Missouri Mules Constitution and By-laws
Article 1 — Name
This organization shall he known as the Missouri Mules.
Article 2 — Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be the promotion of goodwill and fellowship between members and associates of the fire service.
Article 3 — Membership Requirements
A. The name of the proposed Mule shall be submitted at a regular meeting and referred to the membership committee. Two Mules, active or retired, who are in good standing with the organization, shall sign the application for membership. The membership committee shall be comprised of the Master Mule, The Keeper of the Barn, and the Keeper of the Bray. This committee shall investigate the proposed member to determine that he or she:
- Is a member of the fire service or has a close association with the fire service;
- Attended the Fire Department Instructors’ Conference, which is held annually or has attended, as a guest, three regular meetings of the Missouri Mules in the 12 months preceding the date of application for membership;
- Is a person of good character who will be compatible with other Mules members.
B. The membership of the Missouri Mules shall be limited to one hundred (100) active Mules plus retirees. Retirees will consist of members retired from the fire service or a fire support organization with a minimum age of fifty-five (55). The minimum age of 55 will not pertain to members in either of the two above-mentioned categories who have received a certified disability retirement.
C. The annual dues shall be thirty dollars ($30.00) per calendar year, payable by January 31 of each year. Any active member who has not paid their dues by April 1 of any calendar year will thereby automatically terminate their membership in this organization. Any active member may be reinstated providing that an opening is available by paying $2.50 per remaining month of the current calendar year. If there should not be an opening, the application will be placed at the end of the waiting list. In addition to the annual dues of thirty dollars ($30.00), an initiation fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) shall be assessed each applicant for membership or reinstatement, due within thirty days of acceptance into the organization. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in termination of membership.
D. A drawing funded by the annual dues will be held twice a year. All current active and retired members will automatically be included in the drawing.
E. Members must attend at least three (3) meetings per year or have a legitimate excuse.
F. Retired members shall be assessed thirty dollars ($30.00) per calendar year, payable by January 31 of each year. Any retired member who has not paid their dues by April 1 of any calendar year will thereby automatically terminate their membership in the organization. A retiree may be reinstated in that calendar year by paying $2.50 per remaining month of the current calendar year.
G. All retirees shall be exempt from the rule to attend at least three (3) meetings per year as required of active members
H. Monthly meeting dues for retirees shall be two dollars ($2.00) less than the amount assessed to all active members in
I. Widows of Active or Retired members who were in good standing at the time of their death shall be invited as honored guests (no charge) of the Mules to both the Installation Banquet and the Annual Summer Picnic.
Article 4 — Officers and Duties
A. The first officer shall be known as the Master Mule. He shall be the first Mule, call gatherings of Mules to order, and keep all Mule gatherings in an orderly fashion. The Master Mule must be notified of visitors present, and excuse all visitors from the business session of the meeting.
B. The second officer shall be known as the Keeper of the Barn. He shall assume the duties of the Master Mule whenever the Master Mule cannot participate in Mule functions.
C. The Secretary shall be known as the Keeper of the Bray. He shall record procedure of all barnyard gatherings, shall notify mules of such gatherings and shall transmit mule correspondence as directed.
D. The Treasurer shall be known as the Keeper of the Hay. He shall be responsible for collecting the hay (money), keeping said hay in a reputable bank, giving a financial report at regular barnyard gatherings, and dispensing hay as directed.
E. The historian shall be known as the Keeper of the Tale. He shall record the illustrious history of the Mules organization and keep said tale for posterity in a permanent record.
F. The Sergeant at Arms shall be known as the Keeper of the Stalls. He shall have the duty of keeping all barnyard gatherings orderly and when directed, shall in typical mule fashion kick out all disorderly or intruding
G. The Keeper of the Broom is entrusted with the honored emblem of our organization. He shall wield this emblem in the best possible manner to keep the stalls clean of any actions detrimental to the purpose of this organization.
