RULES OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF THE TOWN OF WATERFORD

Article I

Participation

Section 1. Qualification. Any person 18 years of age or more who is an enrolled Democratic elector and  resides in Town may participate in any and all party meetings, caucuses and conventions and may be  elected to any party office except where specifically prohibited by law. The Democratic Party in this state  shall adopt an affirmative action plan designed to encourage full participation by all Democrats, with  particular concern for minority groups, native Americans, women and youth, in the delegate selection  process and in all party affairs.

Article II

Town Committee

Section 1. Duties. The policies and principles of the Democratic party of the Town of Waterford shall be  formed, directed and executed by the Democratic Town Committee.

 

Section 2(a). Regular Membership. The Town Committee shall consist of thirty-six members who shall  be elected at large, provided, however, there are not less than five from each of the four voting districts. All Democratic elected or appointed municipal officials may be ex-officio members without vote.

 

Section 2(b). Honorary Life Memberships. The Town Committee shall have distinguished  memberships for individuals who have long served the Democratic Party of Waterford. Such members  shall be able to participate in meetings of the Town Committee without voting privileges. Life  membership shall be determined by years of service and a two-thirds vote of the Town Committee members present and voting. An individual may be an Honorary Life Member as well a regular member  of the Town Committee. A recommendation for Life Membership may be made by submission of letter to  the Secretary of the Town Committee.

 

Section 3. Increased Membership. The Town Committee, at a meeting called for the purpose, may, by a  majority vote of those present and voting, increase its membership, provided that all new members shall  be duly elected by the time of the next primary date in the state election calendar, shall begin in office the  next day, and shall continue in office only until the next date for election of Town Committee members.

 

Section 4(a). Election of Town Committee. The Town Committee shall be endorsed by caucus. In the  event that no such endorsement is made, election to the Town Committee shall be made by district  primary as provided by law. No person shall be elected to or shall hold the position of Town Committee  member unless his or her name appears on the last completed enrollment list of the Democratic Party. The payment of dues shall not be a requirement for the election or endorsement of a candidate for any local  party or Town Committee position.

 

Section 4(b). Caucus Endorsement. A Town Committee may be endorsed or elected on a district basis  as such rules may prescribe. At any caucus duly called for the endorsement of members of a Town  Committee, nominations may be made by (1) presentation to the caucus of a full slate composed of a  number of persons equal to the number of Town Committee members prescribed by local party rules, or  (2) by nomination of individual candidates. Voting is only permissible when the election is between two or more full slates. In the endorsement of such candidates, voting shall be in accordance with the local  party rules, but in no event shall a member of the caucus vote for a greater number of candidates than  those to be elected. In the event no endorsement is made by the above stated method, then there shall be  no endorsement and election to such Town Committee shall be made by direct primary as provided by  law. No person shall be eligible to serve on the Town Committee unless he or she is a registered member  of the Democratic Party.

 

Section 5. Holding of Primary. On the first Tuesday in March in each even-numbered year, the Town  Committee, if needed, shall hold a primary for the election of Town Committee members. Should a  primary be needed, the Town Committee shall publish notice of the same in a newspaper having a general  circulation in the Town at least fifty-six days before such primary is to be held.  

 

Section 6. Party-Endorsed Candidates for Town Committee. Candidates for Town Committee  members chosen as provided above in Section 4 shall run in the Primary for Town Committee as party endorsed candidates provided such candidates shall be elected as Members of the Town Committee if no  valid opposing candidacy has been filed.

 

Section 7. Terms of Members. Unless otherwise provided, members of the Town Committee shall serve  for a term of two years, commencing on the Wednesday after the first Tuesday in March in each even numbered year and ending on the first Tuesday in March of the next even-numbered year.

Section 8. Removal of Members and Officers. With their election, members and officers of the Town  Committee pledge themselves to perform their duties diligently and honorably or resign. Under certain  circumstances, however, a member or officer may be removed from the Town Committee or his or her  office for good cause.

 

Section 8(a). Procedures. Members and officers may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the  members present and voting at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose by one third (1/3) of  the members of the Town Committee. Not less than five days’ written notice shall be given of any  meeting called under this section. At such meeting, the member or officer shall be provided the  opportunity to defend his or her conduct prior to the vote.

