Article I – CLUB Name
The name of this Club shall be “The Arizona Big Train Operators, Inc.” also known as the
AZ Big Train Operators, ABTO or Club.
Article II – Purpose
The purpose of the Club is to promote and advance the interest in, and educate the
general public about Railroads and large-scale model railroading. The Club will do this by
conducting classes, seminars, providing demonstrations, displays and operating large
scale layouts. In addition, Club members will share ideas and assist one another in model
Article III – Non-Discrimination
The Club does not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, color, religion, sex
or sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic prohibited by law.
Membership is open to all individuals interested in large scale model railroading. A
membership is considered active upon receipt of dues by the treasurer. Active Members
are entitled to all rights and privileges as outlined in these Bylaws.
Article IV – Membership
The payment of annual dues entitles a member 18 years old or older and his/her spouse
(immediate family, same household) to have one vote on any issue, election of officers,
serving as an officer, member at large or committee member. Membership is a privilege
and runs from January 1 thru December 31 of each year. Membership dues for the next year
may be paid from October 1 thru December 31 of the current year.
A copy of the monthly Newsletter will be sent electronically to club members. A printed
copy will be sent by U.S. Mail upon specific request by a club member to the newsletter
Unauthorized use of the Club Membership List or Club Logo is prohibited. No member,
director, officer or employee of or member of a committee or a person connected with
ABTO or other private individual shall have financial gain by donations, earnings or profit
in any dealings with the club.
Membership is a privilege. Any member may be expelled and his/her membership
terminated for conduct which the Executive Board shall determine to have disturbed the
order, dignity, business or harmony of the Club, or to have impaired its good name, good
will or prosperity or to have violated these Bylaws, or any regulations of the club which are in force at the time of the alleged infraction. If the misconduct is proven, but expulsion is
not justified, the Executive Board has the option to reprimand or censure in place of
Such expulsion shall be by a sixty (60%) percent vote of the members of the Executive
Board present at a meeting thereof duly called and held; provided, however, that the
Board at a prior meeting thereof shall first have voted to institute expulsion proceedings
and that thereafter a statement of the charges have been mailed by registered or certified
mail to the accused member, directed to his last recorded address, at least 30 days
before final action is taken thereon.
This statement shall be accompanied by a notice of the time when, and place where, the
Executive Board is to take action on such charges, and such notice shall state that the
accused member will have an opportunity to present a defense at the time and place
designated in such notice. The decision of the Executive Board shall be final and
conclusive. All rights and privileges of an expelled member shall terminate immediately
after the expulsion. In cases of misconduct by a member of the Executive Board, the
above proceedings can be initiated and resolved by a vote of sixty (60%) percent of the
full membership of the club.
Guests are welcome at Club Meetings. They are allowed to attend only two (2) meetings
before becoming Members.
ARTICLE VI— CLUB DUES
The amount of the annual Club dues will be reviewed and set annually by the Executive
Board at the September Board Meeting.
Annual Club Dues for the following year will be announced at the September General
Meeting. They shall be collected by the Treasurer starting at the October General Meeting
thru December 31 of the current year
Members who do not submit their dues prior to 1 January of the following year will be
removed from the Membership roster.
New members will pay the current annual dues fee plus the current cost of the name tag
rounded to the nearest dollar. New Member Application is required. New members who
join after September 30 of the current year, do not have to pay for their membership dues
the following year.
REGULAR CLUB MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
Regular Club Membership Meetings will be January through June and September through
November. The December meeting will be designated as ABTO’s annual Holiday Party.
Monthly meetings may be scheduled during July and August at the discretion of the
Club meetings will be held on the third Saturday of the month or on a date set at the
discretion of the Executive Board. Club Meetings will normally be held at a club member’s
home to display that member’s railroad and/or railroad related projects to the other club
members. As available and at the discretion of the Executive Board, alternative locations
may be selected for Club meetings.
