What’s Going On?
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
During the February 11, 2014 general membership meeting it was announced that the VFW Department (Dept.) of California (CA) changed all post elections to March, although the 2014 National By Laws (NBL) and the Manual of Procedures (MOP) state that nominations are held in March and elections in April. According to reports, the change was made to accommodate the National Convention date change by VFW National Headquarters. (HQ) Upon receiving the information, Post 8547 moved its nominations and election to February and March, but the move was premature.
As stated by sources at the VFW Dept of Ca. National HQ made the change to its convention, but did not affect the Dept. of Ca Convention which takes place June 20-24, 2014, and did not affect post elections. Therefore, keeping in line with the National and Department By-Laws, the nominations and elections of Post 8547 officers will still be held during the March-April cycle. Post Officers elects must be in place before the Dept. Commander is installed at the Dept. Convention.
The premature February 11th announcement initiated the nomination process during the Feb. general membership meeting. Current Commander Rick Martinez, Current Quartermaster James Vass, and most notable nomination Justin “Sammy” Cissulto Post Trustee. All 3 were nominated of the position of Commander. Nominations will remain open until the election begins during their April general membership meeting. Any member in god standing may nominate or accept nomination, and be elected, but they must submit proof of eligibility for review before the assumption of office.
In the past issue, we began our overview of the process by looking at who is elected, who is appointed, and how the appointment process is conducted. Again, if we rely on the 2014 Podium Edition of the Congressional Charter, Bi-Laws, Manual of Procedure, Index, and Ritual for answers. The following is an excerpt from Section 216 of the National By-Laws (NBL)
“Elected and Appointed Officers, Chairman, and Committees
(a) The officers of each Post will consist of a Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Quartermaster, Adjutant, Chaplin, Judge Advocate, Surgeon, and three (3) trustees.
(b) The Post shall elect tj\he Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Quartermaster, Chaplin and three (3) trustees.
(c) The appointed officers of each Post shall consist of the Adjutant, Judge ADVOCATE, Surgeon, Officer of the Day, Service Officer and Guard to be appointed as prescribed in Section 216 in the Manual of Procedure.”
The following excerpt from Section 216 of the Manual of Procedure (MOP) explains the appointment process:
Elected and Appointed Officers, Chairmen and Committees:
The Commander, on the night of election or soon thereafter as possible, shall appoint the Adjutant, Officer of the Day, Service Officer and such other officers, chairman and committees as may be required by Department or Post By-Laws or by vote of the Post membership. The Commander may appoint such other officer, chairman and committee as he deems appropriate to promptly conduct the affairs of the Post. The Commander retains authority to remove officers, committee chairman and committee members appointed by him at the time. Post officers, elected and appointed, shall submit proof of eligibility to the Post Adjutant. Post officers shall not be installed or assume the duties of their office until proof of eligibility has been submitted and properly reviewed. Such proof of eligibility shall be open and reviewed by the Commander, Adjutant and Quartermaster prior to installation to office. In the event an elected or appointed officer fails to submit proof of eligibility within sixty (60) days of election or appointment, any right of the officer to hold the office shall be forfeited, the office declared vacant and the eligibility qualifications of such officer shall be questioned in accordance with the provisions of Section 108 of the National By-Laws.
For more information, see Section 216 and 217 of the NBL and the MOP. We hope that by shedding some light on the process, we have made you a more informed voter. Remember, only remember; only members in good standing can nominate and vote for post officers. Those who have not paid their 2014 annual dues are not ineligible to nominate or vote. ALL membership cards will be checked during the nominations and election process. If you are eligible to vote, you must physically come to the post and do so. As per Section 217 of the MOP: Absentee and proxy votes are prohibited. Bluntly put, if you don’t vote, don’t complain. But, when you complain, work to make a change.