 

Section 8(b). Causes for Removal. Members or officers may be removed for reasons that include the  following:

 

  1. Proof of neglect of office

  2. Failure to attend, without cause, at least half of the regularly scheduled Town Committee meetings  during any calendar year

  3. Public support for, or financial contribution to, an opponent of a nominee of the Democratic Party  (A member for whom a long and deeply held belief would be violated by active support of the  nominee shall not be removed under this section.)

  4. Unauthorized use of the Town Committee or Democratic Party name or resources

  5. Conviction of a felony, after appeals are exhausted

 

Section 8(c). Automatic Removal. If a member ceases to be a registered Democrat or ceases to be a  resident of Waterford, removal from the Town Committee is automatic.

 

Section 9. Vacancy. Any vacancy on the Town Committee, arising from any cause, including failure to  elect, may be filled by the Town Committee by a majority vote of those present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose. In the event that a vote is taken that shall result in a tie, such tie vote shall be  resolved by the vote of the Chair of the Town Committee, or the acting Chair as the case may be, but this  provision shall not affect his or her right to cast any vote to which he or she is otherwise entitled as a  member of the Town Committee.  

Article III

Officers

Section 1. Election. Within thirty days after election, the members-elect of the Town Committee shall  meet for organization and shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and such other officers as  may be deemed advisable. Said organizational meeting shall be called by the incumbent Chair of the Town Committee, and in the event the Chair fails to call such meeting by the end of the prescribed 30-day  period, the Vice Chair in office at the time of the primary shall call the meeting within 48 hours. If the  Vice Chair does not call the meeting within the prescribed 48-hour period, a State Central Committee  member of that particular district shall forthwith duly call such meeting within the next forty-eight hours. When the organizational meeting must be called by the Vice Chair or a State Central Committee member,  the call of such meeting will be valid notwithstanding any otherwise applicable rule concerning time and  notification of Town Committee meetings.

 

Section 2. Qualification. The officers of the Town Committee shall be members of the committee.

 

Section 3. Term. Officers so elected shall hold office for the term of the Town Committee electing them or until their successors have been elected.

 

Section 4. Duties. Each of such officers shall have the duties usually incident to this office and such other  duties as the Town Committee may from time to time prescribe.

 

Section 5. Filing List of Officers and Members. Within one (1) week after the election of the new Town  Committee, the Secretary shall file with the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee a list of  the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of the officers and members of the new Town Committee and the name and address of the Democratic Registrar of Voters.

 

Section 6. Vacancy in a Town Committee Office. If there shall be a vacancy in any office of the Town  Committee, arising from any cause, the Town Committee may fill the same by a majority vote of the  Town Committee members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose. In the event that a vote  is taken that shall result in a tie, such tie vote shall be resolved by the vote of the Chair of the Town  Committee, or the acting Chair as the case may be, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to  cast any vote to which he or she is otherwise entitled as a member of the Town Committee.

Article IV

Meetings

Section 1. Election. Within thirty days after election, the members-elect of the Town Committee shall  meet for organization and shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and such other officers as  may be deemed advisable. Said organizational meeting shall be called by the incumbent Chair of the Town Committee, and in the event the Chair fails to call such meeting by the end of the prescribed 30-day  period, the Vice Chair in office at the time of the primary shall call the meeting within 48 hours. If the  Vice Chair does not call the meeting within the prescribed 48-hour period, a State Central Committee  member of that particular district shall forthwith duly call such meeting within the next forty-eight hours. When the organizational meeting must be called by the Vice Chair or a State Central Committee member,  the call of such meeting will be valid notwithstanding any otherwise applicable rule concerning time and  notification of Town Committee meetings.

 

Section 2. Qualification. The officers of the Town Committee shall be members of the committee.

 

Section 3. Term. Officers so elected shall hold office for the term of the Town Committee electing them or until their successors have been elected.

 

Section 4. Duties. Each of such officers shall have the duties usually incident to this office and such other  duties as the Town Committee may from time to time prescribe.

 

Section 5. Filing List of Officers and Members. Within one (1) week after the election of the new Town  Committee, the Secretary shall file with the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee a list of  the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of the officers and members of the new Town Committee and the name and address of the Democratic Registrar of Voters.

 

Section 6. Vacancy in a Town Committee Office. If there shall be a vacancy in any office of the Town  Committee, arising from any cause, the Town Committee may fill the same by a majority vote of the  Town Committee members present and voting at a meeting called for that purpose. In the event that a vote  is taken that shall result in a tie, such tie vote shall be resolved by the vote of the Chair of the Town  Committee, or the acting Chair as the case may be, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to  cast any vote to which he or she is otherwise entitled as a member of the Town Committee.