Minutes of the previous Membership Business Meeting and a Treasurer’s Report shall be
presented at each meeting and approved by a 2/3 vote of the members present at the
meeting. The Club President shall prepare the agenda for each meeting. Topics on the
agenda will be read and discussed by the general membership and will be amended as
required. The topic if necessary will be voted on by the membership present. A majority vote
by the members present will approve the agenda item or topic.
Annually, the Executive Board will approve a stipend which will be paid to a hosting club
member for a regularly called monthly meeting when that member presents a bill and
receipts for the meeting. The treasurer will pay the hosting club member the exact amount
of the bill if it is less than preset stipend or the treasurer will pay the preset approved
stipend if the bill or receipts exceeds the stipend amount. The hosting club member must
request the payment from the treasurer.
SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
Special Membership Meetings may be called at any time by the Executive Board or by a
majority vote of the General Membership. The Secretary will send notice of these Special
Meetings to all Members.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS
The Club President or Executive Board Members will normally call at least one (1)
Executive Board Meeting each month from January through November of each year.
Notice of these Meetings shall be sent by the most expeditious route (email, text or
telephone). Board meetings will only be held during months of regularly scheduled
meetings unless called by the Executive Board.
Any Executive Board Member may resign his position by notifying the Club President in
writing. Other than an excused absence, any Executive Board Member who misses three
(3) Executive Board Meetings in any one calendar year, shall be considered to have
resigned his/her position. In either of the events listed above, or the demise of a club
Officer or Committee Head, the President shall appoint, with the approval of the Executive
Board Members, another member to serve for the remainder of the term.
An excused absence maybe be one of the following; prolonged medical issue, travel, gone
for summer, family emergency or other situation as approved by the Executive Board.
Absent Board Members may be consulted electronically during the meeting if convenient.
All General Members may attend Board Meetings.
ARTICLE VIII—EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board of the Club consists of the seven (7) elected Officers named below:
Three (3) Directors at Large
The Executive Board along with the Newsletter Editor (non-voting) and the Web Master
(non-voting) are responsible for the Club’s day to day operations, including direction,
policies, financial status, and recommended programs.
Two or more household members cannot be elected to the Executive Board or appointed
as a Committee Head during the same term.
In addition, no Member can be elected to the Executive Board or appointed as a
Committee Head who has Business Ownership or employment which is in a conflict of
interest with the club.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS REQUIREMENTS AND TERMS OF OFFICE
A candidate for office must have been an active member in good standing for 12 months
prior to the date of the election. All Officers shall serve in his/her elected position for a
period of two (2) calendar years. After one year the current Executive Board will ask for a
vote of confidence leading into the second year of their term.
The Vice President shall automatically be nominated for President after serving two years
(2) barring health issues, leaving the hobby or no longer has an interest in serving. Other
members may be nominated for President.
All officers can succeed themselves in their present position. They can be nominated for
these positions and other members may be nominated and voted on for these positions.
DUTIES: The duties and responsibilities of each Officer shall be as follows:
To preside at all Membership and Executive Board Meetings. To officially represent the
Club and conduct its business. To implement direction, policies, and programs as directed
by the Club or Executive Board. To have the power to appoint Members to serve on
Committees as required.
To assist the President and preside at any meetings in his/her absence. To keep actively
informed of activities and events concerning model railroading and other related areas
which would be of interest to the General Membership. To arrange for Club activities and
functions and to ensure that proper planning is done. To maintain the Club Calendar of
Meetings and activities.
To accurately record, maintain and present the minutes of all Club and Executive Board
Meetings where business is conducted. Will handle, retain, and present all Club
correspondence. To maintain a role of all active Members based on information from The
Club Treasurer. To maintain and publish the current Club Membership Roster by
The treasurer will have control of all club funds and will properly transact all Club
expenses and ensure that all bills and invoices which have been pre-approved by the
Executive Board are paid in a timely manner.
