Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs

Bylaws

ByLaws

Section I – GENERAL

SUBsection 1 – Dues

Annual dues of $ 30.00 shall be due and payable on the member’s IAFC anniversary date of each year. The amount for SEAFC dues requirements may be amended annually by the membership at the annual membership meeting and become effective the following January 1st.

SUBSECTION 2 – In Arrears

No members in arrears for dues or assessments shall be eligible to vote. Any member in arrears ninety {90} calendar days after the member’s renewal date shall be removed from the membership roll and from the mailing list by the Executive Director.

SUBSection 3 – Retired Regular Members

All regular members in good standing may, after retirement from active duty, continue to be regular members by a continuance of the payment of the annual dues and assessments.

SUBsection 4 – Applications

Application for regular, associate, affiliate, departmental, life and corporate membership shall be made to the IAFC on forms provided by the IAFC.

SUBsection 5 – Approval of Expenditures

No officer or member of the Association shall incur any expenses in the name of the Association without the approval of the Board of Directors except that, in case of emergency, the President is empowered to authorize the expenditure of sufficient funds with the approval of the majority of the Executive Committee to meet the emergency. Such expenditure shall be ratified by the Board of Directors at the next Board meeting.

SUBsection 6- Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Association shall extend from the first day of July through the thirtieth day of June.

SUBsection 7 – Adopting Amendments to Bylaws

Amendment to these Bylaws or rules of order shall be made and implemented in accordance with Article VIII of the Constitution.

SUBsection 8- Effective Date of Amendments; Priority

All amendments, alterations or revisions of any part of these Bylaws or rules of order shall take effect at the adjournment of the annual conference unless otherwise provided. In the event of conflict between the Constitution and Bylaws and an amendment thereto, the language of that amendment shall prevail and any provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws inconsistent therewith shall be considered effectively amended.

SUBsection 9- Technical Amendments

The Constitution and Bylaws Committee may propose, and the Board of Directors approves technical, grammatical, non-substantive changes thereto, provided that such changes shall be published in a manner that provides for member review prior to the annual conference.

SUBsection 10- Resolutions

The association may adopt resolutions. Resolutions shall be submitted to the Resolutions Committee in a manner consistent with the Bylaws and the SEAFC Resolutions Policy.  Adoption of resolutions shall be at the annual conference by a majority vote of members properly assembled. Adopted resolutions shall be valid for a period not to exceed three years after the date of presentation at the annual meeting. A copy of each resolution shall be retained for historical purposes.

SUBSECTION 11-CONFERENCE HOST

The host city or fire department inviting the Association to hold the annual conference of the Association shall follow the Association’s adopted policies concerning host requirements.

SUBSECTION 12-TRAVEL EXPENSES

Traveling expenses for all persons authorized or requested by the President or Executive Committee for the transaction of Association business shall be paid by the Association and shall include only those expenses authorized in accordance with the SEAFC Travel Policy.

ByLaws Section II – Committees

SUBSection 1- Permanent Committees

In addition to those committees provided for in the Constitution, the following permanent committees are established, whose members shall be appointed from the membership by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors. All committee appointments shall become effective upon appointment and approval and be for a term of one (1) year. Committee vacancies shall be immediately filled by the President.  Committee members may be re-appointed to additional terms.

  1. Constitution/ Bylaws and Policy Committee
  2. Elections Committee
  3. Audit and Finance Committee

SUBsection 2 – Constitution/ Bylaws AND POLICY

The Constitution /Bylaws and Policy Committee functions:

  1. The Constitution/Bylaws and Policy Committee shall consist of three {3} committee members appointed by the Association President with the approval of the Board of Directors.
  2. The Committee shall meet at least annually to initiate and/or review proposed changes to the Association Constitution and Bylaws that have been submitted in a form prescribed by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and report on the changes to the Board of Directors. The committee shall report any proposed changes to the membership.

SUBsection 3 – ELECTIONS Committee

The Elections Committee shall consist of three {3} committee members appointed by the Association President with the approval of the Board of Directors. The committee shall administer the election process set forth in Section III of the Bylaws, and shall administer all on-site conference elections and conduct all balloting in accordance with the SEAFC Balloting Process Policy.

