Westport Republican Town Committee
The Town Committee shall encourage Republicans to run for office, conduct party caucuses, direct election campaigns, recommend Republicans for appointive office, obtain and disseminate information concerning performance of Town Government, study and support or oppose state legislation affecting Westport, and raise and administer party funds. This description is not intended to exclude other political activities in furtherance of Republican goals.
SECTION 1. MEMBERS OF TOWN COMMITTEE: The Town Committee shall consist of forty members elected as provided in Article IV, Section 1 from the Town of Westport by the Republicans voters of the Town in district caucuses in each of the voting districts of the Town utilized for the purpose of RTM elections at a time prescribed by Title 9, Chapter 153 of the Election Laws of the State of Connecticut, as amended, and the rules of the State Central Committee in the even numbered years for a term of two years or until their successors have been chosen, but not longer than twenty-six months.
Republican public officials serving on the following Westport Town Boards and Commissions will be “Ex-officio” members of the Town Committee and will have all the rights and duties granted other Town Committee members: Board of Selectman, Board of Finance, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning, Board of Assessment Appeals, Zoning Board of Appeals and Registrar of Voters. The ex officio members will also include the immediate past Westport RTC Chairman.
SECTION 2. VACANCIES: Vacancies occurring in the representation elected from a RTM district shall be filled by a meeting and majority vote of the remaining Town Committee members representing that RTM district, or if a vote of the remaining Town Committee members of the RTM district results in a tie, vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote of the Town Committee. In addition, if the remaining Town Committee members of the RTM district fail to select a replacement within ninety (90) days after the position becomes vacant, then the Town Committee shall fill the vacancy by majority vote.
SECTION 3. QUALIFICATIONS: A member of the Town Committee must be an active enrolled Republican elector of the Town of Westport and a resident of the designated RTM district at the time of his or her election and during the term of office.
SECTION 4. ATTENDANCE: Members are expected to attend at least 50 percent of regularly scheduled Republican Town Committee meetings during their term of office.
SECTION 1. OFFICERS: The Town Committee shall meet within two weeks after the beginning of its term (which shall start on the first Monday following the date of the primary set in connection with its election), at the call of the previous Town Chairman, or in the event of his or her failure to act, at the call of a member of the State Central Committee from the State Senatorial District in which said Chairman resides, and from among its members shall elect by plurality vote a Chairman, two Vice-Chairmen, a Secretary and a Treasurer, for terms of two years or until their successors have been duly elected and qualified, but not more than twenty-six months. Each of such officers shall have the duties usually incident to his or her office and such other duties as the Town Committee shall from time to time prescribe. Any vacancy in the officers of the Town Committee shall be filled by plurality vote of the Town Committee. The Chairman shall appoint a Parliamentarian who shall advise the Chairman on parliamentary matters from the members of the Town Committee. The Chairman may serve as ex officio member of any standing or special committees, except that the Chairman shall not serve in any capacity on any Nominating Committee.
SECTION 2. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers, the chairmen of the standing committees, the duly elected president(s) then holding office of the Republican Women of Westport or its successor organization, and the District Chairmen as hereafter defined. The elected president(s) or chairperson from any other Republican organization may be seated on the Executive Committee by a majority vote of the Town Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet at the pleasure of the Chairman or on petition of five (5) members of the Executive Committee. The purpose shall be to advise the Town Chairman on matters of policy. Votes taken at Executive Committee meetings are not binding on the Town Committee.
SECTION 3. STANDING COMMITTEES: There shall be the following standing committees of the Town Committee: Finance Committee, New Voters and Outreach Committee, Public Relations and Publicity Committee(s) and Campaign Committee. The chairman of the Town Committee shall appoint the chairman and members of each standing committee. Said committee chairman and committee members may be removed by the Town Committee by majority vote, or by the Town Chairman acting on his or her own. All members of such committees may be members or non-members of the Town Committee.
SECTION 4. NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Nominating Committees shall be appointed by the Republican Town Committee Chairman in a timely manner and shall consist of seven (7) members including a Chairman appointed by the Republican Town Committee Chairman. Nominating Committees so appointed by the Chairman shall serve only for the election for which they have been appointed. Nominating Committees shall report to each Republican Town Committee member and to all candidates for nomination who have appeared before the Nominating Committee the recommended choices for the offices to be filled at least 72 hours prior to the meeting scheduled to receive the Nominating Committee report. All members of the Nominating Committees shall be members of the Town Committee.