All other bills are to be submitted to the Executive Board for approval before being paid.
To maintain accurate accounting and records of all Club income and expenses.
To collect dues, moneys, and payments made to the Club and to maintain the Club
checking account, saving account(s) and investments. To oversee the movement of funds
from one account to another account to improve the Club’s rate of return on investments
and/or to meet the club’s financial obligations.
All pre-approved and budgeted bills and expenditures must have proper documentation at
the time of payment. Budget approved expenditures with proper documentation do not
require Executive Board approval unless they exceed $1000.00. The Executive Board
must pre-approve all budgeted expenditures of $1000.00 or more.
All non-budgeted bills must be approved by the Executive Board before they are paid. All
non-budgeted bills must have proper documentation when presented to the Executive
Board. All non-budgeted bills, exceeding $1000.00, must be approved by the General
Membership at a regularly scheduled General Meeting.
In October of each year, two Club Members or outside “consultants”, as necessary, will be
appointed by the Club President to audit the Treasury Books and statements of the
treasurer and present his/her report to the General Membership at or before the
November Membership Meeting.
THREE (3) DIRECTORS AT LARGE:
To serve as a direct representative of the General Membership to the Executive Board
and to communicate the Member’s opinions on all issues that affect the Club’s operations
and business. To work with the other Officers as may be needed or requested. Directors
at large should handle selling of clothing, drawings, sale of raffle tickets, host guests, new
members and fill officer vacancy at Board meetings or club meetings.
President shall appoint, with the approval of the Executive Board, a Member to serve as
the Newsletter Editor. The Editor will prepare and edit the Club Newsletter with
information to include the results of business meetings, upcoming events, ballots and
elections results, and amendments to the bylaws, etc.
President shall appoint, with the approval of the Executive Board, a Member/ individual to
serve as the Web Master. The Web Master will edit and publish the Club Web Site with
monthly updates such as the Newsletter, events, etc. An Executive Board Member(s) will
oversee the Webmaster.
ARTICLE IX—ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
A Nominating Committee will be appointed by the President from the General Membership
List before the June General Membership Meeting of an election year. The Nominating
Committee will announce a slate of candidates during the October General Membership
Meeting. The election of new officers will be by secret written ballot. The ballot will be sent
via email to all eligible members immediately following the October General Membership
Meeting. Ballots must be returned by the November General Membership meeting.
Ballots may be returned electronically 72 hours prior to the November meeting or in person
at the November General Membership Meeting
An Election Committee will be appointed by the President from the General Membership
List. All ballots will be counted by the Election Committee during the November General
Membership Meeting and the new Officers announced. Officers will serve from January
through December. All outgoing elected and/or appointed officers shall turn over all files,
office equipment and materials pertaining to his/her duties to either his/her successor or to
another member of the Executive Board no later than four weeks after leaving office.
ARTICLE X—CONDUCT OF BUSINESS AND VOTING
The Executive Board will meet to discuss and decide the issues affecting the Club and
present the results to the General Membership. The Club President, or a duly elected
Officer in order of decent, will preside over all Business Meetings. All business will be
conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order (modified) and these Bylaws.
The Executive Board shall prepare and present an annual Budget for the Club to the
General Membership for approval by a majority vote at the April General Meeting each
year. The Executive Board may authorize expenditures from the Club funds up to the
amount of $1,000 over and above the Budget without the approval of the general
membership, The general membership must approve the request for expenditures over
$1,000 by a majority vote at a regularly scheduled Club Membership Meeting.
Any General Member recognized by the Club President or Presiding Officer may bring
forth business before the club. All issues requiring a vote will be presented in motion form
and be seconded. The Club President or Presiding Officer may ask for discussion before
calling a vote.
Successful passage of all motions or actions requires a simple majority vote of the
General Membership present at a regularly scheduled Membership Meeting. Only Primary
Members may vote at the General Meetings. The only exception to this rule is Out Going
Donations exceeding $1000.00.
