RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE NON-PARTISAN COMMITTEE

 

Adopted Pursuant to Paragraph 5(b) of

the “Plan” Adopted January 13, 1936

As adopted on December 11, 1967;

Revised December 12, 1977; Amended

December 13, 1982; November 22, 1983;

October 2, 1984; June 23, 1988; December 7, 1993;

January 27, 1998; December 9, 2002; March 24, 2009; December 4, 2013; September 23, 2014, March 17, 2015; May 26, 2015, March 1, 2016, September 27, 2016, January 30, 2018, and May 15, 2019.

 

 

I.         NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS 

 

1.         In the Spring of each year, the Chairman shall convene the Committee for the purpose of nomination by the Committee of candidates from each election district for election to the Committee. The time-frame for this process shall be consistent with the sequence for election stated in paragraph 3 of the “Plan.” 

 

2.         21 days prior to the first meeting at which the Committee will consider candidates for Committee member the Chairman shall make public in the local media and on the NPC website: 

 

     a.   a request for the submission of names of potential candidates; and,

     b.   a description of the Committee’s purpose and processes, including its role in a contested election. 

 

3.         At the first meeting at which the Committee will consider candidates for Committee member: 

 

     a.   the Chairman shall advise the Committee of the eligibility for re-election of members with expiring terms; 

     b.   Committee members shall present to the Committee the names of candidates qualified for nomination to the Committee; and,

     c.   any Bronxville Village resident or any other Committee member may present names of qualified candidates in each district. 

4.         The Chairman shall assign to various Committee members the names of candidates for the purpose of an interview to determine the candidate’s willingness to serve. Those candidates willing to be considered will be required to complete a brief form covering basic biographical information and relevant experience (the “Information Form”); this form should also summarize the duties of Committee members. The Chairman shall eliminate from consideration for membership on the Committee any candidate who is an elected official of the Village of Bronxville or an officer of a political party; or one currently seeking election to a Village office or to an office in a political party.  

5.         Prior to the mailing of ballots as required in Paragraph 3 of the Plan, the Secretary of the Committee shall: 

 

     a.   verify that each candidate is a resident of the election district he or she is to represent and has been a resident of the Village of Bronxville for at least two years, unless otherwise agreed upon by the Committee; 

     b.   distribute to each member a list containing the names of candidates arranged according to election district; 

     c.   verify that each candidate is not an elected official of the Village of Bronxville or an officer of a political party; or that the candidate is not seeking elective office in the Village of Bronxville; and,

     d. verify that each candidate is not a faculty member or employee of the school district, or a family member of a faculty member or employee of the school district.

 

6.         After the Committee has received Information Forms from candidates and has a full list of candidates for election to the Committee: 

     a.   the Chairman shall publish the biographies of the candidates called for in paragraph 3 of the “Plan”; and, 

     b.   the Chairman shall with the concurrence of the majority of the Committee appoint a person to administer the election with adequate safeguards to protect voters’ privacy.

7.         The Committee shall not campaign on behalf of a candidate but an individual Committee member may do so. 

8.         The Committee shall actively encourage residents of the Bronxville School District to be placed independently on the ballot for election to membership on The Non-Partisan Committee by making available to the community the Information Form, required to be filled out by those wishing to have their names placed on the ballot, in advance of the date for composing the printed ballots. The Information Form shall be available for download from the NPC website and available for pickup from the Superintendent’s Office, Village Hall and The Village Library.

9.         In counting ballots cast in the election for new NPC members, an existing NPC member shall not be involved in opening or counting ballots cast by voters from the Election District represented by such NPC member.

10.       Election of NPC members may take place through mailing of paper and/or electronic ballots. The NPC shall use reasonable efforts to (i) update annually the email list used for online balloting and (ii) use the most current and reliable technology for distributing email ballots and casting votes.  An electronic ballot shall be considered authentic after confirmation of voter’s e-mail address.  The electronic vote is reviewed by an independent organization, such as the League of Women’s Voters.

 

II. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF COMMITTEE OFFICERS 

 

  1. In September, the Executive Committee (which shall be defined as the Chairperson,  the Vice Chairperson and the Secretary/Treasurer, collectively) with the concurrence of the majority of the NPC shall appoint no less than five members representing different election districts, the majority of whom shall be members retiring from the Committee, to serve on the Nominating Committee.  

  2. In the Spring, the Nominating Committee shall present to the NPC a slate of candidates for officers for the ensuing year.  The NPC shall vote for officers at a meeting held in May or June.  

  3. The officers shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and a Secretary/Treasurer.  The NPC may elect Co-Chairs for each office.  Potential NPC officers are encouraged to commit to more than one year as an officer.  

