1. Forming a Chapter (Section III of CPOA Operations Manual)
a. The Board of Directors shall approve requests for new Chapters. All Chapters approved prior to 1 October 1969 shall be known as “Charter Chapters”.
b. Chapters shall be named as membership designates. All name change requests shall be by letter addressed to the National President for approval.
c. Any group desiring to form a Chapter may petition the National Office stating their aims, purposes for the Chapter, and that they subscribe to and accept the provisions contained in the Association’s By-laws. The petition shall be sent to the National Office and must be signed by not less than 15 regular members of our Association. Personnel may become members by including their dues with a membership application attached to the petition. The Chapter mailing address, a roster of Pro-tem officers and a list of eligible members should also be attached to the petition. A majority vote by the Board of Directors shall constitute a decision.
d. Following approval of the petition, the National President shall issue a charter. The National President or the President’s representative shall deliver the Charter and be the Instituting Officer at an appropriate ceremony.
e. A new Chapter should be instituted within ninety (90) days following the date of approval of their charter.
f. President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer are the elected officers required for a Chapter. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined. The President will appoint a Membership Committee Chairman charged with the recruitment and retention of Chapter membership. Chapters may have a Board of Directors.
g. Only regular members holding the rank of E-7, E-8 or E-9 or CWO who were E-7, E-8, E-9, and are in good standing, may be nominated and hold the office of President or Vice- President if so elected or appointed.
h. The Chapter shall promptly notify the National Office of the names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of the officers installed and all changes of Chapter Officers.
i. It is recommended Chapters provide insurance/fidelity bonds for any officer having custody of Chapter funds. The Chapter shall pay the bond/insurance premium.
j. Incorporation & Business Enterprises
(1) Any business enterprise or club operated or sponsored by a Chapter shall comply with the laws and ordinances for the State, County, and City in which the Chapter’s business enterprise, or club is located and operated.
(2) The National Association shall not be responsible, financially or otherwise, for operation/management of any club, or business enterprise either sponsored or endorsed by a Chapter.
(3) Any club or business enterprise shall be properly incorporated under the local laws of the State, County, and or Municipality prior to being sponsored or placed in operation by any Association Chapter/Association Unit/CGEA Branch, except in those States or other areas where laws of incorporation preclude any possibility of financial or other responsibilities reflecting upon the Association. Failure to comply is sufficient cause for revocation or suspension of the Chapter/Unit/Branch Charter.
(4) A Chapter who endorses or sponsors a club or business enterprise shall become a separate entity of that enterprise. The Chapter will establish the club or enterprise by electing a governing body consisting of Chapter members. The governing body shall not consist of any Chapter BOD member or officers, except for the President who shall be a non-voting ex-officio member. The governing body shall establish regulations or standing rules for the club or enterprise, subject to Chapter approval. The Chapter membership shall retain veto power over the decisions of the governing body.
(5) All Chapters or members conducting business enterprises, clubs, or other activities, which may be implied that it is contingent upon membership in the Association or other individuals operating or managing an enterprise under the sponsorship of, or part of the Association shall prominently display the following notice in a manner and size readable at a distance of five feet:
(a) “This club (enterprise) is incorporated under the laws of the State of xxx. It is a non-profit organization under the sponsorship of Chapter of the Chief Petty Officers Association, United States Coast Guard, and members thereof. The National Association of the Chief Petty Officers Association does not assume financial responsibility or liability for the operation or management of this club (enterprise)”.
(6) The BOD and the National Officers shall enforce the provisions of the By Laws for any reason of financial mismanagement or action which reflect discredit upon the Association, its Chapters, or members.
k. Chapters shall submit a Gross Receipts Report to the National Office not later than 1 March of each year. The Executive Director will provide appropriate forms and instructions. Failure to submit the report will result in suspension of the Chapter charter. Should the Chapter not comply by 31 December of that year, their charter will be revoked.
l. A Chapter wishing to voluntarily surrender its charter should make an earnest attempt to give notice to all Chapter members. Upon receipt of the Chapter charter, the National Office shall thoroughly research the circumstances surrounding the surrender prior. The National President shall inform the Board of Directors of the final action.
m. Suspensions and Revocations of Chapter Charters
(1) The Board of Directors shall suspend or revoke the charter of any Chapter of the Association for any of the following reasons:
(a) When the membership of a chapter decreases to less than 10 members.
(b) When a Chapter willfully violates or refuses to comply with the By Laws, or the legal directives of the National President or the Board of Directors.
(c) If a Chapter engages in an unlawful act or practice, which brings discredit to the good name of the Association.
(d) When a Chapter has been inactive (no communications with the National Office) for a period of one year.
n. When a Charter has been suspended or revoked, the chapter may appeal the decision to the Board of Directors. The appeal shall be in writing and submitted via the National President.
o. When a Chapter is under suspension, no meeting shall be held in the name of the Chapter of the Association except for the sole purpose of discussion of the cause, effect, or removal of the penalty. Except for existing legal obligations, no funds of the Chapter shall be expended and no additional obligations shall be made while the suspension is in force.
p. If a Chapter is declared defunct, its charter revoked or voluntarily surrendered, the Board of Directors shall take control of all books, records, properties and funds, keeping them in trust until the members of the Chapter at the time the charter was relinquished, decide disposition. All historical documentation (photos, plaques, trophies, etc.) shall revert to the National Association. Other property and funds of the chapter shall be donated to the Captain Caliendo College Assistance Fund, The National Association, other Chapters, USCG Mutual Assistance, or to other worthy non-profit organizations.