ARTICLE XI—SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
Any group of members may apply to the Executive Board for recognition as a Special
Interest Group (SIG). Prior to approval by the Board, a SIG must make its special interests
clear (mission statement) to the Club General Membership. In addition, A SIG shall
present to the Executive Board prior to approval, a Budget for the remainder of the current
year. A SIG shall present to the Executive Board an annual Budget each January outlining
and requesting expected expenditures for the then current year. The Executive Board may
or may not choose to fund the annual expenditures in whole or in part
ARTICLE XII—CHANGES TO THE BYLAWS
These bylaws shall be reviewed at least every two (2) years by a Committee of General
Members as appointed by the Executive Board.
Any amendments, changes or alterations to these Bylaws shall be drafted by a
Committee. The committee shall present those amendments, changes or alterations to the
Executive Board for review. After review by the Executive Board, the proposed changes, if
any, will be presented to the General Membership for consideration. All changes must be
approved by a Majority Vote by Ballot of the eligible Voting Members. Ballots will be sent
electronically to all eligible members. Eligible members will have 2 weeks to respond. All
Bylaw changes must be approved by a 2/3 Majority Vote by Ballot of the eligible Voting
Normally, the approved changes to the Bylaws will take effect on January 1st or at the
discretion of the Executive Board.
A DONATION is any gift of money or article(s) GIVEN TO ABTO or the CLUB or GIVEN
BY ABTO or the CLUB to another organization or entity.
1/ All requests for donations must be submitted in writing to the Executive Board by the
organization or entity stating a specific need or purpose for the donations.
2/ Requests for donations can be accepted by any ABTO member from another person,
business or organization as outlined. The requesting person shall represent an IRS
501(c)3 Organization or other IRS recognized non-profit or charitable Group.
3/ The Executive Board will investigate the request and decide if it needs to be
forwarded to the General Membership for approval.
4/ Upon presentation to General Membership at a regularly scheduled Club Membership
Meeting, the request for the Donation will be opened to discussion. At the end of the
discussion, the General Membership must approve or disapprove the Donation. Donations
up to $1000 can be approved by majority vote at a regularly scheduled Club Membership
Meeting. Donations exceeding $1000 must be approved by 2/3 majority of all eligible
members via an electronic vote.
5/ After the donation is approved, the Treasurer will disperse the funds and complete
the necessary documentation of the donation.
3/ On large donations the Executive Board should be consulted to determine if additional
1/ Any ABTO member can accept a donation from another person, business or
organization as outlined below.
2/ The donation must be G SCALE or Garden Railroad related and scale.
storage space needs to be rented.
4/ A donation slip will be provided to the donor at the time donation is acquired. On
larger donations, a list of the donated items will be provided to the donor.
5/ Under no circumstances will the CLUB provide the donor a statement of value for theirDonation. According to IRS regulations, establishing a dollar value for donated items is
the exclusive responsibility of the donor.
6/ Under no circumstances will ABTO allow the donor to establish any “conditions of use”
for donated items. The CLUB retains exclusive right to the use and/or the disposal of all
An EVENT is any Arizona Big Train Operators, ABTO or CLUB sponsored display,
function or open house to which the general public is invited to attend and participate.
Any person participating in or hosting any event, must be a Club member of good
standing whose dues and all fees have been paid for the calendar year in which the event
occurs. Fees include all donations received from all previous events. Any MEMBER may
open their private layouts and displays to the public and use the CLUB name as the
sponsoring body. The CLUB will provide signage for the event.
Any donations received by a hosting club member, must be sent to the CLUB Treasurer in
a timely manner after the conclusion of the event. All expenses associated with a
MEMBER’S OPEN HOUSE shall accompany donations and the member will be
reimbursed for the expenditures after approval of the Executive Board. MEMBER’S
should strive to make their layout accessible to all visitors. Plus members should take the
necessary precautions against any liability toward themselves and ABTO.