TEXARKANA AREA VETERANS COUNCIL
P.O. BOX 5432
TEXARKANA, TX 75505-5432
Chairman: Kari Valentine
1st Vice-Chair: Robert Hernandez
2nd Vice-Chair: Gregory Beck
Secretary: Wendell Van Hook
Treasurer: Patrick Smith
The Texarkana Area Veterans' Council (TAVC) is an organization made up of local veterans' organizations. At this time there are five member organizations: American Legion #25-58, Disabled American Veterans #222, Korean War Veterans Association #221, Veterans of Foreign Wars # 562, Marine Corps League #1149, and Vietnam Veterans of America #278. At one time there were four other veterans organizations that belonged to the TAVC (American Legion #46, American EX-POWs-Four States Chapter, Disabled American Veterans #51 & Veterans of Foreign Wars #2549) but three of these folded up, all the more reason for all other veteran organizations to come together to work together within the Council and to work together through any means.
We started working on forming the Council in May 1992 and held the first meeting in June of 1994. One of the main focuses at that time was to purchase a D.A.V. van to be used to transport local veterans to the VA Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, and to work together on "Veterans Day" and "Memorial Day", and to assist veterans and each other. The TAVC purchased it's first D.A.V. van on February 1996, purchased it's replacement in April 2001 and just recently purchased it's replacement May 2007. It is now in service and the 2nd one is being used to transport local needy veterans to the local VA Outpatient Clinic. We also supply coffee and supplies for the patients at the local VA clinic. And occasionally, in a limited degree, in emergency situations, we assist needy veterans with rent, food, medicine and utility bills.
We fund this through our annual Chili Cook-off in February and through private donations. We receive no tax dollars to purchase these D.A.V. vans although the VA furnishes insurance, upkeep, and gas. We supply the vans and volunteer drivers.
All area veteran organizations (see attached by-laws) are invited and urged to join the Texarkana Area Veterans' Council. Come check us out, we meet the first Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm at the American Legion Post at 525 East Broad Street in downtown Texarkana. On some occasions we meet at other locations. This will be posted here and in the Texarkana Gazette under Club Activities.
TEXARKANA AREA VETERANS COUNCIL BY-LAWS
The name of the organization shall be: Texarkana Area Veterans Council (TAVC). It shall be comprised of local veterans organizations. It shall be non-profit and non-political.
The purpose of the Texarkana Area Veterans Council shall be to promote justice, integrity, communications and support for the individual member organizations. Addition to by-laws, Article II: The TAVC shall secure funds to purchase vans as needed to transport veterans to the VA Hospital in Shreveport, LA and to the VA Clinic in Texarkana, and to assist needy veterans. (Attachment A)
Membership in the TAVC will consist of the veterans service organizations from the designated area who wish to participate and meet the following criteria:
1. A veterans service organization recognized by the federal and/or state government (Arkansas or Texas). A document of said recognition shall be on file with the TAVC secretary.
2. Each post or chapter should, at a regular scheduled membership or executive committee meeting, vote to participate in the TAVC, and should elect three delegates and two alternates to represent them at the TAVC meetings. The alternate delegates will stand in for the delegate only when the delegate is absent, otherwise he/she will not be allowed to vote in meetings. A copy of the minutes or letter designating these persons shall be on file with the TAVC secretary.
3. Other organizations such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army and/or others may attend TAVC meetings as an advisor or guests as determined by the TAVC. The County Veterans Service Officer(s) from the areas involved, a representative from the Texarkana VA Outpatient Clinic and the appointed VAVS person may be permitted to attend in an advisory capacity.
4. Veterans service organizations from the following counties in Arkansas and Texas are authorized to join the TAVC: Miller, Little River, Lafayette and Hempstead counties in Arkansas; Bowie, Cass, Morris, and Red River counties in Texas. This can be changed by vote of the delegates to be added to or subtracted from.
1. The delegates will elect from themselves, the officers of the TAVC. These officers will consist of: Chairman, 1st Vice-Chairman, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and three Trustees. The post or chapter that furnishes the Chairman shall be allowed to furnish another delegate. The duties of the elected officers are:
a. Chairman: The chairman shall conduct the meetings and call for any votes, motions, seconds, and discussions. He will act as time-keeper during discussions, allowing each side a determined amount of time.
b. 1st Vice-Chairman: The 1st Vice shall assist the Chair in conducting meetings and will fill in for the Chair in his or her absence.
c. 2nd Vice-Chairman: The 2nd Vice shall assist the Chair and 1st Vice in conducting the meetings. He or she shall fill in for the Chair should the Chair and 1st Vice be absent.
d. Secretary: The Secretary will record and report the minutes of meetings and be in charge of all required forms, records, and minutes. (Attachment B)
e. Treasurer: The Treasurer will collect, make deposits and be responsible for the TAVC's funds.He or she will give the financial report when called for by the Chairman.
f. Trustee: The Trustees shall be required to internally audit proceedings, records, financial reports, property, etc..
2. Elections for TAVC officers will be held annually in February. The election of each post or chapter delegates should be held in January each/every other year. A simple majority (51% or more) by the delegates will determine the officers. All motions, (other than financial), projects, and plans will be voted on by the delegates with a simple majority (51% or more) passing the measure. Financial transactions must be passed by a 75% majority or more.