Article V

Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees. Unless provided otherwise, the Chair of the Town Committee shall  appoint the members of the Standing Committees described below and shall be an ex-officio member of  all committees. Standing Committees shall consist of no less than three (3) or more than ten (10) members  of the Town Committee and shall report their activities at regular meetings of the Town Committee.

 

Section 1(a) Executive Committee. This committee shall aid in clarifying the Waterford Democratic  Party’s position on relevant issues, campaigns, platforms, and other matters. The current officers of the  Town Committee and the past Chair shall comprise the Executive Committee.

 

Section 1(b). Ways and Means Committee. This committee shall have the responsibility for fundraising  to meet Town Committee expenses. The Treasurer of the Town Committee shall chair the Ways and  Means Committee.

 

Section 1(c). Nominations and Vacancies Committee. This committee shall recruit, screen and select  Democratic candidates to fill vacancies in town offices, boards, commissions and the Town Committee and shall invite other Democratic members of the boards or commissions on which a vacancy exists to  

participate in its activities. The Nominations and Vacancies Committee shall present its recommendation to the Town Committee, which may endorse the candidate by a majority vote of the members present and  voting at a meeting called for that purpose. The Chair of the Town Committee shall recommend in writing  the name of the Democratic candidate selected to fill such vacancy to the appointing authority.

 

Section 2. Select Committees. The Chair may create ad hoc Select Committees as needed, provided that  such committees shall not usurp the duties of the Standing Committees established herein. Select  Committees shall have the same reporting responsibilities as Standing Committees and shall have no less  than three (3) or more than ten (10) members. The Town Committee may, by majority vote of those  present and voting, authorize the inclusion of specified individuals who are not members of the Town  Committee to serve on Select Committees.

 Article VI

Endorsement of Candidates for Municipal Office,Town Committee Members, and Delegates to Conventions 

Section 1(a). Endorsement of Convention Delegates. The Town Committee at a meeting called for the  purpose, shall by majority vote of the Town Committee members present and voting, select delegates to  conventions.

 

Section 1(b). Slate Endorsement. The party endorsement of delegates to any convention shall be by full  slate composed of a number of persons equal to the number of delegates to which the Town is entitled  under the Democratic Party State Rules, and such slate shall be endorsed as a unit.

 

Section 1(c). Party-Endorsed Convention Delegates. Each selection of delegates to a state or district  convention shall be made in accordance with the provisions of CGS Section 9-390, as amended, not  earlier than the one-hundred-fortieth (140th) day and not later than the one-hundred-thirty-third (133rd) day  preceding the day of the primary for such state or district office. Such selection shall be certified to the  Town Clerk by the Chair or presiding officer and the Secretary of the Town Committee not later than four  p.m. on the one-hundred-thirty-second (132nd) day preceding the day of such primary. Each such  certification shall contain, at a minimum, the name, phone number, and street address of each person so selected, the applicable convention, and the name or number of the political subdivision or district, if any,  for which each such person is selected.  

 

Section 1(d). Alternate or Proxy. Each delegate to a convention elected in conformity with law and with these rules may in writing designate an alternate delegate or proxy to act for him or her in his or her  absence. In the absence of such alternate delegate, the Town Chair shall fill any vacancy arising for any  cause in delegations to conventions.

 

Section 2(a). Endorsement for Municipal Office and Town Committee Members. The enrolled  members of the Democratic Party in the municipality, at a caucus called for the purpose shall, by a  majority vote of those present and voting, select party-endorsed candidates for each municipal office, and  for Town Committee members. In the endorsement of any person for an office whom only the electors of  a political subdivision of the municipality may vote, only the enrolled members of the Democratic Party  in such political subdivision may participate. The time and place of holding all such caucuses shall be  determined by the Town Committee; and notice of the time, place, and purpose of such caucus shall be  given to all enrolled Democratic voters of the municipality, at least five days in advance of the caucus by  publication of the same in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality and by posting the  same on the public signpost in said municipality. The time of any such caucus shall be fixed so as to  permit compliance with the provisions of the State Primary Law, as the same may be amended from time  to time. The Chair of the Town Committee shall be the Temporary Chair of all such caucuses and shall  preside until the meeting has selected its Permanent Chair. In like manner, the Secretary of the Town  Committee shall act as Temporary Secretary at all such caucuses until the meeting has selected its  Permanent Secretary. The caucus shall be conducted in conformity with the provisions of CGS Section 9- 396, as may be amended from time to time.

