RULES AND BYLAWS
OF WESTMORELAND COUNTY
REVISED AS OF JANUARY 14, 2014
ISSUED JANUARY 21, 2014
WESTMORELAND COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE
WESTMORELAND COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE
ORGANIZATION OF THE PARTY
Rule 1.1: General
The organization of the Republican Party in Westmoreland County shall consist of the following bodies:
A. State Committee Members
B. County Committee
C. Executive Board
D. Standing and Special Committees
E. County Committee District Organization
F. City, Borough, Township and Municipal Committees
G. All Westmoreland County Republican Voters
Rule 1.2: Eligibility
Only persons, who are qualified Republican voters, as provided by law, who will support registered candidates in the Republican Party at the succeeding elections, shall have the right to serve as members or officers of the Republican Party and committees covered by these Rules.
Rule 1.3: Removal
Whenever it shall appear that any member or officer of any committee provided for by these Rules is not a qualified Republican elector or opposes or is about to oppose the Republican Party or its candidates, or who neglects or refuses to perform the duties of his/her office, the County Chairperson shall appoint a committee of three (3) qualified Republican electors to investigate such charges. If this committee finds the charges to be correct it shall so report, in writing, to the County Chairperson who may declare the office vacant and appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term. These appointments must comply with procedures set up in Rule 3.5, Paragraph 2. Appeals from such removal shall be heard by the Executive Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting and shall be decided by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present.
STATE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Rule 2.1: General
The Rules of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania shall govern the actions of the Republican State Committee and its members.
Rule 2.2: Membership
The representation on the Republican State Committee from Westmoreland County shall be governed by the Rules of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania as they are adopted.
Rule 2.3: Term of Office
The term of office for the Republican State Committee members, Westmoreland County shall commence upon the conclusion, verification and certification of the official count for Republican State Committee. Republican State Committee members shall serve until the next state committee election is concluded, verified and certified.
Rule 2.4: Replacing Vacancies on the State Committee
In accordance with State Committee Rule 2.15, any vacancy occurring within the Westmoreland delegation shall be replaced by a majority vote of members present or represented by proxy at a Westmoreland County Republican Executive Committee meeting, after having advertised for said position to the Republican electors. The applicants shall meet the qualifications stated in State Committee Rules 22 and 2.3. Each applicant shall submit three (3) letters of recommendation written by Westmoreland Republicans of whom one (1) will be from an elected public official and one (1) from a member of the Executive Board. The person replacing and/or filling the vacancy shall serve until the next Republican State Committee election and until the conclusion, verification and certification of the official count for the Republican State Committee.
Rule 2.5: Removal
Grounds for removal of a State Party Committee member is under the jurisdiction of the State Party Chairperson, as directed by Rule 11.1 of the State Party By-Laws.
Rule 3.1: General
The general supervision, regulation and direction of the affairs of the Republican Party in Westmoreland County shall be vested in the Republican County Committee. The members of the County Committee shall be responsible for the Republican campaign in their election districts.
Rule 3.2: Membership
The County Committee shall be composed of members elected in each election district at each Primary Election in even years. Each election district shall initially elect one (1) male and one (1) female; provided however, that an election district may initially elect two (2) males or two (2) females in cases where no male or no female, as the case may be, seeks election for such office in the election district. Moreover, in each election district where in the preceding Presidential Election the Republican nominee tor President received in excess of three hundred (300) votes, there shall be elected one (1) additional member either male or female, for each additional three hundred (300) votes or fraction thereof. A copy of these Rules shall be provided to each Committee member at their election or appointment.
