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The Bylaws of Stafford Hamlet

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this Hamlet shall be Stafford Hamlet.

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

The purpose of Stafford Hamlet is:

  1. To be a legally defined entity according to Clackamas County Ordinance 03-2007.
  2. To promote community identity.
  3. To provide community members with a forum to express positions on issues of concern.
  4. To be the voice of the community.
  5. To provide advice to Board of County Commissioners (BCC), Metro, Cities, Community Planning Organization and the State of Oregon on issues relevant to the Hamlet.
  6. To seek equitable representation of the interests of the community members.
  7. To enhance livability, sustainability and functionality of the Stafford community.
  8. To review and consider long-range governance issues.
  9. To handle other community issues within the authority granted to a Hamlet.

ARTICLE III: ACTIVITIES OF HAMLET

Stafford Hamlet shall undertake the following:

  1. Develop a community vision plan conceived within a grassroots effort from our community that reflects the view of the community, and will be developed in collaboration with Community Planning Organizations, cities, Clackamas County, Metro, the State of Oregon and other groups and districts as appropriate.
  2. The community vision plan shall not be construed as a binding land use planning document, but as an effort to reflect the vision of the Hamlet and its community members. The community vision plan will not include land within the adjacent cities’ Urban Growth Boundaries or Urban Services Boundaries as defined on November 9, 2006.
  3. Address in the community vision plan preliminary considerations regarding, but not limited to, traffic flow, water, sewer, residential and office/commercial development, parks, open spaces and schools. It is the Hamlet’s objective to have a community vision plan consistent with the objectives of Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 5, and all other applicable Oregon Statewide Planning Goals.
  4. Create an approval process within the Hamlet for the community vision plan that recognizes the interests of, and will be approved in an equitable manner by, resident and non-resident owners of large and small properties, business owners and renters within Stafford Hamlet.
  5. Develop a Hamlet budget and build a fund to a level needed for development of the community vision plan and expenses of the Hamlet.
  6. Develop and maintain active, two-way communication with the local Community Planning Organization, Cities, Clackamas County, Metro, the State of Oregon and other groups and districts as appropriate.
  7. Hold community meetings at least every two months, of which four are quarterly Town Hall meetings.
  8. Develop and maintain active communication with Hamlet members by such means as electronic media (Hamlet website and email) and print media (mailings and newspapers).

ARTICLE IV: BOUNDARY

Section 1. Proposed. The boundary of the Stafford Hamlet is defined on the south by the north edge of the I 205 right-of-way as it intersects the Stafford-Tualatin Valley CPO and the entire northern boundary of the Stafford-Tualatin Valley CPO. In addition, the boundary shall include the area defined as the Tualatin Loop and the contiguous area of SW Johnson Road, south of I-205.

Section 2. Changes. The Hamlet boundary may be changed after discussion with neighboring organizations, jurisdictions, and service providers; a majority vote of members in the area to be changed; a majority vote of the Hamlet members at a Town Hall meeting; and review and approval by the BCC.

ARTICLE V: MEMBERSHIP

Although participation in meetings and discussions is open to all, only Hamlet members are eligible to vote. Membership in the Stafford Hamlet shall be open to anyone 18 years old or older who is a resident of the Stafford Hamlet, a property owner within the Stafford Hamlet or a designated representative of a business, corporation, or trust within the Stafford Hamlet. The right to vote shall be granted to all persons upon showing proof of eligibility and signing the official membership/attendance register. Membership will lapse if the member is no longer eligible. Participation is by individual initiative rather than by governmental invitation.

ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS

Section 1. Community Meeting. The Hamlet shall hold community meetings at least every two months. The Hamlet shall undertake the activities and business of the Hamlet, including identifying, discussing and voting on community issues; voting on land use actions; setting goals to guide the Hamlet Board, hearing reports of Hamlet Board actions, and providing feedback; and handling other matters as proposed by the members or the Hamlet Board of Directors. Hamlet Board Meetings and Community Meetings may be combined or held consecutively on the same date.

Section 2. Town Hall Meetings. At least four of the Community Meetings each year shall be quarterly Town Hall Meetings. In addition to matters usual for community meetings, the Town Hall Meetings will include annual and vacancy elections for Directors and/or recall votes, proposals to amend the Bylaws, and a report of the activities by the Board and Hamlet membership since the last Town Hall Meeting.

