VMICC Policies & Procedures
Approved September 21, 2020 by the full Community Council
VMICC operates as a participatory, non-partisan forum, sometimes called “town meeting,” (one person, one vote of all members present or participating through telecommunication); it aims to:
- Represent the interests of the Vashon-Maury Island community.
- Limit the issues brought to the VMICC to those that affect the community. Avoid private concerns unless they have broad community implications. Avoid partisan political activity that supports or opposes one or more political parties or individuals for public office.
- Conduct outreach to residents and Island organizations. Assist, as we can, such individuals or groups in their dealings with governmental or other entities.
- Establish and maintain points of contact with appropriate governmental or other entities.
- Comply with the spirit of the open public meetings act in all operations.
- Strive to be accessible to island residents and other interested participants.
- Be a strong advocate for island issues at all levels of government (local, county, state, and federal) and other entities.
- Seek out and consider all sides of VMICC issues while striving for equity and fairness.
- Be a leader in representing the changing needs of the Island community.
VMICC General Meeting and Board Operation Policies
President (or their designate) shall chair meetings, recognize speakers, make such decisions/rules as necessary to maintain an orderly meeting, and ensure that the Council bylaws and these policies and procedures are followed.
President and clerk shall coordinate the counting of votes on motions. At the discretion of the Chair, voting by those physically present may be done anonymously.
Written and digital copies of the agenda should be available to all attendees and contain the following, normally in the order listed: Welcome (call to order), approval of minutes (written copies available) by requesting that any corrections be submitted to the clerk, call for additions/changes to agenda, Treasurer’s report, introduction of guests, announcements, old business (primarily motions up for vote), guest presentations, new business, new motions, open discussion, adjournment.
Board members are expected to attend both Board and Community Council meetings.
- As a courtesy, members are asked to notify the president when they will not be attending either a Board meeting or a Community Council meeting.
- If a member misses more than three meetings in a six-month period, the member should make a brief statement to the Board, explaining attendance difficulties, and a plan to increase attendance.
- If a member anticipates coming to no meetings for two or more consecutive months, that person will take a leave of absence or resign pending re-election at the next election.
Board members should familiarize themselves with the Council bylaws and these policies and procedures.
Board actions require a Board quorum, except for setting general meeting agendas.
The Board may designate specific responsibilities and develop/maintain specific job descriptions for individual board members.
The Board shall develop an operating budget annually that provides for the expenses of the Council and its committees.
The Board should designate liaisons with all its committees.
Each Board member will serve as a liaison to one or more of the following sectors on the Island:
Culture and history
Health and human services
There will be seven elected Board members. The seven elected members will then promptly choose two more Board members (for a total of nine) who shall be selected for their ability to effectively liaison with two or more sectors on the Island that would otherwise be underrepresented on the Board.
The Board should ensure that the press has a copy of the Community Council meeting agenda in time to provide reasonable notice
A quorum of the Board may communicate or otherwise take immediate / emergency action on matters of importance to the Island without Community Council permission provided that the matter would be moot otherwise and provided also that the action is in accordance with the bylaws and adopted policy. The president shall describe the action at the next Community Council meeting and invite comment. If the Community Council is opposed, then the Board shall take action consistent with the Council’s wishes.
VMICC Policies and Procedures for Committees
1. VMICC committees are agencies of and therefore derive their authority from the VMICC. They exist in order to facilitate the effective operation of the VMICC; their activities generally will include the following: studying issues, developing possible solutions, fact finding, making recommendations to the VMICC, educating Island residents about relevant issues.
2. Committees shall act consistent with VMICC bylaws, policies, and their individual charters. Committees must seek the prior advice and consent of the VMICC before committing the VMICC to actions or public positions. Unless otherwise directed by the Board, all committee recommendations shall be forwarded to the VMICC with the reasons for those recommendations. It is normally the function of the VMICC to make final decisions and communicate with outside agencies.
3. The Board, in conjunction with each committee, should develop and regularly update a charter outlining the committee’s authority.
4. Committees should develop their own operating procedures, consistent with VMICC bylaws and Board policy. Such procedures, subject to approval by the Board, should meet the spirit of the open meetings act and provide accessibility to all interested parties and members of the VMICC. Any island resident, consistent with VMICC procedures and bylaws, may attend and participate.
5. Only committee members shall be entitled to vote on committee matters.
6. Committees must elect their chairs annually. A chair cannot serve a third term unless approved by the Board prior to the election. The intent of this policy is to allow for increased participation in Island government. It is the duty of the chair and the committee to look for another chair. A two-year chair may be elected again after a year out of office. If the committee does not elect a chair, the Board shall appoint one.
7. Committees shall keep minutes of all meetings. These minutes, at a minimum, will include a record of all committee action (votes) and also a list of all those present at the meeting. Copies of the minutes should be submitted to the VMICC clerk who shall provide copies periodically to the Vashon Library and VMICC web master for posting.