 

Section 2(b). Town Committee Endorsement. The Town Committee, at a meeting called for the  purpose shall, by a majority vote of the members present and voting, endorse a Town Committee endorsed slate to be presented at the Democratic Caucus.

 

Section 2(c). Party-Endorsed Candidates for Municipal Office. Candidates for municipal office  chosen as provided herein shall run in the primary for such office as party-endorsed candidates. Such  candidates shall be the nominees of the Democratic Party for the office for which they are candidates if no  valid opposing candidacy has been filed for nomination to such office by 4:00 p.m. on the twenty-first day  preceding the day of the Democratic primary for such office.

 

Section 2(d). Party-Endorsed Candidates for Town Committee. Candidates for Town Committee  members chosen as provided herein shall run in the primary for Town Committee members as party endorsed candidates. Such candidates shall be deemed elected as members of the Town Committee if no  valid opposing candidacies have been filed for Town Committee members by 4:00 p.m. on the twenty first day preceding the day of the Democratic primary for Town Committee members.

 

Section 3. Insufficient Endorsements. If for any reason sufficient endorsements of candidates for  municipal office, or Town Committee members are not made, the provisions of CGS Sections 9-405, 9- 406, and 9-372 et seq, as the same may be amended from time to time, shall govern.

 

Section 4. Certification of Party-Endorsed Candidates. The Secretary and the Chair or presiding  officer of the Town Committee, caucus, or convention, as the case may be, shall certify to the Town Clerk  the names and street addresses of the party-endorsed candidates selected as provided herein. Such  certification shall include the title of the office or position for which each such person is endorsed, and the  date upon which the primary is to be held. In the case of the endorsement of a person for an office or a  position for whom only the electors of a political subdivision of the municipality or of a senatorial district  located entirely within the municipality may vote, the Chair and the Secretary of the Town Committee  shall certify the name or number of such political subdivision or senatorial district to the Town Clerk.

 

Section 5. Date of Party Endorsement of Candidates. Each party endorsement of a candidate to run in a  primary for the nomination of candidates for municipal office or for the election of Town Committee  members shall be made within the time frame established by the CGS. Said endorsement shall be certified  to the Town Clerk by the Chair or presiding officer and the Secretary of the Town Committee, caucus or  convention, as the case may be.  

 

Section 6. Tie Vote. In the event that a vote taken on the selection of a party-endorsed candidate results in  a tie, such tie vote shall be resolved by the vote of the Chair of the Town Committee, or the presiding  officer as the case may be, but this provision shall not affect his or her right to cast any vote to which he  or she is otherwise entitled as a member of the Town Committee.  

 

Section 7. Vacancies in Party-Endorsed Candidacy. If a party-endorsed candidate for nomination to a  municipal office or for election as Town Committee member dies prior to twenty-four (24) hours before  the opening of polls at the primary, or if a party-endorsed candidate withdraws his or her name from  nomination, or for any reason becomes disqualified to hold the office or position for which he or she is a  candidate prior to ten (1) days before the date of the primary, an endorsement may be made to fill such  vacancy by the Town Committee, by a majority vote of the Town Committee members present and voting, at a meeting called for that purpose. In the case of a withdrawal, no candidate shall be deemed to  have withdrawn until a letter of withdrawal signed by such candidate is filed with the Town Clerk. The  Chair of the Town Committee shall immediately certify the nomination to fill such vacancy to the  Registrar of Voters and shall file a copy with the Town Clerk. Such certification of a nomination to fill a  vacancy due to death or disqualification shall include a statement setting forth the reason for such  vacancy.

 

Section 8. Plurality Vote Determinative of Nomination. The nominations of the Democratic Party to all  offices and the election of members of the Town Committee and delegates to conventions shall be made  in all respects as provided in the State Primary Law, as the same may be amended from time to time. At a  primary for nomination to a municipal office or for election of Town Committee members the winner  shall be determined by a plurality of votes cast.

