General Assistance | Referral | Advocacy

 


Mission Statement

  • Establish and promote equitable, efficient and standardized administration of General Assistance.

  • Encourage the professional development, growth, and knowledge base of those who administer General Assistance.

  • Advocate for the municipalities and citizens that we serve.

  • Actively promote and present our program needs to the Legislature and citizens by creating a greater public awareness of the importance and the benefits of equitable, efficient and standardized General Assistance administration.

Bylaws as Amended on 4-23-13

ARTICLE I.            NAME

The name of the organization is the “Maine Welfare Directors Association.”

ARTICLE II.           PURPOSE

This Association shall be dedicated to the following purposes:

Section 1.        To establish and promote equitable, efficient and standardized administration of General Assistance.

Section 2.        To encourage the professional development, growth, and knowledge base of those who administer General Assistance.

Section 3.        To advocate for the municipalities and citizens that we serve.

Section 4.        To actively promote and present our program needs to the Legislature and citizens by creating a greater public awareness of the importance and the benefits of equitable, efficient and standardized General Assistance administration.

 

ARTICLE III.         AFFILIATION

This Association shall be and hereby is affiliated with the Maine Municipal Association.

ARTICLE IV.         MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.        Membership shall consist of Regular, Professional and Honorary members.  All memberships are individual memberships and are not transferable to another person.  Only Regular members have voting privileges and are eligible to hold office.
               
Section 2.        Regular Membership shall be open to those persons who administer and/or determine general assistance eligibility for any city, town or plantation.  To be considered a regular member, dues must be current.

Section 3.        Professional Membership shall be open to any individual employed by a business, corporate group or agency affiliated with this Association and willing to promote the goals of the MWDA.  To be considered a Professional member, dues must be current.  Professional members have no voting privileges and cannot hold office.           

Section 4.        Honorary Membership shall be open to those persons who are former General Assistance Administrators or persons whose work/efforts on behalf of the Association should be recognized.  All Honorary members will be approved by the membership, but will not have voting privileges.  The Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) General Assistance Program Manager, DHHS General Assistance Field Examiner(s) II, and the Maine Municipal Association employee (who serves General Assistance) shall be Honorary Members.

 

ARTICLE V.          DUES/ASSOCIATION FUNDS

Section 1.

Membership dues shall be paid annually with a June 30th expiration date. July 1st will begin the new fiscal year with dues to be paid at that time for the ensuing year. Any member with dues in arrears for a period of 60 days (September 1st) will automatically cease to be an active member of the Association until the dues are paid.

Section 2.

Regular members

$30.00    (Amended 9/24/99)

    Professional members

$40.00    (Amended 5/21/01)

Honorary members

$0

Section 3.

Increases in dues may be considered and voted upon by a majority of the membership present at the business meeting held at the Annual Spring Seminar.

Section 4.           

Association funds shall include all sources of revenue including dues, interest, donations, income from seminars, conventions, etc. In addition to funding normal operating expenses, association funds may be used only for the following purposes:

a.    Presidential Plaques.  Funds may be used to purchase a plaque or suitable gift for outgoing Presidents of the Association in recognition of their service to the organization. The Treasurer will be responsible for making such purchase and will consult with the membership in case of doubt.

b.    Gifts. Funds may be used to purchase an appropriate gift in recognition of outstanding service to the organization and/or community.  The President with approval from the Executive Board will be responsible for selecting an appropriate gift and determine the amount to be spent.  We will also acknowledge those in our Association who are experiencing various changes in their lives and offer our support, as appropriate, with cards and/or flowers.

c.     Special projects. Upon majority vote of the membership at a regular meeting, funds may be used for projects or activities which the membership considers important to the goals and purposes of the organization.

d.    Officer reimbursement.  The sum of $750.00 will be allocated annually from association funds to be available to defray the necessary and reasonable expenses that the association’s president incurs in fulfilling the duties of the presidency.

