The Portland Historical Society, Inc.
Portland, Connecticut


November 1993

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Article I Name
Article II Purpose
Article III Membership
    Section 1. Requirement
    Section 2. Dues
    Section 3. Categories
    Section 4. Life membership
    Section 5. Honorary membership
    Section 6. Delinquency
    Section 7. Revocation
Article IV Officers and Executive Board
    Section 1. Officers
    Section 2. Executive Board
    Section 3. President
    Section 4. Vice-President
    Section 5. Secretary
    Section 6. Treasurer
    Section 7. Directors
    Section 8. Finance and Budget Board
Article V Meetings
    Section 1. Times
    Section 2. Special
    Section 3. Quorum
    Section 4. Annual
    Section 5. Executive Board
Article VI Election of the Executive Board
    Section 1. Nominating committee
    Section 2. Nominations
    Section 3. Consecutive terms
    Section 4. Voting
    Section 5. Installation
Article VII Committees
    Section 1. Standing committees
    Section 2. Ad-hoc
    Section 3. Committee chairs
Article VIII Parliamentary Authority
Article IX Amendment to the Bylaws
Amendment I Amendment to the Bylaws

Article I
The name of this society shall be THE PORTLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.

Article II
The purpose of this Society shall be to bring together those people interested in history, and especially in the history of Portland, Connecticut. Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and promotes a better appreciation of our American heritage.

The Society's major function is to discover and collect materials which may help to establish or illustrate the history of the area; its exploration, settlement, development, and activities in peace and in war; its progress in population, wealth, education, arts, science, agriculture, manufacturers, trade and transportation. It will collect printed material such as histories, genealogies, biographies, descriptions, gazetteers, directories, newspapers, pamphlets, catalogs, circulars, handbills, programs, and posters; manuscript material such as letters, diaries, journals, memoranda, reminiscences, rosters, service records, account books, charts, surveys, and field books; and museum material such as pictures, photographs, paintings, portraits, scenes, aboriginal relics, and material objects illustrative of life, conditions, events, and activities of the past and present.

The Society will provide for the preservation of such material and for its accessibility, as far as may be feasible, to all who wish to examine or study it. It will cooperate with officials and other organizations in insuring the preservation and accessibility of the records and archives of the country and of its cities, towns, villages, and institutions, and will foster the preservation of historic buildings, monuments, and markers.

The Society will disseminate historical information and arouse interest in the past by publishing historical material in the newspapers or otherwise; by holding meetings with pageants, addresses, lectures, papers, and discussion; by marking historic buildings, sites and trails; and by using the media of radio and television to awaken public interest. The Society will co-operate with the state historical society and will collect and preserve materials of state-wide significance so that these materials may be made available to students and scholars.

Article III

Section 1. Membership shall be open to all who apply for membership. Anyone who tenders the necessary dues shall thereby become a voting member.

Section 2. The amount of annual dues for members shall be proposed by the Executive Board and voted on by the membership at a meeting immediately following the meeting at which the proposal was made.

Section 3. Membership categories shall be as designated by the Executive Board.

Section 4. Dues for Life Membership shall be set by the Executive Board and approved by the membership at the annual meeting.

Section 5. Honorary membership may be conferred upon any person whose activities have contributed to the objectives of the Society. Honorary members shall be elected by a three-fourths vote of members present at an annual meeting, upon nomination by the Executive Board.

Section 6. Annual dues shall be payable in advance, and members in arrears more than six months after payment is due shall be dropped from membership.

Section 7. Membership may be revoked by the Executive Board for due cause.

Article IV
Officers and Executive Board

Section 1. The officers shall be a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer who shall be elected for a term of one year. In addition six directors and three finance and budget board members shall be elected for a term of three years on a rotating basis.

Section 2. The officers, directors and finance and budget board members shall constitute the Executive Board. They shall decide questions of policy that for any reason cannot be acted upon at a meeting of the Society and perform such other functions as designated in the bylaws or otherwise assigned to it.

Section 3. The president shall have executive supervision over the activities of the Society within the scope provided by these bylaws. The president shall preside at all meetings, shall report annually on the activities of the Society and shall appoint members of committees and delegates not otherwise provided for. The president shall be bonded.

