FORT MYERS VILLAS EDUCATIONAL, LITERARY AND CHARITABLE INSTITUTION, INC.
MEMBER CODE OF CONDUCT
Those who are eligible to and accept membership in the Fort Myers Villas Educational, Literary and Charitable Institution, Inc. (the “Corporation”) through the payment of annual membership fees are expected to understand the rights and responsibilities of the Corporation and the purposes for which it was created. One such stated purpose was to unite the residents of the Fort Myers Villas, encouraging them to work together for the betterment of the Fort Myers Villas and its environs, while lessening neighborhood tensions and combating community deterioration. This Member Code of Conduct was adopted by the Corporation’s Board of Directors on November 14, 2019 so as to further outline the rights and responsibilities of each Corporation member so as to best fulfill this purpose.
The Corporation’s Board of Directors welcomes and encourages the presence of members at the membership meetings held on the third Thursday of each month. However, it is essential for the efficient transaction of Corporation business at these meetings that all the members of the Corporation conduct themselves in a businesslike, ethical, and appropriate manner that serves the best interests of the Corporation as a whole.
Only members (defined as those who are entitled to membership pursuant to the Corporation’s governing documents, have not had their membership suspended or revoked, and are current in the payment of their Corporation dues) may attend membership meetings.
Members must maintain decorum, sit quietly, and refrain from speaking until recognized by the meeting chair. During officer reports, members are to hold all questions until the reports are finished, then raise their hands and wait to be recognized.
Members must not interrupt anyone who validly (as determined by the chair) has the floor, or otherwise disrupt the meeting.
When speaking, members must abide by time limits set by meeting chair for comment.
Members must refrain from engaging in personal oral and physical attacks on either Board members, fellow Corporation members and/or anyone else present in the room.
Members must confine their comments to things relevant to the agenda item being discussed.
Members may not speak for a second time until everyone who wants to speak has been given a chance to speak once and then as time allows.
Members may not speak more than twice on any one issue, subject to the discretion of the meeting chair.
Members must at all times behave with common courtesy and civility, and refrain from the use of abusive, rude, threatening, or crude language.
Members who fail to observe the requirements relative to meeting participation may be subject to parliamentary procedures intended to preserve order, including but not limited to:
Adjournment of the meeting.
Ejection from the meeting.
Suspension or termination of membership, subject to the procedure set forth below.
Conduct Outside of Meetings
The manner in which information regarding the Corporation is shared with the public at large, even when done with no ill will, can have the unintended effect of harming the Corporation’s reputation in the community. As a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, the Corporation relies on the generosity of the community and, as such, its reputation is of utmost importance. To that end, while the Corporation’s Board of Directors cannot police behavior of members when out in the community, it is imperative that those who hold themselves out as members do so with the highest regard for the Corporation and their fellow members, promoting the goals and interests of the Corporation in a constructive manner, rather than create unnecessary conflict.
The President or his/her appointed designee is the only individual authorized to speak on behalf of the Corporation. Only the President or his/her appointed designee is vested with any authority to direct a member, contractor, or agent of the Corporation. A member does not have any authority to act for the Corporation by reason of being a member, regardless of whether said member previously served as an Officer or Director of the Corporation.
Members should direct questions, concerns, and suggestions regarding the Corporation to the Board of Directors in person at the monthly membership meeting, by Facebook at the Corporation’s Facebook page (@fortmyersvillas), or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members must not relay this information to the Corporation Officers or Board members by visiting them at their private homes.
Members must at all times behave with common courtesy and civility, and refrain from the use of abusive, rude, threatening, or crude language and harassing behavior.
No member shall engage in any writing, publishing, or speech making that defames the Corporation, any Corporation Officer or Board member, and/or fellow Corporation members.
No member shall misrepresent facts relative to the Corporation, any Corporation Officer or Board member, and/or fellow Corporation members for any reason, including but not limited to advancing a personal cause or discrediting action taken by or on behalf of the Corporation.
Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, when posting on social media, regardless of whether the social media page is owned and/or operated by the Corporation, Members must refrain from posting personal attacks against the Corporation, any Corporation Officer or Board member, fellow Corporation members and/or anyone participating in an online discussion relative to the Corporation.
Use of Corporation Property
Title to the property located at 2316 Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida, together with the improvements located thereon (the “Corporation Property”), was conveyed by J. Foster Pate Associates, Inc. to the Corporation by warranty deed dated June 29, 1961 and recorded on June 30, 1961 in Official Records Book 73, Page 266 of the Public Records of Lee County, Florida. The warranty deed did not convey an ownership interest in the Corporation Property to any individual. As the body elected to act on behalf of the Corporation, the Board of Directors is authorized to adopt rules and regulations governing use of the Corporation Property. Corporation members' use of the Corporation Property is subject to these rules and regulations.
The Corporation Property, except for the Community Center building, is open to the public between sunrise and sunset. Access to all Corporation Property is prohibited between sunset and sunrise unless authorized by the Board of Directors.
Members may rent the Community Center building for private events, subject to separate use restrictions and a fee schedule adopted by the Board of Directors.
No one, including Corporation members, may enter, or attempt to gain entry, to the Community Center building when it is being used for a private event without prior approval from the Board of Directors.
Pursuant to Section 617.0607(1), Florida Statutes, a member of the Corporation may be expelled or suspended, and the membership in the Corporation terminated or suspended, except pursuant to a procedure that is fair and reasonable and is carried out in good faith. Violations of this Member Code of Conduct, as determined in the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension or termination of membership. The following shall serve as the procedure required by statute.
Before the Board of Directors may suspend or terminate a membership, the member whose membership is at issue must be given the opportunity to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors.
At that meeting, the Board will present the information it has to support the suspension or termination and the member will then be given the opportunity to present his or her case.
Once both the Board and the member have presented their cases, the member will be excused, and the Board will vote on whether to suspend or terminate the member. The decision of the Board will be final.