        Expenditures from this sum will be made by the association’s treasurer. The treasurer will require verification of all expenditures before issuing authorization for payment. Detail of expenditures thus made will be incorporated in monthly treasurer’s reports to the membership.

e.    Determination of reasonable and necessary expenses for Board Members is at the discretion of the Finance Review Committee and may include the cost of the spring seminar (one person), cost of the MMA convention (one person), and mileage reimbursement, meals and toll-call charges incurred in fulfilling duties of office, including board meetings, legislative hearings, etc.  The total sum to be allocated will be reviewed each year and adjusted by vote of the Executive Board as deemed appropriate.

 ARTICLE VI.        PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION

Section 1. 

The Certification Program is open to all who administer General Assistance within a municipality that has at least one paid member of the Maine Welfare Directors Association and who either administers and/or determines general assistance eligibility.  Instructors for GA Basic and GA Advanced Trainings must hold a current certification. The Certification Program requirements are listed in the MWDA’s Administrative Guide under CERTIFICATION PROGRAM-REQUIREMENTS.

 

ARTICLE VII.        OFFICERS

Section 1. 

The officers of the Association shall be the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. These officers shall be elected to one-year terms at the Annual Spring Seminar. Term of office shall commence on July 1st. The Nominating/ Membership Committee shall nominate one or more candidates for election to each of the offices and obtain the consent of the nominees to serve if elected. The regular membership may also nominate candidates.

Section 2. 

Voting for the candidates shall be conducted by means of a written ballot or by a show of hands at the direction of the President.  In instances of more than one candidate for an office, the candidate receiving the majority of votes shall be declared elected.  Only regular members who are present and whose dues are current are eligible to cast a vote.

Section 3. 

Vacancies occurring before the Annual Meeting shall be filled until the next annual meeting by a regular member appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Executive Board.  The following are the exceptions:  In the case of a vacancy in the Presidency, the 1st Vice President shall become President and shall serve until the end of the term.  In the case of a vacancy in the office of the 1st Vice President, the 2nd Vice President shall become 1st Vice President and shall serve until the end of the term.

Section 4. 

If any Officer or member of the Executive Board fails to attend two (2) consecutive Board meetings without good cause, as determined by the Executive Board, his/her office shall be considered vacant and the President shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy. If a member of any committee fails to attend three (3) consecutive Committee meetings without good cause, as determined by the Committee Chair and President, his/her position shall be considered vacant and the Committee Chair shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy.

Section 5. 

The President can by e-mail of the Executive Board or of the Membership ask for a vote, do surveys or anything of that nature, and that vote shall be binding. If the topic is controversial or needs further discussion, the Executive Board by vote can ask for this to be done at a meeting.

ARTICLE VIII.      DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF OFFICERS

Section 1. 

The duties of the officers shall be the usual duties of their respective offices necessary to fulfill the general purposes of the Association. Officers will be required to maintain permanent records of their office. Each position will be held accountable to meet the requirements as outlined in the MWDA’s Administrative Guide under OFFICERS-POSITION DESCRIPTIONS.

Section 2. 

The President shall be the executive officer of the Association and shall be its official spokesperson and representative. He/she shall serve as chairperson of the Association’s Legislative Committee.

Section 3. 

The 1st Vice President shall be responsible for the professional growth of the Association and its members. He/she shall serve as chairperson of the Association’s Professional Development Committee.

Section 4. 

The 2nd Vice President shall be responsible for promoting and encouraging membership in the Association.  He/she shall serve as chairperson of the Association’s Nominating/Membership Committee and as Editor of the Association’s quarterly Newsletter.

Section 5. 

The Secretary or designee shall record the minutes of the Association’s meetings.  He/she shall be responsible for ensuring that files containing agendas, minutes, financial reports, membership, by-laws and any other pertinent information are maintained.  The secretary shall assist the President and officers with the Association’s correspondence, phone calls and other tasks as requested.

Section 6. 