SECTION 5. SPECIAL COMMITTEES: Special committees or ad hoc committees may be established and dissolved by the Town Committee or the Town Chairman. The Chairman of the Town Committee shall appoint the chairman and members of each special committee. Said committee chairman and committee members may be removed by the Town Committee acting upon the recommendation of the Town Chairman or upon its own. All members of such committees may be members or non-members of the Town Committee.
SECTION 6. DISTRICT CHAIRMEN: District Chairmen shall be elected by the members of the Town Committee residing in the District in question. In the event that such election has not occurred within 30 days of the district caucus at which the members of the Town Committee were elected, the Town Committee shall elect the District Chairman. One person shall be nominated for such position from each voting district which shall coincide with those utilized in elections to the Representative Town Meeting. The term of each district chairman shall be two years unless earlier removed by the Town Committee upon recommendation of the Town Committee Chairman with the concurrence of the members of the Town Committee residing in the district in question. The duties of said District Chairman may be prescribed by the Town Committee upon recommendation of the Town Chairman, but said duties shall include responsibility for the conduct of all Republican election campaigns within the District which said District Chairman represents. District Chairmen may be chosen from within or without the membership of the Town Committee and shall automatically become members of the Executive Committee during their term of office. They shall reside in the District which they represent.
SECTION 7. REGULAR MEETINGS: Regular meetings of the Town Committee shall be held monthly on the third Tuesday unless: (a) cancelled at least 5 days in advance by electronic or printed notice from the Town Chairman; (b) the date is a holiday; (c) State law specifies otherwise. The agenda for each meeting shall be sent to each committee member in writing (electronic or printed) at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting if sent electronically or by facsimile, and 5 days in advance of the meeting if sent by mail. A written request from two members can place an item on the agenda of a regular meeting of the Town Committee. Requested agenda items must be submitted to the Town Committee Chairman at least 7 days in advance of any regular Town Committee meeting. Items or matters not included in the agenda accompanying the call of any meeting may be discussed by the Town Committee at said meeting but not voted on until a subsequent meeting unless two thirds of those present agree that said vote may be taken at said meeting. Unless State Republican rules conflict, Town Committee meetings, including special meetings as discussed below, shall be governed by, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised.
SECTION 8. SPECIAL MEETINGS: Special meetings may be called by the Chairman and shall be called by the Chairman on request of a quorum of the Town Committee as defined below. Special meetings and meetings to hear the report of nominating committees shall be announced by electronic or printed notice to committee members at least 5 days in advance of the meeting. The agenda for each meeting shall be sent to each committee member in writing (electronic or printed) at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting if sent electronically or by facsimile, and 5 days in advance of the meeting if sent by mail. Items or matters not included in the agenda accompanying the call of any special meeting may be discussed by the Town Committee at said meeting but not voted on until a subsequent meeting unless two thirds of those present agree that said vote may be taken at said meeting.
SECTION 9. QUORUM: A quorum shall consist of twelve members.
SECTION 10. VOTING: All Town Committee voting shall be by voice, show of hands or roll call. Tie votes on any matter shall be resolved by the vote of the Town Chairman. Proxy votes shall not be permitted.
SECTION 11. NOTICE AFTER ORGANIZATION: Within one week after the organization meeting of the Town Committee, the Secretary shall file with the Secretary of the State Central Committee, and the Town Clerk of the Town of Westport, the names and addresses of the officers and members of the Town Committee.
SECTION 12. TOWN COMMITTEE RULES: The Town Committee may adopt such rules, not inconsistent with these rules or the rules of the Republican Party of the State of Connecticut, as it deems necessary for the conduct of the business of the Committee. In the event of an inconsistency between these rules and the rules of the State Central Committee or the Election Laws of the State of Connecticut, the rules of said State Central Committee or the said State Election Laws shall be considered to be governing.
