info@alleghenywest.org
806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Constitution and Bylaws

Allegheny West Civic Council

  • Article I. Name
  • Article II. Area
  • Article III. Purpose
  • Article IV. Membership
  • Article V. Officers and Elections (amended 1994)
  • Article VI. Duties of Officers (amended 2004)
  • Article VII. Committees (amended 1994, 2004)
  • Article VIII. Liability and Indemnification
  • Article IX. Dues and Meetings
  • Article X. Removal From Office of Officers and Standing Committee Chairmen
  • Article XI. Rules of Order
  • Article XII. Bylaws
  • Ammendments

The name of the organization shall be the Allegheny West Civic Council.

The Council shall represent the following geographical area in the 22 Ward of the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Starting at the intersection of Allegheny Avenue and Ridge Avenue along Allegheny Avenue to the intersection of Allegheny Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue; along Pennsylvania Avenue to the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks; following tracks to the intersection of West North Avenue and Brighton Road; along Brighton road to the intersection of Brighton Road and Ridge Avenue; along Ridge Avenue to the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Bank Street; along Bank Street to the intersection of Bank Street and Marburg Street; south along Marburg Street until it intersects with the extension of Brighton Road; along the extension of Brighton Road until it intersects with the ridge line; along the ridge to the extension of Allegheny Avenue; along the extension of Allegheny Avenue to the point of origin. 

The purpose of the Council is to improve the social and economic climate of the community by:

  1. Publicizing the needs and goals of the community,
  2. Assuring that vital services, programs, and resources are made available to the community,
  3. Providing a forum for discussion of issues affecting the community,
  4. Serving as a means of representation for residents, property owners, businesses and organizations in the neighborhood in dealing with city, county, state, and national governments, and other organizations and institutions which have impact on the community.

In performing its function the Council will receive and administer funds exclusively for scientific, educational, and charitable purposes.

A member in good standing is a person or organization who has paid dues for the year and belongs to one of the following two classifications: Individual, or Group.

  1. Individual membership: Any individual of legal voting age (18) or over, who is a resident and/or property owner in the neighborhood within the area defined by Article II, or who is the sole proprietor of a business in the neighborhood, or who is a business partner in the neighborhood. No more than three partners from the same business may be eligible for membership.
  2. Group membership: Group members may include all recognized organizations in the neighborhood, who are of an educational, social, civic, religious, business, or fraternal nature; and organizations owning property in the neighborhood. Each group member has the privilege of sending to the Council one delegate with voting power certified by the group member. No delegate shall be allowed to represent two or more group members concurrently. In the unavoidable absence of a delegate, a group member shall have the privilege of sending an alternate. If the representative of a group member is also an individual member, he or she may only have one vote.

Associate membership: Also eligible for individual or group membership are any person, organization, or business establishment, located in close proximity to our border, but not within the boundary of Allegheny West set forth in Article II, whose activities would be more closely aligned with those of Allegheny West than to the neighborhood in which they are geographically located. Also eligible would be public officials, and representatives of organizations whose activities could affect the welfare of our area. All associate members would require the approval of the Executive Committee. An associate member will have all the rights and privileges of an individual or group member, including the right to vote.

  1. The officers of the Council shall shall be President, Vice-President,
 Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Sergeant-at-Arms.
  2. Nominations shall be made by a Nominating Committee of five members, to be elected at the Annual Meeting to serve for one year. This committee shall present a single slate of candidates for the position of officers and standing committee chairmen (see Article VIII) at least one month preceding the annual meeting. Prior agreement and consent to serve in the indicated positions if elected shall have been obtained by the Nominating Committee from all persons whose names are submitted. Nominations from the floor may be made, provided that consent and
 agreement to serve if elected have been obtained prior to, or during, the meeting.
  3. A vacancy occurring in an office before the time of regular elections shall be filled after thirty days notice of such an election to the membership. Election 
shall proceed by nomination from the floor.
  4. Only members in good standing shall be eligible to vote. Only individual members in good standing shall be eligible to become officers or standing 
committee chairmen in the Council.
  5. Voting for officers shall be by secret ballot, except that if there be only one nomination for any office at the close of the nominations, voting for that office may be by acclamation.

