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Proposed Changes to SARA Bylaws

posted Nov 6, 2016, 8:11 PM by James Cramton   [ updated Nov 10, 2016, 12:30 PM ]
The current SARA bylaws were adopted over a decade ago, in 2005.  In recent years, it has become clear that there is a need to revise the bylaws to bring them in line with changes to the way SARA operates, or would like to operate today. The Board has developed proposed revisions to the bylaws, which we will present for a vote of the membership for approval at our December 10, 2016 membership meeting (more on that in a subsequent post).  According to the current bylaws, amendments must be approved by a majority of the SARA members present for voting, with 25% of our membership required for a quorum. So please make a point of attending our December 10 membership meeting.  It will be a fun time, beyond the discussion and voting on these amendments.

The full text of the current and proposed bylaws are available here:

  • 2005 current bylaws (PDF) (Word)
    Original text from 2000 in black; 2005 amendments in blue.
  • 2016 proposed amendments to bylaws (PDF) (PDF with markup since 11/5) (Word)
    Given the significant reformatting changes, the changes from the 2005 edition are not tracked. However, minor edits based on Brett Rathi's comments are tracked in the word document, and marked up in one of the PDFs. If you're interested in just the final proposed draft, use the 2016 PDF link above. 
But here is a summary of the differences from 2005:
  • Grammatical, semantic, formatting, and other minor changes 
  • Expanded the number of potential Board members, but provided flexibility to fill Board positions with as few as 3 individuals. Changes to the Board membership include separation of the Secretary and Treasurer position (though they can be held by the same person), and more Members at Large.
  • Expanded the voting membership to include junior members (17 or younger) who hold a TRA or NAR Junior High Power Certification. The intent of this is to increase the opportunities for our more experienced Junior members to participate actively in SARA activities and leadership, in line with NAR and TRA initiatives to promote rocketry amongst youth. 
  • Jr. HPR Certified fliers may also run for the Member at Large position on the Board of Directors. TRA permits 12 year olds to certify, so the age range of this group of potential candidates is 12 through 17. 
  • Clarified procedures for electing Board members, and for determining when an office is vacant. Also for filling Board vacancies and removing Board members from office. 
  • Specified that with the exception of parental consent for children, "written communications" can include either electronic or pen and paper formats. That is in line with modern practice.
  • Clarified core responsibilities of each role on the Board of Directors, and of expected participation commitments of Board members. 
The changes inspired by Brett Rathi's changes on 11/10/2016 are:
  • Minor wording changes that hope to clarify meaning and improve readability without changing meaning, except as noted below.
  • More detail on the workings of the board and the specific responsibilities of each role are being compiled in a Board of Directors Handbook document.
  • Removed the complication that Jr. High Power members are expected to pay range fees or be a part of a family membership. Reasoning being that most Jr. members will be a part of a family membership already, and any that aren't will be so few in number that their wear and tear on the equipment will be negligible. 
  • Moved the Meetings section to between Officers and Elections.
  • Reorganized Elections section and added sections on Jr High Power members' eligibility to vote, proxy voting, and nominations.