Rule 3.3: Meetings
The Republican County Committee shall meet biennially for organization and at any other time at the call of the County Chairperson. The Chairperson shall give fourteen (14) days notice for each meeting, stating the time, place and object of the meeting. The Chairperson shall convene a meeting of the County Committee at any time he/she is requested in writing by no less than twenty-five (25) members. No less than one (1) meeting of the County Committee shall be held in each calendar year. Only elected members of the County Committee or their proxies shall participate in the biennial meeting. Any member of the County Committee unable to attend any meeting of the Committee, may substitute a Republican voter residing in his/her municipality to act for him/her, this substitution shall be in the form of writing which shall be dated and signed by the Committee member making the proxy. At all other meetings, elected and appointed members shall participate equally. A quorum shall be considered present if twenty-five percent (25%) of the County Committee is present or represented by proxy. Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
Rule 3.4: Voting Procedure
Any action taken by the Westmoreland County Republican Committee and the County Executive Board at meetings shall be done with a proper motion placed on the floor and seconded according to latest Roberts Rules, revised edition. The decorum of debate will reflect the dignity and respect of Republican principals to the peers of the Westmoreland County Republican Committee and the County Executive Board. Any and all questions will be decided by voice vote or general consent with the exceptions of a) the filling of vacancies and election of officers to be voted by. secret ballot with the allowance of present committee members and/or represented by proxy vote; b) the amending of the rules, appeals of removal and endorsement of candidates by a rising vote at the conclusion of any and all debate. A roll call vote of any oral vote or rising vote may be taken if requested by a minimum of 25% of the voting members present or represented by proxy at the meeting.
Rule 3.5: Officers
The officers of the Republican County Committee shall be the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Treasurer and each shall be elected at the biennial organization meeting of the members of the County Committee. In addition, District Chairpersons shall be elected to represent each County Committee District in accordance with Rule 6.3. A Secretary of the County Committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson. Officers may be either members or non-members of the County Committee. The Chairperson shall be the executive officer of the Republican Party in Westmoreland County and, as such, shall put into operation these Rules and all resolutions and matters pertaining to the Republican County Committee. The Chairperson shall appoint chairpersons and members of committees provided by these Rules, who will serve at the will of the County Chairperson. In the event of a vacancy in the position of Committeeman/woman in any precinct or ward, a successor shall be appointed by the County Chairperson only upon recommendation by and with the approval of the District Chairperson and Committee members of that precinct or ward; as per written procedures established by the Executive Board. No appointments will be made for any person between the primary of a committee election year and the day of the districts re-organization meeting.
The Vice-Chairperson in the absence of the County Chairperson, shall preside at all meetings of the County Committee, and in general assist the County Chairperson in his/her duties.
The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all monies of the Republican County Committee, shall pay all bills authorized by the County Chairperson, and shall prepare and file reports of income and expenditures as required by law. The Treasurer shall also prepare and file with the Secretary of the County Committee a monthly financial report for the Executive Board.
The elected District Chairperson shall assist the County Chairperson in the effective coordination of their Districts, by providing liaison between the local committees and the County Executive Board. They shall represent the will of the committee members in their Districts on the Executive Board. However, their function shall not prevent direct communications between the County Chairperson and the local committees.
The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the County Committee and the Executive Board and shall distribute them to members of the appropriate body and shall keep a permanent record of the business of the Republican Party of Westmoreland County.
In the event of the resignation or death of the Vice Chairperson or Treasurer the Chairperson shall appoint a successor for the balance of the un-expired term. In the event of the resignation or death of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall assume the duties of the Chairperson until a meeting of the County Committee can be held to elect a successor. The Vice Chairperson shall call such meeting within thirty (30) days after the vacancy in the office of Chairperson occurs. In the event of the resignation or death of a District Chairperson the County Chairperson shall within thirty (30) days of the vacancy call a special meeting of all committee members in the affected County Committee District to elect a replacement, as provided under Rule 6.3.
Rule 3.6: Election of Officers
The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Treasurer shall be elected at the biennial meeting which shall be held not less than twenty-five (25) days nor more than fifty (50) days after certification of the results of the Primary Election in even-numbered years at a time and place named by the incumbent Chairperson of the County Committee. Only members elected in the immediately preceding Primary Election and certified by the County Elections Board shall be eligible to participate. A member can be represented in proxy by a Republican elector who is a resident of that member’s municipality.
