BY-LAWS OF THE WESTERN CUMBERLAND COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
PREAMBLE We, the duly elected representatives of local governments in the Western Cumberland region hereby join together in a voluntary organization to be known as the Western Cumberland Council of Governments, hereafter WCCOG, for the purpose of meeting at regular intervals to discuss and study community challenges of mutual interest and concern.
We realize that our individual and common destinies rest with the interdependent actions of the local governments, which comprise our region.
The voluntary association, which we have formed, is a vehicle for closer cooperation and is not a new layer of government or a super-government. As a voluntary organization of local governments, the members seek, by mutual agreement, solutions to mutual problems for mutual benefit.
Our goal is to combine our total resources for regional challenges beyond our individual capabilities while retaining and strengthening or local municipalities.
PURPOSE ARTICLE I. A. This organization shall agree: 1. To serve as a mutual forum to identify, discuss, and bring into focus regional challenges and opportunities. 2. To serve as a vehicle for the collection and exchange of information of regional interest. 3. To provide a continuing organizational machinery to insure effective communication and coordination among governments and agencies. 4. To facilitate cooperative purchasing and buying agreements for projects of mutual benefit. 5. To create agreements and cooperative action proposals among member governments for specific projects or other interrelated developmental needs. 6. To maintain liaison with members, other governmental units, and private groups or organizations and to serve as a regional spokesman. 7. To review and coordinate federal, state and local programs of regional importance.
B. The WCCOG is established under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enabling legislation as authorized by the State Constitution and Acts of the General Assembly “Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, Act 180 of 1972”, as may be amended from time to time.
ARTICLE II. A. Eligibility – for membership shall be open to the following local Governmental Units: 1. Cooke Township 2. Hopewell Township 3. Lower Mifflin Township 4. Lower Frankford Township 5. Newburg Borough 6. Newville Borough 7. North Newton Township 8. Penn Township 9. Shippensburg Borough 10. Shippensburg Township 11. Southampton Township 12. South Newton Township 13. Upper Frankford Township 14. Upper Mifflin Township 15. Mt. Holly Springs 16. West Pennsboro Township 17. Dickinson Township
Eligibility - Associate non-voting memberships: 1. Big Spring School District 2. Shippensburg Area School District 3. West Shore Bureau of Fire 4. Carlisle School District
Eligibility - Honorary non-voting memberships: 1. Newville Water & Sewer Authority 2. Shippensburg Borough Authority 3. Newburg Hopewell Sewer Authority 4. Dickinson Township Municipal Authority 5. Mt. Holly Springs Sewer and Water Authority 6. West Pennsboro Municipal Authority
B. Conditions – A local government, to obtain and retain voting membership in the WCCOG shall: 1. Be approved for membership by a unanimous vote of the Membership. 2. Adopt an Ordinance or Resolution of Membership satisfactory to the WCCOG Solicitor, if one exists, or the Membership. 3. Comply with requirements concerning financial contributions of its members as defined in Article IV of these by-laws.
C. Withdrawal – Withdrawal from the membership of the WCCOG shall be affected by formal resolution and written request for withdrawal from the local governing body. A minimum of thirty (30) days notice, prior to end of fiscal year, of such action shall be required.
D. Participation – Any voting member municipality shall be eligible to participate in any special feasibility study and any area-wide service program provided the governing body of such municipality approves its participation by motion or resolution.
All voting members of the WCCOG shall carry out discussion of particular plans, actions or functions proposed initially. Voting on specific questions of mechanics or policy shall be limited to those particular member municipalities who agree to participate in such plans, actions or functions.
E. Associate non-voting memberships – Associate non-voting memberships may be conferred on any governmental unit or other legal entity by majority vote of the Membership. Associate members shall have no right to vote on any matter, but may participate in such programs as the WCCOG may designate. Associate members shall be exempt from Article IV of these by-laws, but must pay a yearly membership fee set by the Membership. The yearly membership fee shall remain the same for all associate members.
F. Honorary non-voting memberships – Honorary non-voting memberships may be conferred on any person or entity by majority vote of the Membership. Honorary members shall have no vote on any matter. Honorary members shall be exempt from Article IV of these by-laws but must pay an administrative fee for program participation.
