Missouri Valley Bylaws
Bylaws of Missouri Valley Search and Rescue, Inc.

Article 1 Name and Purpose
Article 2 Amendments and Parliamentary Procedure
Article 3 Qualifications for Membership
Article 4 Membership Classes
Article 5 Board of Directors
Article 6 Operational Officers
Article 7 Financial Procedures
Article 8 Election Procedures
Article 9 Meetings

Article 1 -- Name and Purpose
This organization shall be known as Missouri Valley Search and Rescue, Inc. The purpose of this organization is to provide assistance in locating and recovering missing persons.

Article 2 -- Amendments and Parliamentary Procedure
These bylaws may be amended at any meeting by a two-thirds vote (i.e. two-thirds of the votes cast must be in the affirmative). Proposed amendments must be distributed to the membership at least two weeks in advance of being brought up for a vote.

When these bylaws do not address a specific issue, the team shall use the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

Article 3 -- Qualifications for Membership
All prospective members must submit applications for membership.

To qualify for new membership, an applicant must:
   · Be of the age of majority
   · Exhibit good character and good moral standing, including a favorable background check
   · Agree to meet the requirements delineated in the team's standard operating
      procedures/guidelines (SOPs/SOGs)

Once accepted, all new members shall serve a probationary period lasting a minimum of three months. While on probation, members are expected to become familiar with the team's procedures and demonstrate significant and consistent commitments to the team. Probationary members will be periodically evaluated by the Operational Officers. If after three months, the Operational Officers are satisfied with a probationary member's progress, the member will be taken off probation effective immediately. If unsatisfied, the member will be informed of which expectations he or she failed to meet, and the member's probationary period will be extended by three months. Probationary members may not vote or hold elected office. They may serve on, but may not chair, committees.

Article 4 -- Membership Classes
Section 1 -- Regular Membership
Regular membership is the standard membership class open to all new members and encompasses both operational and non-operational members. Exact requirements are delineated in the team's standard operating procedures/guidelines (SOPs/SOGs).

Section 2 -- Auxiliary Membership
Auxiliary membership is open only to those members with significant search and rescue or emergency service experience. Auxiliary membership must be approved by the Board of Directors. Auxiliary members may not vote or hold elected office. They may serve on, but may not chair, committees.

Article 5 -- Board of Directors
Section 1 -- Overview
The Board of Directors shall consist of three directors: a President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Collectively, the Board of Directors shall be responsible for carrying out the bulk of the team's administrative functions. The Board of Directors shall also be responsible for supervising the Operational Officers to ensure that their duties are being performed.

Directors shall initially be chosen from among the team membership. Once the team has at least twenty members, directors will be solicited from the community with preference given to members of local search and rescue or emergency service agencies. Directors from outside agencies shall be considered ex-officio members of the team.

Directors shall be elected by the membership. The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve two year terms. While the organization is initially establishing itself, the President shall serve a three year term. Thereinafter, Presidents shall serve two year terms. In this way, the terms of the President and those of the Secretary and Treasurer shall be staggered.

Any vacancies shall be filled by special elections as soon as reasonably possible. Directors elected through special elections shall serve the duration of the initially vacant term.

Section 2 -- President
The President shall be the highest ranked director and shall be responsible for all non-operational aspects of the team. The President shall preside over all meetings of the Board of Directors and all meetings of the membership.

Section 3 -- Secretary
The Secretary shall maintain an accurate record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Board of Directors and all meetings of the membership. The Secretary shall maintain all organizational records, preferably both at the registered office as well as digitally.

Section 4 -- Treasurer
The Treasurer shall oversee all team finances. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the depositing and disbursal of all team funds in accordance with the annual budget and the team's financial procedures.

Article 6 -- Operational Officers
The Operational Officers shall initially consist of a single Team Leader. As the team expands, the Team Leader may create (or remove) additional operational positions as needed. The Operational Officers shall be responsible for carrying out the bulk of the team's operational functions, including establishing standard operating procedures/guidelines (SOPs/SOGs).

Operational Officers shall be chosen from among the team membership and shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may remove Operational Officers as it deems necessary. Operational Officers shall be reviewed on an annual basis.

Any vacancies shall be filled by the Board of Directors as soon as reasonably possible.

Article 7 -- Financial Procedures
Section 1 -- Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest arises when an individual with a formal responsibility to serve the team participates in an activity that may jeopardize his or her professional judgment and/or objectivity. The Board of Directors will have sole authority to determine if a conflict of interest exists. All elected officers must declare any potential conflicts of interest at the beginning of their terms.

No member may sign a check payable to himself or herself, approve an expense for which he or she is to be paid, or otherwise cause team funds to be paid to himself or herself, any family member, employer, business associate, partner, or any entity in which the member has a financial interest.

A member who may conduct business with the team, such as furnishing goods and/or services, is expected to disclose the potential conflict of interest and abstain from voting on all related issues.

Section 2 -- Annual Budget
The Treasurer shall draft a budget proposal at the beginning of each calendar year. At the time of the adoption of the annual budget, the membership shall also approve a list of budget notes that detail the purchasing authority, including monetary limitations, for expenses in each budget line.

The annual budget may be amended by a two-thirds vote (i.e. two-thirds of the votes cast must be in the affirmative) at any meeting.

Dire and unforeseen emergencies that threaten the existence of the team may require the use of reserve funds for specific expenditures. Such ex-budget expenditures must be over one thousand dollars ($1,000) and be approved by the Board of Directors.

Section 3 -- Authorized Signers
The President, Treasurer, and Team Leader shall be the only authorized signers on team accounts. Two signatures shall be required on all checks exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000). The President shall sign all approved contracts on behalf of the team.

Section 4 - Reimbursement
Members seeking reimbursement of personal funds spent on goods and/or services generally must have the pre-approval of the purchasing authority for the respective budget line. A dated receipt must accompany all requests for reimbursement.

A member who has money or personal property lost, stolen, or damaged generally shall not be reimbursed, unless the items are otherwise covered by the team's insurance. At the team's discretion, items damaged while participating in operational activities may be repaired or replaced at the team's expense.

Article 8 -- Election Procedures
Director elections shall be announced to the membership at least two weeks in advance. Members eligible to vote who are unable to attend the in-person voting session may request absentee ballots. Absentee ballots must be returned in two envelopes: an outer envelope with a member's name and signature across the seal for accountability and an inner envelope with no identifying features for anonymity.

Article 9 -- Meetings
The lesser of fifty percent (50%) of the non-probationary regular membership or ten non-probationary regular members shall constitute a quorum.

Meetings shall be held each month at a time selected at the previous month's meeting. The agenda for meetings shall be:

1. Introduction of new members
2. Approval of past minutes
3. Officer reports
4. Committee reports
5. Old business
6. New business





The Bylaws were final reviewed and approved by the membership in attendance at the July 24, 2013 Membership Meeting.

All Information is © 2013 - 2017 Missouri Valley SAR - All Rights Reserved       Website By: C. Diamond