Any eligible Republican elector desiring to be Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or Treasurer must file a petition (provided by the County Committee), at least fourteen (14) days prior to the county biennial convention signed by no less than ten (10) Committee members. The incumbent Chairperson will then prepare a list of all candidates thus filed and must mail them to all Committee members at least ten (10) days prior to the convention. If no petitions are filed for a given office, then nominations may be accepted from the floor.
The biennial meeting shall be organized by the incumbent Chairperson of the County Committee who will preside until his/her successor is elected. The incumbent Secretary shall serve as Secretary of the biennial meeting.
A Credentials Committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson to assure that only qualified elected members are represented and to issue ballots to qualified electors. The Credentials Committee shall include equal representation for each announced candidate, or slate of candidates, for Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Treasurer.
The Chairperson shall also appoint a Parliamentarian, who shall be responsible for interpretation and enforcement of these Rules, and three (3) tellers, who shall be responsible for tabulating the votes for each nominee for Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Treasurer. Each candidate for Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Treasurer shall be entitled to one (1) inspector to observe the counting of the votes.
Any member or his proxy may nominate a candidate for Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or Treasurer. Each nomination shall be seconded by no less than one (l) or more than two (2) members.
After candidates have been nominated and properly seconded, the Secretary, with the assistance of the tellers, shall collect ballots in a ballot box provided for that purpose.
After all ballots have been cast, the three (3) tellers shall tabulate the votes for each candidate and shall transmit those totals to the Secretary and Chairperson for record and announcement.
To be elected, a nominee must receive a majority of the votes cast.
A member can be represented in proxy by a Republican elector who is a resident of that member’s municipality.
Rule 3.7: Removal of Officers
Elected officers may be removed for cause by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at any regular or special meeting of the County Committee, provided specific notice of such action was given as is covered in Rule 3.3. If such action is contemplated against the County Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, upon written petition by no less than twenty-five (25) County Committee members, shall call and preside over a special meeting. A District Chairperson may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board provided specific notice of such action is given as is covered in Rule 4.3. Vacancies created by removal shall be filled by appointment or special election as provided under the appropriate sections of these Rules. A District Chairperson may appeal his/her removal to the relevant District Committee. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the District Committee is required to overturn the Executive Board action. A legal quorum of the District Committee must be present.
Rule 4.1: General
The Executive Board of the Republican Party shall assist the County Chairperson in the fulfillment of his/her responsibilities and shall establish policy of the Republican Party in Westmoreland County.
Rule 4.2: Membership
The Executive Board shall consist of voting members including the County Chairperson, County Vice Chairperson, County Committee Treasurer, District Chairpersons, State Committee members, Finance Chairman, Republican County Commissioner/s, Chairperson of the Westmoreland County Young Republicans and a representative of the Westmoreland County Republican Women’s organization (at any time the organizations holds an official state charter and maintains a membership of at least 25 persons). The representatives will be determined by the organizations. Additionally, any Republican elected or appointed to county-wide office shall also have one (1) vote. There shall be two permanent non-voting members including the County Secretary, who shall serve as recording secretary, and the County Committee Legal Counsel, who shall serve as parliamentarian. No one member may have more than one (1) vote.
Rule 4.3: Meetings
The Executive Board shall meet monthly at the call of, and at a time and place set by the County Chairman. The Chairman shall call special meetings, as required, giving no less than three (3) days prior notice. The Chairman shall call a meeting of the Executive Board whenever he/she is requested in writing by at least five (5) voting members of the Board. A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum. Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of the meeting.
Guests at Executive Board meetings shall be registered Republicans or those granted prior permission by the County Chairperson.
Those permitted to address the Board shall be:
An elected Republican official or their authorized representative.
Any registered Republican candidate.
Persons holding a legal proxy.