 

Section 9. Vacancy in Nomination. If a nomination has been made for a municipal office and the  nominee thereafter, but prior to twenty-four hours before the opening of the polls on the day of the  election for which such nomination has been made, dies, withdraws his or her name, or for any reason  becomes disqualified to hold the office for which he or she has been nominated, a nomination to fill such  vacancy may be made by the Town Committee, by a majority vote of the members present and voting, at  a meeting called for that purpose. In the event that a vote shall result in a tie, the procedure set forth in  Article VI, Section 6, shall be followed. In the case of a withdrawal, said nomination shall not be valid  until the candidate who has withdrawn has filed a letter of withdrawal signed by such candidate with the  Secretary of the State and also has filed a copy with the Town Clerk. Such certification of a nomination to  fill a vacancy due to death or disqualification shall include a statement setting forth the reason for such  vacancy.

 

Section 10. Democratic Party Vacancy in Elective Town Office. Whenever the Town Committee is  officially notified that a Democratic Party vacancy exists in an elective municipal office, the Town  Committee shall, by a majority vote of members present at a meeting called for that purpose, endorse a  single candidate to fill that office, and the Town Chair shall certify that endorsement to the proper Town  official in timely fashion.

 

Section 11. Definitions. As used in these rules, “municipal office” means any elective office of a town,  city or borough and the offices of justices of the peace. The other terms used in these rules shall have the  same meanings as in the State Primary Law, as the same may be amended from time to time.  

 

Section 12. Resolution of Disputes. Any dispute concerning endorsements for any office, or for delegate,  or for Town Committee member or officer, and any dispute concerning the interpretation and effect of  party rules and procedures, that cannot be settled locally, shall be resolved by a Committee composed of  no less than three nor more than five members of the State Central Committee, appointed by the Chair thereof, none of which shall be members of the district or districts concerned. The decision of said  Committee shall be conclusive and binding upon all parties in interest. The Committee shall be appointed  within seven (7) days after a written request is received for the resolution of a dispute pursuant to this  Article, and the Committee shall set a time and place for a hearing of said dispute within seven (7) days of  its appointment. Written notice of the time and place of said hearing shall be given to all parties to said  dispute no less than seven (7) days prior to the date chosen. The decision of said Committee shall be made  in writing, a copy of which shall be filed with the State Central Committee.

 

Section 13. Effect of Primary Law. If any provisions of these rules are found to be in conflict with the  provisions of any law or State Party Rules, the provisions of such law shall govern. The nominations of  the Democratic party to all public offices and the elections of the Democratic Town Committee members  and delegates to conventions shall be made in all respects as provided in the State Primary Law, as the  same may be amended from time to time.

Article VII

Special Caucuses

Section 1. Method of Call. Special caucuses may be called for any lawful purpose by a majority of the  Town Committee or by not less than ten percent of the registered Democratic voters in the Town. The call  for any such special caucus shall be in writing and signed by each of the persons issuing the same, and  notice of the time, place, and purpose of said special caucus shall be given to all registered Democratic voters in the Town, at least five (5) days in advance of such caucus by publication in a newspaper having  circulation in said town and by posting on the public signpost.

Article VIII

Amendments

Section 1. Procedure. The Town Committee may amend these rules by a majority vote of those present  and voting at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose. These rules may also be amended by a caucus of enrolled party members called by the Chair of the Town Committee upon the filing of a petition  signed by at least five (5) percent of, but not more than five hundred (500), enrolled party members with  the Democratic Registrar of Voters. The Chair, or in the event of his or her failure to act, the Vice Chair,  shall call such caucus to take action on said petition within twenty (20) days upon filing of said petition  with the Democratic Registrar of Voters.

Article IX

Filing of Local Rules

Section 1. Procedure. A copy of these rules, or any amendments thereof, shall be filed with the Town  Clerk, the Secretary of the State, and the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee within  seven (7) days after adoption by the Democratic Party in Waterford. These rules or any amendments to  these rules shall not be effective until sixty (60) days after the filing of the same with the Secretary of the  State, and shall be deemed to cover the operations of the Democratic Party in Waterford until such time as  the party adopts a rule or amendment on the same subject matter, consistent with these rules and the  Democratic State Party Rules.

Article X

Robert's Rules

Section 1. Robert’s Rules Governing. On all parliamentary issues, the current edition of Robert’s Rules  of Order shall be construed as applicable, controlling, and conclusive, except as herein otherwise  provided.

Article XI

Saving Clause

Section 1. Conflict With State Party Rules. If any provision of these rules is found to be in conflict with  provisions in the rules of the Democratic State Party Rules, the provisions of the State Party Rules shall  govern. The nominations of the Democratic Party to all public offices and the election of Town  Committee Members and delegates to conventions shall be made in all respects as provided in the State  Party Rules, as amended. 

Adopted: April 30, 2019