By-Laws

Article 1. Name
The formal name of the organization shall be the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors hereinafter referred to as “TATOA”.

Article 2. Purpose

Mission Statement

The mission of TATOA is to support, inform and serve the telecommunications interests and needs of governments.  We are a professional association made up individuals and organizations responsible for, or advising those responsible for, telecommunications policies, services and video programming in local governments throughout Texas.

The Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors is a professional organization of individuals and organizations serving citizens in the development and administration of telecommunications systems. The purposes of this organization are:

  1. To establish and administer a system for the sharing of information about telecommunications issues and activities that impact our membership.
  2. To enhance the capacity of members to deal with internet and telecommunications issues.
  3. To help improve the administration of telecommunications systems and local government.
  4. To provide technical assistance to the membership.
  5. To provide a forum for open and balanced discussion and debate of communications issues.
  6. To communicate with other professional organizations for the overall improvement of communications services available to the public.
  7. To perform an active role in the monitoring and education of telecommunications policy at the State and Federal level.
  8. To provide a forum for dynamic and diverse programming.
  9. To provide a platform for the development and supports of access programmers and to encourage a professional environment.
  10. To provide other services as may be determined by the membership.

Article 3. Fiscal Year

SECTION I. Commencement

The Fiscal Year for TATOA shall coincide with the fiscal year established by the national organization, NATOA, commencing on October 1st and ending on September 30th.

SECTION II. Expenditures

All expenditures of TATOA shall be in compliance with the purposes, as described in Article 2 herein. The Board of Directors shall regularly review the expenditures to ensure such compliance.

Article 4. Membership

SECTION I. There shall be five categories of membership.

Individual: Open to any individual who is elected, appointed, employed by, or retained by a municipal, county, or state government, or regional authority engaged in the regulation, administration, planning of cable and/or telecommunications system or programming for government or education access channels.  Individual memberships shall continue for the length of the current period regardless of changes in employment which may affect membership eligibility, unless the individual member takes employment with a cable television company or other private telecommunications provider, in which the individual shall be considered an Associate Member for the remainder of the year.

Agency: Open to any municipal, county, state, or regional authority or a board, commission, or consortium sanctioned by a government authority which is engaged in the regulation, administrating, or planning of cable and/or telecommunications systems or programming for government or education access channels.  Agency membership entitles the member agency to designate a primary member plus five additional members.  The primary member shall be the designated spokesperson for the agency and as such shall be the voting member on all issues that require votes.  Each Agency shall submit a proxy statement should the designated member be unable to be present at a voting session.

Associate: Open to any individual from a non-profit or profit-making organization involved in the planning, development, programming, provision or research of cable and other telecommunications systems who do not qualify for Individual or Agency membership.  This category shall include individuals employed or affiliated with telecommunications companies, telecommunication vendors or public access organizations.

Student/Intern: Open to any high school or college student and any individual participating in an internship with a government or educational access channel developing video or multimedia programming.

Life: The TATOA Board of Directors shall have the authority to nominate individuals for Life Membership for approval by the full membership at a general meeting.  Nominations shall also be accepted from the floor.  Candidates for Life Membership shall be individuals who are currently, or have been, full members of NATOA and who have made significant contributions toward furthering the goals of NATOA at the national, regional, or state levels.

Honorary: The TATOA Board of Directors shall have the authority to extend an Honorary Membership to individuals for special contributions to furthering the goals of TATOA.

SECTION II. Membership Privileges

Individual and Agency Members shall have voting rights in all TATOA business.  In the case of Agency Memberships, the agency shall designate one individual from the organization as a single voting delegate for all TATOA business.  Associate and Student/Intern Members are precluded from voting and serving on the Board of Directors. Individual, Associate, and Agency Members shall receive a complete TATOA membership list and any regular or special TATOA correspondence. Life Members shall be exempt from paying dues with all attendant voting rights and privileges of Individual Members.

SECTION III. Dispute

Any dispute over membership qualifications shall be resolved by a majority vote of Board.

SECTION IV. Dues

TATOA may establish or change membership dues in accordance with provisions of Article 9 herein.  The annual dues schedule, as approved by the membership, shall be attached to all copies of these by-laws.  The dues for TATOA membership categories shall not exceed dues for similar categories in the National NATOA.

Article 5. Officers

SECTION I. Board of Directors

The officers of the TATOA Board of Directors shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  The membership shall elect four (4) Regional Representatives, one (1) Government Access Programming Representative, one (1) Creative Development Representative, and one (1) Policy & Legal Representative to the Board of Directors and all Directors shall be full voting members.

SECTION II. Election

Officers shall be elected by a majority of the voting members by ballot or by those in attendance at the first Regular Meeting of the fiscal year.

SECTION III. Terms

Terms of the officers shall be up to two (2) years.

