COSW Bylaws

Article I

Name Purpose

Section 1
The name of this entity is the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women (hereinafter the "Commission"). The Commission was created by the Board of County Commissioners, Hillsborough County, Florida, (hereinafter the “BOCC”) pursuant to Resolution R-03-074, adopted April 16, 2003 and corrected April 25, 2003. Nothing herein shall be construed to supersede any element Resolution R03-074. The Commission and its membership structure was amended on October 20, 2004 (Resolution R04-174) and further amended on March 21, 2007 (Resolution No. R07-059) and on November 6, 2013 (Resolution No. R13-171).

Section 2
The purpose and Scope of the activities of the Council shall be:

  1. Serve in an advisory capacity to the BOCC, the community, and all agencies and persons in Hillsborough County, Florida in respect to:

    All matters pertaining to the status of women including but not limited to: discrimination against women; employment of women; education of women; establishment of day care centers in the community; attitudes towards women in the community, not including abortion; and to make periodic reports and recommendations to these bodies in respect to such matters.
  2. To make a continuing study of all existing county institutions, facilities and services, and programs dealing with women or affecting women, and consider the future needs of this County in respect to such institutions, facilities services and programs.
  3. To accept nominations for persons to be recommended for induction into the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame based on criteria approved by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners in consultation with the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women.
  4. To serve as a liaison between the BOCC and the County Administration, and consult with representatives of said bodies from time to time as requested and necessary in order to carry out the Commission’s tasks.
  5. To make studies of any issues identified.
  6. It is the express purpose of this commission to serve as a medium for responsible persons to utilize and consult with in attempting to understand and solve the many complex problems involved with dealing with the status of women, and to make findings and recommendations to the BOCC and County Administration regarding such matters as are presented to the Commission.

Article II

Membership

Section 1
There are 15 total members to serve staggered terms appointments as follows:

  1. One appointment by each commissioner to serve for the term of the appointing commissioner. When a County Commissioner is no longer in office that County Commissioner’s appointee shall continue to serve on the Commission until such time as the new County Commissioner reappoints that member or a new appointment is made to that position.
  2. Four (4) year appointments by: the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, The Centre for Women, and the League of Women Voters.
  3. Two (2) year terms by The Spring, Hispanic Professional Women’s Association, Inc., the Tampa Metro Section – National Council of Negro Women, the University of South Florida and Hillsborough County Community College.

Section 2
Members of the Commission shall reside in Hillsborough County and shall reflect diversity of the County.

Section 3
Members serve without compensation (travel shall be processed pursuant to §112.061, Florida Statutes).

Section 4
Members of the Commission may be removed by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) without cause at any time.

Section 5
Members who fail to attend three (3) consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of the Commission without prior approval of the chairman shall be removed from the Commission upon certification of the Commission’s chairman to the BOCC. Such vacancy shall be filled for the remainder to the term in the same manner as the original appointment.

Article III

Officers, By-Laws and Meetings

Section 1
Membership shall appoint a Chairperson, and Vice Chairperson (annual appointments) to preside over the meetings of the Commission.

Section 2
Quorum shall reflect 50% plus one (1) of the current membership.

Section 3
The Commission shall adopt by-laws which shall identify additional officers, if any, and shall include meeting schedule.

Section 4
The Commission shall meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., unless otherwise amended by the Commission.

Section 5
Unless in conflict with by-laws, Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of meetings.

Section 6
The Commission must meet ten (10) times per year at a minimum. Emergency meetings may be held at the call of the Chairman or by four (4) members of the Commission.

Section 7
Meetings of the Commission shall be staffed by County Administration.

Section 8
The Commission designates a time for public comment. Speakers may address the Commission regarding any scheduled agenda item or any nonagenda matter(s) of personal or general concern. Each speaker may address the Commission for no more than three (3) minutes, although the Chairman has the discretion to grant additional time to any speaker.

Section 9
One or more Members of the Commission may participate in a meeting via telephone or other electronic means (i.e. Skype) as long as the following conditions are met:
  • There is a physical quorum present at the meeting;
  • The absent Member can hear the dialogue of the Members who are present as well as any public comment;
  • The present Members and the public can hear the absent Member;
  • Any votes of the absent Member must be made verbally.

Article IV

Annual Work Plan and Funding

Section 1
The Commission shall adopt an "Annual Work Plan or Annuals" to be approved by the BOCC, pursuant to Article I, Section 2.A, of the Commission's By-laws.

Section 2
At the BOCC's discretion, funds may be appropriated for administrative expenses of the Commission in an amount not to exceed $10,000.

Section 3
The Work Plan or Annual Report may be submitted by the 2nd week in February of each year. This timeframe will ensure that if funds are needed in the prospective year, such request can be integrated into the BOCC's biannual budget or on the off year in a supplemental budget request to the BOCC.

Article V
Limitation of Powers

Section 1
The powers and jurisdiction of the Commission are purely advisory, voluntary, and persuasive.

Section 2
The Commission shall have no power to appoint county officers or employees or to make policy decisions, or to manage, control or administer institutions or programs relating to the status of women in Hillsborough County.

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