Preface

The Business Enterprises of Texas (BET) Elected Committee of Managers (ECM) derives its authority from two sources: It was first established in 1971 by approval of the Texas Commission for the Blind and it is authorized by Title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, part 395.14, which implements the Randolph- Sheppard Act amendments of 1974.  The purpose of the ECM shall be to serve as a channel of reciprocal communication and assistance between BET staff and BET licensees and to continually upgrade the quality of the BET for the benefit of the licensees and the program itself. 

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Bylaws Article I – Role & Function

 Section 101. Functions Stipulated in Title 34, CF, Part 395.14(B)

The Elected Committee of Managers shall: actively participate with the State Licensing Agency in major administrative decisions and policy and program development decisions affecting the overall administration of the State's vending facility program; receive and transmit to the State Licensing Agency grievances at the request of blind vendors and serve as advocates for such vendors in connection with such grievances; actively participate with the State Licensing Agency in the development and administration of a state system for the transfer and promotion of blind vendors; actively participate with the State Licensing Agency in the development of training and retraining programs for blind vendors; and sponsor, with the assistance of the State Licensing Agency, meetings and instructional conferences for blind vendors within the State.

Section 102. Meetings

The Elected Committee of Managers (ECM) shall:

A. Meet semiannually, the second Saturday in October and the second Saturday in April, unless inhibiting or unusual factors make this impossible; in which case, the meeting shall be rescheduled at the earliest possible date.

B. Hold workshop meetings in January and July.  The Program Director and selected Commission staff may be invited.  Besides the usual order of business to be considered at these workshop meetings; in January, election of Committee officers for the year will be held to fill the various offices authorized by these regulations.

C. When necessary and proper, additional workshop meetings shall be called by the ECM Chairperson.

D. Attend all official ECM meetings as notified.  When an ECM representative is unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities, he/she shall immediately notify the Chairperson of the ECM.  Continual, unexcused absences shall result in removal from office, and a special election shall be held to select a new representative of the district.

 

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Bylaws Article II - Membership

Section 201. Structure of the Committee

A. The Elected Committee of Managers (ECM) will be composed of elected representatives who are fully representative of all blind vendors in the program on the basis of such factors as geography and vending facility type and size, with a goal of providing for proportional representation of blind vendors on Federal property and blind vendors on other property.  One representative will be elected from each designated ECM district.  ECM districts shall be determined geographically in accordance with business consultant (BC) districts, and further divided by type of facility.  ECM representatives shall be elected from each geographic area.  One representative will be elected from among food service type facilities, including cafeterias, snack bars, and convenience stores.  And the other representative will be elected from among vending machine type facilities.  The ECM districts will be numbered in accordance with the BC districts, except that the letter F will designate a food service type facility representative, and the letter V will designate a vending facility representative.

B. In the event there are no facilities of a particular type in the designated area, or   no manager chooses to accept nomination for such ECM district; the ECM Chairperson shall appoint a manager, without regard as to type of facility being operated by such manager, from the geographic area to serve for the duration of such term.

Section 202. Qualifications

Representatives shall be BET licensees currently managing a BET facility in the area they represent and shall have managed a BET facility for a minimum period of one year.  They must possess responsible character and a willingness to promote advancement of the BET by representing the vendors in their districts. 

Section 203. Term of Office

The term of office for ECM representatives shall be two years.  It shall begin on January 1st.  There shall be no limitation on the number of terms representatives may serve.

Section 204. Vacancies

An ECM representative who moves out of his/her district shall vacate his/her office.  Vacancies of the offices of representative due to a move out of district, death, resignation, illness or other inability to serve shall be filled by special election.  A special election shall be held within one month of the existing vacancy, unless the vacancy occurs sixty days or less from a normally scheduled election.