Process for the conduct of elections:

  1. The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for the orderly operation of the election process whenever a secret ballot is required for a Civic Council election.
  2. The Membership Chairman will provide an up-to-date list of members in good standing to the Sergeant-at Arms at each meeting.
  3. Unless a conflict of interest exists with the issue at hand, the Sergeant-at-Arms will act as Chief Judge of Election. Otherwise, the presiding officer will select a Chief Judge of Election.
  4. The Presiding officer will select no fewer than two Assistant Judges of Election.
  5. The Judges of election will provide an official ballot to each member in good standing whose name appears on the sign- up sheet for the current meeting.
  6. The Judges of election will collect, count, recount, and certify the election to the presiding officer who will announce the results.
  7. Ballots and associated election material will be retained by the Chief Judge of Election until the adjournment of the next regularly scheduled Civic Council meeting. If, by that time, there are no request for preservation of the ballots, they may be destroyed. Otherwise, the ballots and associated election material will be turned over to the Recording Secretary for storage.
  8. A two-thirds vote of members voting will be required to override these provisions at a meeting.

 See Previous Revisions

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Council and the Executive Committee, and shall be ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. He shall appoint special committees, and shall perform all other duties usually pertaining to the office. The president will prepare an annual budget for presentation to the January meeting. The budget must be approved by a majority of members present at a regular or special membership meeting.

  1. The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the absence or inability of that officer to act, and shall assist the President when called upon.
  2. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection and disbursement of all moneys of the Council, and the payment of all bills, and shall submit a monthly financial statement. His or her records shall be subject to an annual audit. No bills which are not line items in the approved budget for the fiscal year shall be paid without the approval of a majority of members present at a regular or special membership meeting.
  3. The Recording Secretary will provide three copies of each record, one for the President, one for the Corresponding Secretary, and one for the Treasurer within ten days of the meeting at which said record was presented and approved by the Membership or Executive Committee, as appropriate.
  4. The Corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for all communications pertaining to the business of the Council, shall insure that all official Council correspondence and other documentation be archived, and shall act as Chair of the Communications Committee. The Corresponding Secretary will be copied in all Council correspondence, including e-mail.
  5. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to maintain order at the direction of the President. He or she shall be responsible for greeting and seating all guests, and shall insure that all in attendance at the regular meeting register their names on the attendance form, and shall establish the presence of a quorum as defined in Article VIII, Section 6.

 See Previous Revisions

The standing committees of the Council are Housing and Planning, Membership, Property, Way and Means, Communications, and Friends of Allegheny West.

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Council and the standing committee chairmen. The President of the previous year’s term of office shall be a non voting member of the committee in an advisory capacity. This committee shall meet at least once a month.
  2. The Housing and Planning Committee shall be responsible for the physical planning and housing conditions in Allegheny West. It should be as representative as possible of residential, business, and institutional sectors of the neighborhood.
  3. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for adding new members to the roll and for maintaining present membership. It is also responsible for maintaining contact with all residents of Allegheny West, both members and non-members of Civic Council, to keep them informed of neighborhood and Council activities.
  4. The Property Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the operation of all Council owned properties. All property managers, volunteer or paid, shall report on a timely basis to this committee. The Treasurer of the Council and the Chairman of the Housing and Planning committee shall be ex-officio members of this committee. No member of the Property Committee may have any financial interest in any property owned or managed by the Council. The Chairman of the Property Committee will NOT be authorized to disburse funds from any council Account.
  5. The Ways and Means Committee shall be responsible for all fund raising activities of the Council.
  6. The Communications Committee, chaired by the Corresponding Secretary, shall take care of all communication activities and archiving activities of the Council. These activities include: maintaining the Council’s Web site, responding to and/or redirecting e-mail, setting up and monitoring the telephone answering machine, maintaining mailing lists and producing mailing labels, maintaining supplies of Council stationery and maintaining the historical archive files. The Communication Committee will be responsible for the monthly publication of the Allegheny West Gazette which will be distributed throughout Allegheny West.
  7. The Friends of Allegheny West Committee shall be concerned with bringing to the council support and services from individuals, from both within and outside of Allegheny West, who are concerned with the human and physical development within the neighborhood.
  8. Standing committee chairmen shall select from between two and ten members for their committees within 45 days following their election. No member of the Council may chair more than one standing committee at a time. No officer may chair any standing committee.
  9. Additional committees, as needed to carry out the business of the Council, may be appointed by the President. Committees as appointed shall be approved by the Executive Committee. Appointed committee chairmen are not members of the Executive Committee, but may be asked to attend Executive Committee meetings at the discretion of the President.

