KERN COUNTY SHERIFFS MOUNTED POSSE, INC.
(Based on new By-Laws made at time of incorporation, 07/12/54 and adopted in January of 1955. This set of by-laws is up to date as of September 18th, 2020. All amendments still in effect have been included.)
STATEMENT OF POLICY
The Kern County Sheriffs Mounted Posse is incorporated as a private non-profit organization subject to call at any time of the day or night by the Sheriff of Kern County to assist him in any and all emergencies or calamities in any way required; provided, however, that in all other respects, the Sheriff neither controls nor directs the Kern County Sheriffs Mounted Posse or any of its activities. The Sheriff may participate from time to time in the activities of the Kern County Sheriffs Mounted Posse for the benefit of the community and in the interest of goodwill.
Should dissolution of the Kern County Sheriffs Mounted Posse be necessary, none of the assets of the organization will be distributed to its members. All assets at the time of the dissolution shall be donated to a worthy charity acceptable to the membership.
(a) Active Membership: All members in good standing of the Kern County Sheriffs Mounted Posse, an unincorporated association, shall automatically become members of this organization.
(b) After proposal by member in good standing of the Kern County Sheriffs Mounted Posse, applicant shall be investigated by a committee consisting of a chairman and at least three (3) members all appointed by the Board of Directors, the chairman of this committee shall report to the Board of Directors their recommendation. The applicant will then be passed upon by the Board of Directors and the Sheriff in his capacity as Honorary Commander-in-Chief and shall then be elected by secret ballot of the membership at a regularly called meeting, provided notice of intention to ballot be given by the Secretary to the membership by mail, addressed to each member at the address supplied by such member to the Secretary, at least ten (10) days before such meeting.
Five (5) negative ballots shall reject such proposed new member. The applicant shall be required to have or purchase a horse, black saddle, gun and shall provide himself with current posse equipment and uniform. He shall be actively engaged or employed in the County of Kern, be twenty-one (21) years of age, a citizen of the United States and be of good moral character.
(c) Life Membership: Any active member having PAID DUES CONSECUTIVELY since the date of incorporation or having PAID DUES CONSECUTIVELY for twenty five (25) years and in good standing may apply to the Board of Directors for a LIFE MEMBERSHIP, or; any active member having attained the age of seventy (70) years or older and having PAID DUES CONSECUTIVELY for fifteen (15) years and is in good standing may upon the payment of $250.00 apply for a LIFE MEMBERSHIP. The $250.00 shall be reduced by $25.00 for every year the active member has PAID DUES CONSECUTIVELY over fifteen (15) years.
LIFE MEMBER shall have a vote and shall be privileged to attend meetings and other functions of the organization and shall be charged pro-rata the same as active members the cost of dinners and other functions he attends.
LIFE MEMBERS shall pay Annual Dues in the same amount as regular members, minus the price of the monthly meeting dinners and shall receive notices of all meetings and other functions the same as active members and shall be listed on the roster. A life member may choose to pay half of this amount without having nominating and voting privileges.
LIFE MEMBERS shall be classified the same as inactive and honorary members in regards to the Quota limiting the membership.
If the above by-laws meet the approval of the membership it shall be retroactive as of January 1, 1998.
(d) Inactive Membership: Any active member who for any legitimate reason is forced to leave the County of Kern for a period of in excess of six (6) months may become inactive, provided he is in good standing and makes such request to and secures the consent of the Board of Directors. An inactive member shall not be required to pay dues and shall be privileged to resume active membership upon returning to the County of Kern, provided he makes application to the Board of Directors within thirty (30) days after returning to said county, to resume active membership. An inactive member shall be privileged to attend meetings and other functions of the organization.
(e) Honorary Membership: The incumbent Sheriff of the County of Kern shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the Posse and Ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. Honorary members may be elected by the same method as any regular member in appreciation of outstanding and meritorious service to the organization or to the community. Honorary members shall have no right to vote, but shall be privileged to attend meetings and other functions of the organization.