County Committee members who have prior permission from the presiding Chairperson.
Any guest granted permission by the County Chairperson.
Rule 4.4: Headquarters Staff
The headquarters staff shall consist of all full or part time employees, together with the Chairperson of the standing and special committees. Headquarters staff employees shall be hired by the County Chairperson, subject to confirmation by the Executive Board and serve at the will of the County Chairperson.
Rule 4.5: Proxy Voting
Voting by written proxy shall be permitted at any Executive Board meeting. Anyone carrying a proxy from a District Chairperson must be a registered Republican from that District Chairperson’s district. Each District Vice Chairperson, in the absence of their District Chairperson, and the County Finance Vice Chairperson, in the absence of the County Finance Chairperson shall have a vote at any Executive Board meeting when their name(s) have been previously confirmed by the Executive Board in accordance with Rule 6.4.
STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Rule 5.1: General
Standing and Special Committees shall be appointed by the County Chairperson to assure an active and effective Republican Party in Westmoreland County. The Standing Committees shall consist of: Finance, Campaign/Political, Publicity and Registration.
Chairpersons of these committees shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the County Chairperson.
Rule 5.2: Finance
The Finance Chairperson shall appoint a Vice Chairperson and county-wide committee to coordinate the fundraising in support of the Republican Party and shall be responsible for the development and implementation of a fundraising plan consistent with the budget prepared by the County Chairperson with the Finance Committee and to be approved by the Executive Board.
Rule 5.3: Campaign/ Political
The Campaign Chairperson/Political Director shall coordinate the efforts of the Republican County Committee in support of candidates for county, state and federal offices, in fulfilling this responsibility; he/she shall be responsible for recruiting potential candidates for county and state offices and shall assist candidates in preparing their campaigns. The Campaign Chairperson/Political Director shall provide liaison with candidate campaign organizations but shall not interfere with the Chairperson in recruiting campaign coordinators for each legislative district.
Rule 5.4: Publicity
The County Chairperson or his/her designee may be responsible for representing the Republican County Committee with the news media in publicizing the Westmoreland County Republican Committee activities, but shall not interfere with the individual candidate campaign publicity, but will provide assistance as needed.
Rule 5.5: Registration
The Registration Chairperson shall be responsible for planning and implementing county-wide registration campaigns. In addition, he/she will be responsible for assisting the County and District Chairperson in recruiting and training County Committee members in the administration process. He/she shall prepare orientation and training kits for committee members and shall conduct training sessions for each committee at least once during each two (2) year period.
COUNTY COMMITTEE DISTRICT ORGANIZATION
Rule 6.1: General
The County Committee shall be sub-divided into no less than ten (10) but no more than twelve (12) County Committee Districts. District boundaries shall be approved by the Executive Board and shall be reviewed and approved not less than once during each ten (10) year census period by the County Committee. The districts shall be established in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Municipalities shall not be sub-divided between districts,
- District boundaries shall be contiguous and encompass at least two (2)
cities, boroughs, townships or municipalities.
- Districts shall be balanced, insofar as possible, on the basis of
geographic size and existing socio-political subdivisions (centers of
commerce, school districts, etc…)
- Voter registration shall be balanced among districts, where possible,
but shall be secondary to the guidelines listed in subparagraph 2 and 3 above.
The approved County Committee District structure shall be appended to these Rules.
Rule 6.2: Membership
All elected and appointed members of the County Committee shall be eligible to participate in meetings and activities held within their respective County Committee District.
Rule 6.3: Meetings
County Committee members in each district shall meet at the call of the County Chairperson, biennially, within thirty (30) days following the biennial meeting of the County Committee to elect a District Chairperson and shall elect or appoint a District Treasurer. The procedure for the election shall be as provided in Rule 3.6. The County Chairperson or Vice Chairperson shall preside at this meeting until the District Chairperson is elected. The newly elected District Chairperson shall assume the office immediately upon the announcement of the results. Each District Chairperson can call no less than six (6) meetings per year. Special meetings at the District level may be called by the District Chairman as the need arises. A quorum shall be twenty-five percent (25%) of the Committee members on record.