Section 205. Elections

A. The code of Federal Regulations, Part 395.14(A), Title 34, stipulates, "The State Licensing Agency shall provide for the biennial election of a State Committee of Blind Vendors which shall be fully representative of all blind licensees in the state program."  Accordingly, personnel from the State Licensing Agency shall assist the ECM in conducting elections.  Participation by any blind vendor in any election shall not be conditioned upon the payment of dues nor any other fees.

B. Nomination Procedure:

  • Notice shall be sent to each manager in his/her district prior to November 15, of the election year with instructions regarding nomination of candidates for representative.
  • Only licensed vendors assigned a facility within the district may nominate representatives for that district.
  • A licensed vendor may nominate himself/herself or another vendor anytime prior to the issuance of ballots.

C. Voting:

  • Only licensed vendors permanently assigned to a district may vote for that district's representative.
  • Voting shall be by secret ballot.
  • Voting shall be accomplished in a general meeting of area vendors.
  • Vendors who cannot attend the general meeting may vote by mail.

D. The ECM election subcommittee will schedule the district elections so as to have all voting completed no later than December 10th.

E. Odd numbered districts shall elect their representatives in odd numbered years, and even numbered districts shall elect their representatives in even numbered years.

F. Special elections to fill a vacancy shall be called by the ECM Chairperson and shall be subject to the provisions of Article II, Section 204 for procedure.  The time allowed for nominations and for returning ballots shall be set by the ECM Chairperson in this instance, and all vendors of the district shall be notified in writing.

Section 206.  Duties

ECM representatives shall attend all official workshop meetings unless illness or other extenuating circumstances render attendance impossible. When a representative cannot attend a workshop meeting, he/she shall notify the ECM Chairperson.  Continual, unexcused absences may result in removal from office.  See Article I, Section 102, D.

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Bylaws Article III – Officers

Section 301.  Officers

The officers of the ECM shall be Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Treasurer.  They shall be selected from among the ECM representatives at the January workshop meeting.

Section 302.  Term of Office

The term of office for the ECM Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Treasurer shall be one year or until the expiration of their terms as ECM representative, whichever shall come first.  When the expiration of the term of representative shall come first and the incumbent shall be reelected, he/she shall complete his/her term as an ECM officer.  There shall be no limitation on consecutive terms served by any one person in any one office.

Section 303.  Vacancies

A. Vacancies of the office of Chairperson due to death, resignation because of illness or other inability to serve, or loss of status as representative, shall be filled by the Vice Chairperson.

B. Vacancy of Vice Chairperson, or Treasurer due to death, resignation because of illness or other inability to serve, or loss of status as representative shall be filled by appointment by the Chairperson.  Such appointments shall be for the duration of the unexpired term.

Section 304.  Vacation of Office

The ECM shall have the power to vacate, by a three-fourths vote, any representative for cause.  The representative affected shall be given, by registered mail, written notice of any such proposed action.  Together with a detailed statement of the reasons for such action, thirty days before removal action consideration by the ECM, notice shall be given by the ECM member filing the removal petition.  A copy of such notice shall be mailed to the ECM Chairperson, or in the event that the Chairperson is the representative affected or the petitioner, to the Vice Chairperson.  The officer shall have the right to respond to such notice.  A vacancy created in this manner shall be filled in accordance with Article III, Section 303 of these bylaws.

Section 305.  Election of Officers

A. Election of ECM officers shall be held at the ECM January workshop meeting.  A simple majority of the quorum, present shall be required for election.  Nominations shall be from the floor, with each officer being nominated and elected in turn.  Order of election shall be: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and treasurer.  Voting shall be by secret ballot.  Votes shall be counted by impartial party agreed upon by the members of the ECM.

B. A tie vote shall be decided in favor of the candidate with the most Program seniority.

Section 306.  Chairperson

A. The ECM Chairperson shall preside over all ECM meetings.  He/she shall call additional workshop meeting as needed.  He/she shall inform ECM representatives of the time and place of all meetings and of any issue of interest to BET licensees upon which input is needed.  The Chairperson shall provide the BET Director with agendas for meetings no later than 10 business days prior to the meetings.