(f) Non-Riding Members: Non-Riding members shall be elected to membership in the same manner as are Active Members. They shall be categorized as Non-Riding Members on the roster for three (3) years after being elected to membership, but shall have no vote and shall not be eligible to either be an officer or a board member for that period of time, or shorter as provided for hereinafter. They shall pay regular dues as otherwise required of Active Members. All probationary and other requirements of active membership, including all non-riding uniform items, shall be mandatory for the first year they are in this category. A Non-Riding Member may become an Active Member with all the privileges of an Active Member upon his or her obtaining a horse and riding it at a Posse function. If this change in membership occurs, the first year probationary requirements shall become applicable for one year from date of his or her ride at their first Posse function.
The number of members in this category shall never exceed 15% of the roster or 10 members, whichever is greater.
(g) Associate Members: Shall be elected to membership in the same manner as Active Members, with the exception that an application fee is not required. Once approved, they will be categorized as an Associate Member on the Roster. As Associate Members, will not have any voting privileges and will not be allowed to ride in an official capacity representing the Posse in parades, grand entries and/or etc. They will serve in administrative and/or support role, at various Posse events/functions. Associate Members are welcome to attend regular meetings and other functions of the organization (unless noted) and shall be charged the cost of meal and/or function they attend (if applicable). All Associate members are subject to the probationary requirements and must maintain a membership of good standing with the organization, pay their membership dues on an annual basis, at the rate of 50% the cost of a full member annual membership fee. Associate Members are required to dress in western attire at Posse events/functions as appropriate (excluding monthly meetings). Any additional uniform requirements of Associate Members to be directed by the Posse Board.
(h) Former Members: Former members, who have left the Posse in good standing, shall be permitted to apply for reinstatement as members with all membership privileges. Said reapplying members shall not be required to fulfill the obligations of a new incoming member. The reapplying members shall be required to pass all Posse qualifications and background checks and will be subject to vote by the general membership, (sub-section (g/ added by unanimous vote at the August -. 2003 Membership Meeting.)
(i) Limitation of Membership: Regular membership shall be limited to seventy-six (76) members.
(j) Vacancy: If there be no vacancy when an application for regular membership is received, the name of the applicant shall not be immediately considered for election, but his name will be placed on a list known as the “unelected” waiting list in the order in which the application is received. When a vacancy occurs in the regular membership, the Board of Directors shall consider for approval (following the regular procedure for membership as set forth in the By-Laws) the name or names on the “unelected” waiting list in the order in which they appear thereon.
Disqualification of Membership
(a) Any member failing to pay within ninety (90) days any valid financial obligation charged to him shall be considered to be delinquent. The Secretary shall notify said member, by registered mail, that he has forfeited his good standing in the Posse and that he will be given an additional ninety (90) days to restore his good standing by payment of such obligation, as well as any subsequent legitimate obligation accruing after the initial ninety (90) day period and before date payment has been made.
Failure to pay said obligation within one hundred-eighty (180) days, member shall be automatically suspended and dropped from the roster. If, within one year from date of suspension, the member pays all such financial obligations in full, plus all past dues to date, he may then be reinstated.
(b) Conviction, or a plea of guilt to any crime involving moral turpitude, or being adjudged guilty of conduct detrimental to the best interest of the organization by the Board of Directors, and approved by a two-thirds majority of the members in attendance at a legally constituted meeting shall be grounds for disqualification. Any disqualifying action may be taken only after the accused member shall have had the privilege to, within a reasonable time, present witnesses and defend himself before the Board.
(c) Revocation of Deputyship by the Sheriff automatically suspends Posse Membership.
(a) Every active member shall be required to qualify as a Special Deputy Sheriff of the County of Kern, receive training as may be designated by the Sheriff, take the oath of office thereof and shall respond to the call of the Sheriff for duty in case of special emergencies or public calamity, and he shall surrender his badge, car plates, commission, etc. to the Sheriff upon demand, or upon surrendering his membership in the organization.