H. The Keeper of the Nuts, without any outside influence or attempted bribery, shall present a list of candidates to serve as officers for the upcoming year. He or she will present this list at the January and February meetings and the election will be held in March. (See Article 5 – Elections)
No Officer shall under any circumstances ever receive any remuneration for their services as such.
Article 5 — Elections
A. The Master Mule shall appoint in December a nominating committee consisting of three (3) Mules. These members shall be charged with the responsibility of selecting capable men to serve as officers for the following term of office. At the January meeting the nominating committee shall report the names of members and the office to which they are to be elected. At the February meeting the Master Mule will accept additional nominations from the floor. The election by secret ballot will be held at the March meeting. Only Mules present at the March meeting will be permitted to vote. There will be no proxy votes. A simple majority vote shall determine the officers for the coming year.
B. In the event of an officer vacating their position due to resignation or other unforeseen circumstances, the officer(s) below the position vacated will step up into the next position. The nominating committee will make a recommendation to the Master Mule for a person to fill the vacated position. The recommendation will be brought to the next meeting and additional nominations will be permitted from the floor. A vote will be taken with a simple majority determining the person to fill the vacated position. Only Mules present at the meeting will be permitted to vote.
Article 6 — Installation of Officers
Installation ceremonies shall be conducted at a banquet in the month of April at a time and place selected by a committee appointed by the Master Mule. Each officer shall serve a term of one (1) year from the date of installation or until the officers are replaced by successors who have been elected and qualified.
Article 7 — Meetings
The regular monthly meeting shall be held on the third Thursday of each month at a place designated by the membership.
A. The order of business for meetings shall be as follows:
- Official opening of meeting
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Introduction of visitors
- Roll call of officers and members present
- Reading of the minutes of the last meeting
- Reports by officers and committees
- Treasurer’s report
- Reading of the Bills
- Reading of communications
- Old business
- New business
- Remarks for the welfare of the organization
Article 8 — Quorum
The quorum shall consist of 10 Mules or 10% of membership in good standing, whichever is greater. No official business shall be conducted without the quorum being present.
Article 9 — Committees
The Master Mule shall have the authority to appoint committees necessary to conduct business for the good of the organization.
Article 10 — Amendments
Any proposed amendments to these by-laws shall be signed by at least five (5) members and submitted in writing to the Keeper of the Bray at a regular meeting, and discussed at this meeting and the following regular meeting. A vote shall be taken on the proposed change following the discussion at the second meeting.
A. The Keeper of the Bray shall notify each member of the proposed change prior to the second meeting. A simple majority vote of those present shall be necessary to adopt the change.
Article 11 – Dissolution
Upon termination or dissolution of the Missouri Mules, once all of the financial obligations of the organization have been met, all remaining monies will be distributed to a charity or charities of the membership’s choosing at the time of dissolution. Said charity or charities must have a qualifying 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. No monies will be given to any member of the Missouri Mules or private person.
A. The Keeper of the Bray shall notify each member of the dissolution and final meeting.
B. A vote will be held at the final meeting on the distribution of the monies with a simple majority of those present required.
Article 12 –Charitable Giving Guidelines
A. Charitable giving and donations by the membership consist of the following:
1. Organizational approved charities as a result of Missouri Mules sponsored membership/charity event or as approved by quorum of membership of the Mules.
2. $100.00 donation for a State of Missouri “Line of Duty” death to a charity of the family’s choice. If unable to determine said charity, the donation will be made to an organization approved charity in the name of the Fallen.
3. $50.00 donation in memory of active Missouri Mule upon death to a charity of the family’s choice. If unable to determine said charity, the donation will be made to an organization approved charity in the name of the member.
4. $50.00 donation to organization approved charity based upon special circumstances as agreed by a quorum of Missouri Mules members.
B. Should the operating budget balance become less than $2500.00, the organization will reduce donations to 50% of their original amount.
Presented to the Membership and approved at the regular meeting on October 15, 2020
Revised July 2016