 See Previous Revisions

Liability of Officers and Standing Committee Chairmen: No person who is or was an officer or standing committee chairman of the Allegheny West Civic Council shall be personally liable for monetary damages for any action taken, or failure to take any action in their official capacity unless:

The officer or standing committee chairman has breached or failed to 
perform the duties of her or his office as set forth in Section 5711 of the Pennsylvania General Association Act of 1988 (15 Pa. Et. Seq C.S.A. Section 5711) or the corresponding provisions of any subsequent law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and

The breach or failure to perform constitutes self-dealing, willful
misconduct or recklessness.

This provision shall not apply to:

      1. The responsibility or liability of an officer or standing committee
chairman pursuant to any criminal statute;
      2. The liability of an officer or standing committee chairman for the
payment of taxes pursuant to local, state or federal law.

If Pennsylvania law hereafter is amended to authorize the further elimination or limitation of the liability of directors of an organization, then the liability of the officers and standing committee chairmen, in addition to the limitation on personal liability provided herein, shall be limited to the fullest extent permitted by the amended Pennsylvania Law.

Indemnification: The Allegheny West Civic Council may, but shall not be required to, purchase such insurance as described in Section 5747 of the Pennsylvania General Association Act of 1988 (15 Pa. C.S.A Section 5747). In the absence of such insurance, the Council shall not, unless otherwise required by law, indemnify any person who was or is an officer, standing committee chairman, employee, or other representative of the Council or who is or was serving at the request of the Council as a representative of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise.

Council shall hold regular meetings the second Tuesday of every month.

  1. Special meetings may be called by the President, or on the petition of fifteen members to the President, provided also that ten days written notice is given to the membership.
  2. The Annual meeting of the Council shall be held in November, and shall count as the regular meeting for that month.
  3. Each individual member and designated group member in good standing at the time of voting shall be entitled to one vote, a carrying vote being one over half of those present and eligible to vote.
  4. Dues for the following year shall be voted upon by the membership at the November 
annual meeting. Dues shall be payable in January or voting privileges shall be revoked. Members paying dues after January shall receive voting privileges thirty days (30) after payment of dues. Fiscal year shall begin January 1 and end Deeember 31. Any new member joining after the September meeting shall be considered a member in good standing for the present and next fiscal year.
  5. A quorum consisting of one more than two thirds of the average number of members present at the previous three meetings will be required to transact business other than adjournment at a membership meeting.

Previously Article VIII

An officer or a standing committee chairman may be impeached and removed from office by a two thirds vote of those members in attendance at two successive membership meetings. Any other committee chairman may be removed by vote of the majority of the Executive Committee.

Previously Article IX

Sturgis Rules of Order shall be used in conducting all business of the Council, and in deciding any questions not otherwise provided for herein.

Previously Article X

Amendments and additions to this constitution may be adopted upon presentation in writing of the proposed change at one regular meeting, and the publication in the Allegheny West Gazette, and a 2/3 vote concurring at the next regular meeting.

Previously Article XI

Amend article VII, section 1 to read:

“The standing committees of the Council are Housing and Planning, Membership, Property, Ways and Means, and Friends of Allegheny West.”

Insert after section 4 (and renumber sections 5-8):

“5. The Property Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the operation of all Council owned properties. All property managers, volunteer or paid, shall report on a timely basis to this committee. The Treasurer of the Council and the Chairman of the Housing and Planning committee shall be ex-officio members of this committee. No member of the Property Committee may have any financial interest in any property owned or managed by the Council. The Chairman of the Property Committee will NOT be authorized to disburse funds from any council Account.”

Implementation:

The President of the Council shall appoint an interim Chairman of the Property committee to serve until replaced after the regular election to be held at the annual meeting of November, 1994.


Process for the conduct of elections:

The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for the orderly operation of the election process whenever a secret ballot is required for a Civic Council election.

The Membership Chairman will provide an up-to-date list of members in good standing to the Sergeant-at Arms at each meeting.

