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April 2006

Article I - Name and Purpose 

Section 1. The organization is doing business as the Big Train Operator Club also known as BTOC. It is incorporated as a nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of Georgia as the L.G.B. Model Railroad Club, Inc.

Section 2. The purposes of the BTOC are: 
To promote large scale model trains, as a special interest group.
To provide education and information to its members and the general public regarding large scale trains. 

Article II - Membership and Dues

Section 1. The categories of membership are Regular members, Family members and Honorary members. 

Section 2. A Regular member shall be one whose dues and fees are current, shall have the right to vote, hold elective office and receive the Big Train Operator Magazine (BTO).

Section 3. Family members shall be those as defined by the Internal Revenue Service code of the United States who pay no dues and do not have the right to vote or hold office. They shall have the privilege of attending meetings, conventions and other BTOC functions when accompanied by or given permission by the Regular member.

Section 4. An Honorary membership may be conferred upon a member or person who shall have rendered notable service to the BTOC. Recommendations for Honorary membership must be made in writing to the Board of Directors (BOD) who will vote on the recommendation and, as appropriate, announce the Honorary membership. An Honorary member will have all the privileges of BTOC membership but will not have to pay dues.

Section 5. Dues are collected for a 12 month membership.

Section 6. Annual dues shall be determined by the BOD. 

Section 7. Dues are to be paid prior to dues expiration. Membership will be forfeited if dues are not paid within three months of expiration.

Article III - Meetings

Section 1. Annual Membership Business Meeting.
1. During a BTOC Convention a Business Meeting shall be held.
2. If a BTOC Convention is not held during a calendar year, the BOD will attempt to schedule a Business Meeting in conjunction with a national large scale train event.

Section 2. If necessary, special meetings may be held with the approval of the President.

Article IV - Voting

Section 1. Each Regular member and Honorary member shall be entitled to one vote.

Section 2. BTOC voting may be conducting by:
1. Ballot by mail.
2. Ballot at any official BTOC business meeting.
3. Ballot by e-mail.

Section 3. All BTOC voting will be based strictly on the ballots cast.

Section 4. In each odd numbered year, a Nominating Committee consisting of up to three non-BOD club members shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the BOD. This committee shall propose a slate of candidates for each office, consisting of all names nominated by the membership and who have agreed to serve as an officer if elected. The proposed slate of officers shall be published in the BTO. Ballots shall be mailed to each Regular and Honorary member during the odd numbered year. The new BOD will take office within the first two weeks of January in the even numbered year.

Article V - Board of Directors

Section 1. Elected officers of the BTOC shall be:
1. President
2. Vice President (up to 3)
3. Secretary
4. Treasurer
5. Directors (up to 3)


Section 2. The following Directors will be appointed by the BOD:
1. BTO Editor
2. Membership Chairperson

Section 3. The term of office for elected officers shall be for two years, or until their successors are elected. A President shall not serve more than two consecutive terms. A Vice President or elected Director shall not serve more than three consecutive terms. If there are no new candidates running for office, the term limits for President, Vice President and Director may be extended on a term by term basis by a simple majority vote of the then current Board. Board members are expected to make every effort to attend and participate in all BTOC functions. Candidates for the office of President must have served a minimum of one term as a Board member. Candidates for Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer must be a BTOC member for two full years prior to running for office. Candidates for Director must be a BTOC member for one full year prior to running for office.

Section 4. The BOD shall be composed of the elected officers in Section 1 and the appointed Directors in Section 2.

Section 5. If the President, Vice President, Director, Secretary or Treasurer is unable to complete his/her term of office the BOD will elect, by a majority vote, a fully qualified replacement. 

Section 6. Duties of Officers shall be shown in Appendix A of these Bylaws.

Section 7. The BTO Editor and Membership Chairperson will serve at the will of the BOD with all rights and privileges of the BOD. 

Section 8. “Special Committees” shall be appointed by the President as the BOD or the membership deem necessary to carry on the work of the BTOC. “Special Committees” shall be disbanded when the task has been accomplished for which it was established. “Special Committee” chairpersons, unless an officer of the BTOC, shall not be considered a member of the BOD.

Section 9. The President shall be ex officio a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

Article VI - Financial Controls and Procedures

Section 1. The BTOC operates as a not for profit organization under Internal Revenue Service Section 501(c)(7). Internal Revenue Service forms are filed under the direction of the BTOC Treasurer. 

Section 2. The BTOC operates on a calendar year (January to December) for financial reporting. 

Section 3. The BTOC finances will be audited by an independent auditor not less than every three years or as required to conform to Internal Revenue Service standards. 

Section 4. The Finance Committee will oversee the BTOC finances. This committee will consist of a Vice President, the Treasurer and a BTOC member-at-large. The Finance Committee will prepare and submit a budget to the BOD for review and approval by December 1st of each year for the upcoming year. The Finance Committee will compare actual expenses to budget on a quarterly basis and advise the BOD. 

