Val Verde County Historical Commission

 

Bylaws 2007

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this organization shall be Val Verde County Historical Commission, in accordance with Article 6145.1 of Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes.

 

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE AND POLICY

Section 1. Purpose of the Val Verde County Historical Commission (hereinafter referred to as "VVCHC") shall be to preserve, protect, and promote the history and pre-history of Val Verde County (hereinafter referred to as "the County"), and to that end shall:

a. conduct continuing programs of historical marker recommendations and placements in accordance with the state Historical Commission requirements;

b. make recommendations to the County Commissioners Court for the preservation or protection of historic properties (sites, structures, districts and/or objects) which are of documented historical or archeological significance;

c. make recommendations to the County Commissioners Court for property acquisition, real or personal, for properties (sites, structures, districts and/or objects) which are of historical significance;

d. accept, whenever feasible, artifacts, exhibits, and other museum objects in the name of the VVCHC or the County Commissioners Court, with the Whitehead Memorial Museum serving as repository for all such gifts, providing the donations are consistent with the Museum’s statement of collections; and

e. support, whenever possible, the programs of the Texas Historical Commission (hereinafter referred to as “THC”).

Section 2. It shall be the policy of VVCHC that historical markers placed on private property will be paid for, whenever feasible, by the property owners, but through VVCHC.

Section 3. It shall be the policy of VVCHC to work in partnership with other preservation organizations to develop a plan for the County's historic and cultural resources, using the THC's statewide comprehensive preservation plan for guidance.

 

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Eligibility. Any adult resident of Val Verde County recommended by the VVCHC or the County Commissioners Court, and approved by the Commissioners Court, shall be eligible. County residents interested in serving will apply for membership through the Chair of VVCHC.

Section 2. Term. Members shall be appointed for two-year terms beginning on January 2 of odd-numbered years. If the member agrees, the member may fill additional two-year terms in office. In-term appointments shall serve only until the next regular appointment. If any member is absent three consecutive regular meetings without notifying the VVCHC Secretary in advance, that member may be removed from VVCHC, subject to approval of the Val Verde County Court of Commissioners. Ex-Officio members of the VVCHC are not subject to the three-meeting guideline.

Section 3. Resignation. Resignation from VVCHC may be accepted after the member’s letter of resignation has been read into official minutes by either the Chair or the Secretary, and forwarded to the County Commissioners Court..

Section 4. Ex Officio Members. Ex officio, non-voting members shall include the County Judge, County Commissioners, sponsors of Junior Historian groups and representatives of related organizations.

 

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS

Section 1. Enumeration, Election and Term. Officers of the VVCHC shall be Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the voting members present at the annual meeting of odd-numbered years. Their terms shall be for two years. Officers may be re-elected to succeed themselves.

Section 2. Chair. The Chair shall be the executive officer of the VVCHC. Responsibilities shall include calling and presiding at regular meetings; appointing standing committees, task forces and chairs thereof; reporting annually to the County Commissioners Court on the activity and progress of VVCHC; and serving on or designating a representative to any boards, commissions or committees as requested and/or deemed appropriate by the VVCHC. The Chair shall have the usual powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office and shall perform such other duties as designated by the VVCHC members.

Section 3. Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall preside at the meetings in the absence of the Chair.

Section 4. Secretary. The Secretary shall record minutes of all meetings; arrange for the meetings and notify the members; attend to all necessary correspondence and reports; co-sign with the Chair any contracts or instruments designated by the VVCHC; and perform such other duties normally pertaining to the office. This position may be combined with that of Treasurer. The Secretary shall preside at the meetings in the absence of the Chair and Vice-Chair.

Section 5. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall receive any monies given to or earned by the VVCHC, shall act as custodian for these monies and deposit them in the VVCHC bank account; present accurate accounting of the funds at every regular and Annual Meeting; disburse funds upon approval of the VVCHC; and perform such other duties as normally pertain to the office. This position may be combined with that of Secretary. The Treasurer shall preside at the meetings in the absence of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.

