The GFSA Bylaws

The bylaws of the GFSA appear below. These were first drafted in 1973 and have been amended and updated as required since then (see the previous version here). These bylaws are included here for the interest of those who wonder what such things look like and to provide a known location where GFSA members can find the current version (not quite "ISO-9000" but we're trying).

Goldfish Society of America Bylaws (January 2002 revision)

Article I - Name

The name of the organization shall be the Goldfish Society of America (abbreviated as "GFSA").

Article II - Purpose

The purpose of the Society shall be to proclaim, further and advance the keeping, breeding and study of Goldfish, along with Koi, and to promote fellowship among its members.

Article III - Membership

Section 1. Membership in this Society shall be open to all persons regardless of age, sex, race, color, creed, or nationality, who are interested in the aims of the Society and who have paid the prescribed dues.

Section 2. The Charter Membership shall consist of all individuals accepted as members in good standing as of July 15, 1972.

Section 3. Membership in this Society shall be personal and non-transferable and shall terminate upon death, resignation, or one month after the period for which dues have been paid, or for cause as provided by these Bylaws.

Section 4. The Board of Directors (BOD) may reprimand, suspend or expel any member for cause, which is hereby defined as conduct contrary to the aims and best interests of the Society. Furthermore, Board members may be removed by a Board vote. Grounds for this activity include lack of participation of the Board member, constant disruptive behavior, and unethical actions. The above type of action requires at least a simple majority of votes of the BOD.

Article IV - Board of Directors

Section 1. The total number of Directors will vary based on the needs of the Society as determined by a majority of the current Board, but always will be an odd number in total and never to be less than seven. If it is determined by the Board to reduce the total number of Directors on the Board, said reduction can only occur at the next election and the board can only be reduced by two Directors per election.

Section 2. Directors shall be elected from the membership who, at the time of election, are paid up and/or members in good standing. They shall hold office for a four-year term. An election will be held each odd numbered year to appoint new Directors to bring the total number of Directors to the full compliment of the Board as described in This Article Section 1.

Section 3. The offices of Chairman and Secretary shall be elected for one-year terms, by written vote among the Board members. The office of Treasurer may be elected as above but can be designated to an individual at the Boards discretion. If a non-Board member resides as Treasurer, that person will act as a Board consultant, but will not have voting status.

Section 4. It is desirable to provide continuity to the Board by maintaining a minimum number of Directors at each election. The Minimum Number is equal to one half the total number of the Board rounded down to the next whole number. In the case where the number of Directors who's term has expired will not maintain the Minimum Number of Directors on the Board, the current Chairman will extend the term by two years of a number of those Directors of his/her choosing in order to maintain the Minimum Number of Directors.

Section 5. It is desirable that a minimum of one Director reside in each of the following GFSA Regions as a representative of that Region:

  1. Northeastern United States: To include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  2. Southeastern United States: To include North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Florida.
  3. Upper Mid-West United States: To include Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota
  4. Lower Mid-West United States: To include Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana,
  5. Western United States: To include all other states not included in A though D above.

Section 6. In the event of negligence, or actions detrimental to our Society, a Director, or Directors, or the entire BOD shall be subject to a recall. A recall petition, in order to qualify for a vote, must be signed by 10% of the qualified voters (members) and accompanied by sworn statements of the sponsors that the signatures were secured according to law.

  1. A member in good standing must submit a letter or petition calling for a recall. Said petition form would appear in the next GFSA publication. All members that sign the recall petition shall return it to the author of the petition. A 10% vote shall qualify petition for an immediate election.
  2. This election shall carry up to the prescribed election time.
  3. No stigma of disability for further office holding shall prevail. However, a recalled officer shall be placed on probation for five years from holding office.

Section 7. Any vacancy on the Board due to a Director not being able to complete his/her term for any reason or because the Board was expanded as described in This Article Section 1 will be replaced with an appointed Director agreed upon by a majority of the Board. The term of an appointed Director will end at the next election. If the vacancy leaves any one GFSA Region as described in This Article Section 5 without a Director residing in that Region, the appointed Director must reside in said Region. All hast should be made to appoint a replacement Director unless it is within the time of an election as described in This Article Section 8. If appointed Directors compose a majority of the Board, a special election shall be held within six months.