B. The ECM Chairperson shall appoint chairpersons of standing committees of the ECM.  He/she shall establish special committees, when necessary and proper, and shall appoint chairpersons of such committees.  He/she shall be responsible for effective functioning of all committees.

C. The ECM Chairperson shall appoint officers to fill the vacated offices of Vice Chairperson, and Treasurer.

Section 307.  Vice Chairperson

The Vice Chairperson shall serve as an administrative assistant to the Chairperson and shall perform those duties assigned him/her by the Chairperson.  The Vice Chairperson shall, in the absence or inability of the Chairperson, perform the duties of the Chairperson.

Section 308.  Office of the Treasury

A. Duties of the Treasurer

  • The Treasurer shall be responsible for all funds of the Elected Committee of Managers.  The Treasurer will receive and deposit all currency, endorse checks, and deposit all funds into a commercial business checking account.  The Chairman and Treasurer shall have signature authority for such commercial accounts.  
  • The Treasurer shall serve as collector for any accounts owed the Elected Committee of Managers.  
  • Disbursements will be remitted for accounts that are the responsibility of the Elected Committee of Managers.  
  • Prior approval by the Executive Committee authorizing an expenditure of more than one thousand dollars, and less than two thousand five hundred dollars for a single transaction is required.  All expenditures that exceed two thousand five hundred dollars must be approved by a majority vote of the Elected Committee of Managers; except the ECM will approve a budget ceiling for the annual training conference at its January meeting, and any adjustment to such ceiling must be approved by a majority vote of the ECM.
  • The Treasurer shall develop and maintain accurate records of revenue and expenses. 
  • The Treasurer will assist the Finance Committee in preparing an annual budget.  

B. Annual Accounting Year

  • The annual accounting year will be from January 1, - December 31.  
  • A financial report of revenue and expenses shall be prepared and submitted quarterly to the entire committee.  The reports are due by October 31,
  • January 31, April 30, and July 31.  

C. Purpose of Funds

  • The purpose of the funds is to assist the Elected Committee of Managers with expenses associated with training and especially with the annual training conference.  
  • Funds may also be used for professional services such as legal and accounting for effective operation of the Elected Committee of Managers.  
  • Miscellaneous materials, including office supplies, which are necessary in managing the business of the ECM.

D. Conflict of Interest

  • Funds shall not be utilized for the personal benefit of any ECM member, or his/her family, directly or indirectly.
  • An ECM member may only be reimbursed for expenses directly related to the business of the ECM, such as travel, for a reasonable amount, and must be approved in advance by a majority vote.

E. Audit

  • A financial review shall be conducted at the end of the accounting year by a certified public accountant selected by the Executive Committee. 
  • The report of the financial review shall be due no later than 60 days after the end of the accounting year.

F. Provision for Distribution of Assets

  • All property and assets owned by the Elected Committee of Managers will be distributed to the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, division of Blind Services upon its dissolution. 

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Bylaws Article IV – Business

Section 401.  Business

A. ECM business shall be transacted at workshop meetings.  When possible, these meetings shall be conducted in person.  In the event of an emergency or when other extenuating circumstances render it necessary and proper, the ECM workshop meetings may be conducted through a recorded telephone conference call.

B. Passage of ECM business shall require a simple majority vote of the quorum present, after all members have been notified of said meeting.

C. Proposals to be submitted to the State Licensing Agency and/or to the BET licensees within the state, shall be in writing. An official copy shall be kept in the ECM records.

D. BET licensees input shall be solicited for all ECM workshop meetings.

E. The ECM shall assist the State Licensing Agency, when necessary and proper, in acquiring a statewide vote of BET licensees on an issue.  Such votes must be documented.

F. All members of the ECM at a workshop meeting and all Managers at a general meeting of the district for receiving input on ECM issues shall have the right to speak at least one time on each issue.  It shall be the duty of the ECM Chairperson and the ECM representatives respectively to protect and preserve that speaker's right to voice his/her opinion without interruption.