Selection of Candidates
SECTION 1. TOWN COMMITTEE:
(a) Candidates for Town Committee shall be endorsed by district caucus meetings and be in accordance with the rules of the State Central Committee. Each caucus shall be a meeting at a designated hour and place of the active enrolled Republicans of the Town of Westport within each of the corresponding RTM districts. Only active enrolled Republicans of the Town of Westport within said district may vote. All such caucuses shall be held on the same day and shall be called by the Chairman, or in the event of his or her failure to act, the Vice-Chairman, designating the times, places, and day of each caucus by publishing said call in a newspaper having a circulation in Westport, at least ten (10) days before the day of said caucuses.
(b) The Chairman shall appoint one Republican elector (from the appropriate district, if possible) to call the caucus to order and to preside until a permanent Chairman and Secretary are elected who shall in turn preside at the caucus.
(c) Only active enrolled Republicans living within each RTM district may be selected for Town Committee membership by the caucus. Any such individual who wishes to make known his or her availability for selection to the Town Committee may so inform the District Chairman of his or her district, who shall turn all names submitted to him over to the permanent Chairman of the caucus. Said permanent Chairman shall read the said names to the caucus prior to accepting nominations from the floor.
(d) All nominations shall be from the floor. In the event that a nominee is not present at the caucus, the nominee’s consent to be nominated must be submitted in writing to the permanent chair prior to the final vote of the caucus.
(e) Upon receipt of a written motion from any person lawfully participating in the caucus calling for a vote by ballot, the caucus Chairman shall submit such motion to a rising vote, and if fifteen electors present and legally participating vote in favor of such motion, the vote shall be by ballot. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if there are more duly nominated candidates than the number of positions to be filled in any district, the vote shall be by secret ballot. The presiding officer shall thereupon appoint two tellers. Before any ballot is deposited, the name of the elector offering to vote shall be given to the secretary of such caucus, and such name shall be checked on the enrollment list of such party. No person shall vote or participate or attempt to vote or participate in any such district caucus unless he or she is an active enrolled Republican in such district. Under no circumstances shall any member of the public be excluded from the room in which the caucus is being held during the caucus and while the caucus is voting.
(f) The presiding officer of the caucus shall cast a vote to break a tie when necessary. This vote shall be in addition to any regular voting rights such presiding officer may have.
(g) The number of Town Committee members to be selected by each caucus shall be in the same proportion to the total number of Town Committee members as the number of Republicans enrolled in said district on December 1 prior to the caucus bears to the total number of Republicans on said list in the Town of Westport. Every two years, on December 2, or the next business day if December 2 falls on a weekend, the Westport Republican Registrar of Voters shall calculate the number of Town Committee members to be selected from each district on such proportional basis. The formula for such calculation shall be as follows: The number of active enrolled Republicans in each RTM district shall be divided by the total number of active enrolled Republicans in the Town of Westport and the resulting figure shall be multiplied by forty. Thus,
Number of active enrolled Republicans in District X 40 = Number of Town Committee Members
Number of active enrolled Republicans Westport to be selected in said District.
In computing said figure, the final figure shall be calculated to the decimal place necessary in order to achieve 40 representatives.
(h) Any individual who moves his or her residence out of a district in which he shall have been chosen to serve as a member of the Town Committee, shall cease to be a member of the Town Committee upon said removal from the district, and the Town Committee upon notification of such removal shall declare said seat vacant and replace said member in accordance with these rules
SECTION 2. MUNICIPAL OFFICE AND CONVENTIONS: The Town Committee shall select the party-endorsed candidates for nomination to municipal and state office and for election of delegates to any convention at times prescribed by Title 9, Chapter 153 of the Election Laws of the State of Connecticut, as amended, and the rules of the State Central Committee. Nominations shall first be presented to the Town Committee by duly appointed nominating committee and other nominations may be made by Town Committee members. However, in the selection of the party-endorsed candidates or delegates for an office or position for which only the electors of a political subdivision of the municipality may vote, only the members of the Town Committee from such political subdivision may participate, provided, however, that for the endorsement of candidates and delegates to any convention in which the area to be represented by the candidate or delegates includes part but not all of an RTM district split by a State Senate, State Representative or Congressional district line, said endorsement shall be made by a majority of the active enrolled Republicans present and voting at a caucus of Republicans from the total area covered and represented by such delegates or by such candidate. Such caucus shall be called by the Town Committee Chairman at the legally required time and said Town Chairman shall appoint a chairman to convene and preside at said caucus.