 

SUBsection 4 – AUDIT and finance COMMITTEE

The Audit Committee functions:

  1. PURPOSE:

The Audit and Finance Committee of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs is here-by established to ensure the finances of the Association are protected from un-authorized use, abuse, fraud or other actions that are not in the best interest of the Association and the membership.

  1. METHODS:

The Audit and Finance Committee shall be authorized to inspect the financial records of the Association at any time with reasonable notice to the Executive Director.

All financial records of the Association shall be available for review and inspection by the   Audit and Finance Committee. The Executive Director, President and/or the Secretary/Treasurer shall cooperate with the Audit and Finance committee’s reasonable request to examine the financial records. The Audit and Finance Committee shall be authorized to solicit  information, both written and verbal, from the Executive Director, Executive Board Members, Members, Vendors or Financial Institutions concerning the financial records and expenditures of the Association with reasonable notice.

The Audit and Finance Committee shall at a minimum, annually inspect the financial records of the Association and issue a written report of the committee’s findings to the Executive Director and the Board of Directors. The Audit and Finance Committee reports shall be available for inspection by the general membership.

The Audit and Finance Committee shall be governed by the established written financial policies, procedures and Association Bylaws in reviewing the financial records of the Association.

The Audit and Finance Committee shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors.  The Committee shall serve for a period of 1 year after appointment but may be reappointed.

SUBsection 5 – Committees and Committee Membership

Committee chairs and members shall be appointed pursuant to the provisions of Article IV, Section 1(F) of the Constitution. All members are eligible for such committee appointments and all members are entitled to vote as members on such committees.

 

SUBsection 6- Standing Expectations of Committee Members

Appointed representatives of the SEAFC are expected to:

  1. Demonstrate professional conduct at all times that brings credibility to the Association and its membership.
  2. Accept and act upon extemporaneous or ad hoc direction from the Association Board in a timely manner and with the same credence afforded the direction received herein.
  3. Reflect adherence in their actions to these Bylaws and Association policies and resolutions.

SUBsection 7- Participation and Reporting Requirements

Each permanent committee shall submit a report of activities at the annual membership meeting of the Association. Additionally, appointees to committees or task groups will maintain regular contact with and ensure that a written briefing is submitted, preferably electronically, using the SEAFC  liaison activity report form to the appropriate contacts and to the President and the SEAFC Executive Director {or the Secretary/ Treasurer should there be no Executive Director} within two (2) weeks after a committee meeting or event.

SUBsection 8 – Initial and Annual review of Appointment Document

Initially, upon commencement of an appointment and prior to each year of service on a committee, appointees will review and collectively recommend changes to the appointment documents to ensure they accurately reflect the scope and requirements of the committee positions. All proposed changes will be submitted to the appropriate board liaison who will forward to the full board for consideration.

SUBsection 9- Unusual Event Reporting and Review

In the event of unusual circumstances or significant emergent issues, the appointee will immediately contact the Board Liaison, the Association President and Executive Director. In the unlikely event of conflict or disagreement between the appointees’ actions or chosen approaches and written directives from the Association, the matter should be brought to the immediate attention of the Association Executive Director and/or President for review by the full Board at the earliest opportunity.

 

ByLaws Section III – Election of Officers  

SUBsection 1- Candidates

{2nd Vice President, International Director and Secretary / Treasure If There is No Executive Director}

Members who desire to be candidates for the position of 2nd Vice President and/or the International Director or in the event of no Executive Director the Secretary/ Treasurer and who are qualified in accordance with Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, shall submit their name, membership number, office being sought, a profile of their qualifications, and their platform (not to exceed 300 words) to the Elections Committee, in writing by May 1 of the year they are seeking election. The Elections Committee shall certify the eligibility of candidates for the election.

Candidates who do not meet the above requirements shall not be eligible to run for office. There shall be no nominations from the floor at the annual conference.

Once elected to the position of 2nd Vice President there shall be no need to meet the above requirements.  The 2nd Vice President shall move through the chairs until reaching the position of Immediate Past President.

SUBsection 2- Publication of Candidate Information

The Elections Committee shall see that the profile and platform of the candidates are provided to the membership of the Association in a manner consistent with the policy that has been established by the Board of Directors.

SUBsection 3- Unanimous Ballots

For any office for which there is only one {1} nomination, the presiding officer shall instruct the chair of the Elections Committee, as the representative of the Association, to cast a ballot for such nominee and shall thereupon declare such nominee elected.

