1.1 Mission StatementThe Abandoned Properties Coalition proactively pursues the revitalization of abandoned and dilapidated properties in West Virginia through sustainable planning and policies that positively contribute to community well-being.
1.2 ValuesThe Abandoned Properties Coalition values the equitable engagement of community members in the identification of both challenges and solutions to the issue of abandoned properties. The APC’s core values are:
Sustainability. Community Level Support Multi-layered Change Community-driven Solutions Preservation
2. Membership and Participation
Membership and participation in the Abandoned Properties Coalition exists at three levels of commitment:
- Constituent – Stakeholders and partners across West Virginia who are interested in the issues related to abandoned and dilapidated properties and who receive regular information and updates from the APC on the issue.
- Team Members – Members who are actively working on a priority issue endorsed by the Steering Committee; issues pursued by teams may lead to research and an expansion of knowledge, policy proposals, and other outcomes across the state.
- Steering Committee- Representatives from key organizations and topic area experts who determine the Coalition’s policy priorities, set Coalition goals, and implement strategies informed by all membership.
Membership among these three levels of commitment is fluid, especially between Constituents and Team Members.
2.1 ConstituentsConstituents are non-voting members of the APC who indicate interest in the issues of abandoned and dilapidated properties by signing up for more information through the Coalition’s website, partners, or events. Constituents receive information from the APC related to general issue updates, Team activities, and Steering Committee meetings.
Constituents are invited to participate in monthly calls in which Team members share updates on specific issues and Steering Committee members vote as needed on policy and other priorities.
Constituents can participate as non-voting attendees at quarterly Steering Committee meetings and have access to notes for all quarterly meetings via the APC website and email list.
2.2 Team MembersAPC Members currently serving at any level of commitment (Constituent, Team Member, or Steering Committee Member) can serve as Team Members on Policy Teams by joining existing teams or proposing the formation of a new Team. Any member who proposes a new Team must serve on the Team once it is formed.
Information on all Teams, including Team Lead contact information and notes as reported in monthly and quarterly meetings, will be available at the APC website.
2.2.1 Establishing New TeamsThe Process for establishing a new Team is as follows:
- An interested individual or group of individuals submits an issue or idea through a simple form available online.
- The APC Coordinator reviews the submission and shares with the Steering Committee to identify any interest from that Committee.
- The APC Coordinator and any interested Steering Committee members meet with those proposing new Team to get additional information and review the commitment level expected from Team Members. The APC Coordinator shares notes and recommendation from the meeting with the Steering Committee in advance of the next Steering Committee.
- If after this meeting the new Team is deemed viable by both the APC Coordinator and the individual or group proposing the team, representative(s) from the Team are invited to present their proposal to the Steering Committee at the next quarterly meeting.
- After the proposal, the Steering Committee reviews and decides whether to endorse the team. Formation of a team requires approval from a simple majority of all filled seats. If endorsed, a Steering Committee participant is designated.
- In the event that the proposed issue is time sensitive, the Steering Committee may decide to take a vote on the Team proposal via email.
- The APC Coordinator will review expectations of Team Members and provide support as needed.
2.2.2 Team CommunicationsEach team must select a Team Liaison to provide regular updates to the Steering Committee and broader membership. This Liaison will provide monthly updates electronically to the APC Coordinator, who will post to the APC website. Team conference calls or meetings will also be shared on the APC website to encourage broader participation from the membership.
Additionally, the Team Liaison, or other Team representative, will participate in all monthly calls to share updates with the memberships. The designated Steering Committee member of the Team will provide updates at quarterly Steering Committee meetings.
2.3 Steering CommitteeThe Steering Committee is tasked with guiding the direction and priorities of the APC by determining policy priorities, setting Coalition goals, and implementing strategies informed by all membership. The Steering Committee is composed of topic area experts and representatives from key organizations.
2.3.1 Steering Committee MembershipThe Steering Committee is composed of not less than seven and not more than 12 members, including seven core members and five ad hoc members. Six core members will be designated from these key partner organizations:
- West Virginia University Brownfields, Abandoned, & Dilapidated Buildings
- West Virginia Community Development Hub
- Coalfield Development Corporation
- Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center
- Main Street West Virginia
- Preservation Alliance of West Virginia
A seventh core member will be identified by the Steering Committee from an active Land Reuse Agency in one of the APC’s constituent communities.
Core member representatives will be designated by the leadership of each member organization.
Five ad hoc positions will be filled to encourage diversity of interest and expertise, with representatives from different types of organizations or backgrounds asked to participate.