(b) Unless excused by the Board of Directors, each new member shall be required to attend all parades, meetings and regularly scheduled functions of the organization, for the first year. The Board of Directors shall, at their next regular meeting, review each absenteeism, and may revoke membership. The decision of the board of directors must be reported to the members, at the regular meeting.
Uniforms shall be adopted by the members and shall be maintained in a clean, neat and orderly manner. Uniforms are to be worn only on official rides or at other formal meetings or assemblies, and may be worn by no one other than a member of this organization. The Secretary shall notify members when uniforms are required to be worn.
Members participating in any authorized event shall be properly attired and equipped in designated regalia and his horse and equipment must pass inspection by the Captain or a designated alternate.
Meetings and Membership
(a) Unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors, regular meetings of this organization shall be held upon the first Monday in each month that does not fall upon a holiday, at a place selected by the Captain. Meetings falling upon a holiday shall be postponed until the succeeding Monday. The Secretary shall notify the membership in writing of such meetings by mailing such notice to the members at the address supplied to the Secretary by the said members.
(b) Order of Business shall be:
1. Call the meeting to order
2. Call the roll
3. Read the minutes of the previous meeting
4. Reports of committees
5. Report of the Captain of business transacted during the interim by the Board of Directors
6. Applications and/or balloting for membership
7. Unfinished business
8. New business
9. General discussion for the good of the order
(c) The regular meeting in December shall be designated as the Annual Meeting. Officers for the forthcoming year shall be elected at this meeting. The Annual Financial Report, approved by the Auditing Committee, shall be presented by the Treasurer.
Subject to the limitations of the Articles of Incorporation, of these By-Laws, and of the laws of the State of California, all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the authority of, and the business and affairs of this corporation shall be controlled by the Board of Directors.
Number and Qualification
The authorized number of directors of this corporation shall be nine (9) until changed by amendment of the Articles of Incorporation or by amendment of this section, adopted by the vote or written assent of a majority of the members of the corporation.
Election and Tenure of Office
(a) The Posse shall be governed by a board of nine (9) directors, consisting of a Captain, a Lieutenant and six (6) other directors, elected by secret ballot of the membership present at the December meeting and the immediate Past Captain who automatically becomes a director for the ensuing year.
(b) Nominations for Captain, Lieutenant and three (3) directors shall be opened at the November meeting and closed at the December meeting. After nominations have been closed at the December meeting, nominees shall be voted upon by secret ballot of the membership present. Newly elected officers and directors to take office immediately after election. Term of office for Captain and Lieutenant shall be one (1) year. Captain is not to succeed himself. Term of office for the three (3) directors shall be two (2) years. No director shall succeed himself.
At the December meeting first following the adoption of this section, six (6) directors shall be elected. The three (3) receiving the most votes shall serve for a period of two (2) years, and the other three (3) shall serve for a period of one (1) year.
Any vacancy in the directorate, for any reason, shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining directors, and each director so elected shall hold office until his successor is elected at a meeting of the members called for that purpose.
Place of Meetings
Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held from time to time as designated by the Captain, or during his absence, and in case of emergency by the Lieutenant.
Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held immediately prior to any regular meeting of the membership. No notice need be given of such regular meeting of the directors.
Quorum and Vote
A majority of Directors, as fixed by the Articles of Incorporation, or By-Laws, shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A majority of Directors, in the absence of a quorum, may adjourn from time to time, but may not transact other business. The action of a majority of the Directors present at any meeting at which there is a quorum, when duly assembled, is valid as a corporate act.
The officers shall be a Captain, a Lieutenant, a Secretary and a Treasurer, the latter two of which may be combined in the discretion of the Board. The officers shall be elected by and hold office at the pleasure of the membership. The Treasurer, or Secretary-Treasurer, as the case may be is to be adequately bonded.
Removal and Resignation
A director may be removed only by secret ballot after proper notification and by the consent of a two-thirds majority vote of the membership present at a regular or specially called meeting. Any officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Board of Directors, to the Captain or Secretary, which resignation shall be effective as of the date specified therein, and acceptance thereof by the Board shall not be necessary to make it effective.
