approved at General meeting on May 21, 2012
updated on November 17, 2014
updated on May 16, 2016
(The Bylaws can be downloaded as a PDF file from riverbendestates.info/bylaws.pdf)
NAME: The name of the association shall be the Riverbend Estates Neighborhood Association, (RENA) Inc. (Established in 1974 as Riverbend Estates Homeowners Association)
PURPOSE: The Riverbend Estates Neighborhood Association shall be strictly not-for-profit, non-partisan, non-political and non-sectarian. The purpose of the association is to promote the civic and general welfare of Riverbend Estates subdivision and provide a voice for the community on local initiatives and issues. It reserves the right to advocate or oppose any issue affecting the welfare of Riverbend Estates subdivision.
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP
1. Any adult who is a property owner or resident of the Riverbend Estates subdivision shall be eligible for membership in the Riverbend Estates Neighborhood Association. Associate memberships are available to anyone who supports the purpose of RENA but is not a property owner or resident. Associate members are not eligible to vote.
2. Annual dues are set by the members at the annual meeting. There is one membership fee per household. Each household shall have one vote.
3. Annual membership fees are due by September 30 for the following membership year, October 1st to September 30th.
4. New members may be enrolled at any time, upon payment of annual dues. New members shall be immediately eligible to vote at any meeting and be elected to serve as an officer.
5. Members may terminate their membership at any time upon written notification to the president or another officer of the association. No refund of annual dues will be made.
ARTICLE II – OFFICERS
The officers of the association shall be a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. They shall be elected at the annual meeting from among those members who are in good standing, in a manner prescribed herein. Elected officers will also serve on the board of directors.
Election of Officers: Officers shall be elected by secret ballot at the annual meeting in May. Officers elected at the annual meeting shall take office immediately before adjournment. Newly elected officers shall serve for a term of two years.
1. The president shall be the chief executive officer of the association, chair of the board of directors and shall have general direction over the affairs of the association. The president shall preside at all meeting of the association; appoint chairs to standing and or special committees; perform other duties as applicable herein, or assigned by the association. The president shall coordinate the work of the board of directors and committees to assure that the objectives of the association are achieved. The president shall also be the official representative of the association in all matters, unless he/she designates a substitute.
2. The vice-president shall act in the place of the president in the event of absence or inability to serve. In the event that the president is unable to complete the term of office, the vice president shall become president.
3. The secretary shall record the minutes of each association meeting and those of the board of directors. The secretary shall also present the minutes of each general meeting for approval at the next general meeting; keep such other association records and papers as the president may direct; maintain custody of correspondence, books, papers, and other property belonging to the association not otherwise provided for herein.
The secretary shall also be responsible for dissemination and/or mailing/e-mail of correspondence and notices of the association as the president and/or the board of directors shall require and maintaining all records thereof. The secretary shall be responsible for organizing and maintaining the association’s official files and shall also serve as a member of the membership committee. At the end of the secretary’s term, he/she will transfer all association files/documents to the elected successor.
4. The treasurer shall receive and deposit association funds, from all sources, in a banking institution designated by the board of directors. The treasurer shall also maintain the financial records, prepare financial statements and present a report (income and expenditures) at each general meeting.
The treasurer shall disburse funds of the association only in accordance with an approved budget or upon order of the board of directors from funds approved by the general membership for emergencies. No disbursement of association funds shall be made without the signatures/approval of any two of the following officers: president, vice president and treasurer. A financial review committee appointed by the president shall review financial records/ books at least once each year.
ARTICLE III - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1. The RENA Board of Directors is established to provide general policy and planning direction to manage, control and govern the business of the Riverbend Estates Neighborhood Association. The board will: (1) monitor and/or promote issues that impact the community; (2) execute the RENA budget (i.e., payment of expenditures pre-approved by the general membership and those listed in the RENA-approved annual budget). The board will seek authorization of up to $200.00 for situations/issues it deems emergencies and, if required, provide subsequent authorization for these matters in future annual budgets and (3) address emergency situations/issues that require immediate action.
2. The RENA Board of Directors shall be composed of the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and area representatives.
3. The board of directors shall meet at the call of the president. This normally will occur during the months when the association does not have a general meeting. All board members shall be notified of the time and place of each meeting not less than three days prior to the meeting. The president shall call a board meeting at the request of any three members of the board.
4. A quorum of the board is five members, at least two of whom must be officers of the association as named in Article II.
5. All officers and directors shall serve terms of two years.
6. Any vacancy occurring on the board of directors shall be filled by a majority vote by the membership at a general meeting.
7. Area representatives are elected for the purpose of improving communications between Riverbend Estates residents and the association. They must be members in good standing and duly elected by the membership during the annual meeting. At each general membership meeting, each area representative will be asked to report on the activities and concerns of residents in his/her specific area.
The Riverbend Estates subdivision is divided into geographical areas. Each area of the subdivision, as outlined on the map of Riverbend Estates (see enclosure), will be represented on the board of directors by an elected area representative. The number of such areas and their boundaries will be determined by the board of directors to assure balanced representation of all areas of the subdivision. The board of directors and the membership committee may periodically review the geographical areas for additions/adjustments. These recommendations must then be presented to the general membership for approval.
8. Liability and Indemnification of Officers and Board of Directors: Officers and the board of directors shall (1) not be liable to the members of the association for any mistake or judgment, negligence, or otherwise, except for their individual willful misconduct or bad faith. (2) They shall have no personal liability with respect to any contract/commitment made by them in good faith on behalf of the association.
9. Block captains are volunteers. They assist the board of directors with distribution of literature and dissemination of information to and from residents in their assigned areas. Block captains are not members of the board of directors unless they are serving in a dual role as area representative and/or officer.
ARTICLE IV - MEETINGS
1. The annual meeting is held for the purpose of electing association officers. It will be held the third Monday in May. Members will be given notice with an agenda of the annual meeting at least 10 days in advance.
2. General meetings shall be held in September, November, January and March on the third Monday. Members will be notified of the agenda prior to each meeting.
3. Board of directors meetings shall be held on the third Monday of October, February, April, and August.
4. Special meetings of the association or the board may be called at any time by the president, any three members of the board of directors, or upon written request of not less than five members of record and in good standing. The president shall be notified of the time, date and place of the meeting. The notice shall state the nature of the business to be transacted and shall be limited to that business.
5. A quorum is required to conduct a vote on any question. A quorum for any meeting of the membership shall consist of 10% of member/households (including four members of the Board of Directors). No business requiring a vote of the membership shall be conducted in the absence of a quorum. Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, a majority of those present and voting in the presence of a quorum, shall be empowered to decide any question that might properly come before the members.
6. The proceedings of all meetings of the association shall be governed by these bylaws in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, and subject to such rules which have been or may be adopted by the association.
ARTICLE V – COMMITTEES
The Standing Committees of the association shall be: Membership, Nominating, Architectural Review, and Financial Review. Ad hoc committees will be Neighborhood Watch, Property Standards and Adopt-A- Road. Ad hoc committees may be appointed/established by the president, in consultation with the board of directors and membership; as necessary to promote and carry on the business and activities of the association.
The president shall appoint members to other similar committees as may be useful from time to time. The president shall appoint members who are in good standing to serve on these committees. Any member may submit his/her name to the president for consideration to serve. The president may select the chairperson of the committee, but if the president does not designate a chairperson, one shall be chosen by a majority vote of the members of the committee. Members of these committees shall serve at the discretion of the board of directors and membership. The committees are empowered, unless otherwise provided, only to submit proposals and recommendations to the board of directors, which will then submit them to the membership for approval. These committees shall have no other powers unless so authorized by the association.
A. Standing Committees
1. Membership Committee: This committee, in union with area representatives, shall be responsible for recruiting members for the association and encouraging participation in the activities of the association. The secretary shall serve as a member of this committee. The committee shall devote its efforts to developing the membership of the community in its yearly membership drive. The committee chair will maintain the official membership list of the association. A copy of the membership list will be available at every meeting of the association and the board of directors. This committee shall periodically review the geographical area (Enclosure 1) and, if necessary, make recommendations to the board of directors.
2. Nominating Committee: At least one month prior to the expiration of his/her term of office, the president shall appoint a nominating committee comprised of at least three members in good standing. Members of the board of directors shall 6 not be eligible to serve on the nominating committee. It shall be the responsibility of the nominating committee to submit to members the names of candidates willing to serve as officers of the association. The nominating committee shall select nominees for each office to be filled and reported the meeting preceding the annual meeting. Following the report of the Nominating Committee, an opportunity shall be given for nominations from the floor. However, only those nominees receiving at least one seconding supporter shall be included on the ballot for the vote. Ballots will be distributed to members who are in attendance at the meeting. The results of the election will be announced during the annual meeting.
3. Architectural Control Committee: The provisions of this committee are prescribed in the covenant, which apply to several lots in Riverbend Estates subdivision. Covenants ensure that, as a neighborhood, residents adhere to issues such as the upkeep of their property, as it relates to local property standards; revenue authority; land use/building type; building construction (i.e., location); fences/walls; temporary structures (i.e., trailer, outbuildings); easements; nuisances; signs; livestock/poultry; garbage/refuse disposal; water supply and sewage disposal.
4. Financial Review Committee: This committee shall review the books and records of the treasurer at least once a year. The committee reports shall be submitted in writing to the board of directors, for presentation to the general membership.
B. Ad Hoc Committees
1. Neighborhood Watch: This committee, in conjunction with the Prince Georges County Police Department, explores crime prevention programs and methods which will enhance neighborhood security, heighten the community’s power of observation and encourage mutual assistance and concern among neighbors. Neighborhood Watch is a program that is designed to help reduce crime by involving residents of an area in keeping the peace. Residents are asked to help one another by watching out for problems or criminal activity in the neighborhood and calling the police when necessary.
2. Property Standards: This committee, in conjunction with some responsibilities of the Architectural Control Committee, strives to keep the Riverbend Estates subdivision livable and beautiful by encouraging property maintenance standards and ensuring that the community is free of litter and abandoned vehicles.
3. Adopt-a-Road: This program/committee is designed to allow citizens an opportunity to adopt a section of county road for purposes of removing litter from and enhancing the beauty of the adopted section. This committee will foster public awareness of the litter problem along N. Fort Foote Road by making this 7 section of road an example of community involvement that improves the beauty of the area. 4. Miscellaneous Ad Hoc Committees: (i.e. Holiday Home Decorating, Holiday Socials, Toys-for-Tots).
ARTICLE VI - MISCELLANEOUS
1. Proposals by the board of directors or the committees for expenditure of association funds and for actions to be taken in the name of the association shall be brought before the membership for discussion and approval before any such funds may be disbursed or proposals implemented.
2. Vacancies: (a) Should a vacancy occur in the office of the president, the vice president shall become president for the duration of the unexpired term, rendering vacant the office of the vice president. (b) Should a vacancy occur in any office other than that of the president, such vacancy shall be filled by an election at the next regular meeting of the association and the elected officer shall serve for the unexpired term. (c) The president shall have the authority to appoint a person to office until an election is held at any regular meeting when there is a quorum present.
3. Resignations: (a) Resignations of any officer shall be submitted in writing to the board of directors along with all records of that office within two weeks prior to resignation. (b) The resignation of the treasurer shall not be accepted until the financial review committee has given a satisfactory report of the accounts.
4. These bylaws may be amended, altered, or repealed in whole or in part by a two-thirds vote of the members in attendance in the presence of a quorum at any meeting, provided that a written notice stating the proposed amendment shall have been (1) read/presented at a previous general membership meeting and (2) a copy of the same be presented to the board of directors.
5. The board of directors may adopt rules or procedures that are consistent with these bylaws.
6. The original or a certified copy of these bylaws, including all amendments thereto, shall be kept by the secretary of the association and shall be posted on the association’s website.
7. RENA Website: Current association information will be maintained by a Webmaster, on a secured website. This site should include but not be limited to: (a) officers, board of directors, area representatives and block captains; (b) bylaws; (c) property standards check list; (d) meeting agendas; (e) meeting minutes; (f) meeting schedules. Additions, changes, and announcements on the website will be approved by the board of directors.
Enclosure 1 -- Map of Riverbend Estates
The Riverbend Estates Neighborhood Association (RENA) has divided the subdivision into four areas, with each area having an Area Representative on the Association's Board of Directors. [for map, see http://riverbendestates.info/maps.htm]