Ad hoc positions will be filled by the Steering Committee as vacancies occur. To fill these vacancies, the Steering Committee will accept applications from the broader membership. Applications should document past involvement in the APC or related issues as well as a personal statement on applicant’s ability to work on policy advocacy issues. Ad hoc positions will be filled from these applications as well as recommendations from Steering Committee members. Ad hoc members will be appointed for one calendar year (January – December), with the opportunity for renewal at each Annual Meeting.
2.3.2 DutiesAll Steering Committee members are required to attend quarterly Steering Committee meetings and monthly update calls. Failure to attend or participate in at least two quarterly meetings per calendar year and four monthly meetings, without appointing a proxy or receiving an excused absence from the Steering Committee Chair, will constitute resignation from the board.
Steering Committee members must be willing to serve on Teams as designated by the Steering Committee.
2.3.3 ProxyRepresentatives from the seven core organizations may delegate a proxy to participate in meetings and vote on issues in their absence. Ad hoc members may delegate a proxy to participate but not vote in their absence.
2.3.4 Term LimitsIn the interest of preserving institutional memory and due to the nature of organizational representation of the Steering Committee, there are no term limits for core Steering Committee members. There are no term limits for ad hoc members; however, at each Annual Meeting, the Steering Committee will review the current composition of the committee and determine whether changes to ad hoc membership are required. Ad hoc members are eligible for an unlimited number of terms at the discretion of the Steering Committee.
2.3.5 Removal of Steering Committee MemberThe Steering Committee may remove, by two-thirds majority of vote, any member of the Steering Committee for refusal, neglect, or failure to perform the duties of this position, or for any act contrary to the policies and instructions of the board.
The Steering Committee shall offer the opportunity to the said Member to be heard, but its action shall be final and conclusive.
In the event that a Core Member is not performing his/her duties, the Chair of the Steering Committee will approach the leadership of the appropriate organization to discuss the issue and designate a new representative.
In the event that an Ad Hoc Member is not performing his/her duties, he/she will be removed from the Steering Committee and the vacancy will be filled as provided in these bylaws.
2.4.1 QuorumA quorum, defined as seven members, of the Steering Committee is required for all decision-making. If less than a quorum is present at any given meeting or call, discussion can still take place, but no votes may be called. Alternatively, if less than a quorum is present, the Steering Committee may adjourn the meeting without further notice.
2.4.2 VotingAt any meeting of the Steering Committee, every member present who is qualified to vote, will be entitled to one vote. The vote of a two-thirds majority of all filled positions will be required for approval of all questions coming before the Steering Committee, except those otherwise designated in these bylaws.
Voting via email will be used sparingly and reserved only for instances in which timing is crucial and a vote cannot wait until the next Steering Committee meeting or an emergency meeting cannot reasonably be scheduled.
2.4.3 Fiscal Decision-MakingIn the event that fiscal sponsorship is necessary for activities performed by Teams, Steering Committee members, or support staff, the Steering Committee will identify and approve the appropriate core member organization who is willing and best suited to serve in that role. Approval of fiscal sponsor agency appointment will require simple-majority vote of all filled seats.
2.5 OfficersThe Coalition will have a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary chosen from a simple-majority vote of members of the filled positions of the Steering Committee. Collectively these officers will be known as the Executive Committee. Each officer will serve a one-year term or until the next officer-election meeting. Additional officers can be added at any time as needed.
Officers will be elected at the Annual Meeting, or in the event of a vacancy. Officers may serve up to four consecutive terms.
2.5.1 ChairThe Chair will announce, chair, facilitate, and build agenda for Steering Committee meetings; work closely with support staff from participant organizations to communicate effectively with the membership and meet the goals and needs of the Steering Committee.
2.5.2 Vice-ChairThe Vice-Chair will assist the Chair in the conduct of the Chair’s duties and will act for the Chair if the Chair is unwilling or unable to serve.
2.5.3 SecretaryThe Secretary will draft the minutes of each Steering Committee meeting and submit them to the Steering Committee for approval. The Secretary will work with support staff to disperse meeting minutes and agendas to the broader members. The Secretary will maintain the records of the Steering Committee in a manner determined by the Steering Committee.
All APC meetings will be open to the public. A schedule of all meetings will be provided on the APC website and in regular communications with APC Constituents. All meetings will be governed by the Democratic Rules of Order.
3.1 Steering Committee MeetingsThe Steering Committee will meet in-person at least quarterly at a location to be determined by the Steering Committee. The fourth quarter meeting of each year will serve as the Annual Meeting.
Non-voting participants at Steering Committee meetings will be invited to participate in discussions as prescribed by participation policy documents publicly available to all participants.