  4. Any member may submit nominations for officers.

  5. Officers may not succeed himself or herself in the same office. 

  6. It is preferred that officers reside in different election districts.  

  7. Each Spring, the NPC shall decide which subcommittees, including but not limited to those set forth on Appendix II, it shall form for the upcoming year.  

  8. Each Spring, the Nominating Committee shall present to the NPC for its approval subcommittee Chairs and/or Co-Chairs for the ensuing year.  

 

III.      NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF TRUSTEES 

 

1.         In January, the Chairman shall convene the Committee for the purpose of nomination by the Committee of one candidate for each vacancy on the Board of Education. The time-frame for this process shall be consistent with the sequence for elections stated in paragraph 5(a) of the “Plan.” 

 

2.         In September, the Chairman shall distribute to each Committee member a copy of the “Plan,” of the Rules of Procedure, a map showing the Bronxville Village election districts, and a statement of the powers, functions and duties of the Trustees of the Bronxville School District. 

 

3.         The Chairman shall advise the Committee of the number of vacancies to be filled on the Board at the next election, of the names of Board members with expiring terms, and of the eligibility for re-election of Board members with expiring terms. Prior to January, the Chairman shall ask each Board member eligible for re-election to advise the committee in writing, with a copy to the local media, of his or her intention of standing for re-nomination. 

 

4.         Prior to interviewing and evaluating Trustee nominee candidates, the Committee shall discuss issues facing the Board and their implications for selection of nominees. To facilitate its discussion, the Committee may wish to invite one or more current Trustees and/or the Superintendent of Schools to address the meeting; it may also wish to sponsor a public general meeting or district meetings to ascertain the views of the community. It shall be the duty of The Non-Partisan Committee to announce publicly each year its search for candidates for School Trustees, and incorporate in that announcement the language from IV-14(a) of the Rules of Procedure. 

 

5.         Each Committee member shall present to the Committee the names of candidates qualified for nomination to the Board. 

 

6.         The Committee shall contact every potential candidate suggested to it. The Chairman shall assign to various Committee members the names of candidates for the purpose of an interview to determine whether the candidate will consent to be a Committee nominee. 

 

7.         Prior to the interviews: 

 

     a.   the Committee shall develop an action plan for promoting its candidates in the event of a contested election. Such plan shall include the public meeting required by paragraph III (12) of these Rules and other measures primarily directed toward demonstrating to the community that the Committee’s process is thorough and fair and that the process results in the nomination of candidates who are best able to serve the interests of the school community. The emphasis should be on enhancing the community’s understanding of the Committee’s function and process as well as maintaining the trust that the community has in the Committee. The Committee’s action plan shall be articulated in writing to each candidate who interviews with the Committee; and,

     b.   all candidates will be asked to complete a form provided by the Committee which will cover basic biographical information, relevant experience, involvement in the school, current issues facing the Board, and a list of references.  References shall not include any current BOE trustees.  

 

8.         The Chairman shall circulate the completed forms to the Committee members prior to the initiation of the Committee interview process.

 

9.         All nominees shall be interviewed by the Committee, whether standing for election or re-election. 

 

10.       Each Committee member is responsible for becoming acquainted, either through the interview process or in some other manner, with each nominee.

 

11.       Voting for Committee nominee shall be by ballot and be performed according to the procedure detailed in APPENDIX I. To be designated a Committee nominee for a Board vacancy; a candidate must receive at least fourteen (14) affirmative votes, except as otherwise may be provided in APPENDIX I. A motion to make the designation unanimous can be defeated by one negative vote. 

12.       A public meeting shall be held each year to meet The Non-Partisan Committee candidates for Trustee. 

IV.       GENERAL PROVISIONS 

1.         A quorum of the Committee shall consist of eleven (11) members, except that at a meeting to elect Committee members and/or Trustees, a quorum shall consist of fourteen (14) members. 

2.         The Secretary shall keep minutes of Committee meetings. 

3.         For purposes of disseminating the district ballots described in paragraph 3 of the Plan, the Secretary may rely on the most reasonably current Village mailing list that is available. The NPC should make every reasonable effort to enable all residents to vote.  The NPC should send ballots to every household on the mailing list, include two ballots in each envelope sent, and provide extra ballots in the Superintendent’s Office, to be used by additional members of a household who are eligible to vote in the election. 

 

4.         Committee interview and elections shall be kept confidential by the members.

 

5.         Committee meetings shall be called by the Chairman upon at least five days written notice to Committee members. The purpose of the meeting shall be identified in the notice. 