8. Committee meetings, insofar as is practical, should occur on a regular basis in a public facility large enough to accommodate all interested parties. Committees shall make reasonable effort to provide advance publicity of their meeting time, place, and agenda.
9. For any topic under discussion, before decisions are made, the committee chair shall make all reasonable effort to notify all interested parties and give them opportunity to participate in the discussion.
10. Committee chairs, or their delegate, should be present at VMICC meetings to give reports of their activities, as requested.
11. The Board should designate a Board member as liaison with each committee.
12. As an agency of the VMICC, documented committee expenses are VMICC expenses. Committee expenses which may be incurred without prior Board approval are copying and travel in amounts not to exceed a total of $100 per committee per year. If a committee wishes to increase its yearly budget above $100, it must submit a budget request to the Board Treasurer prior to the November Board meeting. The budget request must include the purposes and total amount needed from the VMICC and the expected additional amount projected to be generated by committee fund raising. Such request will be included in the budget for approval at the VMICC annual meeting. The committee may then spend for the purposes stated (without further approval) the budgeted amount plus funds raised as approved in the budget. If a committee still needs more funds, it may make a special request to the Board. Such a request may be decided upon by the Board if the request is for $500 or less. If the request is for more than $500, it must be approved by the VMICC at a Community Council meeting.
13. All requests for expense reimbursement must be submitted to the Treasurer using an approved “Expense Reimbursement” form.
14. As an agency of the VMICC, committee income is VMICC income, and shall be submitted to the Treasurer within 15 days of receipt for deposit into the VMICC bank account. Following Board approval for fundraising, any funds raised by a committee shall be reserved for the purposes intended for two years, and may be spent at the committee’s discretion.
15. Committee chair actions, reports, etc. must reflect the wishes of the committee.
VMICC Policies and Procedures for Elections
- Voting is to be available to all island residents, 16 years or older at time of election, including all seated Board members.
- Candidates may be any island resident who is 16 years of age or older at time of election.
- Candidate forms will be provided by the Nominating Committee to be filled out and returned by a specific date determined by the committee.
- Candidates shall run in a nonpartisan capacity.
- Elections may be held in conjunction with regular general elections.
- Elections will be by Ranked Choice Voting.
- Ballots may also contain advisory issues.
- Ballots shall be mailed to all island postal addresses or hosted on the VMICC Website for all members who have registered as VMICC Members on the website with “Member Identification” and “Password”. Same day registration is allowed.
- Paper Ballots will also be available upon request for mail-in elections.
- Voters are honor bound to submit only one official ballot (or exact copy) per eligible voter.
- Voter names will be protected by double envelopes for mail ballots or by separate vote tabulation files without names for website voting.
- The option of online voting may be made available.
Election Preparation Guidance
- The Board shall appoint an Election Committee.
- Recruit and train poll workers as required.
- Recruit and train vote tally persons and observers as required.
- Prepare ballots if eight or more candidates are nominated.
- Select parameters for Ranked Choice Voting (see Resources).
- Mail one ballot with instructions, candidate statements, and double envelopes for return to every island postal address or provide notice of website election to all VMICC Members.
- Announce availability of Special ballots if needed.
- Designate place and time for return of voted ballots if paper ballots are used.
Day of Voting
- Paper ballots must be postmarked by the last day of voting or deposited at an advertised collection site.
- Close website voting at 11:59 PM on the last day of voting.
- Return all material (ballots, etc.) to designated location.
- Tabulate ballots using Ranked Choice Voting (see Resources section for more information).
- Election Committee announces final results at November Community Council meeting.
- Hold paper ballots and electronic voting results until the next election has been completed.
To learn about Ranked Choice Voting go to: https://www.fairvote.org/rcv#how_rcv_works. For free open source software go to RANKED CHOICE VOTING RESOURCE CENTER at: http://www.rankedchoicevoting.org/universal_rcv_tabulator
Policies on Voting and Meeting Decorum
VOTING ON MOTIONS/ISSUES BEFORE THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
There are two voting categories common to the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council. They are:
(Both indicated by a raising and counting of hands. At the discretion of the Chair, voting by those physically present may be done anonymously.
The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council prides itself on striving to conduct its business in a professional, respectful and courteous manner. As the Community Council is comprised of the citizens of Vashon-Maury Island, it is understood that citizens participating in General Council meetings and other forums will conduct themselves in the same manner.
Common courtesy and respect for your fellow islanders is expected. Rudeness and bad behavior are not acceptable, nor will they be tolerated. This is especially so when commenting on Council business or motions raised or discussed before the Council, and most assuredly at Council committee meetings.
Council and/or Council committee meetings will be stopped/terminated if or when the respective Chairs determine that common courtesy and respect have been breached.
Your understanding and cooperation in this regard is sincerely appreciated.