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NJ Geospatial Forum


New Jersey Geospatial Forum Bylaws

(Adopted by the New Jersey Geospatial Forum on December 12, 2018)

Article I - Name

The name of this organization is the New Jersey Geospatial Forum.

Article II Purpose

The New Jersey Geospatial Forum is established to:

  1. Stimulate and encourage the advancement of an interdisciplinary, professional approach to the planning, design, operation, and use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related technology to meet the needs of public and private information providers, stewards, and users in New Jersey;
  2. Provide a forum for communication and coordination among the various professional disciplines who comprise the membership of the Forum;
  3. Bridge the gap between information producers, stewards, and users;
  4. Promote professional and educational development of the membership by providing opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and information;
  5. Provide a conduit through which the membership can reach consensus on GIS policies and standards as they relate to New Jersey's spatial data infrastructure;
  6. Provide a mechanism through which the interests and concerns of New Jersey's GIS community can be directed to appropriate policy makers.
Article III Membership and Voting Eligibility

Membership shall be open to individuals from all organizations and their subunits, including, but not limited to local governments, state agencies, federal agencies, regional governments, tribal governments, associations of governments, departments within colleges and universities, utility companies, professional societies, and private companies, all of whom share a common interest in geographic information and technology in New Jersey. There are no fees for membership. Individuals will be considered as members as long as the Forum is provided with updated contact information as necessary. Members are required to declare a single constituency group affiliation.

General Session Voting
Each member participating in a general session meeting has one vote.

Executive Committee Elections
Voting privileges for Executive Committee elections are established by attendance at a minimum of 50% of New Jersey Geospatial Forum meetings held between elections. Voting privileges are also established by active participation on a Task Force during the time period between Executive Committee elections as certified by the Task Force Chair.

Each member with voting privileges for Executive Committee elections has one vote.

(Article III amended on 04/07/2006)

Article IV Executive Committee and Officers

An Executive Committee will govern the Forum. A quorum at an Executive Committee meeting shall be a majority of the members including either the Chair or Vice-Chair.

The Executive Committee will consist of up to ten (10) members. There will be one member representing each of the following constituency groups who is:

  • Employed by a federal government agency with operations in New Jersey;
  • Employed by a New Jersey university, college, or K-12 institution;
  • Employed by a New Jersey municipal government agency or Volunteer member of a New Jersey municipal government board, commission or committee;
  • Employed by a New Jersey county government agency;
  • Employed by a New Jersey state government agency;
  • Employed by a private sector GIS firm licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey;
  • Employed by a regional authority or metropolitan planning organization (MPO) with operations in New Jersey;
  • Employee, Committee Member, Commissioner or Volunteer of a 501 New Jersey non-government organization (NGO) employing GIS in its operations;
  • A New Jersey licensed Professional Land Surveyor in good standing with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors; and
  • Serves as the State's Geographic Information Officer (non-elected).

Executive Committee nominees will be nominated from within their respective constituency groups by a voting qualified member of that group. Should no nominee be offered by a constituency group, the Executive Committee may nominate a candidate from within the respective group possibly including a candidate who would otherwise be ineligible because of the term limits described below. Nominees must possess voting privileges for Executive Committee elections as specified under Article III of these Bylaws. A nominating committee will coordinate the Executive Committee nomination and election process. Members will not be allowed to submit their own names for consideration as a nominee. Nominees for the Executive Committee shall prepare a brief bio stating their qualifications that shall be distributed to the membership prior to voting. Executive Committee members shall have the experience, expertise, and commitment to properly represent their constituency group.

The executive committee will establish and announce a nominating period prior to each election. At the end of that period, for any open seat that receives two or more eligible nominations, the nominations will be closed and the results announced. For any open seat that has received fewer than two eligible nominations, that result (i.e., that only one nomination has been received) will be announced, but the nomination period will be extended for one additional week. In the event that an open seat has not received two or more eligible nominations by the end of the extended nominating period, the individuals nominated will be considered to have won the election and voting will not be conducted.

In the event that an election results in a tie the candidate receiving the most votes from their constituency will be declared the winner. Should a tie exist within the constituency vote, the winner shall be determined by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. If the tie involves a candidate who is also a member of the Executive Committee that member shall not be permitted to vote in the tiebreaker.

The Executive Committee will hold a minimum of four (4) meetings per calendar year. Executive Committee meetings will be open to the public. At Executive Committee meetings, the Chair shall only vote to break a tie. Removal of an Executive Committee member, by majority vote of the Executive Committee, may occur when sufficient cause exists for such removal. Consistent absences from Executive Committee meetings shall be sufficient cause for removal. Seats remaining vacant following an election will remain vacant until the following election cycle. Vacancies resulting from an unexpired term of an Executive Committee member will be filled by the Executive Committee's appointment of a voting member of that constituency.

Elected members of the Executive Committee can serve a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms except in the case of a nomination offered by the Executive Committee when no nomination was made from the respective constituency group. The term for each elected Executive Committee member is two (2) years. The terms shall overlap and alternate such that a minimum four (4) Executive Committee member positions are filled each year. This is intended to provide continuity in the governance of the organization. The Executive Committee will devise a plan to provide a phased transition to fill these alternating terms.

Officers shall be elected from and by the Executive Committee at the first meeting of the new calendar year. All Executive Committee members must vote for officers. The officers will serve one-year terms beginning in January of each year, and shall include:

  • Chair: The Chair shall preside over the affairs of the Forum and shall perform all other duties incident to the office.
  • Vice-Chair: The Vice Chair shall assist with the affairs of the Forum and shall perform all other duties incident to the office. The Vice Chair assumes the duties of the Chair in the absence of the Chair.
  • Secretary: The Secretary shall maintain an accurate list of the membership, track membership attendance at Forum meetings, prepare and distribute minutes of Forum meetings, and shall perform all other duties incident to the office.

An officer may resign voluntarily, or be removed by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. If the officer is removed by majority vote, the officer will be given an opportunity to justify the situation before a final vote is taken. An officer that is removed will not continue to serve on the Executive Committee. The unexpired term of any office will be filled by the appointment of a qualified member by the Executive Committee.

(Article IV amended on 04/07/2006, 10/23/2009, 12/12/2018, 06/02/2022)

Article V Task Forces

Task Forces may be established or dissolved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. Task Forces may be established to accomplish specific goals of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will appoint Chairs for each Task Force.

Article VI Forum Meetings

The Forum will hold a minimum of three (3) meetings per calendar year. The Executive Committee will be responsible for planning all aspects of these meetings. Executive Committee members and Task Force Chairs will give reports at each Forum meeting. Forum meetings will be open to the public.

(Article VI amended on 12/12/2018)

Article VII Amendments

Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by action of the Executive Committee or by petition of a minimum of 25 members. The proposed change must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Executive Committee along with a statement of rationale for recommending the change. Amendments to the Bylaws may be made by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, provided the proposed change and statement of rationale was mailed to the Executive Committee 20 working days prior to the meeting at which the change is to be voted on.