 

6.         Committee ballots for nominees shall be counted by two NPC members.  One counter shall be an NPC Officer:   either Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer, selected in this order.  The second counter shall be a non-NPC officer and shall be either a former NPC officer or a 3rd year NPC member, selected in this order.  Selections will be determined by the NPC officers and approved by the NPC.  Vote counts shall not be disclosed to anyone, including other Committee members, as stated in Appendix I of the Rules and Procedures, NPC Voting System

 

7.         A Committee member shall not be elected for more than one full term, except: 

     a.   a former Committee member is eligible for re-election after an absence of three (3) years from Committee membership; 

     b.   a member may be re-elected once after serving a partial term of less than one-half of one full term; 

     c.   a member who, during the course of the year moves from one election district to another within the Bronxville School District without having completed a full term, shall be eligible to stand for election from the new district for one full three-year term. 

8.         It shall be the policy of the Committee that any Committee member who, during his or her tenure on the Committee, chooses to run for political office or becomes an officer of a political party, shall immediately resign from the Committee.  Any Committee member who, during his or her tenure on the Committee, seeks or commences employment with the School District, or whose family member seeks or commences employment with the School District, shall immediately resign from the Committee.

9.         Each officer shall maintain a record of his or her activities relating to the execution of the duties prescribed in these Rules of Procedure and the “Plan,” and of any other duties or assignments carried out in the Committee’s interests. The record shall be given to the officer’s successor. 

 

10.       It is the responsibility of Committee members to inform themselves of the qualifications of candidates for Committee officer, Committee member and Trustee. Each Committee member may make inquiries of other Committee members and/or non-Committee members to inform himself/herself of such qualifications of candidates. Committee members are urged to express their opinions freely in Committee meetings, including any doubts and reservations, in regard to the qualifications of candidates under consideration for Committee and/or Board membership; their comments should be objective, factual, and avoid hearsay. It is the duty of the Chairman to focus the discussion, to the extent possible, upon the qualifications of the candidates and the needs of the school.  

 

11.       Committee members shall attend meetings of the Board of Education as often as possible. The Committee should consider having a brief report on the preceding Board meetings at each of its meetings. 

 

12.       Each member of the Committee should make a concerted effort to communicate with neighbors, friends and the community to ascertain the needs of the school and actively canvass the community for possible candidates for Trustees and committee members. 

 

13.       Once a nominee for Trustee has been duly designated as a candidate by the Committee, it shall be considered inappropriate for any individual member or group of members of the committee to (a) personally promote a Committee candidate with language or in a format that differs significantly from that approved by the Committee and the Public Relations subcommittee, or to (b) promote a non-Committee candidate in the public election. 

14.       The criteria applied in selecting Trustees include:

a.   It is the policy of the Committee that a nominee for Trustee shall be an individual whose educational or professional background and/or volunteer experience will enhance the candidate’s effectiveness and who will make a substantial contribution to the deliberations of the Board. The candidate must be knowledgeable about the needs of the Bronxville School and community and must be a registered voter in the Bronxville, N.Y. election district. Candidates must be aware of the heavy time requirements for service on the Board of Trustees, and prepared to make allowances in their vocational and personal commitments so that they will be able to attend all meetings and fulfill committee assignments. 

 

b.   It is currently the law of New York that a nominee for school board trustee shall:

   1. be able to read and write; 

   2. be a qualified voter of the school district (i.e., must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years or older, a district resident for at least 30 days, and not be a convicted felon or have been adjudged an incompetent); 

   3. have been a district resident for at least one year prior to the election (but need not have been a taxpayer); 

   4. not have been removed from a school district office within one year of the election; 

   5. not be an employee of the Board of Education; 

   6. be the only member of his/her family (defined as those within the same household) on such board. 

c.   It is the policy of the Committee that an applicant for school board Trustee shall not be: 

   1. an elected official of the Village of Bronxville; 

   2. a former Trustee who has not been off the Board for more than two (2) years; 

   3. a faculty member or employee of the Board of Education; 

   4. the spouse of a faculty member or employee of the Board of Education

   5. a former member of the Non-Partisan Committee who has not been off the Committee for more than one (1) year.

In the event an applicant is the spouse of a member of the Non-Partisan Committee, such NPC member shall recuse him/herself from the NPC activities during such year.

15.       An appeal for funds should be included in the mailing of ballots for election of Committee members. Additional fundraising methods should be employed as and when necessary. 

 

16.       At least every four (4) years the Committee shall form an advisory committee to review its procedures. The committee shall be composed of Committee members, former Committee members and representatives of the community. 

 

17.       These Rules of Procedure were adopted by the affirmative vote of fourteen (14) Committee members. Any waivers of or amendments to these Rules of Procedure shall require the affirmative vote of fourteen (14) Committee members. 

 

18.       Where not otherwise provided, the procedures of the Committee shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised.