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COMARA's By-Laws in Effect

Thanks to all of you who responded positively to the draft of By-Laws for the COMSAT Alumni and Retirees Association, or COMARA. As a result, after correcting several typos you Eagle-eyed members detected and reported, the By-Laws are now in effect. Under the transition arrangements, the Founding Board will govern the organization until the First Board of Directors is elected before end calendar year 2003. The first Annual Meeting will also occur in 2003, as will the first major social event.

Jack Hannon prepared these responses to the questions posed during the By-Laws approval process:

Q.Saying the HQ is in Bethesda, Md. "or vicinity" - what is the vicinity?
A.Within 10 miles of Bethesda.
Q.Section 9( C ) - Should "consultation" be "resolution?"
A.No. The word "consultation" is also used in section 9(a)(iii), where the referendum process is explained.
Q.When does a spouse that did not work at COMSAT become a member? From the first, or only if spouse dies and non-COMSAT spouse has survivor pension rights?
A.Such spouses are eligible from the formation of the organization. That's what the phrase "…who are eligible to receive future benefits from a successor organization, …as spouses of former employees" in Section 4 (A) was intended to cover. And we will gladly accept both spouses under one membership fee.
Q.Several questions were posed about the import of a "bad" e-mail address, and how much obligation the Assn. should be under to find the "good" address for a member. Suggestion is made that if a bad e-mail address occurs, Assn. should be required to forward the item by U.S. mail to that member.
A.We will do our best to search and find a "good address" when this arises, but cannot accept the obligation to send out items a second time by U.S. mail. Members can assist in avoiding this problem by (1) notifying COMARA of any change in your IP, and (2) checking your personal information at www.COMARA.org to ensure the correct e-mail address is listed (unless, of course, you instructed us not to publish it).
Q.Suggestion was made that we install a mechanism that confirms the recipient has indeed received the COMARA message.
A.While the suggestion is surely well-intentioned, we are all volunteers here, with a fairly limited amount of time and budget available to spread information around and act on it.
Q.Suggestion made that Board and Officers should serve without remuneration.
A.That is certainly the intent. The Founding Board on Wednesday, July 31, unanimously adopted a resolution to this effect.
Q.Can a member terminate his/her membership? How?
A.If you don't pay the annual membership fee, your membership will terminate in sixty days after the due date (please don't do this, we need to hang together!!!). Of if you wish to withdraw during a program year, send a message to this effect to www.COMARA.org.
Q.Can a member be terminated by the organization for actions contrary to the interests of the group? How?
A.We sincerely hope this never comes up.
Q.Can the members of the organization be held liable for actions of the group, or of members of the group?
A.OMARA is organized as an "unincorporated association," since we saw little benefit to incorporating. I don't have malpractice insurance and I can't give legal opinions in these circumstances, but I find it unlikely in the extreme that a "member" of an unincorporated association could be held liable for the organization's activities or the activities of a subgroup.
Q. Can an officer be removed from office for actions? How?
A.This is not directly addressed in the By-Laws. But the officers are elected by the Board, and the Board would presumably have the authority to replace officers during their term if their conduct was not in furtherance of the organization's objectives.