Organization and By-Laws
Definition: The mission of the West Orange C.E.R.T. Program is to train community-based volunteer teams that will:
- Inform, educate, and train their neighbors on disaster preparedness.
- Assist public safety agencies and local community boards with public events.
- Respond to locally occurring disasters by strictly following West Orange OEM C.E.R.T. protocol and supporting emergency personnel upon their arrival and request.
- This organization shall be known as the West Orange C.E.R.T.
The purpose of this section is to identify the area boundaries for which the West Orange C.E.R.T. is responsible.
- The Team will operate within the boundaries of the Township of West Orange.
- Within the Team, sub-teams known as Geographic Teams, will be formed to reflect the geographic distribution of members and needs within the Township.
- The Team will potentially operate outside the boundaries set forth above at the request of County, State, or Federal OEM.
Section 3- Membership of the West Orange C.E.R.T.
The purpose of membership is to provide guidelines about C.E.R.T. membership as well as rights and responsibilities of membership. The definitions, rights and responsibilities of membership categories may be include in these by-laws.
- Team membership shall be open to anyone who lives or works within the Township of West Orange or an employee of a corporate C.E.R.T.
- No member shall purport to represent the West Orange C.E.R.T. unless authorized to do so by a credentialed, active member.
- Each member of the Team shall be provided a copy of the of the adopted West Orange C.E.R.T. by-laws.
Section 3A - Required Officers and Responsibilities
The purpose of mandatory requirements is to ensure the Team is a diverse a representation of the community board as possible. Every possible means, within reason, to fulfill these requirements is expected.
- At a minimum the Team will have the following Officers:
- C.E.R.T. Director
- C.E.R.T. Deputy Director
- 3 C.E.R.T. Leaders
- Recording Secretary
- C.E.R.T. Director
- Reports to West Orange OEM.
- The C.E.R.T. Director must be a legal resident of West Orange.
- C.E.R.T. Director responsibilities are:
- Overall management of Team:
- Primary contact for information from C.E.R.T. program staff and for all program correspondence.
- Complete program paperwork, including:
- Monthly statistical reports.
- After-action form for deployments and planned events.
- Attend required Essex County or New Jersey C.E.R.T. or OEM events.
- Coordinate outreach for Team recruitment.
- Manage the Team; delegating tasks and assigning deputies in direct proportion to the number of members.
- Have access to a computer and e-mail on a regular basis and have basic knowledge of up-to-date communications.
- Be able to respond to requests from OEM in a timely manner.
- Overall management of Team:
- These responsibilities may be delegated to another Team Officers or Members.
- Delegation builds the Team’s capacity, facilitates trust and buy-in from Team Members, and allows leaders to spend time setting the Team’s priorities.
- The C.E.R.T. Director should keep in mind Team Members’ interests and abilities when delegating tasks and responsibilities.
- C.E.R.T. Deputy Director
- Reports to the C.E.R.T. Director.
- Handle all C.E.R.T. Director’s responsibilities as delegated or when C.E.R.T. Director is unable to fulfill his/her role.
- The C.E.R.T. Deputy Director must be a legal resident of West Orange.
- C.E.R.T. Deputy Director is the secondary point of contact for OEM when the C.E.R.T. Director cannot be reached.
- C.E.R.T. Leader
- Reports to the C.E.R.T. Deputy Director.
- Handle all C.E.R.T. Deputy Director’s responsibilities as delegated or when C.E.R.T. Deputy Director is unable to fulfill his/her role.
- The C.E.R.T. Leader must be a legal resident of West Orange.
- There may be up to 7 C.E.R.T. Leaders
- If the C.E.R.T. Director and Deputy Director know they will not be available, the town will be notified which Leader should be the primary contact for that period of time.
- C.E.R.T. Leaders will be responsible for relaying all Team communications to their sub-Team Members.
- Maintain Team Members’ contact information and the Team roster.
- Take minutes for meetings and distribute minutes to all Team Members.
- Maintain Team paperwork and files.
- Maintain the Team website by posting Meeting Agendas, Minutes, and other Team information.