Rule 6.4: Other County Committee District Functions
The District Chairperson shall appoint a District Vice Chairperson, subject to confirmation of the County Executive Board. The Vice Chairperson shall represent a part of the District remote from the residence of the District Chairperson, where feasible. During even numbered year state elections, the County Chairperson may appoint campaign coordinators for each legislative district to coordinate legislative campaigns between County Committee Districts.
Rule 6.5: Rules
Each District shall adopt rules to govern its respective Republican District. Such rules shall not be in conflict with the Rules of the Republican Party of Westmoreland County. Such rules shall be filed with the Secretary of the County Committee and the County Election Bureau.
Rule 6.6: Removal of Members
It is recognized that all members elected to the Committee do not perform in an acceptable manner with regard to attending meetings and participating in Committee functions and activities. Each City, Borough, Township and Municipal Committee (Local Committee) is hereby authorized to establish its own rules in regard to removal of those members and submit those developed rules to the District Chairperson. Appeals of subsequent actions may be made to the District Chairperson for resolution and will be judged based upon the established rules.
CITY, BOROUGH, TOWNSHIP AND MUNICEPAL COMMITTEES
(LOCAL COMMITTEE WITHIN DISTRICTS)
Rule 7.1: General
The City, Borough, Township and Municipal Committees (Local Committees) shall be responsible for having candidates for local offices and for an active and effective local campaign for the local candidates, and all other Republican candidates in their city, borough or township.
Rule 7.2: Membership
All members of the County Committee representing election districts in a City, Borough or Township shall automatically be active and voting members of their City, Borough or Township Committees.
Rule 7.3: Officers
The members of each City, Borough, Township and Municipal Committees having four (4) or more members shall meet not later than sixty (60) days after the Primary Election in even-numbered years, at a time and place designated by the City, Borough, Township or Municipal Chairperson, for the purpose of electing a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and other officers as prescribed in local rules. Such election shall be held in the same manner as the election of county officers outlined under Rule 3.6, or in a manner acceptable to all candidates for local office. In the event that a meeting is not called as required, the County Chairperson or the District Chairperson shall call such a meeting of the elected local committees to elect local officers.
Rule 7.4: Rules
Each City, Borough, Township and Municipality having four (4) or more members may adopt rules to govern their local Republican organization. Such rules shall not be in conflict with these Rules of the Republican Party of Westmoreland County. Such rules shall be filed with the Secretaries of the respective Districts and with the Secretary of the County Committee.
AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES
Rule 8.1: Amendments
The foregoing Rules may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of a quorum of the members of the County Committee present at any meeting, regular or special, provided at least ten (10) days notice be given by letter and publication.
Rule 9.1: General
To the extent that these Rules are inconsistent with the Election Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or the Rules of the Republican Party of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, these Rules shall be void where so inconsistent.
Rule 10.1: Finance
It shall be a standing policy of the Republican County Committee that no monies of the County Committee may be received or expended contrary to any County, State or Federal law on behalf of or for any Republican candidate as against any other Republican candidate; no monies shall be accepted by the County Committee from any anonymous source, nor shall monies of the County Committee be given or otherwise expended in an anonymous manner, no monies shall be accepted by the County Committee subject to any agreements, commitments or other promises.
Each summer the County Chairperson shall present to the Executive Board for approval a written budget and political plan. No expenditure over one hundred (100) dollars may be made, once a budget category has been exceeded, without first being approved by the Executive Board.
At the end of each fiscal year, the County Chairperson shall appoint a committee consisting of three (3) members of the County Committee from different Districts to conduct the Annual Audit of County Committee funds. Upon completion of the Annual Audit, the Audit Committee shall present its report, in writing, to the Executive Board at their next regular meeting.