SECTION 3. FILING ENDORSEMENTS: Party-endorsed candidates for nominations to municipal office and for election of delegates to any convention shall be endorsed and certified to the Town Clerk by the Chairman or presiding officer and the Secretary of the Town Committee at times provided by the State Central Committee Rules and Title 9, Chapter 153, as amended, of the Election Laws of the State of Connecticut.
SECTION 4. ENDORSEMENT CALL: All meetings of the Town Committee called to choose candidates for nominations to municipal office and election of delegates to any convention shall, if possible, be regular meetings and shall be called by the Chairman, or if he fails to act, the Vice Chairman, by delivering an electronic or printed notice stating such purpose, to each member of the Committee at least five (5) days before such meeting and by publishing such notice to a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town at least five (5) days prior to the meeting.
SECTION 5. FILING OF CANDIDACIES: Candidacies or persons other than party-endorsed candidates for nomination to any municipal office or for election as town committee member or delegate to any convention shall be filed as required by Title 9, Chapter 153, as amended, of the Election Laws of the State of Connecticut with the Registrar by petition signed by at least five percent (5%) of the active enrolled Republicans of the Town of Westport, or as the case may be, in such political subdivision involved, but in no event by less than 100 electors. Provided however, that no primary petition for Town Committee member shall be approved unless it contains the names of a number of candidates other than party-endorsed candidates equal in number to at least twenty-five percent of the number of Town Committee members to be elected in Town, or as the case may be in the political sub-division involved.
SECTION 6. VACANCIES IN NOMINATIONS AND CANDIDACIES: Any vacancy occurring in the party-endorsed candidacies before a primary or in party nominations before an election shall be filled by the Town Committee and the name selected to fill such vacancy shall be certified to the proper authorities by the Chairman of the Town Committee. In case the vacancy occurs in the representation elected from a RTM district, only those Town Committee members representing that RTM district may vote. Should there be no remaining members from that RTM district, or if a vote of the remaining members results in a tie, vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote of the Town Committee.
SECTION 1. MEANS TO CALL
A. CALL BY CHAIRMAN
A Caucus of the Republican electors of the Town of Westport may be called by the Chairman of the Town Committee or by vote of the Town Committee.
B. CALL BY PETITION
The Chairman shall call a caucus within 21 days upon certification by the Registrar of Voters of a petition requesting such a caucus, signed by five percent (5%) of the active enrolled Republicans of Westport or 500 active enrolled Republicans of Westport (whichever is less). Upon written application stating the purpose of the proposed caucus, the Registrar will provide the petition form and number of signatures required.
SECTION 2. NOTICE
A Legal Notice of any Caucus designating its purpose shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town of Westport not less than 10 days before such Caucus.
SECTION 1. APPROVAL
A Caucus for the purpose of amending these By Laws shall be called by the Chairman upon vote of the Town Committee, or upon petition of at least five percent (5%) or 500 (whichever is less) of the active enrolled Republican electors of the Town of Westport.
SECTION 2. FILING
The By Laws of the Republican Party and any amendment shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and Secretary of the Republican State Central Committee, and the Town Clerk.
SECTION 3. ADDENDUM
In the unprecedented time of the CoronaVirus outbreak and the prohibition of large gatherings, delegate selection for the 2020 Congressional, multi-town state senate, and multi-town state house districts will be by a majority vote of the town committee. The 2020 endorsement of single-town districts and registrar of voters [where applicable] will be by a majority vote of the town committee.
The Town Chairman shall submit these By Laws to the Secretary of State within one week of their adoption by the Caucus. They shall become effective 60 days after being received by the Secretary of State.
No Town Committee or officer thereof shall expend any party funds on behalf of any candidate in a pre-endorsement contest or in a primary.
Unless stated otherwise above, all references to a majority or plurality vote shall refer to a majority or plurality vote of those present and voting at any Regular or Special Town Committee Meeting or at any Caucus.
Adopted April 21st, 2020