(a) The Captain shall be the chief executive officer of the corporation and shall have general supervision, direction and control of the business affairs of the corporation. He shall preside at all meetings of the members and of the Board of Directors. He shall be ex-officio member of all committees and shall have the general powers and duties of management usually vested in the office of President of a corporation, and shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors.
(b) The Captain, or any one serving in his capacity, should he deem it necessary to the best interests of the Posse, shall have the unquestioned authority to postpone any action that may be brought to the floor at a regular meeting until the following meeting for further discussion or vote.
(c) Any contingencies not covered by the By-Laws shall be left to the discretion and decision of the Captain,
The Lieutenant shall, in the absence of or disability of the Captain, perform and exercise the powers and duties of the Captain.
Secretary and Treasurer
The Secretary and Treasurer shall be selected by the Board of Directors. He shall keep, or cause to be kept, a book of minutes at the principal office of the corporation, or such other place as the Directors may prescribe, in which shall be recorded all meetings of Directors and members, with the time and place of holding, whether general or special, and if special how authorized and the names of those present at Directors meetings, and the number of members present at members meetings and the proceedings had and members taken therein. The Secretary shall be given by each member an address to which notices may be sent by mail and all meetings requiring notice by the Secretary shall be noticed by mailing such notices to the addresses so given the Secretary. The Secretary shall keep the seal of the corporation and affix the said seal to all documents requiring a seal. The Treasurer shall keep and receive all of the funds of the corporation and pay them out on the check of the corporation signed in the manner authorized by the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall constitute the executive committee of the Corporation. The Captain, as the occasion requires, appoints other committees and prescribes their powers and duties.
Article V Corporate
The corporation shall maintain adequate and correct accounts, books, and records of its business and properties.
Inspection of Books and Records
All such books and records shall be open to the inspection of the members.
Checks, Drafts, Etc.
All checks, drafts or orders for payment of money, notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of or payable to the corporation shall be signed or endorsed by such person or persons and in such manner as shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Directors.
Any expenditure by the Board of Directors in excess of $500.00 shall be approved by a two-thirds majority vote at a regular or specially called meeting of the members.
The Board of Directors may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the corporation. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized by the Board of Directors, no officer; agent or employee shall have any power or authority to bind the corporation.
The corporate seal shall be circular in form and shall have inscribed then the name of the corporation, the date of its incorporation, and the word “California”.
Amendments to By-Laws
Motions to amend the By-Laws, either by members or directors, may be presented at any regular meeting of the membership and be voted upon at the following meeting of the membership. Notice of intention to amend and a copy of the proposed amendment shall be mailed by the Secretary to each member ten (10) days in advance of said meeting.
Whenever an amendment of new By-Laws is adopted it shall be copied in the Book of By-Laws with the original By-Laws in the appropriate place.
If a By-Law is repealed, the fact of repeal, with the date of the meeting at which the repeal was enacted, shall be recorded in said book. To amend the By-Laws a two-thirds majority vote of the membership present at a regular or specially called meeting is required.
Dues and Assessments
Dues and Assessments
(a) The amount of initiation fee and annual dues shall be fixed by the Board of Directors and are to be effective after approval by the membership.
(b) Any assessment levied by the Board of Directors, in the interest and for the benefit of the membership as a whole, and approved by a majority vote of the members present at any regular meetings shall be applied to all dues-paying members.
(c) A proposal made at any regular meeting to assess, to cover any special event or activity, which may not be of equal benefit to all members shall not be approved until the next regular meeting, before which all membership shall be notified by mail ten (10) days in advance of such meeting of the reason for the proposed assessment. Members not attending the said meeting may notify the Captain or the Secretary in writing of non-participation, otherwise the above-mentioned next regular meeting, event or activity as approved by a majority of the members present, it shall be the right of those opposing to refuse such assessment. Failure of those present to officially notify the Captain or the Secretary before the close of the meeting that he does not wish to participate shall be construed as acquiescence and any assessment levied to cover the event will be charged to him.