SUBsection 4 – Balloting Process

All elections shall be by ballot in accordance with the established Balloting Process Policy. The candidate receiving the majority of the votes shall be declared elected. Election of the 2nd Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer {if there is no Executive Director} and International Director shall be conducted at the annual membership meeting of the Association. Appointments to fill unanticipated vacancies shall be made by the Board of Directors at its next regular meeting after such vacancy occurs. Appointees selected by the Board of Directors to fill vacancies shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of the office to which they are appointed.

SUBsection 5 – Election

Prior to the business meeting of the annual conference, the full elections committee will meet to audit the process and certify the “Official Results.” “Official Results” of the vote will be presented to the membership during the business meeting of the annual conference. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. In the event of a tie vote, the Board of Directors shall select the winner from the tied candidates.

SUBsection 6 – Conduct of Elections and Disputes

The complete conduct of the elections and decisions in any matters of dispute that may arise during such elections shall be in the hands of the elections committee.

SUBSECTION 7 – Appointment OF STATE DIRECTORS

The appointed State Director shall be placed on the SEAFC Board of Directors upon being sworn in at the annual conference after written verification is received from the President of the State Fire Chiefs Association that he or she represents stating that he or she has full authorization of the State Fire Chiefs Association of that state. The letter must be received at the office of the SEAFC Executive Director no later than May 1st.

SUBsection 8- Election Campaign Practices

Election campaigns are expected to be conducted on the highest level of professionalism and in accordance with the IAFC’s Code of Ethics. Any questions concerning ethics of the campaign should be referred to the Elections Committee.

SUBsection 9- ENDORSEMENT POLICY FOR SEAFC / IAFC POSITIONS

The Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs has adopted a policy that includes information to provide essential information about the process of running for an elected officer position in the SEAFC.

SUBsection 10- ENDORSEMENT POLICY NOT DIRECTLY SEAFC / IAFC POSITIONS

Persons seeking endorsement of the SEAFC for a position not directly pertaining to an elected officer position in the SEAFC or the IAFC shall be required to provide written recommendation and a statement of support from the State Fire Chiefs Association in which they reside. The person requesting endorsement shall also provide to the SEAFC Executive Director a letter stating their positions on SEAFC and IAFC goals and ideals as they pertain to the endorsement requested and the resulting benefits to the SEAFC membership and/or the fire service.

 

ByLaws Section IV – MISCELLANEOUS

SUBsection 1- Installation of Officers

The installation of all officers shall take place at the annual banquet with appropriate ceremonies and all officers shall swear to the following oath of office:

“I (name) hereby swear or affirm that I will become familiar with and will support the SEAFC Policies, Constitution and Bylaws and at all times bear true allegiance to the goals and purposes of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs, a Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Inc. I further swear or affirm to perform the duties and responsibilities of my office to the best of my ability so help me God.”

SEAFC Officers who are not installed during the annual banquet shall be installed in accordance with the established Installation of Officers Policy.

 

ByLaws Section V. Rules of Order

SUBsection 1- Preservation of Order

The presiding officer shall preserve order and decorum and shall take no part in debates while presiding. All questions of order shall be subject to an appeal to the conference, and upon such an appeal the vote shall be taken without debate. The presiding officer may state the reasons for the decision given and shall put the question as follows, “Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?” A two-thirds majority of those present and voting shall be necessary to reverse the decision of the chair.

SUBsection 2- Members Speaking

Every member when speaking or offering a motion shall rise, state his or her name and place of residence, and respectfully address the presiding officer, and when finished speaking shall at once resume his or her seat.

SUBsection 3 – Presiding Officer Decides

When two (2) or more members rise to speak at the same time, the presiding officer shall decide who is entitled to the floor.

SUBsection 4 – Point of Order

A member called to order shall immediately cease speaking and resume his or her seat until the point of order in question has been decided, when he or she shall again be entitled to the floor.

SUBsection 5 – Calling the Question

A motion to take the previous question shall always be in order except when a member is in possession of the floor, and must be put forward without debate and if supported by a majority vote of those voting, the motion shall be declared carried and no further debate or amendments shall be in order until the main question shall be decided.

SUBsection 6 – Motion to Adjourn

A motion to adjourn shall always be in order, except when a member is in possession of the floor or a vote is being taken or it has been decided that vote shall now be taken. A motion to adjourn is not debatable, but a motion to adjourn to a given time is open to debate.