Section 6. Nominations and Election Procedures. Nominations for these offices shall be made by a committee comprised of three members appointed by the VVCHC. Nominations shall be made and presented in writing to the general membership two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor from any voting member, with the consent of the nominee. Elections shall be by written ballot unless there is only one candidate and a motion is made to elect by acclamation. A majority of those present qualified to vote, and voting, shall constitute the election. Proxy or absentee voting will not be allowed in officer elections.

Section 7. Resignation and Vacancy. An officer may resign the office while still retaining membership on VVCHC by submitting a letter to the Chair which shall be read into the minutes. Vacancies occurring in any office other than the Chair shall be filled for the remainder of the term by appointment by the Chair of VVCHC. In the case of resignation or inability of the Chair to serve the full term, the Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer shall succeed to that office in the order listed above.

 

ARTICLE V: FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Section 1. Fiscal Term. The fiscal term for VVCHC shall coincide with that of the Val Verde County Commissioners Court.

Section 2. Budget. The proposed budget for the ensuing years shall be prepared by the Budget Committee, and presented in writing to the general membership of the VVCHC two weeks prior to the May meeting. The Vice Chair shall serve as the committee chair along with two appointed members.

Section 3. Allocations. All funds disbursed by VVCHC shall be by check, signed by the County Treasurer.

Section 4. Receipt of Gifts. VVCHC shall be authorized to accept gifts of money and other property from any source for use in the furtherance of its lawful purposes.

 

ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS

Section 1. Regular Meetings. There shall be a minimum of six regular meetings for the general membership. The date, time, and place shall be determined according to the wishes of VVCHC. Notification shall be by telephone, mail, email, or personal contact, and posting by the Chair at the Val Verde County Courthouse.

Section 2. Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting shall be held in September. Specific date, time, and place shall be set according to VVCHC recommendations. Business for the Annual Meeting shall include:

a. election of officers

b. adoption of the budget if County budget containing VVCHC funds has already been approved. If County budget has not been approved at that time, the VVCHC budget will be adopted at the first regular meeting following approval of the County budget;

c. recommendations of programs for the ensuing year; and

d. such other business as is proper and appropriate.

Section 3. Quorum. A quorum shall be required for the transaction of business at any meeting. A quorum shall be seven (7) voting members.

Section 4. Parliamentary Procedure. Parliamentary procedure will be in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.

Section 5. Special Meetings. The Chair may call special meetings as necessary to conduct business between regular meetings.

 

ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES

Section 1. Committee Chairs. The Chair of VVCHC shall appoint a chair for each of the standing committees and task forces as needed. The chairs for the committees shall serve for the same two-year terms as the officers. Committee chairs may recruit additional committee members from the general membership. Outside advisors or counselors may serve as non-voting members.

Section 2. Standing Committees. In accordance with recommendations of the THC, five (5) committees shall be constant and on-going.

a. Historical Preservation. Acquisition, preservation, storage, and display of historical papers, records, and documents; establishing, improving, enlarging, and/or supporting an historical museum; writing or updating local history and reprinting scarce historical materials and publications.

b. Historical Markers. Study, survey, and review subjects and sites for possible marking; prepare and submit appropriate applications; update marker lists; secure locations and obtain permission for erecting markers.

c. History Appreciation. Conduct national, Texas and County History Appreciation Week through appropriate activities, programs or announcements; publicize VVCHC work; cooperate with history, archeology, and tourism-related organizations, sponsor historical tours, dedications, commemorations, and observances.

d. Finance and Budget. Prepare budget for adoption in accordance with Article 6, Section 2, for Annual Meeting and present proposed budget to the County Commissioners; raise private funds to supplement those allocated by the Commissioners Court, as necessary.

e. Advisory. Provide advice and proposals regarding citizen interests; serve as liaison between VVCHC and other national, county, and state historical commissions, as well as individuals or organizations seeking advice, assistance, support or sponsorship for their projects.

f. Certified Local Government. Manage and direct the activities of Val Verde County’s designation as a “Certified Local Government.” (See Article VIII below.)

Section 3. Special Committees or Task Forces. The Chair of VVCHC may appoint a chair and members for special committees which will serve to accomplish a specific goal, objective, or project. The committees will be terminated at the completion of the task, unless otherwise directed by VVCHC.

