - Executive Committee

A.  Composition

The officers designated in Section II above shall constitute the Executive Committee. The immediate past Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. The ex-officio member is not eligible to vote on Executive Committee matters except in the event of a tie.

B.  Responsibilities

Investigate facts, deliberate questions of policy, and make recommendations for action to the Commission as to any and all matters within the powers and duties of the Commission.

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Section V - Chairperson Power and Duties

The Chairperson shall have the following powers and duties:

A.  To preside at all meetings of the Commission and of the Executive Committee.

B.  To decide all points of order subject to reversal by the Commission.

C.  To appoint and remove members of committees; to remove the Committee Chairs thereof; to fill vacancies therein; and with the approval of the Commission to fill vacancies in the offices of Vice-Chairperson, Secretary/Treasurer, and Member-At- Large.

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Section VI - Vice-Chairperson Power and Duties

 

The Vice-Chairpersons shall perform all duties assigned to them by the Chairperson. In the absence of the Chairperson, the First Vice-Chairperson shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of that office. The Second Vice-Chairperson shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of both the Chairperson and the First Vice-Chairperson.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chairperson, the First Vice-Chairperson shall become Chairperson. The Vice-Chairpersons move up in rank when an officer resigns.

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Section VII - Secretary/Treasurer Powers and Duties

At each meeting, the Secretary/Treasurer shall report, upon the request of the Chairperson, whether a quorum is present, and shall be responsible for the recording and transcribing of minutes in the absence of administrative staff. In the absence of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons, the Secretary/Treasurer shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Chairperson.

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Section VIII - Member-at-Large Powers and Duties

The Member-At-Large shall be responsible for performing all duties in the absence of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons and Secretary/Treasurer, and as a member of the Executive Committee, shall perform duties assigned by the Chairperson.

In the event all officers are absent, the Commission shall vote to appoint a member to officiate the meeting.

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Section IX - Committees

Committees may be established upon majority vote of the Commission. These committees shall each consist of at least one member appointed by the Chairperson. Additionally, the Chairperson is an ex-officio member of all committees. Committee Chairs may recruit consultants who work or reside in Alameda County, unless outside-of-county consultant(s) are required due to special circumstances). These Consultants may be from the private or public sector and Consultants are advisory to the Committee Chair. The Commission must approve all consultant appointments. Consultant appointments shall commence no earlier than on July 1st, and shall end no later than June 30th.

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Section X - Committee Conduct of Business

Each committee:

A.  Shall provide for a time and place for regular meetings

B.  May hold special meeting at any time and at any place, with or without written notice, upon the call of the Committee Chair. Committee meetings shall be open to the public

C.  Shall investigate facts, deliberate questions of policy, and make recommendations for action to the Commission, as to matters within the committee's responsibilities

D.  Shall submit all recommendations to the Commission for review and action unless previously authorized by the Commission.

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Section XI - Committee Responsibilities

The staff and the members of each committee will attempt to develop expertise in their area of responsibility. They should develop a knowledge of legislation, resources and programs, not only in Alameda County, but in other communities as well. They will serve as a resource to the overall Commission in their subject area. They will have a responsibility for appropriate data collection and for making recommendations in the area of legislation, program development and program implementation. The Commissioners on the committee, with the assistance of staff, have responsibility for all the programs and projects aimed at carrying out the Commission's responsibilities and policies in their subject area.

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Section XII - Times and Place of Commission Meetings

The time and place of Commission meetings shall be established as follows:

A.  Regular Meetings.

The Commission shall provide for the date, time and place of its regular monthly meetings. If at any time any regular meeting falls on a holiday, the Commission will determine the necessity and specification for change in day, time and place as necessary. If by reason of fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergency, it shall be unsafe to meet in the place designated, the meetings may be held for the duration of the emergency at such place as is designated by the Chairperson.

B.  Special Meetings.

A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chairperson, or by a majority of the members of the Commission in accordance with the Brown Act.

C.  Public Meetings.

From time to time, the Commission may organize a public meeting in some community of the County to deal with problems in specific areas of the County.