SECTION IV. Removal

Any officer may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the full chapter members by ballot whenever, in the judgment of the Board of Directors, the best interests of TATOA will be served by the removal.

SECTION V. Vacancies

A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, or otherwise may be filled by the Board for the unexpired portion of the term.

SECTION VI. President

The President shall be the principal executive officer of TATOA, and shall preside at all meetings of the Board and the membership. The membership of the President shall be an Individual, Agency, or Life.  Associate and Student/Intern members are ineligible to serve as President.  The President shall have primary responsibility for external relationships and serve as chief spokesperson of TATOA.

SECTION VII. Vice President

The Vice President shall have primary responsibility for coordinating the internal activities of TATOA.  The Vice President shall serve in the absence of the President and shall, for continuity in Board memberships, be considered the President-Elect.

SECTION VIII. Secretary

The Secretary shall keep the minutes of meetings, see that notices are given according to the By-Laws, and be custodian of the official records of TATOA.

SECTION IX: Treasurer

The Treasurer shall oversee and shall provide semi-annual reports to the TATOA Board of Directors and annual financial reports to the membership.

SECTION X. Ex-Officio

The most recent former President, while employed in a Telecommunications position, other than with a for-profit telecommunications provider, shall be considered an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and shall be eligible to serve on any standing or special and/or ad hoc committees in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 herein.

SECTION XI: Regional Representatives

In order to insure diversity of geographic representation, Regional Representatives shall assist in matters related to regional matters, including, but not limited to, membership recruitment and communications as well as all other board matters. Regional Representatives shall represent the North, South, East and West of Texas.

SECTION XII: Government Access Programming Representative

The Government Access Programming Representative shall assist in matters related to programmers, PEG programming and other government access channel issues. To be eligible for this position, the member must be currently serving as a staff member of a government access channel.

SECTION XIII: Creative Development Representative

The Creative Development Representative shall promote the association and its goals through social media, web-based interfaces, electronic messaging, and any other appropriate means of communication.  The position will assist in the development and expansion of the association’s video programming capabilities to support the mission of member organizations and professional development of their video programming staff.  This position will be responsible for the administration of the association’s website.  To be eligible for this position, the member must be currently serving as a staff member of a government access channel, communications department, or information technology department of a local government or school district.

SECTION XIV: Policy & Legal Representative

The Policy & Legal Representative shall provide the organization leadership on policy and legal matters that affect local governments in areas related to telecommunications, cable television, municipal access channel administration, information technology, franchising, fees & taxes, right-of-way management, legislative analysis, and other relevant areas as appropriate. This position will be responsible for educating the Board of Directors on policy and legal issues. To be eligible for this position, the member must be a staff attorney, manager, analyst, or administrator for a local government, or a private attorney representing local governments.

Article 6. Meetings

SECTION I. Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of TATOA shall be held at times and locations designated by the President.  These meetings shall be held for the purposes and objectives of TATOA and are set forth in these By-Laws for the conducting of elections and for other business that may arise.  At least one regular meeting shall be held each fiscal year.

SECTION II. Special Meetings

The President of TATOA or a vote of the Board of Directors may call a special meeting(s) at any time.  A special meeting will be held at a reasonable time fixed by the President, but no less than three (3) or more than fourteen (14) days after receipt of a notice for said meeting by the members.

SECTION III. Board of Directors

The Board of Directors shall meet, in person and/or by telephone conference prior to any regular meeting of TATOA. The President may call a Board Meeting at any other time to transact regular or special business.

Article 7. Committees

SECTION I. Standing Committee

The membership shall have the power to establish standing committees through amendment of the By-Laws in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 herein.  The President shall have the power to appoint the members and chairs of such committees of the general membership for such terms as he/she may deem appropriate.  The Legislative, Membership, Publications, Conference, Creative Development, and Interactive Media Committees are hereby designated as standing committees of TATOA.

SECTION II. Special and/or Ad Hoc Committees

The President may appoint special and/or ad hoc committees as needed.

Article 8. Quorums

SECTION I. Meetings

A simple majority of those full members in attendance at any meeting of TATOA shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at that meeting.

Article 9. Amendment of By-Laws

SECTION I.

These By-Laws may be amended by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the full association members by ballot or two-thirds (2/3) of those in attendance at Regular or Special Meetings of TATOA. Reasonable notice of all amendments shall be provided to the Membership prior to consideration of such amendments.

SECTION II.

The Board of Directors shall establish procedures for the notification, voting method, and tabulation of all proposed amendments to the By-Laws.

Annual Membership Dues

AGENCY: Includes the primary member and five additional members, for a total of $150.00 for the organization. Each additional member, thereafter shall be charged $30.00.

INDIVIDUAL: $60.00 for each member.

ASSOCIATES: $110.00 for each member.

STUDENT/INTERN: $30.00 for each member.

LIFE: $0.00

HONORARY: $0.00