Rule 10.2: Campaigns
It shall be a standing policy of the Republican County Committee that officers of the County Committee, who seek elective office at a county or higher level, must take a leave of absence from the date of the nomination petition filing deadline until the day after the appropriate Primary Election, if the primary is contested. The County Chairperson and Executive Board shall make every effort to seek and support only well qualified candidates of high integrity. The Executive Board shall be responsible for approving the expenditure of County Committee campaign funds in a manner which will offer the best likelihood for success.
Rule 10.3: Vacancies
In the event of a vacancy on the ballot caused by death, resignation of a candidate or any vacancy of an elected official calling for a Special Election not covered by the Rules of the Republican Party of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, said vacancies shall be filled as follows:
1. In the event of a vacancy on the County-wide ticket occurring sixty (60) days or
more prior to Election Day, the full County Committee shall meet and select a
replacement; if the vacancy occurs less than sixty (60) days prior to Election Day, the
Executive Board shall choose a replacement.
- In the event of a vacancy covering less than County-wide but more than one (1)
District, the County Chairman shall call a meeting of all County Committee members in
the affected political districts. The County Chairperson or a designated State Committee member shall chair the meeting to select a replacement.
- In the event of a vacancy occurring within a political sub-division, the County
Chairperson shall call a meeting of all County Committee members in the affected political district. The respective Municipal Chairperson, or in their absence the District Chairperson, shall chair the meeting to select a replacement. In the event there are no County Committee members in the affected political sub-division, a replacement shall be selected by the respective District Chairperson.
A quorum shall be considered present if twenty-five percent (25%) of the County Committee members are present in person or by written proxy. The proper forms, nomination certificates and papers shall be submitted and signed by the presiding officer and secretary of the caucus, convention or the County Committee Secretary.
Rule 10.4: Discrimination
It shall be a standing policy of the Republican County Committee that the membership and that of all affiliated organizations shall be open to all Republicans regardless of race, creed, sex, age or national origin, and that no discrimination for any reason shall be tolerated in its activities.
Rule 10.5: Endorsements
Endorsements for public office at County or higher level may be made by the County Committee at a meeting duly called for said purpose. The County Committee shall first vote on a motion to consider endorsement of candidates. If the motion to consider endorsement is approved, by two-thirds (2/3) majority of the County Committee members present, the County Committee may then vote to endorse candidates for each office. Endorsements of candidates must be approved by a simple majority of County Committee members present.
The Executive Board may make recommendations to the County Committee as to whether to endorse candidates and which candidates to endorse.
APPENDIX – COUNTY COMMITTEE DISTRICTS
(As voted on May 01, 2007)
#1 Northern District
Upper Burrell Twp
#2 Western District
#3 West Central District
#4 Southern District
North Belle Vernon
South Huntingdon Twp
#5 Central District
#6 North Central District
#7 South Central District
East Huntingdon Twp
Mt. Pleasant Borough
Mt. Pleasant Township
#8 Eastern District
St. Clair Twp
#9 MidCentral District
#10 North Central District Latrobe
#11 NorthWest Central District
#12 EastCentral District
New Alexandria Boro
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF WESTMORELAND COUNTY
The duly Organized County Committee of the Republican Party of Westmoreland County
Pursuant and as defined in Section 2837 of the Election Code
CERTIFICATION OF THE RULES AND BY LAWS
In the Republican County Committee of Westmoreland County assembled, the attached amended and restated Rules and By Laws of the Republican Party of Westmoreland County (the “Rules”) were unanimously adopted at a meeting held on October 05, 2013 at which a quorum of the Members of the Republican Party of Westmoreland County were present and voting in person and/or by proxy
(the “Meeting”). These rules replace the prior version of these Rules, dated 2006.
I hereby certify that these Rules that are attached are a certified copy of the Rules as adopted at the Meeting.
Date: ______________ ________________________
Robert D. Klingensmith, Secretary