Section 4. The vice-president shall assume the duties of the president in the event of absence, incapacity, or resignation.

Section 5. The secretary shall keep the minutes of meetings of the Society and of the Executive Board.

Section 6. The treasurer shall be responsible for the safe-keeping of society funds and for maintaining adequate financial records audited annually. The treasurer shall deposit all monies received with a reliable banking company or as directed by the finance and budget committee in the name of THE PORTLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC. The treasurer shall be bonded.

All monies to be paid out shall be by numbered checks and signed by the President and the Treasurer except only the signature of the Treasurer will be required on payments of up to one hundred fifty dollars ( $150.00).

The treasurer shall render a monthly report, and provide an annual report.

Section 7. The directors shall be representatives of the membership.

Section 8. The finance and budget board shall have three fiscally prudent members, with the treasurer as ex officio and shall be responsible for the management and investment of the Society funds. This board shall prepare an annual budget to be proposed at the annual meeting.

Article V

Section 1. Meetings will be held 10 months of the year excluding July and August.

Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the president.

Section 3. Upon proper notification of a meeting, those present will constitute a quorum.

Section 4. The regular November meeting shall be known as the Annual Meeting and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, setting the annual budget and other business that may arise.

Section 5. The Executive Board shall meet every other month unless otherwise ordered. Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the president.

At any Executive Board meeting, a simple majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.

Article VI
Election of the Executive Board

Section 1. Not less than one month prior to the annual meeting, the president shall appoint a nominating committee to prepare a slate of officers.

Section 2. Nominations may also be made by any member of the Society at any time prior to balloting at the annual meeting.

Section 3. Directors or Budget and Finance Board members elected to the Executive Board for two consecutive terms, or a president or vice-president elected for three consecutive terms, shall not be nominated to the same office unless one year elapses between the end of the last term and the beginning of the term for which nominated.

Section 4. All executive board members shall be elected by a plurality of votes cast by secret ballot at the annual meeting. In the event of an uncontested election, the secretary may be directed to cast a single ballot.

Section 5. Executive board members shall be installed at the close of the annual meeting at which they are elected and shall serve until their successors have been duly elected and installed. In the event of resignation or incapacity of any officer, except the president, or any director, the vacancy may be filled by a vote of the Executive Board for the unexpired term of office.

Article VII

Section 1. The Society shall have the following standing committees with the designated responsibilities:
Museum Committee - collection, display and education
Publicity - newsletter and publicity
Historic Sites and Buildings - oversight and protection
Programs - meeting management
Membership - records and outreach
Ruth Callander House - physical operations
Ways and Means - fund raising

Section 2. Ad-hoc committees may be established by the president as needed.

Section 3. The president shall appoint the chair of standing committees.

Article VIII
Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in ``Robert's Rules of Order" shall govern the proceeding of the Society except in such cases as are governed by the bylaws.

Article IX
Amendment to the Bylaws
These bylaws may be amended at any regular or adjourned meeting by a two-thirds vote of those voting, provided notice was given at the previous meeting; or they may be amended at a special meeting called for that purpose, with previous notice and a two-thirds vote. All proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing.

Amendment I.
Ratified January 23, 2007
Article IV. Officers and Exeutive Board, Section 1, change the number of directors from "three" to "six".

Credit for basic concept and phraseology of the original Constitution and Bylaws is due: Silvestro, Clement M., Organizing a Local Historical Society. American Association for State and Local Historical Societies. Nashville, Tennessee, 1968.

Those who adapted Silvestro's plans were:
Raymond Hedges, Chr.
Marion Wannerstrom
Ruth Hale
John Dillon
James Gildersleeve
Herbert Ellsworth

December 3, 1973

The basic re-organization of this document was derived from The Scott Foresman, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
These Bylaws were revised by:

Robert W. McDougall, Chr.
Eleanor O. Crowther
Pauline P. Csere
Phyllis B. Frisbie

October 26, 1993

Last Updated: 03/16/2007
© Copyright 2007 Bob McDougall