SUBsection 7 – First Business Session

Presentation of all proposed amendments to the Constitution, Bylaws or rules of order for which notice has not been given prior to the opening of the conference shall be at the first business session of the conference.

SUBsection 8 – Question Without Provision

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall provide guidance for the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution and Bylaws and any special rules of order the Association may add.

SUBsection 9 – Memorial Services

An appropriate memorial service in honor of the deceased members shall be held at each annual conference in accordance with the established Memorial Service Policy.

SUBsection 10- Order of Business

The order of business at the annual conference shall be:

  1. Opening ceremonies
  2. Opening business session
  3. Report of Association officers.
  4. Report by President or designee on the disposition of resolutions acted upon at the last annual conference.
  5. Report from permanent committees.
  6. Unfinished business.
  7. New business.
  8. Good and welfare of the Association.
  9. Report of attendance and place of next conference.
  10. Adjournment.

 

ByLaws Section VI – CODE OF ETHICS

The following rules and standards of conduct have been developed for the safe and efficient operation of Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs {SEAFC} and for the benefit and protection of the rights and safety of all. SEAFC members and/or officers and employees are expected to observe the highest standards of professional conduct at all times, while at work or when engaged in SEAFC business. Members’ and/or officers’ and employees’ professional conduct shall remain consistent with the mission, goals, and objectives of SEAFC.

Obey all laws, rules and regulations governing our business. SEAFC is subject to federal laws and regulations and the laws and regulations of the SEAFC Office. It is the policy of SEAFC that all laws, rules and regulations are complied with fully and completely. Members and/or officers and employees shall conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring discredit upon SEAFC. If it is unclear whether an action or activity is a legal or ethical violation, contact the IAFC human resource department immediately for advice. Any incident or situation that violates the law or this policy should be immediately reported to the Division President and/or the IAFC human resource department.

Be honest, truthful, fair and trustworthy in all SEAFC activities and relationships. SEAFC expects each of its members and/or officers and employees to treat one another with respect and honesty. This includes providing information that is accurate, complete, objective, timely, relevant and understandable.

Be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity. In all public and personal relationships in order that the Association may merit the respect and confidence of the elected officials, of other members and/or officers and employees, and of the public, it is critical that honor and integrity be presented at the highest of standards.

Report accurate information: Because the association may use membership numbers to make decisions about its future and members’ involvement, its officers’ and employees’ ethical responsibility to provide correct information at all times, especially in regard to the following:

  • Membership numbers, including the number of current members, retention, and attrition rates;
  • Membership projections;
  • Budgets;
  • Integrity of membership critia; and
  • Quality and use of database information

Respect and protect SEAFC assets: Assets are anything of value owned by SEAFC. All SEAFC members and/or officers and employees are expected to be the custodian of those assets. Members and/or officers and employees are responsible to maintain company assets in good condition and to protect them from loss. This includes real assets and equipment of all kinds. It also includes so called “soft assets” such as intellectual property, member lists and other confidential information owned by the association. SEAFC assets of any kind, but including such assets as telephones, PCs, email, copiers, faxes, should not be used for personal benefit.

Avoid all conflicts of interest between work and your personal affairs: All members and/or officers and employees are expected to act with total objectivity with regard to SEAFC’s business. Accordingly, it is improper for an SEAFC member and/or officer and employee to be in a position where their personal interests conflict, or appear to conflict, with SEAFC interests. SEAFC members and/or officers and employees should not use their position with SEAFC to influence SEAFC or others for their personal benefit. Members and/or officers and employees should not engage in any business or secondary employment which, because of the demands on their time and interest, interferes with their obligations and responsibilities at SEAFC. If a member and/or officer or employee believes that a conflict of interest has developed or may develop, it should be promptly reported to an SEAFC officer.

Avoidance of Private Employment: Members and/or officers and employees should not engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or promise to accept private employment, nor should they render services for private interests or conduct a private business when such employment, service, or business creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of their official duties. Teaching, lecturing, writing, or consulting is typical activities that may not involve conflict of interest, or impair the proper discharge of their official duties. Prior notification of the appointing authority is appropriate in all cases of outside employment.

Promote fair employment practices for all SEAFC employees: SEAFC supports and adheres to laws and regulations dealing with fair employment practices. Employment discrimination in our workplace based on sex, race, age, religion, national origin, or sexual preference will not be tolerated.

