ByLaws of Jacksonville Tamil Mandram

  • Definitions
  • (a) All defined terms contained herein will be in the articles of incorporation of the association. It shall have the same meanings as such defined in the articles.

    (b) Jacksonville Tamil Mandram Inc. (Association) will be organized by residents of Northeast Florida and adjoining areas.

  • Location of Principal Office
  • The office of the Jacksonville Tamil Mandram Inc. shall be at 14326 Woodfield Circle South, Jacksonville, FL -32258, or at such other place as may be established by resolution of the Board of Directors of the Association from time to time.

  • Mission
  • The purpose of this association is to promote interaction of Tamil community, to uphold its values and culture and to promote the awareness of the breadth, the depth and the richness of the various literatures in Tamil.

  • Membership
  • (a) Any resident of Northeast Florida, who can speak or read or write or has an ethnic background related to the language of Tamil or any interest in the language of Tamil, or Tamil culture shall be eligible to become a member of this organization.

    (b) Any eligible resident paying the appropriate membership dues and complies with the organization's rules and regulations, shall become a member.

    (c) All enrolled members will have the right to vote and eligible to become a board member. A Family shall have maximum of two votes one each for a primary member.

    (d) The governing board may expel any member violating the code of conduct of this organization.

    (e) The membership dues can be changed by a general body resolution but will always have at least two annual rate plans – one for Family members and one for singles.

  • Governing Body - Board of Directors
  • (a) The governing body shall consist of President, Vice - President, Secretary, Treasurer, Joint Secretary and two members. The Convener(s) of the various sub committees shall be non - voting members of the Governing Body. The Governing Body will be called as the Board of Directors.

    (b) Members of the board will either be nominated without opposition in the annual general body meeting to be held in the month of September, or if more than one individual is nominated, then the Board member shall be elected by general election.

    (c) Absolute majority by voting in a general body meeting shall elect an office bearer. The members present during the election process shall decide absolute majority.

    (d) Elected officials shall serve in their position for duration of one year from January to December of the calendar year and can be reelected for an additional term. The absolute voting majority in a general body meeting may expel any governing official violating the code of conduct of this organization.

    (e) The Board shall present a budget to the general body for its approval.

  • General Body Meeting
  • (a) The general body of the Tamil Mandram shall meet at least once a year in Jacksonville. The admission to such a meeting shall be free.

    (b) A quorum of 50% of all enrolled members (excluding proxies) needs to be present to conduct an extraordinary general body meeting set to amend the constitution of the Tamil Mandram or to displace the Board of Directors.

    (c) All eligible members can authorize other members or general counsel to vote on their behalf on simple resolutions. Notice for such proxy voting should be given to the President or a designated member of the Board, 48 hours before the meeting. However proxy voting will not be allowed in elections, disciplinary actions and extraordinary general body meetings.

    (d) All resolutions to be passed in a general body meeting have to be presented to the Board of Directors for consideration and prior approval before presenting to the General Body.

  • Activities
  • (a) The members shall engage in all types of tamil related cultural and educational activities (both popular and classical).

    (b) The members shall in the name of Jacksonville Tamil Mandram, further tamil education among the children of the members and among the general public.

    (c) The Jacksonville Tamil Mandram shall not endorse any religion or religious promotional activities.

    (d) The Jacksonville Tamil Mandram will attempt to participate in all events organized by all national Tamil associations in Canada and US without prejudice. The initial membership to join those associations has to be approved in a GBM. With the majority approval of the Executive committee JTM can continue to pay the annual membership dues for those national Tamil associations. Note: This was amended after the GBM on Feb 22 2015.

    (e) The Jacksonville Tamil Mandram shall not align with or lend support to US political parties or any political campaigns.

    (f) The Jacksonville Tamil Mandram shall not align with or lend support to any Indian political / religious group or such campaigns.

    (g) The Jacksonville Tamil Mandram shall not engage in caste based activities.

  • Tamil Palli/School Activities

(1) JTM Tamil Palli (JTM-TP) was started by JTM to provide Tamil education to children in the community. It will operate as a Sub-committee of JTM. It will provide education to children of members and non-members without any difference in curriculum and fees related to education.

(2) The “School Administrator” will be selected by the teachers and will have to be a member of JTM.If there is a conflict with regards to this appointment, then the JTM EC and teachers will vote to select one person from a list of candidates provided by teachers. If teachers are unable to provide the list of candidates to consider then JTM EC will nominate the School Administrator.

