Jon Paul Bouche, Guest Columnist
The Montgomery County Republican Party voted for a new set of bylaws at their organization meeting on June 26, 2018. The meeting itself, precinct chair (r)elections and bylaw requirement was in accordance with Rule 8(e) of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT). The resulting majority vote which was required for adoption of the new bylaws was 39 -32.*
The reasons for adoption of the new bylaws by the Montgomery County Republican Party (MCRP) Executive Committee (EC) are as follows:
1. Decentralize the structure of MCRP so that everyone has a say and we can develop a stronger team.
2. Unify the party which has been factionalized for many years.
3. Modernize the party since, despite the ever changing political landscape, the MCRP bylaws had not been changed in over 20 years.
4. RPT Rule 8(e) Requirement for the EC to adopt bylaws every two years.*
The biennial drafting and adopting of the operational bylaws for the MCRP is the sole responsibility of the EC in accordance with RPT Rule 8e. Every two years, the bylaws expire and once they expire, there are no bylaws in place until new bylaws are adopted by the EC. The Chairman does not choose which bylaws are to be adopted as this would violate the checks and balances which are contained within the RPT Rules.
Dr. Walter “Wally” Wilkerson will still be the presiding officer over meetings and has all authority granted to him under the Texas Election Code, RPT Rules, MCRP EC bylaws, and Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. Under the bylaws, Dr. Wilkerson’s other duties are to ensure that MCRP complies with all applicable State & Federal laws as well as the RPT Rules and the MCRP bylaws. He shall also be an ex-officio member of the standing, Special and Ad-Hoc Committees(Article V, Sec. 1.A). In fact, Dr. Wilkerson presided over the meeting when the new bylaws were adopted, and he had Jim Wiggins and Attorney Mike Seiler as his parliamentarian and legal counsel, respectively, to ensure that all laws, rules, and bylaws were properly followed that evening.
Other officers required in the new bylaws are the Executive Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Aside from their respective duties, they make up the Steering Committee, along with Dr. Wilkerson and 5 other elected At-Large Precinct Chairs.
The Steering Committee, as a whole and ccording to Article V, Sect. 3.A-G., will be responsible for the transaction of business necessary between meetings of the EC, which include:
1. Preparing and submitting a budget to the EC, execute all written contracts, authorize expenditures related to the budget;
2. Submitting to the EC recommendations for committee members and to fill vacancies;
3. Developing Agenda for EC meetings;
4. Adherence to election law requirements;
5. Embracing all initiatives of the state party;
6. Providing disclosure to EC of any relationship(s) with organizations that vet or support or oppose candidates; and
7. Making suggestions to election administrators for election judges during elections.
As during the 2016-2018 term and as required by Texas Election Code, regular meetings will be held at least quarterly, as required by the new bylaws (Article VI, Sec 1) and Texas Election Code. Special meetings to fully enact the new bylaws may be held on a more frequent basis. All precinct chairs are encouraged and the public is welcome to attend.
There is a lot of misinformation being spread which is causing confusion and division within the Montgomery County Republican Party. If you have any questions regarding the adoption of the new bylaws, I would be happy to speak with you.
* Publisher’s Note: The actual vote was 39 to 31, but County GOP Chairman Wally Wilkerson deceptively permitted a former Precinct Chair to vote.