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Guidelines for the Section Secretary and Treasurer

In some Sections these are two separate offices, and in others they are combined. In any case, these are two very important roles in the Section, as they involve communication both within the Section and between the Section and the larger Association. Candidates for these offices should understand the crucial role and duties involved before they agree to stand for election. Because the position is so important, the term of office for Secretary or Treasurer should be at least three years with an option for re-election.

The Secretary

The Secretary is responsible for all communication between the Section and the MAA headquarters office, for facilitating communication between the Section officers, and for communication between Section officers and the membership of the Section.

Communication between the Section and the MAA

The secretary is responsible for: 

Communication among the Section officers

The Secretary is responsible for:

  • coordinating communication among Section officers throughout the year via a list-serve or other means

  • making sure the Section’s executive committee meets at least once per year, and that all officers have a chance to contribute to the agenda for this meeting

  • arranging for  minutes of the meeting to be taken and distributed afterwards

  • ensuring that all Section officers and committee chairs, especially those in their first year of service, know their duties and deadlines.

Communication between the Section’s Executive Committee and the membership

Finally, the secretary is responsible for coordinating communication between the Section’s executive committee and the membership of the Section, especially regarding Section meetings, but also about elections, nominations for section awards, proposed bylaw changes, and other section business.

The secretary should make sure that:

  • Section meetings are well advertised

  • In particular, the date and location of each Section meeting is announced to the membership at least three months before the meeting

  • The meeting schedule is announced at least three weeks before the meeting.

A Section website hosted by MAA and a Section newsletter published once or twice per year are highly recommended for publication of upcoming meetings and other Section activities and business; these duties may be assigned to other officers of the Section. If the Section has a tradition of communication with its membership by regular mail, then the Secretary must be able to produce such mailings or ensure that they are produced.

The Treasurer

The Treasurer of the Section receives all monies paid to the Section, deposits such monies into the Section's established bank account, and pays all bills of the Section out of the same bank account. The Treasurer keeps all accounts and financial records of the Section, and submits an annual financial report to the national office on or before January 31. In many Sections, the Treasurer is also the book sale representative for the Section and is responsible for the sale of books at each of the section meetings.

The treasurer need not be a financial whiz, but he/she should be comfortable with handling money. For instance, handling the finances of one’s local PTA, homeowner’s association, or animal shelter would be a valuable experience for a section treasurer, giving him/her the kind of “financial savvy” that is helpful for this office. The treasurer should be comfortable with financial paperwork (such as setting up a bank account) which can be difficult to interpret. For legal reasons, the section treasurer should not set up a personal bank account in his/her name to do the section's business. Sections are also increasingly being called upon to deal with issues of insurance at section meetings.

It is the treasurer's responsibility to keep important documents pertaining to the section, i.e., tax identification number, sales tax certificate, insurance certificate, bank statements, IRS correspondence and notices. These section documents should be kept safe and provided to the next elected treasurer. The treasurer need not do all of this alone. For additional help or financial advice, please email any time. Sections are encouraged to ask about any legal or financial issue that is not immediately apparent.

As non-profit organizations, Sections must meet especially high standards of transparency, accountability, timeliness, and accuracy. The treasurer must of course place loyalty to the Section above his or her own personal gain.

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