American Legion Post 853


For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism, to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be: Borrego Springs Post No. 853, THE AMERICAN LEGION, DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA, located at 4515 Borrego Springs Road, Borrego Springs, CA 92004, hereinafter referred to as “POST”.

Section 1. The objects and purpose of this Post shall be to promote the principles and policies as set forth in the forgoing Preamble, and in the Articles of Incorporation of this Post and in the National and Department Constitution of the American Legion.

Section 1. This Post is a civilian organization and membership therein does not affect nor increase liability for military or police services. Rank does not exist in the Post. No member shall be addressed by their military or naval title in any meeting of this Post.
Section 2. There shall be no form or class of membership except active membership.
Section 3. Each member shall perform their duty fully as a citizen.

Section 1. The eligibility for membership in this Post shall be those dates and conditions set forth in Article IV, Section 1 of the National Constitution of the American Legion.

Section 2. There shall be no form or class of membership except active membership.

Section 3. Candidates for membership in this Post shall make applications upon a form prescribed by the Executive Committee of this Post; shall pay therewith the initiation fee and dues for the current calendar year; and shall furnish official evidence of eligibility, such as a DD-214.

Section 4. All applications for membership shall be referred to the Membership Committee, which shall. At each regular meeting of the Post, report upon all applications received during or after the last previous regular meeting. A majority vote of those present and voting shall elect or reject a candidate. No members shall be elected to membership in this Post who is a member of any other Post of the American Legion. No limitations may be placed on re-application of membership, (eg., turned down today, they can reapply tomorrow).

Section 5. No person who has been expelled by a Post shall be admitted to membership to this Post without the consent of the expelling Post, except that where such consent has been asked for and denied by such Post. They may then appeal to the Department Executive Committee for permission to be admitted to membership in this Post and shall be ineligible for membership until such permission is granted.

Section 1.
a) The officers of this Post shall be the Commander, First Vice-Commander, Second Vice Commander, Adjutant, Finance Officer, Historian, Sergeant-At-Arms, Chaplain, Service Officer and Judge Advocate. The Post may have a Third Vice-Commander, Assistant Adjutant and Assistant Sergeant-At-Arms.
b) The elective officers of this Post shall be the Commander; First Vice-Commander, Second Vice Commander, Finance Officer, Sergeant-At-Arms and Judge Advocate.
c) The following officers will be appointed by the Commander: Adjutant, Historian, Chaplain and Service Officer.
d) Any other officer, other than the Commander and Vice-Commanders, may hold two or more of the above offices.

Section 2. Nomination for post elected offices shall be made at two (2) regular meetings in separate months, notice for of which shall be given at the previous regular meeting. Written notice of the nominations meeting be sent to each member at least ten (10) days prior to nominations.

Section 3.
a) All Post officers shall be elected/appointed for a term of one year at a regular meeting prior to June 1st and they shall be impressively installed, preferably by a ritual team, in accordance with the prevailing Nation Manual of Ceremonies, prior to the first day of September of that year. The Executive Committee may be elected for a term of one year, but not to exceed three years, provided that at least one-third of said Board of Directors shall be elected in each Legion Year.
b) All elections shall be by written, secret ballot by a member of this Post in good standing, and a majority of all votes cast shall be necessary to elect the Commander and Vice Commanders. The other officers and Executive Committee shall be elected by one plurality vote.

Section 4. Every member of this Post in good standing shall be eligible to hold office in this Post. There shall be no limiting qualifications – e.g. length of time in the Post.

Section 5. The duties of officers and the Executive Committee shall be those as provided for in these By-Laws.

Section 6. In the event that any Post Officer or member of the Post Executive Committee shall be absent for three consecutive meetings of the Post or Executive Committee Meeting without being excused by the Post Commander or Executive Committee, such office shall be declared vacant by a majority vote of those present at a regular Post Meeting held after a written notice to all members that such vote will take place. The vacancy so created will be filled by election or appointment, at the next general post meeting by the same process as prescribed by the original election or appointment of that position.

Section 1. No appropriations shall be made without first referring the same to the Finance Committee for report there from. This does not preclude any member’s right to make a motion on the floor of a post meeting for any expenditures relating to post business.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall prescribe the form in which the financial records shall be kept.

Section 3. The fiscal year of the Post shall be from July 1st to June 30th each year. All Post expenditures, regardless of what conveyance or prior approval by the membership has taken place, shall require two (2) signatures of the Commander’s pre-designated Post Officers.

Section 4. Emergency Expenditures, as defined by “those unanticipated expenditures for the benefit of the purposes of the American Legion and or Post 853 and directed by Post Commander and pre-approved by at least two other Post Executive Committee members and will not exceed $500. All emergency expenditures shall be disclosed to the general membership at the next regular business meeting.

Section 1. This Post recognized an Auxiliary organization to be known as the Auxiliary Unit of Borrego Springs Post 853, THE AMERICAN LEGION, DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA.

Section 1. Opening and closing of meetings, initiation of new members and installation of officers shall be conducted as prescribed and approved by the National Convention of the American Legion in Kansas City, 1921, with subsequent amendments as adopted and approved later conventions.
Section 2. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised will govern American Legion Post 853 in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws, any special rules of order the Department may adopt, and Federal, State and Local regulations.

Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of Four (4) members in addition to the Commander, Vice-Commanders, Adjutant, Finance Officer, Judge Advocate and Sergeant-At-Arms.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall consider all matters affecting the Post and shall make recommendations to the Post which thereafter shall be approved by the Post before becoming effective.
Section 3. The Commander, Vice Commanders and Adjutant shall be Chairman, Vice- Chairmen and Secretary, respectively, of the Executive Committee.

Section 1.
a) The regular meetings of this Post shall be held on the third Thursday of the month at 5:00 p.m. at the Post, 4515 Borrego Springs Road, Borrego Springs, CA.
b) Regular meetings may be rescheduled upon notification in writing to all members prior to the beginning of the month in which the meeting has been changed.

Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the Commander or the Executive Committee, and must be called upon by the written request of seven (7) members. No special meeting shall be called unless announced by the Commander at the regular meeting preceding the special meeting date, or unless notice be mailed or emailed to each member at least Ten (10) days prior to said special meeting, stating the time and place of the meeting and the subject to be considered. Only those items for which the meeting was called may be discussed at a special meeting.

Section 3. The Post may, at any meeting, consider and pass upon any matters irrespective of whether such matters have been previously considered by the Executive Committee.

Section 4. A quorum at all meetings shall consist of a minimum of six (6) members and of which, three (3), of the members, are Officers or Executive Committee members.

Section 5. The Executive Committee shall regularly meet at least once between meetings of the Post at a time and place designated by the said Committee. A simple majority shall constitute a quorum. Said Committee may hold such special meetings as said Committee or the Commander may deem advisable, notice thereof being mailed or emailed to each member at least seventy-two (72) hours before the time and place of the meeting and the matter to be considered.

Section 6. No member shall take part in any Post meeting or election unless they are in good standing.

Section 7. No member shall be represented or shall vote by proxy. There shall be no voting by absentee ballot.

Section 8. The Post has the option to meet by electronic means using either phone, internet, or other electronic means in order to conduct Post business and/or elections as scheduled or otherwise any business required by these By-Laws. The Post membership must be notified by either mail or electronic mail at least ten (10) days prior to said meeting and the same quorum as for all other meetings will be required to conduct business.

Section 1. Duties of the Post Commander – Shall be to preside at all meetings of the Post and to have general supervision over the business affairs of the Post. Such officer shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Post. He shall perform such other duties as directed by the Post.

Section 2. Duties of the First Vice-Commander – Shall assume and discharge the duties of the Commander in the absence of, disability of or when upon by the Post Commander.

Section 3. Duties of the Second Vice-Commander – Shall assume and discharge the duties of the First Vice Commander in the absence or disability of such officer, and shall perform such other duties as directed by the Post.

Section 4. Duties of the Post Adjutant – Shall have charge and keep a full and correct record of all proceedings of all meetings and under the direction of the Post Commander, handle all correspondence of the Post.

