2023 Orlando Metro Section Bylaws Amendments Summary

APA Florida and the Orlando Metro Section have bylaws that are essential to their mission and functions as nonprofit organizations. With APA Florida’s September 2023 update of the Chapter Bylaws, the Orlando Metro Section is updating the Section Bylaws and needs your review and vote.

The current Orlando Metro Section Bylaws Committee members are: Luis Nieves-Ruiz, FAICP; Emily Porter; Roxann Read, AICP, CFM; Katie Shannon, AICP, CNU-A, LEED GA; and Alissa Barber Torres, FAICP, Ph.D., FAICP, CLTD.

Based on the work of the Bylaws Committee, the Orlando Metro Section Executive Committee proposes the changes listed below to the Orlando Metro Section Bylaws, many of which reflect current provisions of the Chapter Bylaws. In addition to the proposed changes listed below. Other minor wording and formatting revisions are proposed throughout to improve grammar and clarity and ensure the consistent use of terms throughout the document.

Voting will occur from Dec. 5 – Dec. 19. The proposed bylaws amendments require approval by a majority of Section members voting. All members will receive an electronic notice with the link to cast a ballot.

Please contact Luis Nieves-Ruiz, FAICP, here if you have any comments or questions about the proposed changes.

Click here to review the proposed changes.

Vote on the bylaw updates here.

A summary of the proposed changes is below:

Article I – General

  1. Updates the purposes and activities of the Section to correspond to Chapter Bylaws, the Section’s status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and current Section practices.

Article II – Definitions

  1. Provides definitions of Budget, Chapter, Ex Officio, and Work Program and reformats existing definitions.
  2. Specifies the work program shall include an online or in-person event at least every two months in various member counties, not including the Annual Meeting or Holiday Party.

Article III – Membership

  1. Updates membership terms to correspond to policy in Chapter Bylaws.

Article IV – Executive Committee

  1. Proposes a restructuring of the Orlando Metro Section’s Executive Committee to consist of a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past Chair, Professional Development Officer, Communications Officer, two Programs Officers, an Emerging Planners Group Representative (ex officio), and a University Liaison (ex officio) beginning on January 1, 2024.
  2. States that all duly-elected Executive Committee members serving in positions authorized under prior Section Bylaws and no longer enabled by Section Bylaws may serve their full terms if desired, with the positions expiring once vacated for any reason.
  3. Clarifies that ex officio members shall be nonvoting members.
  4. Updates the responsibilities of the Executive Committee, including presenting the budget for a vote of Section membership at the Annual Meeting and approving the Emerging Planners Group Representative.
  5. Clarifies that Chapter Only members and APA members whose address of record is outside the Section area may not hold office in the Section.
  6. Updates terms of office and limits officers to two terms to correspond to Chapter Bylaws provisions.
  7. Specifies staggered terms of office for the restructured Executive Committee to provide continuity.
  8. Updates the grounds for an officer to be removed from office to correspond to Chapter Bylaws provisions.
  9. Changes the duties and responsibilities of the Chair to state the Chair recommends appointment of subcommittee members, clarify responsibilities relating to the required Annual Report, add a requirement to maintain membership in the American Institute of Certified Planners, add the appointment of the Emerging Planners Group Representative, and noted the Chair receives a roster of Section members from the Chapter.
  10. Changes the duties and responsibilities of the Vice-Chair to chair the Nominating Subcommittee members and to add a requirement to maintain membership in the American Institute of Certified Planners.
  11. Adds a Professional Development Officer to the Executive Committee who must maintain membership in the American Institute of Certified Planners, guide training for the AICP exam and professional development events, serve as the Section’s liaison to the Chapter on Certification Maintenance (CM) and ethics, coordinate annual Section grant applications for professional development activities, and oversee the Section’s CM applications created by Program Officers.
  12. Adds a Communications Officer to the Executive Committee to coordinate the preparation and distribution of the monthly Section Newsletter for membership and chair the Communications Subcommittee, which maintains the Section’s webpages and social media accounts and conducts outreach for Section activities and events.
  13. Adds two Programs Officers to the Executive Committee to organize and implement the Section’s CM events, networking, and sponsorship opportunities in each of the Section’s counties annually.
  14. Clarifies the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary relating to creating, revising, and posting of meeting minutes, as well as maintenance of Executive Committee attendance and term records.
  15. Changes the duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer to reflect the Chapter’s current responsibility for all bookkeeping and payment responsibilities, clarify when draft budgets are due, note that the budget will be voted on by members at the Annual meeting, change required financial reporting to the Executive Committee from quarterly to monthly, add the requirement to maintain accounting of Section property, and add Chapter coordination for the disbursement of funds.
  16. Eliminates seven Director positions, two of whom are elected at large and five of whom reside or work in each of the five counties within the Orlando Metro Section, to reduce the size of and reorganize the Executive Committee by functional areas and responsibilities, based on the current practices of most Sections of APA Florida.
  17. Changes the duties and responsibilities of the Immediate Past Chair to add mentoring and being available to provide advice to elected and appointed volunteers.
  18. Adds an Emerging Planners Group Representative to the Executive Committee as an ex officio member for a one-year term to be a liaison to the Chapter’s Emerging Planners Group (EPG) as a current EPG member, to develop events and programs to serve young and emerging planning professionals and engage them in Section activities, and to advise the Executive Committee on upcoming events and programs provided by the EPG.
  19. Adds a University Liaison to the Executive Committee as an ex officio member for a one-year term to be a liaison to the Urban Knights, with current UCF enrollment and appointment by the Urban Knights as requirements of the position, in order to develop events and programs to serve UCF planning students and alumni in Central Florida and engage them in Section activities, as well as lead Section involvement in any UCF mentoring programs or events.

