The current GPC Bylaws, dated 08 July 2009, are available in two forms: HTML and PDF. The HTML version is easier for on-line scrolling, but the PDF version is better for making printouts — they fit in fewer pages, they have standard pagination, etc. Also, the PDF version has an embedded click-able table of contents for Acroread. (Software such as Acroread, a free PDF reader program from Adobe, is necessary to read or print the PDF version.)
Here are the current (July 2009) bylaws in HTML. Here they are in PDF (13 pages).
The remainder of this page gives the amendment history of the bylaws, in reverse chronological order. Old versions of the bylaws may be accessed at the bottom of this page.
Full text of the June 2009 amendments, as adopted, is here. That text will be incorporated into the full on-line bylaws shortly.
GPC recently finished the process of revising its bylaws. (Whew!) Most of the changes pertain to the Board of Directors and to specifics about meetings. At each of our meetings January through June, we discussed and adopted certain amendments.
Final marked-up wording. The final marked-up wording of 2008 revisions shows the amendments recently adopted, old language deleted, and commentary. It is available in two versions:
Both versions use colored text to highlight the proposed and actual additions and deletions and to make comments about specifics. These versions are available in HTML only, not PDF.
June update: At our regular monthly meeting on 11 June, we amended Article V Section 1 to allow up to two club meetings per year to be held in Marin or SF counties subject to certain restrictions (until now, all meetings were required to be in Alameda or Contra Costa counties); Article V Section 3 to require only 10 meetings per year instead of 12, in order reflect that we have a party not a meeting in December and that other things may go wrong; Article V Section 4(b) to notice the possible removal of principal officers the same as for directors; and Article VII Section 4 to use the term `Additional Directors'.
May update: At our regular monthly meeting on 14 May, we amended Article VI Section 3d to change the name of the office from "Director-at-Large" to "Additional Director"; Article VII Section 6 to say that regular meetings of the Board coincide with regular meetings of the membership; and Article IX Section 4 to say that directors may be removed according to the same procedure as principal officers.
April update: At our regular monthly meeting on 9 April, we made three amendments which are `housekeeping' changes to these sections: Article V Section 2, Article V Section 4b(i), and Article VI Section 3d. Additional amendments will be considered at future meetings.
March update: At our regular monthly meeting on 12 March, we amended Article VII Section 2 to increase the number of directors from five to seven and Article VII Section 9 to revise what constitutes a quorum for directors.
February update: At our regular monthly meeting on 13 February, we adopted the new Article VII Section 5 which establishes responsibilities for Directors.
January update: At our regular monthly meeting on 9 January, we adopted the new Article VII Section 4 which establishes qualifications for Directors.
This section last updated 6 January 2008. —Mark A.Background. For people who don't follow the inner workings of the club, here is background information. Most GPC decisions which involve policy or money (except the Century, which is a separate story) are made at our regular monthly business meetings. Some decisions, however, must be made between the monthly meetings — because timing so dictates, or because there is limited space on the meeting agenda, or for other reasons. Such decisions are made by the Board of Directors, or in some cases by the President alone. In the latter case, the President generally consults the Board. Non-board members are automatically excluded from such decisions.
Additionally, the Board is consulted several times each month on matters of club direction or policy. It happens whenever someone Cc's their email to the Board. By definition, Board members may reply and express a view if they wish. Non-board members are automatically excluded, even though they would be included if they attended a monthly meeting at which the same question were asked.
In a nutshell, what we have is direct democracy (at our regular monthly meetings) coupled with representative democracy (outside our regular monthly meetings — our directors are our representatives).
Most of the time, this system works fairly well. But I have watched it carefully ever since 2001 — when we reincarnated the bylaws and with it the present Board system — and I believe it can be improved.
Overview and Reasons for Changes. There are three general proposals.
First, increase the Board from its current five members to seven or more. Increasing the size would have several benefits:
Second, make explicit the qualifications for Board members, as follows.
Third, meetings. Our current bylaws strongly imply that we hold separate meetings for members and for directors. But our actual practice, even though we never explicitly said so, is that our regular monthly business meetings — which are open to all members — also serve as our regular board meetings. This practice works well — so well that no one proposes to change it. The proposal is to change the bylaws to make clear what we really do.The comments above are adapted from the President's Column in the October 2007 Wheel Truth.
Specific Language for Changes. Specific draft wording for the proposed changes was posted in January. It has since been superceded by the versions mentioned at the top of this page.
Several arguments have been given against the proposed bylaws changes. They are summarized here, together with my responses to them.
At its regular business meeting on 16 November 2005, the club adopted (by unanimous vote) amendments to the bylaws which, effective in 2006, change annual elections from November to July and which change the elected officer's term of office to run from August 1 through July 31. The reason was to allow each year's officers to take office long in advance of Century preparations in the spring.
The original GPC Bylaws were adopted in April 1980. They were somewhat neglected during the 1990's. They existed only on paper until September 2001, when Emily Kenyon had them optically scanned into machine readable format. She checked and corrected many scanning errors, and I converted them to HTML and PDF. At that time, we found that the club's actual practices were quite out-of-synce with its bylaws.
At its regular business meeting on 17 October 2001, the club adopted (by unanimous vote) several amendments and revisions to the 1980 bylaws.
For historical interest, here are the original bylaws of 1980, and other since-superceded versions of the bylaws. Each is available in HTML and PDF.
original bylaws, dated April 1980, in HTML.
See them in PDF (12 pages).
See the marked-up-revisions of October 2001, in HTML. See them in PDF (12 pages).
See the October 2001 version of the bylaws, in HTML. See them in PDF (12 pages).
See the November 2005 version of the bylaws, in HTML. See them in PDF (12 pages).
See the June 2008 version of the bylaws, in HTML. See them in PDF (12 pages).
This page first created 9 October 2001.
—Mark Abrahams, <dma at abriz dot net>