3. Delegates must be in good standing with their respective organizations. Each post or chapter will have three votes on issues even if only one delegate is present, except in the election of officers. During the election of officers, only the delegate(s) present may cast one vote each. Each post or chapter may determine whether their auxiliary or associate members may be delegates.
4. The TAVC Chairman will only vote to break a tie.
5. It shall be required for member organizations to be present at at least one meeting per quarter to remain in good standing in the TAVC.
Raising and disbursing funds may only be accomplished by vote of member delegates with a 75% majority rule. No officer or delegate may cause debt to the TAVC without prior approval by the TAVC delegates. Reimbursements may be made only with receipts and prior approval. Any and all checks written by the Treasurer must have two signatures. Trustees must audit all financial and real property each June and December and report to the TAVC. Outside auditors may be brought in any time by simple majority vote (51%) of delegates. All required federal, state, and local financial reports will be filed in a timely manner by the TAVC or its' representative.
The TAVC shall establish committees as defined and any special committee it deems appropriate and necessary.
a. Finance Committee: This committee shall oversee all aspects of fundraising projects, disbursing of funds, and preparing a financial report for each meeting. The Treasurer shall chair this committee.
b. Public relations & Membership Recruiting Committee: This committee shall develop a plan(s) for media and public information on the TAVC and work towards getting all eligible veterans service organizations in the determined area to participate in the TAVC.
3. Communications Committee: This committee should work to improve communications between member organizations and the TAVC.
It should be noted that it is realized that each member organization has it's own Constitution and by-laws and has to abide by them. Therefore, should any provision of these by-laws be found to be in contradiction with said Constitutions and/or by-laws, only the offending provision shall be declared null and void. Provisions of these by-laws may be amended at a regularly scheduled annual meeting of the TAVC (February).
Should any or all of the provisions of these by-laws be in contradiction to any local, state (Arkansas or Texas), or federal laws, the offending part or parts shall be considered null and void.
1. Meetings of the TAVC should be held monthly at a date and time determined by the delegates of the TAVC. The annual meeting (Election of officers & changing of by-laws) will be held in February of each year, at a time and date determined by the TAVC. Special meetings may be called by the officers or by petition of 25% of the delegates, with written or phone notice at least 10 days prior to any such meeting. Robert's Rules of Order will govern conduct at all meetings.
2. A quorum at a regular scheduled or special meeting shall consist of at least 33% of membership (Member organizations) represented by delegates. A quorum at the annual meeting (elections) shall consist of at least 51% of the member organizations.
3. At the annual meeting a nominating committee consisting of three delegates shall be elected by the delegates. These three will chose the Chairperson from amongst themselves.
It is recognized that all participating member organizations have their own projects and goals, and that this Council will not detract or interfere with those projects, but will help pass the word to member organizations about ongoing and upcoming projects and events and urge each unit to participate when invited.
Member organization(s) that desires not to participate in a particular TAVC project will not be reprimanded nor punished in any way by the TAVC or it's members there-of.
No member organization will lose its individuality and all are equal!
1. The approved TAVC letterhead will be used by the five elected officers (Chair, 1st Vice, 2nd Vice, Secretary, & Treasurer) or upon the approval of said officers. And each piece of correspondence using said letterhead shall be copied with said copy being placed in the secretary's file. No other organizational letterhead shall be used for TAVC business and affairs.
2. Only the five elected officers (Chair, 1st Vice, 2nd Vice, Secretary & Treasurer), the Public Relations/Membership Chair, and the Communications Chair may represent the TAVC to the media. Two or more officers may grant a delegate approval to represent the TAVC or a majority of the delegates may elect to approve a delegate to represent the TAVC.
A member organization may be suspended only by a vote of at least 75% of the delegates representing at least 75% of the member organizations.
Amended and adopted February 5, 1998
1. To develop a better working relationship between units and to work out differences.
2. To work together to improve the status of all veterans.
3. To promote to the public and elected officials that we can and do work together.
4. To plan and promote Veterans Day parades and other Veterans service and ceremonies.
5. To promote public awareness of the plight of veterans and their issues.
6. To develop a viable veteran advocacy program for local, state and federal issues.
7. To share information and communication.
8. To rekindle comradery between the different eras of veterans while realizing each is different in their own way.
9. To promote Americanism, patriotism, and citizenship.
10. To promote involvement within each unit.
11. To support the VAVS (VA Volunteer Services) at the VA Clinic in Texarkana.
12. To increase membership of each unit.
The TAVC Secretary should have on file:
1. A document from each member organization stating it's organization recognition from state and/or federal government.
2. Minutes from each member organization stating their membership voted to participate in the TAVC and the delegates they elected to represent them at TAVC meetings.
3. Addresses of each member organization and their delegates. These addresses and phone number list should be passed out to each officer and delegate and member organization.
4. A record of minutes from each TAVC meeting. Copies of these should be made and passed out to one delegate from each member organization for their report to their unit, and/or they should be read at each TAVC meeting.