Constitution

As Amended February 27, 2018

ARTICLE 1: Name and Affiliation

Section 1.01 Name: The name of the organization shall be “Texas Fire Chiefs Association”.

Section 1.02 Affiliation: The Association shall be affiliated with, and a department of the Texas Municipal League.

ARTICLE II: Purpose

Section 2.01 Motto: “Professional Fire and Life Safety Leadership for the Citizens of Texas”

Section 2.02 Mission: To serve the citizens of Texas by actively participating in the advancement of the fire service through positive leadership, the sharing of information, execution of the TFCA Strategic Plan, and active legislative involvement, while maintaining the highest ethical and professional standards.

Section 2.03 Objectives:

  1. Proactive planning to identify innovative approaches to fire and life safety service delivery.
  1. Promoting responsible fire and life safety through public education.
  1. Enhancing the capabilities of the State’s Fire Chiefs by providing professional development opportunities, resources, and support functions.
  1. Developing affiliations with organizations that share common interests and purposes toward providing a unified voice on matters affecting fire and life safety
  1. Exerting a comprehensive legislative effort designed to impact legislation affecting fire and life safety issues.

Section 2.04 Values:

  1. Protecting and serving the public trust at all times through integrity and professional leadership.
  1. Respecting the individual perspectives of the membership in a manner that encourages open and honest communication
  1. Supporting the mission of the Association as one voice.

ARTICLE III: Membership

Section 3.01 Applications for Membership: the Executive Board shall approve all applications for membership.

Section 3.02 Eligibility for Membership: Persons eligible for Active Membership shall be the Fire Chief, retired Fire Chief, or the Administrative Head of the Fire Department, including local government, volunteer, and industrial fire departments, and the Chief Officer(s) second in command to that head of department.

Section 3.03 Retired Members:
Active members who retire from the position of Fire Chief or Administrative Head of the Fire Department as provided for in Section 3.02 of this Constitution may elect to participate as Retired members in the Association with non-voting Retired Member status or they may elect to continue as Active members with all rights afforded to active members.

Section 3.04 Associate Membership:
Associate Members shall be persons or organizations having an active interest in fire prevention and protection. Associate Members shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of the Association except those of holding office and voting.

Section 3.05 Sustaining Membership:
Organizations whose mission supports the mission of the Texas Fire Chiefs Association as stated herein shall be allowed to join the Association as Sustaining Members. Sustaining Members shall contribute financially to the support of the Association through dues, sponsorships, advertising, and as called upon by the Executive Board for the benefit of the Association. Sustaining Members shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of the Association except those of holding office and voting.

ARTICLE IV: Officers

Section 4.01 Elected Officers: The elected officers of the Association shall be;
A. the President
B. First Vice President
C. Second Vice President
D. Third Vice President
E. Immediate Past President
F. Secretary
G.Treasurer
H. Volunteer Director
I. TML Director

 

all of whom shall be an Active – Chief Member serving as Administrative Head of a Fire Department. The officers shall be elected at-large except the Immediate Past President, who shall automatically take office immediately after serving as President.

Section 4.02 Executive Committee and Board of Directors: The Executive Committee shall consist of the President; First Vice President; Second Vice President; Third Vice President; Secretary; Treasurer; and Immediate Past President. The Executive Director of the Association shall serve as Secretary Ex-Officio. The TFCA Board of Directors (BoD) consists of the Executive Committee, Regional Directors, Volunteer Director, and TML Director.

Section 4.03 Directors: The Executive Committee shall adopt a map delineating regions. The members within each region shall elect an Active member as Director to represent them on the Executive Board. The Executive Board may establish Sections based on member interest and may authorize any Section to elect an Active member to represent them on the Board of Directors. The TML Director shall be an Active member elected at large and shall serve on the Executive Board and on the Board of Directors of the Texas Municipal League.

Section 4.04 Duties of Officers: The President, Vice Presidents, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall perform those duties normally associated with their titles.

Section 4.05 Terms of Officers: The President will be confirmed by the Board after serving through the Vice President Positions; Vice Presidents will serve through the at large elected 3rd Vice Price President then confirmed each year by the Election Committee in each of the subsequent Vice President seats. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected for a term of three (3) years and cannot serve more than two (2) consecutive elected terms. The Immediate Past President may continue to serve on the Executive Board for one year following the term as President. The Central, North, Southeast, Panhandle and Valley Directors shall be elected on odd numbered years. The Northeast, South, West, Northwest and Volunteer Directors shall be elected on even numbered years. The TML Director shall be elected and serve a term of office as provided by the constitution of the Texas Municipal League. The officers and directors shall begin their terms office on January 1.

Section 4.06 Vacancies: Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of President, the First Vice President shall succeed to the office for the unexpired term. A vacancy in any other office except Immediate Past President may be filled by the remaining members of the Executive Board for the unexpired term.

Section 4.07 Resignation: Any Board member may resign at any time by providing a written letter of resignation to the President.