Section 8. Elections shall be held as follows:

  1. Each odd numbered year will be considered an election year.
  2. January of the election year there will be a request for Self-Nomination in the GFSA's publication. This request shall be accompanied by a Self-Nomination Form which shall include space for the nominee's resume and a "Statement of Office Holding Wishes" that the nominee shall fill out and submit to the Election Supervisor. The Election Supervisor most be appointed and agreed upon by a two thirds vote of the Board.
  3. If an insufficient number of Self-Nomination Forms are received or as a result of the election a particular GFSA Region as describe in This Article Section 5 will not have a Director residing in said Region and no member residing in said Region has submitted a Self-Nomination Form (hereafter called an Uncovered Region) by February 15th, then a Nominating Committee will be formed comprised of the Election Supervisor as Chairman and 4 others members agreed upon by a majority of the Board. It is the Nominating Committee's job to find agreeable nominees for any unfilled position on the board with a priority toward any Uncovered Regions by March 1st.
  4. All the information about those running for the board will be published in the GFSA publication in March a long with a ballot for members to fill out and send to the Election Supervisor May 1st.
  5. The Election Supervisor will report to the Board by May 15th with the results of the election. The Board will fill the upcoming vacancies on the Board by: first choosing from those running who reside in an Uncovered Region and received the most votes; finally, any remaining vacant positions on the Board will be filled with those left who received the most votes.
  6. The new board will take office on June 1st, the beginning of the Society's fiscal year.

Section 9. Duties of the BOD shall be:

  1. Chairmanís Duties - The Chairman shall watch over the Society's business-at-hand by being the guide of the content and direction of the monthly Board meetings. Whether the meeting be held in person, via conference call, or through a Board letter. He/she shall be able to vote on proposals and will have the tie-breaking vote. He/she shall be able to keep the Directors in line where/when a Director steps out of line for some reason. He/she shall submit a monthly report to the GFSA Publication. He/she may authorize expenditures up to $500.00 without a board vote. These expenditures will include items like gift subscriptions, computer repairs, accommodations for speakers of GFSA events, and advertising. Individual items over $100.00 must be recorded by the Chairman or Secretary in the monthly letters to the board. The Chairman may appoint Board and non-Board members to function as Advertising, Membership, Convention, Editing, and Back Issue Chairmen. In order to make this appointment the Chairman must provide dual access to all post office boxes, files, and other critical documents.
  2. Secretaryís Duties - The Secretary shall report to the Society, via the GFSA Publication, all Election Results. He/she shall make notes of the monthly Board meetings so the Boardís activities or projects for the month can be reported in the monthly publication from time to time. He/she shall record all proposals and present them in an orderly list to the Board members so that they may be voted upon. He/she shall prepare a yearly Questionnaire, submit it for publication, and tabulate the results so they may forward correspondence to the proper committee, and present informative letters to the GFSA Publication and/or the BOD, wherever the information will be most helpful.
  3. Treasurerís Duties - The Treasurer shall receive the dues of the members and all other monies from whatever source accruing to the Society. He/she shall pay all bills associated therewith the above. He/ she shall make a financial report to the membership twice a year, via the GFSA Publication. The Chairman shall appoint an auditor, preferably from the membership of the Society. The auditor shall be prepared to make a report of the financial condition of the Society. The books shall be audited and signed once a year, preferably for the year-end financial report to the membership.
  4. BOD Duties in General - Through a monthly business Board meeting (as prescribes by the Chairman), they shall direct, vote on proposals, manage and control the affairs and business of the Society and make such rules and regulations for the membership not inconsistent with these Bylaws. They shall foster and encourage the purposes for which the Society has been formed.

Article V - Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Society shall commence on June 1st and extend through May 31st of the following year.

Article Vl - Dues

Upon finishing the annual audit, the BOD will determine the dues for the following year. The dues will coincide with the necessary expenditures needed to manage the Society.

Article Vll - Mode of Operation

Insofar as it is applicable, the business of the Society shall be carried out by monthly Board meetings at the direction of the Chairman. These Board meeting can be conducted in person, via conference call or written correspondence. In the case of in person or conference call Board meetings the Secretary will make notes of the meeting and distribute said notes to all members of the board before the next meeting. At the discretion of the Chairman, phone votes may be carried out on an infrequent basis. The Chairman or Secretary will record these results in the next written correspondence.

Article Vlll - Amendment

Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended as follows:

  1. A majority of the BOD may adopt a resolution specifying the nature of any intended amendment, repeal or new provision, and upon such adoption the same shall be submitted to the membership for action thereupon by written ballot two months after the notification of the membership.
  2. One-tenth of the entire membership of the Society may sign and file in writing to the Secretary, proposed amendments, repeals or new provisions to these Bylaws. Thereupon the BOD shall cause to be submitted to the membership the same for action via written ballot two months after the notification of the membership.

Section 2. Such proposed amendments, repeals or new provisions shall become part of these Bylaws upon favorable two-thirds vote of the membership voting.