  1. School Administrator selection/election process will be performed each year, before school academic year starts and communicated.
  2. The School Administrator will be a sub-committee position and will not have any set term limitation if nominated each year by selection/election process.
  3. The School Administrator will be responsible for running the day-to- day operations of Tamil Palli.

(3) Responsibilities - The School Administrator and Teachers of JTM Tamil Palli will have the following responsibilities:

  1. Teachers will be responsible for educating the children in Tamil Language both spoken and written.
  2. School Administrator will establish the curriculum, schedule, and educational activities by working with the teachers.
  3. School Administrator will have overall responsibility for the weekly classes, and communicating & coordinating with teachers and parents.
  4. School Administrator will also be responsible for reporting to the JTM Executive Committee periodically about activities, and for ensuring that its schedule does not conflict with the key events being organized by JTM. JTM major events such as Pongal Vizha, Kalaivizha, Sports day, and Picnic ,Tamil Palli will observe Holiday. If there is a schedule conflict for key JTM events other than the major events then the School Administrator will alter Tamil Palli’s schedule in consultation with JTM EC.
  5. School Administrator will accommodate as many students as possible without any prejudice regarding their membership status. In order to further Tamil education, the Administrator will put in place a plan to admit students even during midyear as long as kids are interested in learning Tamil and as long as there are slots (space) and teachers available.
  6. School Administrator and JTM EC will be responsible for finding the location for conducting classes. Finding class rooms is a difficult task, therefore, JTM EC will need to play an active role and help in all ways possible to accomplish this task.
  7. Administrator and teachers are responsible for ensuring and preparing the children of Tamil Palli to participate in key events of JTM. They need to perform this function in conjunction with JTM EC.

(4) Communication – School Administrator and JTM EC nominee will administer a yahoo or google group to facilitate communication of information such as schedule, activities, and homework. This group will communicate all the day-to- day activities for all students.

  1. Only information regarding Tamil education should be content that is exchanged in this group. All other content is too banned and avoided unless if it is necessary.
  2. All JTM members and parents should be allowed to participate in this group.
  3. Registration information must be emailed both in this group and also in JTM’s yahoo email group.
  4. The communication has to be sent in such a way that it reaches all the recipients.
  5. Teacher volunteer request for each year to be sent out after end of each school year to encourage new teacher volunteer's enrollment.

(5) Calendar - JTM Tamil Palli schedule will follow the Duval County school calendar. It will be operational when the Duval County schools are open, closed when they are closed. JTM Tamil Palli can organize specialized activities and programs during summer and winter holidays, if it chooses to do so.

(6) Budget - The JTM Executive Committee will allocate a base amount ($1000) towards JTM Tamil Palli of which a minimum amount ($500) will be provided to JTM Tamil Palli as long as it is operational and provides Tamil education. The remaining amount ($500) will be provided as long the School Administrator makes a valid case for it in the budget proposal and the JTM EC approves it. The Administrator has to provide a budget proposal to the JTM EC to get access to these funds.

  1. Although the Tamil Palli will follow the Duval County school calendar for schedule, it will follow the yearly calendar (calendar year) for budgeting purposes.
  2. The JTM EC at its discretion can provide additional funding for valid expenses of Tamil Palli.
  3. Tamil Palli will have the right to seek revision of the base amount and minimum amount through JTM General Body Meeting.
  4. JTM budget should be spent for JTM-TP’s basic needs such as procurement for school related items and graduation day activities only. For all other activities (Ex: Field Trip, Picnic etc. and anything outside of classroom activities) JTM funds cannot be used. Separate fund should be collected to support those events from participating students/parents.
  5. JTM School funds can support non-members who were below poverty line by submitting supporting documents (Ex: out of work or income statement) and the status should be reviewed every year.
  • Subcommitees
  • Subcommittees to arrange cultural activities, education and other essential services to the members shall be formed to encourage wider participation and planning. Conveners of such sub committees formed shall participate in the meetings of the Board.

  • Code of Conduct
  • (a) The Board of Directors can expel any member that violates any of the sub clauses of section 7, from the membership of Jacksonville Tamil Mandram, after due process.

    (b) Any member causing disruptions of the Mandram's activities including the General Body Meeting shall be barred from attending such activities in the future or for a definite period of time as determined by the Board of Directors.

  • Dissolution
  • In the event of dissolution, the Board of Directors will use all of the money remaining for the purchase of Tamil books, Tamil educational material, or Tamil media such as CD / DVD / audio cassettes and donate them to the Jacksonville Public Library System. The Southeast branch is considered as the ideal location.