 

ARTICLE VIII: CERTIFIED LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE

Section 1. The Val Verde County Certified Local Government Committee (herein referred to as the CLG Committee") shall be established by the Val Verde County Historical Commission (herein referred to as VVCHC) in compliance with all relevant Federal and State laws and regulations for the purposes of applying for and qualifying Val Verde County for designation as a County Certified Local Government, and overseeing Val Verde County's involvement in the Federal and State County Certified Local Government program.

Section 2. The first CLG chairperson shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Val Verde County Historical Commission. Thereafter, the chairperson will be elected from the membership of the CLG. The local Historic Preservation Officer shall be a Member of this Committee.

Section 3. The CLG Committee shall be composed of at least five (5), but no more than nine (9) members, who have demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge in historic preservation and have expertise in such that can benefit the CLG and its mission.

Section 4. Certified Local Government Committee members shall serve a term of three (3) years with staggered terms expiring one (1) year apart. Therefore, the original Committee members may serve more than three (3), but not more than six (6) years. No member shall serve more than nine (9) consecutive years, but shall be eligible for reappointment after an absence of one (1) or more years. Membership on the CLG Committee shall be obtained by appointment from the chairperson of the Val Verde County Historical Commission. This appointment shall be based upon recommendation by the CLG Committee or members of VVCHC. Members are expected to attend, in person or by representation of the accomplishment of the work assigned, for all meetings.

Section 5. Each CLG Committee member shall include his or her qualifications (interest, competence, or knowledge of historic preservation) in a resumé to be submitted as part of the application to the Texas Historical Commission. This resumé shall be available for inspection during periodic audits.

Section 6. The CLG Committee shall meet regularly at such time and place as may be specified by the chairperson of the CLG Committee; the chairperson may cancel a scheduled meeting, if there is no business to discuss.

Section 7. One or more CLG Committee Members shall commit to attend at least one educational or information meeting, conference or workshop each year (such as those sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission, the National Register of Historic Places or other similar sponsoring organizations).

Section 8. Written minutes of all CLG Committee meetings shall be recorded and a copy of all such minutes shall be forwarded to the chairperson of the VVCHC.

Section 9. The CLG Committee shall serve as a Review Board with the following specific responsibilities delegated to it:

a. establish, oversee and implement a procedure or system for surveying, evaluating, registering, documenting, and protecting properties, sites, objects, and districts of historic significance in Val Verde County;

b. develop, maintain, and periodically review, at least every two (2) years, an inventory of surveyed individual historic properties and districts located in Val Verde County for any necessary updates or amendments, specifically any actions affecting the Val Verde County Courthouse, all recorded Texas Historic Landmarks, all State Archeological Landmarks, all National Register listed properties and districts located in Val Verde County or locally designated properties, and, when necessary, to notify the appropriate authorities of any change;

c. follow the "Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation" as the standards for preservation activities;

d. seek eligible projects that may be funded through the CLG Committee sub-grant program, such as publications, workshops, videotapes, surveys, National Register nominations, preservation planning, and training and education of CLG Committee Members;

e. ensure that all CLG Committee meetings allow for full public participation and are held in conformance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 6252-17, to take such other action as may be necessary or appropriate to qualify the VVCHC, and to maintain such qualification, as a County Certified Local Government; and,

f. VVCHC shall participate in an evaluation of its Certified Local Government program at least once every three (3) years, with more frequent evaluations as deemed necessary.

 

ARTICLE IX: AMENDING

These Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds vote of the qualified members present and voting at the Annual Meeting, provided the amendments were submitted in writing to the general membership two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting.

Adopted by the Val Verde County Historical Commission

 

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Chair                                                                                     Date

 

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Secretary                                                                              Date

 

Approved by Val Verde County Commissioners Court

 

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County Judge                                                                       Date

 

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Commissioner, Precinct 1                                                      Date

 

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Commissioner, Precinct 2                                                     Date

 

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Commissioner, Precinct 3                                                     Date

 

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Commissioner, Precinct 4                                                     Date