ARTICLE I – NAME AND PURPOSE
Section 1: The name of the organization is the Vermont Hang Gliding Association, Inc., hereafter referred to as the VHGA. The terms “the organization” and “the club” are also used interchangeably for the VHGA.
Section 2: The primary purposes of the VHGA are to promote safe flying in Vermont and the Northeast United States through self control and regulation of the flying areas; to show organized support for and concern to property owners; to provide a Board for the airing of flight associated grievances; to engage in the development, study, and use of fuel-less flight systems and aircraft capable of being launched by human power alone; and to make knowledge related to these subjects available.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: The membership of the VHGA shall consist of the charter members and the active members.
1a) Charter members consist of individuals who founded the organization, along with others upon which the membership has bestowed an honorary membership. Charter members are not required to pay annual dues, but active charter members must complete a membership form and any applicable waivers.
1b) Active members consist of individuals whose membership forms, all applicable waivers, and annual dues have been received and accepted by the VHGA. These items are required annually.
1c) For the purpose of these Bylaws the words, Current, member, members, membership, standing members and general membership shall stand to mean active members.
Section 2: A minor must have the written consents of his/her parents or guardians on his/her application form.
Section 3: Each active member shall be entitled to one vote in the affairs of the VHGA.
Section 4: The VHGA shall not discriminate against any individual on any basis; race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or wing-type. However, the Board of Directors reserves the right to deny any applicant membership for due cause, such as a violation of these by-laws, flight regulations, rules of the VHGA or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the VHGA.
4a) Membership denials must be delivered in writing, and must be presented to the membership body at the next scheduled meeting. The Secretary is required to keep all denials on file.
4b) Any person whose application has been denied membership has the right to appeal to the membership. A special meeting of the members will be scheduled within 30 days upon the written request of the denied applicant.
Section 5: To fly a VHGA site you must be a VHGA & USHPA member.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP DUES
Section 1: Payment of annual dues shall be required at the time of application, and each fiscal year, in order to maintain membership in the VHGA. Dues may vary from year to year by vote of a simple majority present at a properly noticed meeting.
Section 2: The annual dues and related membership fees shall be established at the fall meeting.
Section 3: The annual dues and associated fees shall be clearly defined on the membership application form, and posted on the VHGA website, on or before January 1st. This is the responsibility of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE IV – MEETING OF MEMBERS
Section 1: The VHGA will conduct two regularly scheduled meetings per year; one during the spring, and one during the fall.
- The spring meeting shall be shall be for the purpose of presenting and approving the annual budget and all additional agenda items. This shall be accomplished by a simple majority of voting members present at that meeting.
- The fall meeting shall be for the purpose of electing officers and all additional agenda items. The election shall be accomplished by a simple majority of voting members present at that meeting.
- You must be a VHGA and USHPA member by September first each year in order to have voting rights at that years fall meeting.
Section 2: Other meetings shall be called as deemed necessary by the Board of Directors for the purpose of conducting any business as may properly come before such a meeting.
Section 3: Notice of a membership or special meeting shall be issued by the President or Secretary and mailed to the last recorded address of each active member at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. Electronic notification is acceptable for those members who designate this as the preferred method of communication on their application form.
Section 4: Special meetings may be called by petition of six percent of the membership communicated to any officer. Special meetings must be scheduled within 30 days of receipt of such petition.
ARTICLE V – BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1: The Board of Directors shall be composed of five members: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Flight Director. All members of the Board must be active members of the VHGA before conducting any club business.
Section 2: The duties and powers of the Board shall be to deal with all routine business that comes before the VHGA, to draft an annual budget, to evaluate and present to the members all matters of special concern, and to report all actions of the Board to the members.
Section 3: Regular and special meetings of the Board shall be called at a time and place agreed upon by the Board of Directors.
Section 4: Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at all meetings. When ever two current officers question that a decision made by the board is in violation of the bylaws, the subject will be tabled till it can be presented to the members for a decision on the subject during a regular or special meeting. The meeting notification that is mailed out to the active members must state that the membership will be asked to discuss and decide an issue that might be in violation of the bylaws.
Section 5: Any vacancy on the Board of Directors shall be filled by a special election by the members at the next scheduled meeting or special meeting if called. Duties associated with any interim vacancies will be filled by the Vice President until the special election is held.
Section 6: Each member of the Board of Directors shall serve without compensation or reward, except as otherwise provided for by these bylaws.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1: The officers shall be elected by the voting members at the annual fall meeting and shall hold office for twelve (12) months or until their successor is elected.
Section 2: The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint all committee chairpersons, with the approval of the Board of Directors, sign and execute all contracts in the name of the VHGA when authorized to do so by the Board of Directors, and shall consult with the Board of Directors and represent their decisions when supervising over the management of all the affairs of the VHGA.
Section 3: The Vice President shall ensure that any decision made by the Board of Directors and appointed committees adheres with the bylaws and official general membership votes, shall be vested with all the powers and shall assume all the duties of any Board member in the event of his/her absence, disability, or inability to perform the duties of the office, and shall perform other such duties as delegated to him/her by the Board of Directors.