Section 3. Board of Director Meetings. Meetings of the Hamlet Board of Directors will be held at a time, place and frequency to be determined by the Board. Notice shall be provided and meetings shall be open in accordance with the Oregon Public Meetings Law. Notice of Special Board Meetings shall give the time, place, purpose of the meeting and a list of the principal subjects anticipated to be considered at the meeting, and shall be delivered to each Director personally or by telephone, email with receipt acceptance, or U.S. Postal Service, no less than two (2) days prior to the special meeting.

Section 4. Special Community Meetings. Special community meetings may be held to address an urgent topic if called by the Board. The Board shall also call special community meetings, if requested by twenty (20) or more Hamlet members. A minimum of five (5) business days notice shall be given by posting in three (3) prominent public places and/or by telephone or email communication to the membership; fax or email notice to the media is encouraged. All actions shall be reported at the next community meeting.

Section 5. Public Meetings and Public Records. The Hamlet shall comply with ORS Chapter 192, Public Records and Meetings, to the extent required by law. This includes providing adequate notice, opening the meetings to the public, voting and keeping minutes. All records of the Hamlet are county records and considered public unless exempt from disclosure by the Oregon Public Records Law. All requests for records should be referred to the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners for processing.

Section 6. Notification. At least ten (10) days prior to regular community and Town Hall meetings, public notice of the meeting will be provided within the boundary of the Hamlet reasonably calculated to give notice of the time and place for the meeting, according to the provisions of the Oregon Public Meetings Law. Hamlet members shall be notified via email. Notification of Hamlet members via newspaper may be as little as five (5) days due to newspaper policy.

ARTICLE VII: VOTING

Section 1. Voting on the community vision plan. The approval process for a community vision plan anticipated by Article III of these bylaws shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of each of two categories of Hamlet members present and voting:

  1. Category One shall consist of members who: own property totaling five (5) acres or more, or are residential renters or occupants of parcels totaling five (5) acres or more, or are business owners.
  2. Category Two shall consist of members who: own less than five (5) acres of property , or are renters or occupants on parcels totaling less than five (5) acres.

Section 2. All Other Votes. Only members of the Hamlet may vote, although the meetings are public. Action will be taken by a simple majority vote of members voting. To assure that any action approved by a community or Town Hall Meeting vote meets applicable local and State criteria, the Hamlet Board must officially accept or reject the action and validate same to the Board of County Commissioners. Voting by the Hamlet Board shall be in accordance with Oregon Public Meetings Law (See Article VIII, Section 8—Quorum and Action).

Election of Directors will be conducted by paper ballot unless candidates run unopposed. Other votes will be by a show of hands or by roll call, if required by Oregon Law, unless members request a paper ballot. No proxy or absentee votes will be allowed.

ARTICLE VIII: HAMLET BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Hamlet Board is the governing body of the Hamlet, the representative voice of its members, and serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners on issues of Hamlet concern. Any Hamlet member shall be eligible for the Hamlet Board.

Prior to the election of the first Hamlet Board of Directors, the pre-Hamlet Conveners shall fulfill any necessary election responsibilities of the Board of Directors as described herein. For the inaugural Town Hall Meeting the 30 day requirement may be adjusted with concurrence by the BCC.

Section 1. Composition of the Board and Nomination Process.

There shall be ten (10) Directors:

three (3) elected to represent Category One members,
three (3) elected to represent Category Two members, and
four (4) elected to represent the membership at large as follows:

  1. Category One Directors - The Nominating Committee shall develop a slate of no less than five (5) candidates to represent this category who are willing to commit to the duties and responsibilities of a Director.
  2. Category Two Directors - The Nominating Committee shall develop a slate of no less than five (5) candidates to represent this category who are willing to commit to the duties and responsibilities of a Director.
  3. At Large Directors - Any member wishing to fill an at-large position on the Board of Directors shall submit a self-nomination to the Nominating Committee.

To assure representation the Board of Directors shall actively and diligently encourage Hamlet members to run for each of the Board positions.

Nominations shall come from members at large and the Nominating Committee as prescribed above. The Hamlet Board of Directors shall create and maintain a nomination form that identifies the nominees by category representation and includes at least the personal contact information, background, contribution to, and role in, Stafford Hamlet. All nominations must be submitted to the Hamlet Board of Directors at least 30 days prior to the annual Town Hall elections meeting to permit Board of County Commissioners approval and preparation of the ballots.

Section 2. Eligibility. Any Hamlet member shall be eligible to run for the Hamlet Board. In compliance with the existing ordinance, the eligibility of all candidates with respect to Hamlet membership and category representation shall be affirmed by the Nominating Committee and the Board of County Commissioners prior to elections.