POLICY BODIES ARTICLE III. A. Membership l. Membership – The governing body of each member government shall select an official representative and an alternate representative. Each member government shall notify the WCCOG in writing each January of the names of the official representative and alternate representative. 2. Voting – Each member municipality will have one vote through its official representative or alternate. Proxy voting shall not be permitted. Voting requires a simple majority of those members present, except as otherwise stated. 3. Quorum – A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of its total voting membership. In the absence of the official representative, the alternate representative shall have authority to vote in his place. 4. Participation in Activities – Any member municipality shall have the right to refrain from any discussion or action of the WCCOG. A member shall not share the costs or vote for final implementation of projects or programs in which it is not a participant. 5. Notice of Meetings – Agenda and meeting minutes will be sent seven (7) days in advance of meeting date. A calendar of the annual meeting dates shall be established in November and ratified at the reorganization meeting in January. Notice of such meetings will be given to the newspaper in January. B. Officers 1. The Officers shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. The President may appoint committees as needed. 2. An individual may serve in the position of President for two consecutive one (1) year terms. He/she will not be eligible to re-serve as President for a period of one (1) year.
FINANCES AND RULES ARTICLE IV. Based upon annual estimated requirements prepared and agreed upon by the Membership and upon grants received in order to support this organization, the members shall pay annual membership fees. Funds that accrue to the WCCOG for its use in furthering the aims and purposes of the voluntary organization shall be controlled, dispersed, and accounted for in a manner prescribed by these by-laws. There shall be two (2) signatures to all contracts and legal agreements, one of who shall be the President or Vice-President and one of who shall be the Secretary or Treasurer.
Service fees and other costs for special projects shall be prorated among the member governments participating in such projects in a manner mutually agreed upon.
The annual fee as established by the WCCOG is to be paid not later than the end of January of each year. A new member joining the WCCOG during the first six months of the year shall pay the annual fee. After the first six months, new members will pay ½ of the fee.
A Nominating Committee, appointed by the President in September, will select a slate of officers for an election to be held in December.
OFFICERS OF THE WESTERN CUMBERLAND COG ARTICLE V. Election of Officers – The officers shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Such officers shall be elected by the membership in December and take office in January at the annual meeting of the WCCOG. All officers are subject to removal at any time by affirmative vote of a majority of the total Membership. In the absence of an elected Secretary and/or Treasurer, the voting Membership may appoint the administrator as Secretary and/or Treasurer. If the administrator is appointed Secretary and/or Treasurer, additional compensation may be provided as deemed appropriate by the Membership.
Duties of the President – the President shall be the chief elected officer of the WCCOG and shall preside at all meetings. The President shall have general charge and supervision of the business of the WCCOG. The President shall appoint all committees unless the Membership directs otherwise. The President shall be the principal spokesperson for the WCCOG. The President shall perform such duties as may, from time to time, be assigned by the members.
Duties of the Vice-President – The Vice-President shall possess the power and shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence or disability.
Duties of the Secretary – The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings; shall give all notices of meetings; shall sign with the President, contracts, instruments and documents and other items authorized by the WCCOG; shall perform all duties incidental to the office of Secretary; and the Secretary for the time being in office, shall deliver all books and papers to the successor immediately upon their election, or to the WCCOG when so required.
Duties of the Treasurer – The Treasurer shall have or provide for the custody of the funds of the WCCOG; shall provide for the collection and receipt of monies earned by or in any manner due to be received by the WCCOG; shall deposit all funds in their custody as treasurer in such banks or other places of deposit as the WCCOG may designate, shall render a written monthly account showing their transactions; and in general, shall discharge such other duties as may, from time to time, be assigned to them by the Membership. The Treasurer, from time being in office, shall transfer and deliver all funds, securities, books, records and papers of the WCCOG in his/her custody to its successor immediately upon his/her qualification. The Treasurer shall permit all records and accounts of the WCCOG, kept by him/her and in his/her custody or possession, to be examined annually or at any time requested by the WCCOG. An Audit Committee shall be appointed in December. The Committee shall consist of three (3) WCCOG members, who will audit all WCCOG financial records annually, to ensure they are true and correct. The audit shall be completed no later than March 1, the results of which shall be placed on the WCCOG March agenda.
Ad Hoc Advisory Committees – The WCCOG may have ad hoc advisory committees reporting to the President. Such committees may be comprised of staff, personnel from the member Local Governments, Counties, the State and Federal Government agencies, regional commissions and public or private persons and corporations involved in conservation and development problems and opportunities in the West Cumberland region. The President shall have the authority to appoint and remove members of the ad hoc committees. Ad hoc committees shall serve in an advisory capacity as requested by the President. An Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and others designated by the President.
The Administrator of the WCCOG will assume the duties of the Treasurer and/or Secretary in their absences from their offices, and perform other duties assigned by the President and shall be accountable to the Executive Board.
AMENDMENTS ARTICLE VI. Amendments to these by-laws must be initially approved by a majority vote of the membership. In order to be adopted, any amendments must be approved by a unanimous vote at a second WCCOG meeting. Amendments shall not be effective until approved by a resolution from each member municipality.