Section 3B - Other Positions
- Ready New Jersey Liaison
- Act as primary contact for all Ready New Jersey correspondence to and from Essex County OEM, Ready New Jersey, and Essex County OEM staff.
- Responsibilities include:
- Manage event requests from Ready New Jersey staff and encourage trained member of your Team to present at these events.
- Maintain list of active trained Ready New Jersey presenters on Team.
- Point of contact for entire Team to fill out the following paperwork:
- Ready New Jersey material for Team
- Ready New Jersey Event Request Form
- Work with Essex County OEM, NJ Citizen Corps Council, Team Members and community disaster network contacts to set up Ready New Jersey events in your community.
- Team Members
- Report to C.E.R.T. Officers.
- Maintain active status for re-credentialing, including training, response, preparedness, and Team work.
- A reasonable effort should be made to attend and complete CERT Basic training after joining the Team.
- To obtain West Orange C.E.R.T. credentials members will be subject to a Background Check.
- Actively participate in Team meetings, planned events, and deployments.
- Place yourself on inactive status if unable to fulfill Member responsibilities and reporting this to C.E.R.T. Director.
- Follow the code of conduct defined in the West Orange C.E.R.T. SOPs as well as:
- All Team Members, including leadership, will represent the West Orange C.E.R.T. program honestly, by introducing themselves as a “volunteer member of West Orange C.E.R.T.”
- C.E.R.T. members are not employees of West Orange OEM, Essex County OEM or any other West Orange or Essex County agency
- Any resources or privileges provided to Members on behalf of C.E.R.T. should only be used for C.E.R.T. tasks and can be revoked if abused.
- Membership can consist of active members, inactive members, probationary members, and student members.
- A current list of active members will be given to the West Orange OEM staff for credentialing purposes and for updating membership information no less than two times per year initiated by West Orange OEM staff.
- The size of membership is unlimited. However, it is recommended that the membership size be a level at which the Team can sustain.
- Voting membership shall be granted to any individual who meets the criteria as outlined above in this section and has attended a total of 2 meetings.
- Voting membership shall become effective at the beginning of the 3rd meeting and the new members name shall be noted in the minutes.
Section 4—Inactive Status or Removal of Members
The purpose of this section is to define the conditions under which a member is placed on inactive status or removed from the Team and outline the procedure for such removal.
- An individual’s membership on the West Orange C.E.R.T. shall lapse on the fourth successive unexcused absence at a Team meeting or expected attendance at a planned event unless there are extenuating circumstances that have been communicated to the C.E.R.T. Director and shall be approved by the C.E.R.T. Director.
- The member may be placed on inactive status or removed from the Team by the C.E.R.T. Director or C.E.R.T. Deputy Director, in their absence.
- An inactive member may be placed back on active status by the C.E.R.T. Director or C.E.R.T. Deputy Director, in their absence..
- Members may place themselves on inactive status due to time commitment problems or for another reason. Members will need to contact their C.E.R.T. Director to be placed on inactive status. Members will need to re-contact the C.E.R.T. Director in order to be re-activated.
- Any Team Member who no longer meets the membership criteria of Section 3, Must be removed from the Team.
- The secretary or recorder will make a notation in the minutes of each meeting of the names of the individuals whose membership will lapse at the next scheduled meeting. The C.E.R.T. Director shall communicate this information to the individuals whose membership is at risk of lapsing as soon as reasonably possible. Minutes prepared should reflect what was done and not what was said. This information must then be sent to West Orange OEM Program Staff.
Section 5— Decision Making
The purpose of this section is to explain how decisions are made by the Team.
- Decision Making
- Unless otherwise specifically defined in these by-laws, all affairs of the Team shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, (current edition or revised edition.)
- All regular Team business votes will be decided by a simple majority
- eMeeting notes shall record counts of votes for and against, but not individuals’ votes.
- Members may vote if they are active, credentialed members.
- Members may not vote if they are inactive, or have no credential.
- Regular Votes will be conducted by show of hands.
- Officer Votes will be conducted by anonymous written ballot.