Unless a conflict of interest exists with the issue at hand, the Sergeant-at-Arms will act as Chief Judge of Election. Otherwise, the presiding officer will select a Chief Judge of Election.

The Presiding officer will select no fewer than two Assistant Judges of Election.

The Judges of election will provide an official ballot to each member in good standing whose name appears on the sign- up sheet for the current meeting.

The Judges of election will collect, count, recount, and certify the election to the presiding officer who will announce the results.

Ballots and associated election material will be retained by the Chief Judge of Election until the adjournment of the next regularly scheduled Civic Council meeting. If, by that time, there are no request for preservation of the ballots, they may be destroyed. Otherwise, the ballots and associated election material will be turned over to the Recording Secretary for storage.

A two-thirds vote of members voting will be required to override these provisions at a meeting.


To expand the duties of the Corresponding Secretary and add the Communication Committee:

Amend Article VI: Duties of Officers, Section 5 to read:

“The Corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for all communications pertaining to the business of the council, shall insure that all official Council correspondence and other documentation be archived, and shall act as Chair of the Communications Committee. The Corresponding Secretary will be copied in all Council correspondence, including e-mail.”

Amend Article VII: Committees, Section 1 to read:

“The standing committees of the Council are Housing and Planning, Membership, Property, Way and Means, Communications, and Friends of Allegheny West.”

Remove the paragraph in Section 4:

“The Membership Committee will be responsible for the monthly publication of the Allegheny West Gazette which will be distributed throughout Allegheny West.”

Insert a new Section 7 and renumber old Sections 7-9. Section 7 to read:

“The Communications Committee, chaired by the Corresponding Secretary, shall take care of all communication activities and archiving activities of the Council. These activities include: maintaining the Council’s Web site, responding to and/or redirecting e-mail, setting up and monitoring the telephone answering machine, maintaining mailing lists and producing mailing labels, maintaining supplies of Council stationery and maintaining the historical archive files. The Communication Committee will be responsible for the monthly publication of the Allegheny West Gazette which will be distributed throughout Allegheny West.”

In order to provide a limitation on the liability of the officers and standing committee chairmen, the Constitution and By-laws of the Allegheny West Civic Council is hereby amended as follows:

Articles VIII, IX, X and XI shall be renumbered IX, X, XI and XII respectively, and the following article shall be added:

ARTICLE VIII. LIABILITY AND INDEMNIFICATION

Liability of Officers and Standing Committee Chairmen: No person who is or was an officer or standing committee chairman of the Allegheny West Civic Council shall be personally liable for monetary damages for any action taken, or failure to take any action in their official capacity unless:

The officer or standing committee chairman has breached or failed to 
perform the duties of her or his office as set forth in Section 5711 of the Pennsylvania General Association Act of 1988 (15 Pa. Et. Seq C.S.A. Section 5711) or the corresponding provisions of any subsequent law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and

The breach or failure to perform constitutes self-dealing, willful
misconduct or recklessness.

This provision shall not apply to:

  1. The responsibility or liability of an officer or standing committee
chairman pursuant to any criminal statute;
  2. The liability of an officer or standing committee chairman for the
payment of taxes pursuant to local, state or federal law.

If Pennsylvania law hereafter is amended to authorize the further elimination or limitation of the liability of directors of an organization, then the liability of the officers and standing committee chairmen, in addition to the limitation on personal liability provided herein, shall be limited to the fullest extent permitted by the amended Pennsylvania Law.

Indemnification: The Allegheny West Civic Council may, but shall not be required to, purchase such insurance as described in Section 5747 of the Pennsylvania General Association Act of 1988 (15 Pa. C.S.A Section 5747). In the absence of such insurance, the Council shall not, unless otherwise required by law, indemnify any person who was or is an officer, standing committee chairman, employee, or other representative of the Council or who is or was serving at the request of the Council as a representative of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise.


To further define the duties of the Recording Secretary:

Amend Article VI: Duties of Officers, Section 4:

“The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Council, and the Executive Committee.” to add “The Recording Secretary will provide three copies of each record, one for the President, one for the Corresponding Secretary, and one for the Treasurer within ten days of the meeting at which said record was presented and approved by the Membership or Executive Committee, as appropriate.”