Section 4.08 Removal of a Board Member: The Board of Directors may remove any officer or director for just case by a two-thirds vote of all Board members in office, at any regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors.  The officer or director must be provided an thirty day, written advanced notice prior to any final action.  The officer or director shall be given opportunity to respond in a manner agreeable to the officer or director and the President.

ARTICLE V: Meetings

Section 5.01 Association Meetings: There shall be at least one business meeting of the Association each year. The annual business meeting shall be held during the annual Conference. Other meetings may be called by the President or by a majority of the Executive Board.

Section 5.02 Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall meet upon the call of the President or any two officers. A simple majority of the members of the Executive Board constitute a quorum.

Section 5.03 Board of Directors: The Board of Directors shall meet upon the call of the President or any two members.  A simple majority of the members of the Board of Directors constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE VI: Elections

Section 6.01 Nomination of Officers: The President shall appoint at least three Active members in good standing to serve as the Election Committee. The Election Committee shall nominate at least one Active Member for the open 3rd Vice Present and open Secretary/Treasurer position.

The nominations will be reported during the Board of Directors summer meeting.

Officers, Directors or Active Members in good standing may make additional nominations from the floor during that meeting.

Section 6.02 Time of Elections: By September 1st of each year, the Executive Director shall distribute official ballots to all Active members in good standing. The Executive Director must receive all completed ballots prior to midnight, September 30th.

Section 6.03 Voting: The ballot shall list all nominees for offices elected at large and the Regional Director nominees by region. An Active Member in good standing from the department must sign the official ballot or it will be invalid. Each fire department may cast one vote for each office on the ballot and for the member’s regional director. The Elections Committee shall count the votes by the first week of October and announce the results.

ARTICLE VII: Dues

Section 7.01 Fixing of Annual Dues: The Board of Directors, with the approval of a majority of the members voting at the annual meeting, shall fix annual dues for members of the Association.

ARTICLE VIII: Constitutional Amendments

Section 8.01 Amendments or Revisions to the Constitution: The Association shall have full power at any annual meeting to alter, amend or revise this Constitution, provided that notice that such alteration, amendment or revision shall have been given in writing to the Ex-Officio Secretary of the Association. The Secretary shall see that every member shall have at least 30 days clear notice of such proposed alteration, amendment or revision, previous to the date set for the opening of the annual meeting conference.

ARTICLE IX: Executive Director

Section 9.01 Executive Director: The Executive Committee shall be authorized to enter into a contract with a qualified individual or corporation for Executive Director services.

Section 9.02 Executive Director Contract: The Executive Committee will enter into a contract that specifies the scope of services required from the Executive Director and the terms of the contract. The contract shall be ratified by the Board of Directors.

Section 9.03 Executive Director Duties: The Executive Director will be under the direction of the Texas Fire Chiefs Association President and the Executive Committee. The Executive Director will serve as advisor to the Board of Directors and participate in a non-voting capacity at meetings.

Section 9.04 Executive Director Transition: In accordance with Best Practices TFCA will conduct an audit upon the change of the Executive Director position by an independent CPA.

ARTICLE X: Ratification and Effective Date

Section 10.01 Ratification and Effective Date: This Constitution and all subsequent amendments thereto, as well as any Bylaws which may be drafted by the Association, shall be subject to ratification by the Board of Directors of the Texas Municipal League before they become effective.

Bylaws

As Amended February 27, 2018

Article I: Membership

Section 1.01 All members of the Association shall be required to pay such annual dues as may be set out in the constitution.

Section 1.02 No member in arrears shall be eligible to vote and any member in arrears for more than six (6) months shall, after due notice, be removed from the roll by the Secretary and his name dropped from the mailing list.

Section 1.03 All members making applications for membership after February 1 of any year may elect to pay dues prorated according to a schedule approved at the annual meeting. Chiefs of volunteer fire departments may request a Volunteer Service Grant as approved by the Executive Board.

Article II: Duties of Elected Officers

Section 2.01: President;

  1. Be the official representative and spokesperson for the Association.
  2. Serve as the chair of the executive board.
  3. Preside at meetings of the Association and at meetings of the executive board.
  4. Insure that all committees and work groups operate according to the constitution and by-laws and Association policies.
  5. Call a special meeting of the board of directors when so requested by a majority of the board of directors or whenever the president determines necessary. At least five (5) days notification shall be given for the special meeting with the reason for the special meeting stated, except when the president determines that an unusual emergency exists.
  6. Name additional committees or work groups and appoint their chairs for the term of office to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Association.

Section 2.02: 1st Vice President;

  1. In the absence or inability of the president to perform all the duties of the office, be directed to assume the duties of the president.
  2. Assist the president in conducting the business and policies of the Association.
  3. Work with the legislative committee chair in reviewing proposed legislation and prepare a hot sheet for representative distribution.
  4. Perform such other duties as are prescribed by the board of directors.