Article V – Elections and Voting

  1. Clarifies the goals of the Nominating Committee in finding candidates for office to include equity, diversity (racial, ethnic, social, cultural, and/or geographic), and inclusion in their selected slate of nominees.
  2. Updates election and petition provisions to reflect Chapter Bylaws and practices, including the ability for an Executive Committee vote to select a winning candidate in the event of a tie between candidates.
  3. Clarifies that Full Members and Chapter Only Members in good standing may vote in elections and on Section business.
  4. Clarifies policies and procedures for bylaws amendments, including requirements for amendments submitted by Section member petition and eliminating the ability to vote by postal mail.
  5. Eliminates the ability for Executive Committee members or Section members to vote on resolutions representing policy positions of the Section.
  6. Eliminates the ability to assess Section dues.
  7. Add the ability and policies for electronic voting to correspond to Chapter Bylaws specifications.

Article VI – Meetings

  1. Clarifies the timing and activities of the Section’s Annual Meeting, including member vote on the draft Section work program and budget for the following year.
  2. Revises voting procedures to allow for electronic voting by proxy and clarify actions that may be taken and voted upon at the Annual Meeting.
  3. Revises the reporting requirements of the Secretary, including the submittal of Annual Meeting minutes and the Section’s Annual Report to the Chapter.
  4. Increases the required number of Executive Committee meetings annually from four to six.
  5. Adds new procedures and formats for membership meetings to correspond to Chapter Bylaws, including required notification, ability to hold hybrid and virtual meetings, and parliamentary and quorum requirements.

Article VII – Financial Management

  1. Removes the ability to assess annual Section dues.
  2. Changes the preparation of the draft budget to the third quarter of the fiscal/calendar year.
  3. Adds the requirement for a member vote on the draft budget.

Article VIII – Subcommittees

  1. Adds a new Article to enable subcommittees and specify their purposes and leadership.
  2. Provides additional responsibilities for the Bylaws Subcommittee chaired by the Secretary, including initiating its first meeting when Chapter Bylaws amendments are published for membership.
  3. Creates a new Communications Subcommittee chaired by the Communications Officer to maintain the Section’s webpages and social media accounts consistent with the Chapter’s communications guidelines, provide regularly scheduled posts and updates to inform members about Section activities, and create and distribute flyers and other promotional materials for Section events.
  4. Creates a new Programs Subcommittee co-chaired by the Programs Officers to organize and implement Section events, networking, and sponsorship opportunities for each of the Section’s counties.
  5. Changes the chair of the Section Grant Subcommittee to the new Professional Development Officer.
  6. Creates new provisions for special interest groups, such as those represented by APA Divisions at the national level, and requirements for Executive committee participation and group operations consistent with applicable bylaws and the AICP Code of Ethics.
  7. Eliminates the Scholarship Subcommittee and operational procedures for the Section’s Judith Mucci Scholarship Fund, as the Section has achieved this mission and purpose via the Section’s endowment of scholarship funds awarded on an ongoing basis at the University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and Florida State University.