Section 4: The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all the meetings, be responsible for all meeting notices and the keeping of the historical records of the VHGA, and may perform other such duties as may be incident to the office of Secretary.
Section 5: The Treasurer shall keep the membership records, receive and deposit all funds, execute all checks as authorized by the Board of Directors, account for all receipts, disbursements and balances each month, and shall perform other such duties as may be incident to the office of Treasurer.
Section 6: The Flight Director shall oversee all safety and flight activity at VHGA regulated flying sites and facilities, and shall perform such other duties as may be incident to the office of Flight Director.
ARTICLE VII – FLIGHT COMMITTEE
Section 1: The Flight Committee shall consist of the Flight Director, any Site Directors, and any appointed assistants.
Section 2: The Flight Director shall be chairperson of the Flight Committee and may appoint an assistant as necessary to aid him/her in the duties described above.
Section 3: Site Directors are not officers, but are members who agree to represent the VHGA and perform liaison duties for the club’s regulated flying sites. Each site shall have at least one site director.
Section 4: The Flight Committee, working through the Site Directors, shall be responsible for the following:
- Opening new sites (when agreed upon and deemed appropriate by the BOD)
- Coordinating maintenance for existing sites
- Building/maintaining relationships with surrounding landowners, townships, and other interested parties
- Periodically renewing formal and informal agreements with above said parties
- Publishing and effectively communicating the rules for each site to the membership
- Informing the Board of Directors of any violations of those published rules
ARTICLE VIII – SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Section 1: The President may form special committees at any time as deemed necessary, with the approval of the Board of Directors. All committee members must be active members of the VHGA before conducting any club business.
ARTICLE IX – SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION OF MEMBERS
Section 1: Any member of the VHGA may be suspended or expelled for a due cause, such as a violation of any part of these bylaws, a violation of flight regulations, a violation of the rules of the VHGA, or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the VHGA.
Section 2: Call for action. For action to be taken against a member/members, a petition outlining the allegations shall be signed by 4% of the VHGA’s members and presented to the Board of Directors. The BOD shall conduct an investigation of the facts regarding the allegations within 30 days of the signed petition. All the members shall cooperate fully and honestly with any investigations performed by the BOD.
Section 3: After a finding of the facts, the BOD shall call a meeting within 60 days of the general membership. All the members shall be notified of the meeting in writing. The members shall decide on the level of action to be taken. Any action shall require 25% of the general membership to be present and a 2/3 vote for action. Any accused member shall be allowed to present his or her defense at this meeting.
Section 4: Any suspended or expelled member shall lose all privileges at VHGA regulated flying sites until membership is reinstated.
ARTICLE X – FINANCES
Section 1: The fiscal year shall run from January 1 to December 31.
Section 2: This association is a non-profit organization; incorporated as such in the State of Vermont. The VHGA shall use its funds only for objects and purposes specified in these bylaws.
Section 3: Bonding. Persons entrusted with the handling of association funds may be required, at the discretion of the Board of Directors and at VHGA expense, to secure a suitable fidelity bond.
Section 4: Annual Budget. The Board of Directors is required to create a budget each fiscal year, which shall be presented to the membership for approval at the annual spring meeting. Discretionary expenditures, not accounted for in the budget and outside of mandatory expenses, shall require an authorization through a membership meeting if they exceed $200 for any individual line item or $600 annually.
Section 5: Expenditures. The Vice President may also make payments on the VHGA’s behalf in the treasurer’s absence.
Section 6: Open books. The finances of the VHGA shall be open to any member, at any mutually (member and VHGA Treasurer) agreed upon time, without hesitation or question. Officers shall review the books prior to the spring meeting.
Section 7: Status Reports. The Treasurer shall be required to provide quarterly reports to the President and the Board showing the balances of assets, liabilities, and revenues, along with an itemized list of all expenses incurred during the quarter.
Section 8: Any unspent funds for budget items shall not be reallocated to another line item, nor spent on any items not budgeted or approved by membership.
ARTICLE XI – AMENDMENTS
Section 1: Amendments to these bylaws may be made by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of 10% of the current membership at any regular meeting provided that a notice of the intent to change the bylaws is included in the notice of meeting as provided for in Article IV, Section 3 above.
ARTICLE XII – DISSOLUTION
Section 1: Dissolution of the VHGA shall occur upon a 3/4 vote of the membership or the loss of non-profit corporate status with the Vermont Secretary of State, which has not been corrected for a period of five years.
Section 2: In the event of dissolution, the assets of the VHGA shall be turned over to the any local non profit group willing to take responsibilities to manage existing VHGA flying sites. If there are no local groups available, then the assets shall be turned over to the Foundation for Hang Gliding and Paragliding, Inc., its successor in interest, or in the event that the Foundation has been dissolved, to a non profit entity, hopefully with a commitment to foot launched human flight.