Section 2.03: 2nd Vice President;

  1. Assist the president and the first vice president in conducting the business and policies of the Association.
  2. In the absence or inability of the president and first vice president, be directed to assume all the duties and responsibilities of the president.
  3. Liaison with the Texas Fire Chief’s Academy to include assisting with audit, planning and representing the board at ceremonies.
  4. Perform such other duties as are prescribed by the board of directors.

Section 2.04: 3rd Vice President;

  1. Assist the president and the second vice president in conducting the business and policies of the Association.
  2. In the absence or inability of the president, first vice president, and second vice president be directed to assume all the duties and responsibilities of the president.
  3. Liaison with the annual Conference to include assisting with planning meetings and logistical support.
  4. Perform such other duties as are prescribed by the board of directors.

Section 2.05: Secretary;

  1. Record the minutes of all Executive Committee, Board of Directors, General Assembly meetings, and all other formal business of the TFCA as assignment.
  2. Distribute the minutes in a timely fashion at all Executive Committee, Board of Directors, General Assembly meetings, and all other formal business of the TFCA as assigned.
  3. Conduct roll call of members as required and determine quorum.
  4. Conduct other TFCA business as assigned.

Section 2.06: Treasurer;

  1. Supervise the use of all the assets of the Association with the advice and approval of the executive board.
  2. Determine that all funds collected and disbursed by the executive director are collected, recorded, and disbursed according to accepted accounting principles and in accordance with the by-laws of the Association and policies adopted by the board of directors.
  3. Report to the annual conference on the financial condition of the Association, including a summary of all revenues and disbursements.
  4. Consult with the executive director during budget preparation prior to consideration by the executive board.

Article III: Committees/Workgroups/Liaisons

Section 3.01:  The President shall appoint all standing committees, special committees and workgroups. Special committees, workgroups and Liaisons shall be approved by the Board of Directors.

Section 3.02:   Standing committees, workgroups and liaisons will have chairs that will report to the Board of Directors at regular scheduled meetings during the year. The Chair of these committees will not have executive privileges. The emphasis on standing committees will be the importance in the ability of the Association to deliver on the mission, strategic plan, and/or report on associated business.

Section 3.03: Committee and Workgroup Chairs will establish a mission statement to be approved by the Executive Board. Board meeting reports by the chairs should reflect progress in achieving the missions as stated in the following sections.

Current Standing Committees/Workgroups/Liaisons;

  1. Legislative Committee
  2. Texas Fire Chief’s Academy (Workgroup)
  3. Safety Committee
  4. ISO-PPC Liaison
  5. SFMO – LODD Advisory Representative (Liaison)
  6. Texas Forest Service Representative (Liaison)
  7. Constitution & By-Laws Committee
  8. Health & Wellness Committee

Section 3.04 Resignation:  A committee, working group, or liaison may resign at any time by providing a letter of resignation to the President.

Section 3.05 Removal of Committee/Workgroup Chair/or Liaison: The Board of Directors may remove any committee/workgroup chair, or liaison for just cause by a two-thirds vote of all board members in office, at any regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors. The committee/workgroup chair or liaison must be provided a thirty day, written advanced notice prior to any final action. The officer or director shall be given opportunity to respond in a manner agreeable to the officer or director and the President.

Article IV: Amendments

Section 4.01 The Board of Directors shall have the power to adopt By-laws consistent with this Constitution and the Constitution of the Texas Municipal League to govern the conduct of its meetings and the business of the Association.

Article V: RULES OF ORDER: General Assembly Meeting

Section 5.01 The presiding officer shall preserve order and decorum, and shall take no part in debates while he is presiding. All questions of order shall be decided by the President or Parliamentarian, subject to an appeal to the members attending. Upon such appeal the vote shall be taken without debate; the presiding officer may state his reasons for the decision given, and shall put the question as follows: “Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?” A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be necessary to reverse the decision of the chair.

Section 5.02 Every member, when he/she speaks or offers a motion, shall rise in place, state name and place of residence, and respectfully address the presiding officer; when finished speaking, shall at once resume his/her seat. When speaking, the speaker should confine to the question under debate.

Section 5.03 When two or more members rise to speak at the same time, the presiding officer shall decide whom is entitled to the floor.

Section 5.04 A member called to order shall immediately cease speaking and resume his seat until the point of order has been decided, when he shall again be entitled to the floor.

Section 5.05 A motion to take the previous question shall always be in order except when a member is in possession of the floor and must be put out with out debate, and if support by a majority of the members present, voting be declared “carried” and no further debate or amendments shall be in order until the main question shall have been decided.

Section 5.06 A motion to adjourn shall always be in order except when a member is in possession of the floor, a vote is being taken, or it has been decided that a vote is now taken. A motion to adjourn is not debatable, but a motion to adjourn to a given time is open to debate.

Section 5.07 For any question coming before the meeting for which no provision has been made in the Constitution, Bylaws, or Rules of Order, the presiding officer shall be guided in his decision by the rules laid down in Roberts Rules of Order.

Article VI: RULES OF ORDER: Board of Directors/Executive Committee Meetings

Section 6.01: The Board of Directors shall establish rules of order for all meetings not specified in Article V.