D.  Adjournment of Meetings.

The Commission may adjourn any meeting in accordance with the Brown Act. If all members are absent from any regular or adjourned regular meeting, the most senior officer may declare the meeting adjourned to a stated time and place, and shall cause a written notice of the adjournment to be given in accordance to the Brown Act. A copy of the order or notice of adjournment shall be conspicuously posted at the Alameda County Administration Office in Oakland within twenty-four hours after the time of adjournment. When a regular or adjourned regular meeting is adjourned, as provided in this section, the result is an adjourned regular meeting for all purposes. When an order of adjournment of any meeting fails to state the hour at which the adjourned meeting is to be held, it shall be held at the hour specified for regular meetings of the Commission.

E.  Cancellation of Meetings.

Staff shall determine at least 48 hours in advance of each meeting whether or not a quorum will be present. If it is determined a majority of Commissioners will not be in attendance, after consultation with and authorization of the Chairperson, staff shall advise Commissioners that the meeting is/may be cancelled. Meetings may be held, without a quorum, as directed by the Chairperson. At such meetings, no official business may be conducted.

F.  Attendance at Commission Meetings.

It shall be the duty of all Commission members to attend all meetings of the Commission except in case of illness, absence from the county, or other emergencies. If at any time during the calendar year, a Commissioner has been absent and unexcused by the Chairperson at three regularly scheduled meetings, the Executive Committee shall recommend to the Board of Supervisors that he/she cease to be a member of said Commission, and that the Board of Supervisors fill the resulting vacancy. It is procedure that, after a Commissioner has two unexcused absences from regularly scheduled meetings, the Chairperson, or designee, shall send a letter to the Commissioner reminding them of this provision.

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Section XIII - Conduct of Meetings

Meetings of the Commission shall be conducted according to the following rules:

A.  Order of Business.

Business shall be transacted in accordance with the agenda authorized by the Chairperson or designated officer, except that the Commission may, at any meeting, suspend the operation of this rule and provide for the transaction of business in a different order.

B.  Roll Call.

Each roll call of the Commission shall be in alphabetical order, except that the Chairperson shall be called last. When the role is called on a motion, any member present who does not vote or abstain in an audible voice or by raise of hand shall not be counted or recorded.

C.  Roll Call Not Required.

The roll call need not be called in the voting upon a motion except when requested by a member. If the roll call is not called, in the absence of objection of general consent, the Chairperson may order the motion unanimously approved.

D.  Appearance by Members of the Public.

The Chairperson shall decide the order of appearance and time limits for members of the public who request to speak on business before the Commission. The Chairperson's decision may be subject to the reversal by the Commission.

E.  Parliamentary Authority.

Except as otherwise prescribed in these rules for the conduct of business, all Commission meetings shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, may be suspended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members voting.

F.  Quorum.

The Majority of the commissioners currently appointed to seats on the Commission shall constitute a quorum. This will be calculated as 50%+1 of current Commission membership.

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Section XIV - Unauthorized Statements or Actions

No statements shall be made, or action by any Commission member on behalf of or in the name of the Commission unless specifically authorized by the Commission.

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Section XV - Amendments

These rules for the conduct of business may be amended, except for provisions set forth by the Brown Act and Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at any regular meeting at which this item has been placed on the agenda. Notice of any proposed amendment together with a copy of the proposed amendment shall be delivered to each member of the Commission in accordance with the Brown Act.

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Section XVI - Appointment to the Commission on the Status of Women

According to County Administrative Code, Section 2.90.030, membership of the Commission on the Status of Women consists of seventeen members. "One member shall be nominated by, and shall be a member of, the county human relations commission."

According to County Administrative Code, Section 2.90.050, "appointed commissioners shall serve for a term of two years." Additionally, "no commissioner shall serve more than two consecutive terms."

The Human Relations Commission's Appointment to the Commission on the Status of Women shall be determined by Commissioner vote to coincide with and adhere to officer nomination and election procedures.

The election of the Human Relations Commission Appointment to the Commission on the Status of Women shall take place every odd-numbered year. The newly elected appointee shall will serve on the Commission on the Status of Women for a term of two years provided their appointment on the Human Relations Commission remains current.

Should the Human Relations Commission Appointee to the Commission on the Status of Women be unable to complete their term, the Chairperson of the Human Relations Commission shall appoint a Commissioner to fill the appointment vacancy for the balance of the term. The Chairperson's selection for the appointment vacancy is subject to the approval of the Human Relations Commission.

 

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