Section 5. Duties of the Finance Officer – Shall be charged with the custody of the funds of the Post. The Finance Officer shall keep its accounts and report thereon at regular meetings of the Post. The Finance Officer shall receive all funds of the Post and pay all bills approved by the Post. The office of Finance Officer and any other officers and or positions charged by the Post Constitution and/or By-Laws, with the responsibility of handling Post funds should be bonded.

Section 6. Duties of the Post Historian – Shall be charged with the individual records and incidents of the Post and Post members. The Post Historian shall perform such other duties as directed by the Post or the Post’s Executive Committee.

Section 7. Duties of the Post Judge Advocate – Shall be to advise the Post Officers on the construction and interpretation of the Post’s By-Laws and to perform such other duties as are usual incident to the office.

Section 8. Duties of the Post Chaplain – Shall be charged with the spiritual welfare of all Post comrades and will offer divine but non-sectarian service in the event of dedications, funerals, public functions, etc. The Chaplain will adhere to such ceremonial rituals as are recommended by the National or Department Headquarters from time to time.

Section 9. Duties of the Sergeant-At-Arms – Shall be to preserve order at all meetings and shall perform such other duties as may be needed from time to time assigned by the Post.

Section 10. The duties of the Service Officer. The Service Officer shall be generally prosecuting claims and protecting the rights and privileges of all veterans, their dependents, and survivors to handle such matters as may be properly considered service work.

Section 1. The dues of this Post shall be paid annually in advance. The amount set by recommendation of the Post Executive Committee, upon being read at two regular meetings, a quorum being present and adopted by two-thirds majority of those present and voting.

Section 2. The membership-initiation fee shall be fixed by the Post.

Section 3. From such dues and fees, the Post shall pay all per capita taxes or assessments, and such other expenditures as the Post may approve.

Section 4. A member whose dues for the current year have not been paid by January 1st shall be classed as a delinquent. If their dues are paid on or before February 1st, they shall be automatically reinstated. If they are still delinquent after February 1st, they shall be suspended from all privileges. If they are still under suspension on June 30th of such year, their membership in the American Legion shall be forfeited. A member so suspended, or whose membership has been so forfeited, may be reinstated to active membership in good standing by vote of the Post and payment of current dues for the year the reinstatement occurs. Continuous membership privileges and benefits may be affected by any break in continuous membership. To avoid such termination of continuous membership, a member who has forfeited his membership may make up past dues until December 30th for only the immediate preceding year.

Section 1. The delegates and alternates to represent the Post at Department Conventions shall be elected at a regular meeting of the Post by vote of those present and voting. The election shall be held at least twenty (20) days before the Department Convention convenes. The time and place for holding the election must be announced by the Post Commander at least one (1) regular meeting in advance of the election.

Section 2. Delegates of the Post to the Area council and the representatives to the District Council shall be appointed or elected as prescribed by Area Council and District By-Laws and shall serve a one (1) year term.

Section 1. The Post Commander, immediately upon taking office each year, shall appoint a Finance Committee and such other Committees as shall be found necessary. Standing Committees shall consist of such members as may be determined by the Post and the Chairman thereof shall be designated by the Post Commander.

Section 2. Audit. The Post will keep financial records and shall cause said records to be examined by a licensed accountant or a committee of three (3) competent persons, none of whom will be the Commander, Adjutant, Finance Officer or any other person charged with the responsibility of handling Post funds. Such examination will be made prior to October 1st following installation of Post Officers, and for the period of the immediately preceding fiscal year of the post, said fiscal year will be determined by the Post. (Posts with gross annual revenues fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) and over, will have their books examined by a reputable bookkeeper or certified public accountant and attach copy of their report to the Post Financial Audit Certification). The Post shall certify to the Department Adjutant prior to November 15th each year that such an examination has been made and file with the Department Adjutant before said date, sending a copy thereof to the District Commander of the District of said Post. The Department Commander, Department Executive Committee may order an audit of the financial records of the account at such other times during the current year as may be deemed advisable. Failing to submit the certification by deadline or any general or special extension thereof will cause the post to be placed on probation until submission has been verified by the Department Adjutant.

