Early in 2016, club President Stephen Leblanc formed a committee to have a fresh look at our club's Constitution and By-Laws. The committee’s goal was to make improvements everywhere possible. In a year of effort, the committee members invested a lot of time, both individually and meeting together, in the spirit of producing the best, most lasting work possible on behalf of our club. Since then, our club’s board has had a chance to weigh in, as has the board of the Great Dane Club of America (our parent club). Next, it is the turn of our General and Lifetime members in good standing to have their say.

The proposed, revised Constitution and By-Laws (single document) were emailed to all club members, including those who may be eligible to vote, on Sunday, September 3, 2017. They won’t be made public unless eligible members vote to adopt them. The vote on the motion to adopt the proposed, revised Constitution and By-Laws is scheduled for October 10, 2017.

Some things readers may notice in the proposed, revised By-Laws document:

  • It considers Arizona residents, no matter where in Arizona, to be General members, with the related voting privileges. After all, we are the Great Dane Club of Arizona, so the change makes sense. If the new By-Laws are not ratified, only members residing within Maricopa County would be able to vote, because that is the requirement of the existing By-Laws.
  • It refines meeting attendance requirements, relaxing them in the case of most members. Those seeking or holding positions of responsibility within the club would be expected to meet more stringent meeting attendance requirements.
  • It places a cap on increases in membership dues.
  • It contains innovative provisions reflecting the digital age in which we live. It now provides for the possibility of teleconferencing, online polling, and certain other digital-friendly policies. As far as we know, the digital provisions are the first of their kind. We have seen nothing like them in other By-Laws so far.
  • It has section numbers that do not match exactly with the existing By-Laws, because the new document has more sections in some cases and fewer sections in others, and the overall order of the sections was sometimes changed also.
  • It reflects other improvements of varying magnitude in nearly all sections, compared to the existing Existing By-Laws.


When will the vote occur?

October 10, 2017


When would the new By-Laws become effective, if passed by the members?

October 11, 2017


How were the rules for the vote determined?

The Existing By-Laws govern the process. One effect of the rules governing the vote is that you must physically attend the vote to cast your vote on this motion, because the existing By-Laws do not provide for collecting official votes any other way.


Who can vote?

General members and Lifetime members in good standing.


Who cannot vote?

Honorary members, Non-Resident members, Junior members, members not in good standing, non-members.


Why did our club’s board send these amended By-Laws to GDCA for their approval?

GDCA is our parent club and they informed us they must have a chance to review proposed, revised By-Laws before affiliate club members are asked to accept them. Our board supports the GDCA review process as a safeguard for GDCA, for our club, and for our members. We presented the proposed, revised By-Laws to GDCA with full confidence that the new document keeps the best long-term interests of the club in mind and likely will serve us very well for years to come. The GDCA board passed a motion allowing us to present the new By-Laws to our members for their acceptance.


What did GDCA have to say about this?

Over the summer, a committee of the Great Dane Club of America (our parent club), reviewed the proposed, revised By-Laws and approved them without suggesting any changes. The committee recommended that the GDCA board approve the new document, which they did (see GDCA Quarterly Bulletin, 3rd Quarter 2017). This indicates that everything looks fine from their perspective.


What if I didn’t receive a copy?

Send email to gdcaz2017pres@outlook.com to request a copy of the proposed, revised By-Laws. If you are a member eligible to vote and if you send your email from the email address the club has on file for you, you will receive another copy.

Copyright Great Dane Club of Arizona, Inc., all rights reserved.  Webmaster Jill Swedlow