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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Charter model

Let’s build a model charter to help understand charters in general.  This charter addresses problems for our team in an imaginary Adult Flag Football League. League Rules explain how teams operate. The League allows teams to govern themselves if they adopt a charter.

Problems solved by charter

Our team is exasperated because the League has withheld our share of the Beer concession’s fees for two seasons to fund its Board of Directors’ travel. It borrowed our share of the Peanuts and Popcorn franchise monies for the last three years. The League is broke.

We’re also unhappy that the League decreed that every team hire an equipment manager, but has provided no funding for their pay. That rule was written to settle a controversy faced by a large team in San Francisco, but since it’s a League rule it is applied to every team.

If we adopt a “Team Charter” organization we can control our own money; the League cannot withhold or borrow our funds without our permission. Further, we can specify that we only establish paid positions for our team if the League funds the positions. We just have to get the majority of our members to agree to adopt a charter.

Don't fix what isn't broken 

We don't want to write rules for playing flag football, since those change frequently. And, there’s no reason to write rules for routine matters that rarely change, such as elections for the Team Captain. We also want to be sure we apply for all of the powers available to our team.

The Peanuts and Popcorn Workers Association opposes our charter. If it’s adopted they’ll have to negotiate with us directly to renege on their contracts. Presently they negotiate variances with the League Directors during their annual Director-Association Training and Golf Seminar in Hawaii. The Association fears that our adopting a charter may inspire other charters.

Charter for the Purple Pelican Flag Football Team

Name: The name of the team is Purple Pelican, based upon the abilities of our members’ beaks to hold more than our bellies can.

Powers: the Purple Pelicans assumes all powers authorized by the League Constitution, whether or not they are specifically noted, and whether or not they have been specified in the League Constitution at the time of the adoption of this charter. (We want the authority whether we list it or not.)

Organization: Per League rules. (Established already and effective)

Elections: Per League rules. (As above)

Meetings: A. will be held monthly, in the Periwinkle Bar, on the third Wednesday of every month unless changed by majority vote of the Board of Directors. (This allows the meeting date to be changed to some other day without amending the charter.)

B. will be conducted IAW Robert’s Rules of Order, short version, as amended, and as published in the 1964 Webster’s edition, a copy of which will remain with the (elected) Sergeant at Arms and Parliamentarian.

Paid positions: will be established by majority vote of at least 80% of all members and supporters. Any positions decreed as necessary by outside authority will be authorized only if funds for such positions are supplied by the outside authority and after approval by two-thirds of the members of the Team’s Directors. (This allows positions to be established fairly easily if they are funded by the League, but requires approval by the majority of all known shareholders if the Team funds a position with its own money.)

Game Rules: Per League rules.

Behavior at games: per League Rules

Qualification and selection of Team Players, Second String, Cheerleaders, and Support Team: per Team rules as adopted in 2008 and amended. (This allows use of previously-developed rules. Costa Mesa’s charter will probably use a lot of current ordinances and procedures.)

Dues and fees: A. per Team rules as adopted in 2008 and amended.

B. the Team Treasurer will inform the Directors of any contractual obligations by the League and/or vendors that aren’t being met; the president is directed to follow up, and, if necessary, to secure legal counsel, to acquire the funds for the Team.

C. forgiveness or reduction of contractually-specified fees will considered by the Directors; if they deem the forgiveness or reduction acceptable it will be placed before the membership by email and US mail at least four times, preferably on a weekly basis, then subjected to a vote with an acceptance by three fourths of all voters returning ballots required for adoption. (This is difficult but possible under the charter.)

Borrowing and Lending Team monies: no money may be lent to any person or organization, including, but not limited to; team members, League officials or organizations, or other persons. Any deviation from this rule requires two-thirds vote at a meeting of at least 80% of known members. (This makes it difficult to lend money to the League or anyone else and insures that any such lending is well known and acceptable to most of the members.)

Changes to this Charter: will be proposed to the entire membership at the Annual Barbeque and Beer Bash which will be held within one month of the last team game. A quorum for this vote will be 80% of the known members, regardless of status, and to take effect, must receive two-thirds of the voters’ approvals during that meeting.

All other matters: will be conducted according to Team rules as adopted in 2008 and amended, state and federal law, League guidelines not preempted by this charter, and good judgment by the Directors who are considered responsible for all affairs of the Purple Pelicans.

Get it adopted to stop the money hemorrhage 

The next step for the team is to inform and educate all of the members about the need for a team charter to secure their approval. The Peanuts and Popcorn Association will launch a massive PR campaign to defeat the charter and save their privileges, so we need to reach out to every affected member. In fact, we must reach out early and often if we want our team to flourish. 

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