Section 3. Duties. The primary duties of the Hamlet Board of Directors are:

  1. Work with members to carry out the Hamlet’s activities.
  2. Gather member input on all actions requiring a vote by the Hamlet Board.
  3. Take official action to adopt or reject a vote by Hamlet members.
  4. Conduct all appropriate administrative functions of the Hamlet, including yearly budget and record keeping.
  5. Conduct monthly community meetings.
  6. Provide an annual report of activities to the members of the Hamlet and the BCC.
  7. Represent the Hamlet to other jurisdictions and the BCC.
  8. Undertake any other duties determined by the members.
  9. Appoint a member of the Hamlet as Registrar to keep the membership rolls, verify qualifications for membership, oversee signing in at meetings, and supervise and confirm votes at community meetings.
  10. Serve as the Nominating Committee as prescribed herein.

Section 4. Term.

  1. The two (2) Directors representing Category One and the two (2) Directors representing Category Two, who receive the most votes, shall be elected for terms of two (2) years. For the first election, the members of each category receiving the third most votes shall be elected for a term of one (1) year.
  2. The two (2) At Large Directors who receive the most votes shall be elected for terms of two (2) year. For the first election, the At Large Directors who receive the 3rd and 4th most votes shall be elected for terms of one (1) year.
  3. After the first election, all Directors shall be elected for terms of two (2) years.

Section 5. Officers. At the first board meeting after each annual election the Board of Directors shall choose a chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer from its members. Officer vacancies within the year shall be filled at the next board meeting.

Section 6. Duties of Officers. The duties of each are as follows:

Chair: The chair will preside over meetings of the Hamlet and the Board; ensure the Hamlet’s activities are undertaken; appoint committee chairs and receive and share reports of their committee’s activities; ensure communication between the Hamlet and other entities; review the Hamlet’s correspondence; ensure notice is given of meetings. The chair will be an ex-officio member of all committees.

Vice-Chair: The vice-chair will perform the duties of the chair in his/her absence or incapacity. The vice-chair shall be responsible for any other duties delegated to him/her by the Board of Directors.

Secretary: The secretary will take and report minutes of all meetings of the Hamlet and shall keep accurate records including minutes, attendance and correspondence. Copies of the minutes shall be made available to the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners within thirty (30) days from the date of the meeting, and to any citizen or the public as required by the Oregon Public Records and Meetings law (ORS 192.) The secretary shall be responsible for any other duties delegated to him/her by the Board of Directors.

Treasurer: The treasurer shall maintain an accurate record of all income and expenses of the Hamlet and shall primarily sign for authorized expenditures. Any officer may sign for authorized expenditures. Expenditures above $250.00 must be cosigned by a second officer. The treasurer shall maintain bank accounts, checkbooks, and receipts if applicable, and must present a statement of accounts at every community meeting. The treasurer’s report shall be appended to the minutes. The treasurer shall file any legal reports as required by law.

Section 7. Vacancies and Resignation. A vacancy will occur when a Director is no longer a member of the Hamlet, dies, resigns, is removed, or is absent from more than half of Hamlet Board meetings in a calendar year. The vacancy shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining directors. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term until the next Town Hall meeting, at which time a majority of members present at the meeting shall elect a successor in accordance with the nomination process set forth in Section 1. The composition of the Hamlet Board, as defined in Section 1, must be maintained.

Any Director may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chair or Secretary. Unless otherwise specified in the written notice, the resignation shall take effect upon receipt, and the acceptance of the resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.

Section 8. Quorum and Action. A quorum at a Board meeting shall be a majority of the number of Directors (6 of 10 Directors). Action shall be taken by the vote or consensus of the quorum, and noted in the minutes. No proxy or absentee ballots will be allowed.

Section 9. Removal of a Director. Any Director may be removed from office at a Town Hall meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of Hamlet members present. The proposed recall must be announced at the Town Hall meeting prior to the Town Hall meeting when the vote will occur.

Section 10. Compensation. Directors shall not be paid for services on the Board, but may be reimbursed for Board-approved expenses related to their Hamlet duties. A receipt or invoice must accompany all requests for reimbursement. No officer shall co-sign a check payable to himself/herself.

Section 11. Committees. The Hamlet Board of Directors may establish such committees as necessary and desirable to conduct the affairs of the Hamlet. Such committees shall be advisory to the Hamlet Board, and are also subject to the Public Meetings Law.

