USS Lafayette SSBN 616
Lafayette Association By-Laws

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These Lafayette Association By-Laws were adopted at the Inaugral Reunion on June 3, 2005 with the provision that they be reviewed and modified at the following reunion.  At the second Lafayette Association meeting on October 27, 2007, changes to the By-Laws were approved. 

The Lafayette Association By-Laws were amended at the Association 2017 Reunion Business Meeting.

Anyone that has suggestions for amendments to the following By-Laws, please send them to: 

John Sherman, By-Laws Committee Chair,

Lafayette Association By-Laws
(Revision 2017)

Article  I - Name And Purpose

Section 1 - The name of the organization will be USS Lafayette (SSBN 616) Association, hereinafter called The Association.

Section 2 - The Lafayette Association is a fraternal organization for United States Navy Submariners who served aboard the nuclear powered fleet ballistic submarine USS Lafayette (SSBN 616). The primary purpose of the association is to provide an opportunity for the members to enjoy camaraderie with former shipmates and other submariners with a common background of service aboard the Lafayette, and to provide an opportunity for members to actively participate in reunions and other activities of the association.

Section 3 – The Association will be a “Not-for-profit Veterans Association” as defined by the tax code, and will not have nor issue shares, stocks or dividends. Association funds will only be used for the benefit of the association members. As a “Not-for-profit Veterans Association”, we do not need to and should not apply for formal Non-profit status and we have no tax reporting requirement.

Article II - Officers, Terms Of Office, Committees

Section 1 – The Board of Directors

    a  The Board of Directors (BOD) is responsible for the conduct of association business and 
        managing all association monies. All actions will be based upon a simple majority vote 
        of the board. 

    b. The BOD will have nine (9) members: a Chairman, four (4) elected officers and four (4) 

    c. The outgoing President will take the position of Chairman of the BOD when a new 
        Association President is elected. The previous Chairman of the BOD will then become a 
        Trustee. The Trustees will eventually be four (4) past BOD chairmen. When the Chairman 
        takes a position as Trustee, the Trustee who has been on the BOD longest must resign. If 
        a Trustee prematurely resigns or must be replaced, a new Trustee will be appointed by 
        majority vote of the BOD. The newly appointed Trustee will take the same position in 
        seniority as the Trustee he replaced, and remain on the BOD for the same term of service.          The BOD will have the authority, by majority vote, to replace any Trustee, elected officer, 
        appointee or committeeman for cause. 

    d. The BOD will serve as the Nominating Committee for selection of the next slate of 
        nominees. The Vice President will serve as Chairman of the Nominating Committee and 
        will be responsible for ensuring that the committee completes its work in time for the 
        biennial business meeting and election of officers.

    e. The BOD will select all future reunion sites. They will use the input from a membership 
        survey and the advice of the Reunion Committee in selecting a site. The Reunion 
        Committee should propose to the BOD the next reunion site in time for the BOD to make 
        the selection within 6 months following the last reunion. Sites will rotate to cities in the 
        Eastern, Central, and Western United States. The rotation may be broken by 
        circumstances deemed warranted by majority vote of the BOD.  

Section 2 – The elected officers of The Association will be President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. They are a separate body of the BOD, elected to organize and run the reunions. All four elected officers are accountable to the Chairman and the board in whole. They will be elected at the biennial meeting at the reunion and their terms of will be until the election at the next reunion (about two years). No president will serve more than one consecutive term. Elected officers may also serve in appointed positions. 

Section 3 – There will be a Chaplain, a Storekeeper, a Historian, a Newsletter Editor, and a Webmaster appointed by the President and their terms will be until the next reunion (about two years). The Chaplain may appoint assistant(s) from the membership to help administer the position. The assistants will be approved by a majority of the BOD.

Section 4 - The President may form committees, including but not limited to a Membership Committee, Newsletter Committee, By-laws Committee and Reunion Committee, and may appoint chairmen for such committees as necessary to conduct the business of The Association.

Article III - Duties Of Officers And Committee Chairmen

Section 1 – The President will preside over all meetings of The Association, preserve order and decorum, and will perform all duties incident to the office of President. He will give notice of all meetings and conduct the correspondence of The Association. He will provide noteworthy information to the Newsletter Editor for each newsletter’s scheduled distribution.