The purpose of this section is to make known to the Team and general public when meetings are held and guidelines for meetings.
- The West Orange C.E.R.T. shall meet at least every other year to elect officers per the West Orange C.E.R.T. SOPs.
- Meetings shall be held monthly on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 7pm to 9pm.
- Final scheduling of the next meeting will be agreed upon at each month’s meeting, recorded in the minutes, and publicized to members.
- Unless otherwise noticed all meetings will be held at the West Orange EOC.
- Special meetings of the Team may be called by the C.E.R.T. Director or West Orange OEM Program Staff. Individual members should contact Team officers or Secretary to request a special meeting.
- If the Team officers are not responsive, a Team Member may reach out to OEM program staff.
- Approved minutes of meetings and sign-in sheets, as a record of attendance, must be kept for all meetings of the Team and shall be forwarded to the West Orange OEM staff upon request.
- Meeting discussions will be conducted in a conversational format with special regard for a dialogue that is respectful and considerate of all members in attendance.
- It is recommended that the length of meetings run no longer than 60 minutes unless a specific event, speaker, or training is being held.
Section 7—Meeting Notification
The purpose of this section is to clearly state how and when meetings will be publicized to members.
- All meetings will be publicized to active members using whatever reasonable means that are available, for example, but not limited to: mailings, phone calls, Team websites, e-mail, or texting.
- Notices shall be distributed not less than 7 days before the meeting date.
- Failure to receive a meeting notice does not invalidate the meeting. However, the provisions of this section must be complied with in good faith.
Section 8—Nomination, Election, and Term of Officers
The purpose of this section is to define the process for the nomination and election of the leadership of the Team.
- The membership of the West Orange C.E.R.T. shall nominate one or more eligible voting candidates, including themselves, from the Team for each office bi-annually.
- All candidates must be qualified voting members of the Team.
- Officers will be elected by the Team voting members, by a majority vote if there are two or fewer candidates, or, a plurality vote if there are three or more candidates.
- The terms shall be for two years not to exceed 3 consecutive terms for the same Office.
- The secretary will notify the West Orange OEM Staff in writing (e-mail is acceptable) of the names of the newly elected officers, their contact information, and the date they are due to take office.
Section 9—Removal and Vacancies of Officers
The purpose of this section is to define the process for the removal of elected leadership.
- Any elected officer may be removed from office for good cause. Removal shall be debated by the Team and shall require a two-thirds vote of members eligible to vote and present at a meeting of the Team, providing that
- a resolution proposing the consideration of the removal has been adopted at a preceding meeting
- and that notice of the vote for removal has been included in the notification for the meeting at which the vote shall take place.
- Should vacancies occur outside the normal election process, candidates for the unfilled term shall be nominated from the floor and elected at the next scheduled meeting following the vacancy.
- The person elected to the vacated office will serve for the remainder of the term.
- If issues arise within the Team that cannot be resolved internally, Team leadership or members may reach out to West Orange OEM staff for guidance.
The purpose of this section is to discuss the formation, responsibilities and disbanding of any standing or special i.e. ad-hoc committees.
- Committees can be standing or ad-hoc in nature.
- The C.E.R.T. Director, along with other Team Officers, may appoint project based standing committees to help conduct the business of the Team.
- The C.E.R.T. Director, with other Team Officers, may appoint ad-hoc committees or subcommittees to help conduct specialized business of the Team.
- Committees shall report to the Team and these reports shall be entered into the minutes.
The purpose of this section is to define the process by which these by-laws can be amended.
- These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of those present at a regular Team meeting. Providing that
- a resolution proposing the amendment has been adopted at a preceding regular meeting
- and that notice of the proposed amendment has been given in the announcement for the meeting at which the amendment shall be voted upon.
Section 12—Effective Date
The purpose of this section is to state the date of the initial adoption of these by-laws. Statement of an effective date is required.
- These by-laws of the West Orange C.E.R.T. shall become effective on July 21, 2011.
- Immediately after by-laws are adopted the 1 year term of the Interim Officers will begin.