Organization of the Council
The Council of Chapters was created in April 2014 by a vote of the general membership of the Florida Native Plant Society that reorganized the Society and adopted new Bylaws. Prior to the 2014 reorganization, one Chapter Representative from each Chapter statewide sat as a Director on the FNPS Board (about 37 Representatives in theory, but about half that were typically present and voting). Reducing the size of the Board was a significant goal of reorganization, so the Council of Chapters was created and made to be represented by three Directors, one serving on the Executive Committee of the Board. The Board retained all governing powers "except those reserved in these bylaws for ... the Council of Chapters". By virtue of its three Director votes, the Council was given more power than any one standing committee of the Board. The reorganized Board may consist of a total of 16 to 20 Officers and Directors.
In May 2014 a vote of the Chapter Representatives established Standard Operating Procedures for the Council and its first leadership: a Chair, Vice-chair, and Secretary. These three serve the dual role of Council Officers and Board Directors. The Council Chair serves on the Executive Committee of the Board. Council Directors serve a term of two years.
The FNPS Board of Directors established the Purpose, Goals and Powers of the Council of Chapters on August 11, 2018 in accordance with FNPS Bylaws.
The purpose of the Council of Chapters is to serve as a communications bridge between FNPS Chapters and the FNPS Board of Directors and vice versa.
Goals of the Council of Chapters
- To ensure that each Chapter Representative understands the FNPS Bylaws so that each Chapter Representative can ensure that their own chapter’s Bylaws are not in conflict with those of FNPS.
- To ensure that the FNPS Executive Director or Board of Directors is in receipt of each chapter’s most recent Bylaws.
- To encourage that each chapter is represented in a minimum of 4 online or in-person meetings per year.Proxies are encouraged if a Chapter Representative is unable to attend.
- To report to the FNPS Board of Directors, those chapters who have not been represented at either online or in-person meetings in the calendar year.
- To ensure that all chapter members have access to their own chapter’s Bylaws, meeting minutes, annual budget, and strategic plans.
- To ensure that all Chapter Representatives report on their chapter’s fiscal and organizational status, and when there are concerns, to promptly report these concerns to the FNPS Board of Directors.
- To ensure that each chapter is reporting its volunteer hours so that FNPS may recognize and promote chapter programs, achievements, partners, and mission-related work.
- To work with FNPS staff to ensure that each chapter is receiving recognition for its mission-related programs.
- To ensure that the Council of Chapters website is updated regularly with Council meeting minutes, calendar entries for meetings, and resources.
- To undertake chapter support through the production of educational materials and manuals to assist chapters in their mission to foster the growth of FNPS.
Powers of the Council of Chapters
- The Council shall have the powers necessary to meet the Goals specified by the FNPS Board of Directors.
- Powers outside the scope of the Goals specified by the FNPS Board of Directors must be approved by the FNPS Board of Directors after the Council provides an estimated budget of project cost (including staff, contractor, and volunteer time), work plan, and a timeline for completion of any proposed project or initiative outside the scope of powers granted the Council by the FNPS Board of Directors in this charter.
"The Society’s Council of Chapters may establish its own committees which may include regional councils ... [and Council Committees may] adopt [their] own procedural rules," subject to state laws, Bylaws, Board, and Council. "No such [Council] committee shall have the status of a [Board] Standing Committee," (Article 8.03). Council Committees may be established to develop and implement Council Initiatives under the direction of the Council.
"The Society’s Council of Chapters shall consist of a representative from each Chapter of the Society in good standing as per FNPS Bylaws." Chapters select Chapter Representatives in a variety of ways consistent with their own Chapter Bylaws or other Chapter operational policy. Some Chapter Presidents serve the dual role of Chapter President and Chapter Representative.