Section 2 – The Vice President will render such assistance to the President as he may require and will perform the duties of the President in his absence or disability. Normally he will be nominated to succeed the President upon the completion of the incumbent President’s term of office. The Vice President will be the Chairman of the Nominating Committee, if he desires, he may have a column in the newsletter.

Section 3 – The Secretary will be responsible for taking and reading the minutes and notes of all association functions. He may obtain assistance in this task if necessary. There is no limit on his term of office, but he must be nominated and elected each time.

Section 4 – The Treasurer will keep the financial accounts of The Association. He will maintain a debit and/or credit card as needed to perform The Association’s business. The Treasurer will make filings required by applicable state and Federal law. The Treasurer’s Summary will be reported at the biennial meeting. His accounts may be audited by an Auditing Committee appointed by the President. The majority of said committee will be the elected officers, other than the Treasurer of The Association. At least one elected officer will be appointed by the President as an alternate Treasurer of The Association. However, only the Treasurer is required to sign checks for paying The Association bills. He will transmit current home and email addresses, obtained from payment of dues, to the webmaster to facilitate revisions to the Crew Database. If requested, he will provide the President with monthly a financial statement and a status of the current membership dues. There is no limit on his term of office, but he must be nominated and elected each time.

Section 5 – The Chaplain will be the primary point of contact for notification of illness/death of any association member or Lafayette shipmate. In addition, he will initiate contact with relatives of the infirmed or deceased and keep The Association informed via direct e-mails and the official Association Website, of specifics, regarding the illness or death. He will send appropriate get well, condolences or sympathy cards on behalf of The Association and tender his signature to the card using the “Chaplain, USS Lafayette SSBN616 Association” tag line. When notified, he will report any illness or death to the Webmaster for inclusion on the webpage, and in the case of death, to update the Database, and to the Newsletter Editor for inclusion in the next newsletter. The Chaplain may, at his discretion, or at the request of another association officer, directly notify Lafayette shipmates of the infirmed/deceased. The Chaplain will offer the invocation at the reunion banquet and conduct a “Tolling of the Bell” ceremony for those who have gone on eternal patrol since the prior reunion. The Chaplain’s Guide used by the USSVI may be consulted and used as a reference. Members are also expected to keep the Chaplain informed of illnesses and the deaths of Lafayette shipmates of which they are aware that may not be in the Database. 

Section 6 – The Storekeeper will be responsible for maintaining inventory, advertising, and selling items acquired for resale. Proceeds from all sales will be turned over to the Treasurer for recording and deposit. All purchases will be approved by majority vote of the BOD and paid for directly or reimbursed by the Treasurer. The Storekeeper shall keep his accounts and report thereon at each biennial meeting. His accounts may be audited by an Auditing Committee appointed by the President. The majority of said committee will be the elected officers of The Association.

Section 7 – The Historian will be responsible for maintaining the archives of The Association, receiving, recording and maintaining donations of memorabilia. He will also store backup medium for The Association records, including CD’s of computer data and photographs. He will report his inventory in a style of his choice at least biennially.

Section 8 – The Newsletter Editor will publish a newsletter, quarterly if possible, in the style of his choice, for emailing to everyone in the Crew Database for whom a current email address is available. The Newsletter Committee members will be comprised of the officers, elected and appointed, who are directed to make periodic reports to The Association. 

Section 9 –The Reunion Committee Chairman will be responsible for determining the facilities, menu, music entertainment etc., for the reunion. Majority vote of the BOD will approve plans and all costs. The Treasurer will pay all reunion bills. 

Section 10 – The Webmaster will be an experienced Webmaster with one or more published web sites being available for review prior to being appointed. He will be responsible for maintaining all aspects of the computer Crew Database. A knowledge of the computer software being used is required. All changes to email addresses will be forwarded to the Newsletter Editor.  

Section 11 – The Membership Committee Chairman will devise ways to promote membership and conduct membership drives. All undertakings will be approved by majority vote of the BOD.

Section 12 – The By-laws Committee Chairman will accept requests for revision of the By-laws and submit them to the BOD with his recommendation for approval/disapproval. He will ensure the process of amending is carried out in accordance with Article VIII.

Article IV - Membership, Dues, Contributions

Section 1 – Only persons who served in USS Lafayette (SSBN 616) are eligible for membership in The Association.