ARTICLE IX: FUNDING

Section 1. Grants and Fundraising. The Hamlet shall have no power to request a tax levy or impose any other fees on its members. The Hamlet may accept contributions or raise funds, including grants, through the voluntary efforts of its members. The Hamlet also may enter into agreements for the sharing of revenue with the county.

Section 2. County Funding. Limited funding for Hamlet activities shall be provided by Clackamas County as deemed appropriate and feasible by the Board of County Commissioners.

ARTICLE X: COUNTY LIAISON

Section 1. County Staff Liaison. A designated Clackamas County staff liaison shall be the primary contact between the County and the Hamlet. Other county staff shall work through the staff liaison with the Hamlet as needed and available.

Section 2. Board of County Commissioners. Members and representatives of the Hamlet Board of Directors and one or more commissioners of the Board of County Commissioners shall hold quarterly, or as needed, “BCC work sessions” at a time and place set by the BCC. The purpose is to provide review and feedback on the progress, plans, activities and directions of the Stafford Hamlet.

ARTICLE XI. LOCAL BUDGET LAW; CONTRACTS

The Hamlet shall cooperate with the county and comply with ORS 294.305 to 294.565, to the extent required by law.

The Hamlet has no authority to enter into contracts unless expressly authorized in writing by the Board of County Commissioners or its designee. All Clackamas County contracts are subject to the rules of the Clackamas County Local Contract Review Board.

Any intergovernmental agreements between the Hamlet and other governments shall be reviewed and agreed to by the Board of County Commissioners, who will sign on behalf of the Hamlet.

ARTICLE XII. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The Hamlet Board of Directors and any members of the Hamlet shall at all times avoid participating in any actions that represent an actual or perceived conflict of interest. Any member with an actual or potential conflict of interest must declare to the Board the nature of the conflict; and shall not participate in the discussion or deliberate in the decision process except to act as an expert witness to material facts for the Board. The members of the Hamlet Board and all Advisory Committees shall at all times be aware of and conform with Oregon conflict of interest rules as contained in Chapter 244 of the Oregon Revised Statues, and the Oregon Administrative Rules.

ARTICLE XIII. LIABILITY; RISK MANAGEMENT

The Hamlet Board of Directors, acting within the scope of authority granted by the organization’s bylaws and county policies, are considered agents of the county for claims made against the organization, officers or members for the purposes of the Oregon Tort Claims Act, ORS 30.260 to 30.302. When acting in the capacity of a Community Planning Organization (CPO), the Board of Directors will not be considered an agent of the county.

The Hamlet Board of Directors must obtain approval from the county Risk Manager prior to undertaking public fund-raising activities.

ARTICLE XIV. INDEMITY

Clackamas County shall indemnify the Directors of the Hamlet to the fullest extent allowed by Oregon law.

ARTICLE XV. DISSOLUTION

Dissolution of the Hamlet may be initiated by a petition of 20% of the members of the Hamlet filed with the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, or by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners following a 3-month communication period with the Hamlet.

Within 30 to 50 days from the initiation of dissolution, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) shall hold a public hearing on the issue. If, after the public hearing, the BCC finds that dissolution is in the best interest of the members of the Hamlet or the county, or that the Hamlet has failed to regularly follow its adopted bylaws or meet the requirements of County Ordinance No. 03-2007, and amendments thereto, the BCC may declare the Hamlet dissolved and enter a Board order to that effect.

Dissolution of the Hamlet shall not affect any existing Community Planning Organization (CPO).

ARTICLE XVI. AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS

The Hamlet Board of Directors may amend these bylaws to include or omit any provision that it could lawfully include or omit at the time the amendment is made. The process of developing changes or amendments shall at all time be accomplished with an open, community involved process, appropriately advertised and subject to Oregon Open Meetings and Records Law. Upon written notice of at least 14 days, any number of amendments or an entire revision of the bylaws developed by the open process may be submitted and voted upon at a single meeting of the Board of Directors.

If adopted at such meeting by majority vote of the members of the Hamlet Board of Directors, the proposed amendment(s) shall then be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) for review and approval. The proposed amendment(s) shall then be referred to the next quarterly Town Hall meeting for approval by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members voting. Members shall be provided with a complete draft of the proposed amended bylaws at least 30 days before the schedule meeting.

In the event the proposed amendment(s) does/do not receive the approval of the BCC or does/do not receive a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members voting at the Town Hall meeting, the existing bylaws shall remain in force.

Under no conditions can changes to the bylaws be applied retroactively.

ARTICLE XVII. SEVERABILITY

Invalidity or unenforceability of one or more provisions of these bylaws shall not affect any other provision of these bylaws.

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