Use your best efforts to maintain a safe workplace and to protect the environment: SEAFC believes in and supports the laws designed to keep our workplace safe and designed to protect the environment. If you believe that an unsafe condition exists in our workplace, bring it immediately to the attention of an SEAFC officer. If an accident takes place, report it pursuant to SEAFC policy and immediately take action to address the problem.

Promote an ethical culture for all SEAFC employees and members: SEAFC expects all of its members and/or officers and employees to conduct themselves ethically at all times and to encourage and support that behavior in their fellow officers/members. Members and/or officers and employees shall refrain from abusing their relationship with SEAFC in an improper economic, professional, or other manner.

Establish Equal Opportunity: All decisions pertaining to appointments, pay adjustments, promotions, and discipline should prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability, age, or marital status. It should be the members’ and/or officers’ and employees’ personal and professional responsibility to actively recruit and hire a diverse staff throughout their organizations.

Maintain Appointment Commitment: Members and/or officers and employees who accept an appointment to a position should not fail to report for that position. This does not preclude the possibility of a member or officer considering several offers or seeking several positions at the same time, but once a bona fide offer of a position has been accepted, that commitment should be honored. Oral acceptance of an offer is considered binding unless SEAFC makes fundamental changes to the terms of the offer.  Position should show professional respect for persons formerly holding the position or for others who might be applying for the same position. Professional respect does not preclude honest differences of opinion; it does preclude attacking a person’s motives or integrity in order to be appointed to a position.

Conduct Self-Assessments: Each member and/or officer and employee should assess his or her professional skills and abilities on a periodic basis.

Gifts: Members and/or officers and employees should not directly or indirectly solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift–whether it be money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, promise, or any other form–under the following circumstances: (1) it could be reasonably inferred or expected that the gift was intended to influence them in the performance of their official duties; or (2) the gift was intended to serve as a reward for any official action on their part. It is important that the prohibition of unsolicited gifts be limited to circumstances related to improper influence. In de minimums situations, such as meal checks, some modest maximum dollar value should be determined by the officer/member as a guideline. The guideline is not intended to isolate members and/or officers and employees from normal social practices where gifts among friends, associates, and relatives are appropriate for certain occasions.

 

Violation of the SEAFC Code of Ethics and Conduct may subject a member and/or an officer or employee to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

ByLaws Section VIIEffective Dates of Amendments

All amendments, alterations or revisions shall take effect immediately upon the adjournment of the annual conference unless otherwise provided.

 AMENDED:  Miami, Florida, June 23-27, 1990

                       Section XI

 

AMENDED:  Nashville, Tennessee, June 23, 1997

AMENDED:  Birmingham, Alabama, June 1998

                      Section III

 

AMENDED:  Dothan, Alabama, June 17, 1999

                      Section VI

 

AMENDED:   Augusta, Georgia, June 1, 2000

                      Section I

                      Section III

                      Section IV

                      Section V

                      Section VI

                      Section VII

                      Section VIII

                      Section IX

 

AMENDED:   Nashville, Tennessee, July 9, 2001

                       Section III

                       Section VII

                       Section IX

                       Section XIV

                       Section XV

 

AMENDED:   Mobile, Alabama, July 1, 2006

                       Section V

 

AMENDED:  Conference Call, November 17, 2009

 

AMENDED:   Louisville, Kentucky, June 26, 2010

 

AMENDED:  Montgomery, Alabama, June 16, 2011

                        Section I

 

AMENDED:  Hampton, Virginia, June 14, 2012

                        Section I, Subsection 10

                        Section II, Subsection 1

                                          Subsection 4

                                         Subsection 7

                        Section III, Subsection 7

                        Section IV, Subsection 1

 

AMENDED: Conference Call, Sept. 3, 2013

                        Section II, Subsection 1

 

AMENED : Charleston, South Carolina, June 19, 2017

 

Section I,   Subsection 5

                   Subsection 12

Section II,  Subsection 1

                   Subsection 2

                   Subsection 3

                   Subsection 4-B

Section III, Subsection 4

Section IV, Subsection 1

Section V,  Subsection 9

 

___________________________________

CHIEF WALLACE POSSICH
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS COMMITTEE
COMMITTEE 
CHAIRMAN