Section 3. Membership Committee – Shall have charge of all matters pertaining to the membership of the Post, including the procuring of all new members, reinstatement and eligibility of members, subject to approval by this Post.

Section 4. Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall be charged with the administration of the financial policy, preparation of an annual budget with recommendations, and the supervisions of receiving, disbursing and accounting of all Post funds.

Section 1. The Post shall not incur, nor cause to be incurred any liability or obligations whatsoever which shall subject to liability any other individuals, corporations or organizations.

Section 1. Members of this Post shall be subject to disciplinary action as provided in the Department Administrative Hearing as adopted, and as the same may be amended from time to time hereafter. A copy of the verdict, certified by the Post Commander and Post Adjutant shall forthwith be forwarded to the Department Adjutant.

Section 1. A petition, signed by ten (10) percent of the membership in good standing, requesting the holding of an election for the purpose of recalling an elective officer or a member of the Executive Committee may be filed at any time with the Post Adjutant. The Post Adjutant shall, within five (5) days after filing said petition, compare the signatures on file in the post records. The Adjutant shall deliver the said petition and their report on the correctness of the signatures to the Executive Committee at its next meeting. If it shall appear from the report of the Adjutant that ten (10) percent of the membership have signed said petition, the Executive Committee shall fix the date for the recall election, which date shall be fixed for a regular meeting of the Post to be held not less than two (2) weeks, nor more than six (6) weeks after the meeting of the Executive Committee. If the report of the Adjutant shall show that less than ten (10) percent of the membership have signed said petition, the petition shall be forthwith returned to the member who filed the same with the Adjutant who shall have ten (10) days thereafter to obtain the required number of valid signature, and re-file said petition with the Adjutant, who shall re-check with his records and resubmit same to the Executive Committee at its next meeting thereafter with his report. If the petition is then found being sufficient, the recall election shall be fixed as set forth above.

Section 2. Notice of the date, time and place of the holding of the recall election shall be mailed to each member of the Post in good standing at their address as the same appears in the Post records, at least ten (10) days before the election.

Section 3. All recall elections shall be conducted by written, secret ballot.

Section 4. At the election, the ballot shall read as follows:
Shall _____________________________________________________be recalled?
Yes _______________ No _____________
A “Yes” vote shall be counted as for the recall and a “No” vote shall be counted as against the recall. Only members in good standing shall be entitled to vote at such election.

Section 5. If the Officer or member of the Executive Committee shall be recalled, the Post, at its next regular meeting, shall elect a successor to fill the unexpired term. Nominations shall be held the same night as the election. The person recalled shall not be eligible as a candidate for election to fill the vacancy.

Section 1. Proposed amendments to these By-Laws must be submitted in writing at a regular meeting of the Post and read there at. At the next regular meeting, or subsequently, if postponed, the proposed amendment may be adopted by a two-thirds affirmative vote of those present and voting.

Section 2.
a) These By-Laws shall be amended to conform to any changes in the National or Department Constitution and By-Laws no later than 90 days following the close of the National Convention of the American Legion. Failure to adopt the amendments shall not delay or modify the effect of such changes.
b) Any amendment initiated by the Post shall not be in final force or effect until approved by the Constitution and By-Laws Commission of the Department, but shall be temporarily enforced pending action thereon if not in conflict with the Constitution and By-Laws or adopted policy of the American Legion, or Department of California, the American Legion.

Above the signatures of the Commander and the Adjutant certify to the following:
We hereby certify that the above By-Laws were read at two meetings and adopted on February 17, 2022, a quorum being present and approved by two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting.
First Reading: January 20,2022
Second Reading and Adoption: February 17, 2022
SIgned by Lee Quarcelino, Post Commander
and Dave McCleary, Post Adjutant

Certification in the event of any subsequent amendments is required. These By-Laws or any amendments thereto, must be sent in Duplicate to Department Headquarters, as one copy is kept by Department and the original is returned to the Post.
Post 853, The American Legion, Department of California