Section 3. Financial reports will be reviewed by the BOD and published to the membership in the BTO and on the official BTOC web site on an accurate and timely basis.

Article VII - BTOC Conventions

Section 1. Proposals/bids for the location of a convention shall be made to the BOD for BOD approval two years prior to the proposed convention date. 

Section 2. The local convention Chairperson from the club or group who have been awarded the convention bid may make a written request to the President with a copy to the Treasurer for “start-up” monies, the amount to be determined based on the request submitted. The BOD will review and, if appropriate, approve the request. After all bills are paid and the “start-up” monies are returned to the BTOC, the convention revenue will be divided between the BTOC and the local convention committee of the club or group hosting the BTOC convention in the ratio of 1/3 and 2/3 respectively. The local convention chairperson must submit a detailed and itemized financial report to the BOD within 90 days following the convention.

Section 3. At the BTOC Convention an admission charge may be collected to allow non-members to enter the display area for one designated day providing the BTOC and the host site have adequate liability insurance coverage for non-members. Admissions fee collected from non-members shall be included in the gross receipts of the convention.

Section 4. The selection and design of a BTOC Convention car must be submitted to the BOD for final approval prior to production of the same. The convention car must carry the logo of the BTOC. 

Article VIII - Chapters

Section 1. The requirement for forming an official Chapter of the BTOC is to receive permission from the BOD by submitting a written request to the BOD that includes a set of the Chapter’s By Laws and a Certificate of Insurance that provides liability coverage in accordance with that required by the BTOC.
Section 2. The Chapter’s By Laws must be written so as to not be in conflict with the BTOC By Laws.

Section 3. Upon granting permission the Chapter’s name will be recorded with the Secretary and listed in the BTO. The Chapter will be granted the privilege of identifying itself as a “Chapter of the Big Train Operator Club”.

Section 4. The Chapter shall inform a BTOC Vice President of planned activities. These activities will be reported in the BTO.

Article IX - Publications

Section 1. The official publication of the BTOC shall be titled Big Train Operator. The BTO is an in-house publication.

Section 2. Each Regular and Honorary member shall receive one copy of each issue of the BTO. 

Section 3. Revenues to support and sustain the BTO are to be derived from membership dues and the sale of advertising space within the BTO.

Section 4. Advertising copy and content will be reviewed by the BTO Editor for compliance with the BTOC core values and accepted practices.

Section 5. Advertising rates are proposed and accepted by the BOD on an annual basis by the BTO Editor for implementation in the first issue of each calendar year. 

Section 6. The BTOC may publish additional publications as it deems necessary.

Section 7. The official BTOC web site will be available for all members. The site will provide valuable and timely information. A bulletin board system (the BTO “Soapbox”) will be maintained and moderated by a BTOC Vice President to assure its compliance with the BTOC core values and accepted practices. 

Article X - Amendments of the Bylaws

Section 1. Proposed amendments to the BTOC Bylaws shall be submitted to the President in writing for consideration by the BOD. Bylaws will be amended by a simple majority of the votes cast.

Article XI - Parliamentary Authority

Section 1. The Parliamentary Authority for the organization shall be the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.


Appendix A - Duties of the Officers of the Big Train Operator Club

Section 1. Elected Officers:
A. President
Is the Chief Executive Officer. Responsible for the overall operation of the BTOC. Presides at all meetings. Appoints committee chairpersons with the approval of the BOD. The President must be apprised of all official business prior to any final decisions of the BOD or its members.
B. Vice President 
Assists the President. Replaces the President if the President is unable to complete a term of office. Finance Committee Chairperson. Oversees marketing programs. Oversees the BTOC Convention. Liaison with Official BTOC Chapter Clubs. BTOC web site Soapbox moderator. 
C. Secretary
Conducts all official correspondence. Keeps minutes of all official BTOC meetings. Submits reports to the BTO Editor for publishing to the membership. Maintains a record of all authorized chapters.
D. Treasurer
Maintains all financial records. Receives and records all income and pays all bills which are properly documented. Responsible for collecting the advertising fees from advertisers. Files all required tax returns. Member of the Finance Committee.
E. Directors
Act as an advisor to the President and other BTOC officers. Replaces a Vice President if a Vice President is unable to complete a term of office. Serves on committees as requested by the President.

Section 2. Appointed Board Members
A. BTO Editor 
Oversees the publication of the BTO and advises the BOD on matters of publication and communications including electronic communications.
B. Membership Chairperson
Maintains the official membership records. Mail dues renewal notices. Receives dues from new and renewing members. Processes due cards, membership certificates and membership lists. Provides address labels for BTO. Provides membership information to members as needed. 


 



Those colorful denizens of male despair, the Bowery bum and the rail-riding hobo, have been replaced by the bag lady and the welfare mother. - Florence King


 

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