Section 2 – Two-year “reunion period” dues of $20, payable to the Treasurer, will be required for membership. The BOD, by majority vote, may award life-time membership to persons who have made outstanding contributions to The Association. Membership will be required prior to registering for and attending reunion events, with the exception of immediate family accompanying members and immediate family of deceased Lafayette veterans.  

Section 3 – Donations and contributions will be accepted for the purpose of funding the events of The Association. All such donations or contributions will be forwarded to the Treasurer for recording and deposit.

Article V - Membership

Section 1 – Members will assist in locating former shipmates and forwarding their names, current addresses and, if possible, e-mail addresses, telephone number to any Association officer, for addition to the Database.

Section 2 – Members may assist in obtaining newspaper, television, radio, and magazine coverage for reunions and distribute flyers and/or bulletin board notices of same.

Section 3 - Members are expected to keep the Chaplain informed of illnesses and the deaths of Lafayette Shipmates of which they are aware that may not be in the Database.

Article VI - Meetings, Reunions, Elections

Section 1 – Only paid-up members of The Association who serve in USS Lafayette (SSBN 616) are eligible to vote at the Association biennial business meetings.

Section 2 – All members attending a Reunion should be present at the biennial business meeting to elect officers and/or vote on other matters. 

Section 3 – Officers will be elected from the slate of candidates determined during the biennial meeting by a majority vote of those paid-up members attending the biennial meeting. The results of the election will be announced at the Reunion banquet or other suitable gathering, and officers introduced.

Section 4 – Roberts Rules of Order, The Modern Version, will be the official guide of The Association for conducting business and/or settling issues of parliamentary procedure. 

Section 5 – There should be at least one Board of Directors meeting during the non-reunion years. This may be done by telephone conference or by e-mail conferencing if travel to a common meeting place is not feasible. Not less than a majority of the Board must be present at the meeting/conference to constitute a quorum for making decisions and/or approvals. The Chairman may call for a meeting at the reunion site during the reunion year and determine the place/time of meeting/conference to facilitate the meeting between reunion years.

Article VII - Protecting The Association

Section 1 - No member of The Association, acting in the name of The Association, will engage in any activity for self-profit in the form of money or assets, arising from business transactions or dealings. 

Section 2 – Any member whose actions dishonor or jeopardize the existence of The Association will be subject to review and possible expulsion from The Association by the Board of Directors.

Section 3 - No member of this Association shall incur obligations or liabilities of any kind in the name of The Association or on behalf of The Association, without a written order, approved by the BOD of The Association. Any individual making such obligation without prior BOD approval shall be solely responsible for such obligation.

Section 4 – The Association shall not incur, or cause to be incurred, financial obligations or liability whatever that exceed existing funds on hand.

Article VIII - Amendment Of By-Laws

Section 1 – When the number of active members of The Association becomes so reduced that operation is no longer viable, it will be the responsibility of the BOD to oversee the dissolution of The Association. 

Section 2 – The BOD shall prepare a plan to include but not limited to:

    a. Notification of intent to dissolve The Association and the plan for dissolution shall be 
        given to the remaining members the same as for an amendment. 

    b. A statement of financial assets and liabilities will be prepared and recommendations for 
        disposal of any funds remaining after all bills are paid. Ideally contribution to a nonprofit 
        submarine or navy organization would be preferred.

    c. A listing of any real property including historical documents will be prepared and 
        recommendations for disposition such as donation to historical associations. 

Section 3 – The BOD’s plan for dissolution shall be presented to the members at a business meeting for approval. If the required quorum for a business meeting is met the dissolution of The Association requires a 2/3 majority vote. If a quorum is not available, The Association may be dissolved by the unanimous vote of the BOD.

Section 4 – The BOD upon completion of all required actions of dissolution should notify any remaining members of the final actions of the BOD and the termination of The Association.

Article IX - Amendment of By-Laws

Section 1 – These by-laws may be amended at any meeting of the members provided that: 

    a. The amendment has been received and reviewed by the Board of Directors at least sixty 
        (60) days prior to the meeting.

    b. The amendment is published in writing or on The Lafayette Association website to the 
        members of The Association at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting at which the 
        amendment is to be considered. 

    c. The amendment is passed by a two-thirds majority vote of the paid-up membership of 
        the Association attending the meeting.
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Updated: 7/20/2017
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