May 22, 2014
Rye Civic League (RCL) Statement of Purpose and Actions
1. RCL was founded in 1968 by Frances Holway, Joan La France and Marjorie Miller. It was disbanded in 1992 and was re-established in 2009.
2. RCL is a non- partisan, voluntary, non- profit 501 (c) (3) membership organization with a board of nine members, an annual meeting and dues.
3. RCL’s mission is to educate and motivate Rye residents to act as informed citizens and, when motivated, to speak out on town issues and take positions on those issues as informed citizens. When RCL board member, members or those who receive the Civic News speak out they are always doing so as individuals and never as representatives of the RCL.
4. RCL official positions and actions must be voted on by the RCL Board. Because of RCL’s 501 c 3 non- partisan status, the Board does not vote on positions relating to Rye town issues. RCL members, independent of the organization, are free to speak out on town issues and at town board meetings. By such actions they are being loyal to the mission of RCL. Their partisan positions do not compromise the Rye Civic League because the board and its other members have not and will not officially endorse specific positions.
All Rye residents have a right and an obligation to speak out on any issue in town regardless of their affiliation with any town organization. Such actions are in keeping with the mission statement of RCL and the principle of an open democratic society. The questioning of authority and the status quot is a defining American characteristic.
Rye residents have always expressed their positions before town government boards without benefit of a Civic League, whether individually or through issue based groups such as the recent “Save Rye Harbor” group and the “Rye Concerned Citizens” against the proposed Wallis Sands beach club, as well as the ad hoc “Concerned Citizens of Rye” group which was active at the turn of the century.
5. RCL researches, writes, edits and publishes information about Rye Town Government and town issues in the free, monthly, non-partisan newsletter: “Rye Civic News.” This E-publication provides objective information on town government, issues in Rye, a citizens opinion section and general announcements. The Civic News welcomes submission of material on any Rye issue in order to provide a balanced view for readers.
6. RCL holds a monthly meeting open to readers of the Civic News and other members of the public where RCL operations, tasks and activities are discussed; the meeting is followed by an open forum discussion on any topics that attendees wish to discuss. This monthly gathering is an RCL public service to :Civic News subscribers and others who know of the meeting to discuss and air concerns about issues in Rye. The RLC meeting and the Open forum discussion is open to all.
7. RCL maintains its website (www.ryecivicleague.org) where people may subscribe to The “Rye Civic News” and read in more depth about town government and issues facing the town as well as see links to videos of town boards in action. Through the Civic News, RCL aims to provide factual information that goes well beyond other newsletters and official documents or, if available, are not accessible in convenient form.
8. RCL created updates and maintains on its web site and in hard copy form, the “Rye Citizen’s Handbook: How the Town of Rye, NH Works; Its Boards, Commissions, Committees and Departments,” so citizens may easily access information about town government.
9. RCL hosts public information meetings on town budget and other workings of local government, candidates forums and public forums on other relevant topics.
10. RCL paid members meet at their annual meeting in June to vote on changes to the bylaws, vote on nominees for a new Board, renew the annual $12 membership dues and vote on any other RCL issues which the Board offers for consideration or which emerge from the members