POTOMAC RIVER SAILING ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION
(Amendments through November 2015)
ARTICLE I Name
The name of this organization shall be the “Potomac River Sailing Association.”
ARTICLE II Purpose
The purpose of the PRSA shall be to promote sail racing on the Potomac River, to increase the interest of the general public in the sport of sailing, to aid in the design and construction of sailing craft to be built for use in these waters, and to provide a medium of good fellowship and sociability.
ARTICLE III Membership
Section 1. Active Membership
Active members only shall have the right to skipper a boat in the races of the Association, except as noted in Sections 3 and 4 of this Article. Active members only shall have the right to hold the offices of Commodore, Vice-Commodore, and Rear-Commodore Active members or their spouses only shall have the right to hold the offices of Secretary and Treasurer.
Section 2. Associate Membership
Associate membership is open to crews or any person interested in sailing.
Section 3. Junior/Student Membership
Junior/Student membership is open to skippers under 18 years of age and to skippers who are full-time students. Junior/student members may skipper a boat in the races of the Association.
Section 4. Sea Scout Membership
Sea Scout membership, which shall accord all privileges of the Association except that of holding office shall be open to any Sea Scout under the age of 18 years, on recommendation the Sea Scout’s Skipper and on approval of the Executive Committee
Section 5. Honorary Membership
The Executive Committee shall have the sole power to recommend the election of honorary members of the Association, which election shall require a vote of two-thirds of the membership present at any regular meeting of the Association. This honor may be conferred on a person for meritorious service to the Association, the sport of yachting, or for outstanding performance of seamanship, and said membership shall accord all social privileges of the Association.
Section 6. Qualification for Membership
A candidate for membership may be proposed by any member of the Association or may himself make application for membership, which shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval.
Section 7. Life Membership
Upon approval of the Executive Committee, life membership may be conferred on any person who has, for five consecutive years, been an active, or junior/student member in good standing, on payment of a sum equal to ten times the full year’s dues then in effect for an active member.
Section 8. Expulsion
Upon recommendation of the Executive Committee and after an opportunity to be heard, any member may be expelled for cause by a two-thirds vote of the voting membership.
ARTICLE IV. Voting
Voting membership is defined as follows: Each sailboat shall have one vote, which shall be cast by its owner, or the part owner designated by the other part owners, or by its regular skipper who has been so designated on the records of the Association. A member who has more than one boat shall not be permitted to cast more than one vote.
Voting by proxy in writing shall not be allowed.
ARTICLE V Dues (amended November 2015 with immediate effect)
A. Active Membership: the dues for active membership in the Potomac River Sailing Association shall be as follows:
- Skipper of a multi-person boat: $100
- Skipper of a single-person boat: $70
A new skipper joining PRSA after the beginning of the membership year will pay prorated membership dues calculated from the 1st day of the month in which the new skipper joins
B. Associate Membership: the dues for associate membership in the Potomac River Sailing Association shall be $30.
C. Junior/Student Membership: the dues for Junior or Student membership in the Potomac River Sailing Association shall be $25.
D. Sea Scout Membership: the dues for Sea Scout membership in the Potomac River Sailing Association shall be $25.
E. The annual membership year shall be December 1 through November 30. Membership dues payments for returning members are due by December 1 each calendar year. A late payment fee of $25 will be assessed for returning members paying dues on or after January 15.
F. After the 2016 membership year the PRSA membership fee will increase by $10 for active members and by $5 for associate members every third year. The PRSA Executive Board will revisit the dues structure in 2025 and report back to the membership at that time.
ARTICLE VI. Officers
The officers of the Association shall consist of a Commodore, a Vice-Commodore, a Rear-Commodore, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.
The officers above-named together with the immediate past commodore and an elected representative from each of the active racing classes in the Association shall constitute the Executive Committee. Fleets shall certify the election of their representatives to the Association’s secretary prior to the start of the calendar year.
The officers and members of the Executive Committee shall serve for a period of one year, beginning January first each year.
No officer shall be eligible to serve more than three years in succession in the same office, except the Treasurer and Secretary.
Candidates for office shall be presented by the nominating committee at a meeting of the Association. Additional candidates may be nominated from the floor at the time of the election. Voting shall be by secret ballot when there is more than one candidate for a position, and a simple majority of votes cast shall be required for election.