The Treasurer shall approve all funds received and disbursed by the MMA Representative on behalf of the Association. The MMA will maintain the Association’s banking accounts; provide monthly financial reports for review by the Treasurer and President and a year-end financial report for the Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall present an itemized monthly and year-end report to the membership for approval.

ARTICLE IX.         GOVERNMENT

Section 1. 

The government of this Association shall be vested in the Executive Board.

Section 2. 

The Executive Board shall have the control and management of the Association and shall hold and manage all property of the Association.

Section 3. 

The Executive Board shall consist of the following ten (10) members: the President, the 1st Vice President, the 2nd Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the two (2) immediate Past Presidents and three (3) regular members of the Association to be elected from the floor at the Annual Spring Seminar. The voting process for the latter shall be the same as it is for the election of the Officers. The President shall be the presiding officer of the Executive Board.

Section 4. 

There shall be five standing committees of the Association; these are the Legislative Committee, the Professional Development Committee, the Nominating/Membership Committee, the Certification Committee, and the Finance Review Committee. The chairpersons of each committee will select their committee members. The President shall have the power, with the approval of the Executive Board, to establish additional standing committees or special committees as may be deemed necessary for the proper conduct of the affairs of the Association. No committee of the Association shall be authorized to create any financial liability unless it first shall have been approved as to its purpose and amount by the Executive Board. Standing committee descriptions are listed in MWDA’s Administrative Guide under COMMITTEES – DESCRIPTIONS/DUTIES.


ARTICLE X.           EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS

Section 1. 

The Executive Board shall meet at any time upon the call of the President. In addition, meetings may be called by three (3) members of the Executive Board. The Board shall meet no less than three (3) times annually; however these meetings can take place by e-mail or conference call if necessary.

Section 2. 

Five (5) members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum necessary for the discharge of business.

Section 3. 

The members of the Executive Board may vote upon any issue submitted to the Board either in person, by mail, e-mail, facsimile, or telephone.  All votes cast must be received by Maine Municipal Association’s secretary designated for MWDA.  Votes must be available to be tallied on or before the commencement of the meeting in which the issue will be voted on.

ARTICLE XI.         ASSOCIATION MEETINGS

Section 1. 

The annual meeting of the Association shall take place during the Annual Spring Seminar.

Section 2. 

The Association shall hold at least one (1) meeting per year in addition to the Annual Spring Seminar and the MMA Convention. A weather related cancellation will be decided by the President and at least two other members of the Executive Board. The decision as to whether or not to reschedule will be decided by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

Section 3. 

An organizational meeting will be held between June 1st and August 31st of each year with all outgoing and incoming officers. At this time, Committee Chairpersons and the Finance Review Committee shall be selected. Committee chairs will begin selecting their committee members. The By-laws, Administrative Guide, Roberts Rules and Committee tasks shall be reviewed.

Section 4. 

Eleven (11) regular members shall constitute a quorum for the Association.

Section 5. 

All members may be heard in debate, but only Regular Members of the Association shall be entitled to vote.

 

ARTICLE XII.      MWDA Mary Frances Bartlett Scholarship

Section 1.  The scholarship is open to all MWDA members in good standing who can demonstrate a need for academic and financial assistance. The scholarship award is limited to registration and accommodations (more than 50 miles from the seminar site) for the Spring Seminar. The scholarship requirements are listed in the MWDA’s Administrative Guide under Scholarship and Training Policies.

ARTICLE XIII.        RULES OF ORDER

Section 1. 

The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of all meetings of the Association and its constituent parts except as provided in these by-laws.

ARTICLE XIV.       AMENDMENTS

The Association’s by-laws, unless described otherwise herein, may be amended by presenting proposed amendments, in writing, or electronically to the membership and shall be voted upon at the next scheduled meeting. A majority vote of the regular members present is necessary for passage. Once an amendment is passed, it shall take effect immediately unless an effective date stating otherwise is included.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© Maine Welfare Directors Association
60 Community Drive
Augusta, ME 04330
207.623.8428

ResourceCenter@memun.org