 

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Bylaws Article V – Voting

Section 501.  Voting

A. The vote required for passage of ECM business at workshop meetings shall be a simple majority of the quorum present, after all ECM members have been duly notified of said meeting, and the usual voting procedure shall be by roll call.

B. The vote required for election of ECM officers shall be a simple majority of the quorum present, after all ECM members have been duly notified of the meeting.  The usual voting procedure shall be by written, secret ballot.  Votes shall be counted by an impartial party agreed upon by members of the ECM.

C. The vote required to remove an ECM officer from office for cause shall be a three-fourths majority vote of the quorum present, after all ECM members have been duly notified of the impending action and meeting.  The usual voting procedure shall be by written, secret ballot.  Votes shall be counted by an impartial party agreed upon by members of the ECM.

D. The vote required to amend these bylaws shall be a two- thirds vote of the quorum present, after all ECM members have been notified of the meeting.

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Bylaws Article VI – Committees

Section 601.  Standing Committees

The standing Committees of the ECM shall be:

A. The Resolution Committee, which shall be responsible for drafting resolutions, for reviewing and approving resolutions presented to them by interested organizations and persons for the benefit of the program, and for submitting to the State Licensing Agency those resolutions that benefit the BET licensees and/or the BET; and

B. The Finance Committee, which shall be responsible for drafting a budget for the ECM and for engaging in fund raising to acquire necessary funds.

C. Election Committee, which will coordinate elections for each district.

Section 602.  Special Committees

A. Special committees shall be established when a need for them arises and shall remain in force for such period of time as is necessary and proper.

B. Special committees shall be established by authority of the ECM Chairperson or by the ECM itself as a business item at any ECM workshop meeting.

C. Special committees shall be dissolved by authority of the ECM Chairperson or by the ECM itself as a business item at any ECM workshop meeting.

Section 603.  Structure of Committees

A. Chairpersons of ECM standing committees and special committees shall be appointed by the ECM Chairperson, and except for special committees, they shall be appointed from among the ECM representatives and shall be subject to removal by the ECM Chairperson when not properly performing their duties as committee chairpersons.

B. The normal term for a Chairperson of an ECM standing committee shall be one year.

C. Chairpersons of ECM standing and special committees shall select a minimum of three committee members from among the BET licensees within the state.  ECM representatives, ECM officers, and chairpersons of other committees may be included in this selection process.  In making their selection, committee chairpersons should keep in mind the following criteria: experience and ability needed for the effective functioning of the committee and ability of committee members to meet and work together.  Committee membership shall be reorganized when necessary.

D. There shall be no limitation on the number of committees a person may chair.  There shall be no limitation on the number of committees on which a person may serve.

 

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Bylaws Article VII – Executive Committee

Section 701.  Executive Committee

A. The officers of the ECM shall be the executive committee and shall function as the liaison between the State Licensing Agency and the ECM.

B. The executive committee shall propose all action deemed necessary and/or advisable and shall report these findings to the ECM without delay and ratification - by phone, in writing, in special meetings or in regular meetings, as circumstances warrant.

C. No action taken by the executive committee of the ECM shall be valid without a majority vote of the ECM, and that vote must be properly documented and entered into the records of the ECM.

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Bylaws Article VIII – Rules of Decision

Section 801.  Rules of Decision

The rules of decision for the ECM shall be Robert's Rules of Order and these bylaws.

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Bylaws Article IX – Amendments

Section 901.  Amendments

These bylaws may be amended at any regular or special workshop meeting of the ECM by a two-thirds vote of the quorum present, after all ECM members have been duly notified of the meeting. 

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Bylaws Adoption

APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY A TWO-THIRDS (2/3) MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BUSINESS ENTERPRISES OF TEXAS ELECTED COMMITTEE OF MANAGERS – February 10, 2007.

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Disclaimer

The information on this page is the sole responsibility of the ECM and does not necessarily represent the views or positions of TWC.

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