Vacancies occurring in the offices of the Association during a term of office shall be filled by a regular election held at the earliest possible date after the vacancy occurs, with the exception of the office of Commodore, which vacancy shall be filled by the Vice-Commodore for the unexpired term. Should a vacancy occur in both the offices of Commodore and Vice-Commodore during the same year, both vacancies shall be filled by a special election according the provisions of Section 5.
ARTICLE VII Duties of Officers
The Commodore shall be the chief executive officer of the Association and shall preside at all meetings. He shall have active and general management of the Association. He shall see that’ all orders and resolutions of the Executive Committee are carried out. He shall be general superintendent of all the officers and see that their duties are carried out. He shall appoint all committees that are hereinafter provided, except that nominating committee, or that he deems necessary to fulfill the objects of the Association. He shall have the authority to fly the Association pennant with three stars.
The Vice-Commodore shall have such powers and duties as usually pertain to such an office, and in the absence of the Commodore shall preside at all meetings. He shall have the authority to fly the Association pennant with two stars.
The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys and deposit the same in the name of the Association in such bank as may be approved by the Executive Committee. He shall pay all bills contracted by the Association and keep an accurate statement of his account in a book provided for that purpose. He shall make a detailed report at each annual meeting of all receipts and expenditures of the Association and of the money remaining in his hands.
The Secretary shall be the custodian of the permanent records of the Association. He shall keep a full and complete list of all members, both past and present, and maintain the mailing list of the Association. He shall keep the minutes of the meetings, conduct the correspondence of the Association, and maintain the register of boats in the Association as prescribed in the Bylaws. At the end of each year he shall prepare a report for the permanent records of the Association composed of the reports of the Commodore, the Treasurer and the Secretary.
The Executive Committee shall determine the policy of the Association, adopt bylaws, authorize purchase of or contract for the necessary materials and services for the management and operation of the Association, and approve payments of bills from the Association’s funds. It shall determine dates, time and place of races; make final rulings on decisions of the Race Committee; and award trophies. The Executive’ Committee shall meet at the call of the Commodore, or upon written request of three of its members. A majority’ of its members shall constitute a quorum.
The Rear-Commodore shall have such powers and duties as usually pertain to such an office. He shall have the authority to fly the Association pennant with one star.
ARTICLE VIII Committees
There shall be a nominating committee, the membership of which shall be composed of the immediate past commodore and the fleet captains or duly authorized representatives of the various classes racing in the Association The committee, which shall elect its own chairman, shall convene at the call of the Secretary on or before October first each year. The nominating committee shall select one or more candidates for each office of the Association. The selections shall be reported on or before October fifteenth to the Secretary, who shall include the names of the candidates in the announcement of the annual meeting. In the event of a special election, the nominating committee shall select a candidate or candidates, and its selections shall be included in the announcement of the meeting. It shall be the duty of the nominating committee to see that its candidates are duly nominated.
The Commodore shall appoint an auditing committee. This committee shall audit the books and accounts of the Treasurer at its discretion and at least once between the end of year and the annual meeting. It shall report any irregularities immediately and, submit a report of audit at the annual meeting.
The Commodore shall appoint a race program committee which shall consist of a race program committee chairman, a representative from each racing fleet (not necessarily the fleet captain), and such other members as the Commodore, and the race program chairman shall deem necessary for the proper execution of the race program committee’s duties.
The Commodore shall appoint a publications and publicity committee which shall consist of a chairman and three additional members. The Secretary of the Association shall serve as an ex officio member of this committee.
The Commodore shall appoint an activities committee which shall consist of a committee chairman and a minimum of three additional members.
The Commodore shall appoint a property committee which shall consist of a committee chairman and a minimum of three additional members.
The Commodore shall appoint a ways-and-means committee which shall consist of a committee chairman and three members.
No member of the Association shall be appointed to more than two committees.
An annual meeting shall be held after November first and’ before December fifteenth of each year. This meeting shall have as its principal business the election of officers for the following calendar year.
Such other meetings as are necessary may be called by the Commodore at his discretion or shall be called by the Commodore upon the written petition of three or more active members.
All meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.
ARTICLE X Flags
The distinguishing signal of the Association shall be a black swan on a yellow field in accordance with the attached drawing. This signal may be displayed by any member in good standing.
ARTICLE XI Amendments
This constitution may be amended, altered, or repealed at any meeting by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present in person or by proxy, provided that notices of the proposed changes are mailed to the entire voting membership fifteen days in advance of such meeting.