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Bylaws for the Advisory Council

The name of the organization shall be the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services Advisory Council (hereafter, Advisory Council).

The purpose of the Advisory Council shall be to assist the County Executive, County Commissioners, Director of the Department of Human Services and Executive Director of the Office of Aging and Adult Services in the following areas:

-To advocate for meeting the continuing needs of the aging and adult (18-59 yrs.) population of Lehigh County;

-To assess and evaluate unmet needs;

-To assist in formulating program policy and services to citizens 18 years of age and older; and

-To monitor existing services to ensure that they successfully meet the needs of the aging and adult population of Lehigh County.

In pursing this purpose, the council shall strive to meet the following goals:

A. To ensure that recipients of services, the general public and other concerned parties, have a significant voice in determining the content and operational methods set forth in the formation of the Annual County Services Plan and the Department of Aging Four-Year Plan;

B. To promote better public understanding of the programs and objectives of the Office of Aging and Adult Services;

C. To share with the Executive Director problems relating to program goals and objectives in an effort to work toward problem resolution;

D. To help formulate policies for the advancement and improvement of operations of the Office of Aging and Adult Services; and

E. To cooperate with other agencies in the community and with appropriate State agencies in coordinating County program efforts with related programs.

The office of the advisory council shall be the Offices of the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services.

A.  The Advisory Council shall consist of a minimum of 15 members.

B. The total council membership should be an odd number.

C. At least fifty-one (51) percent of the council members shall be at least sixty (60) years of age.

D. The members of the Advisory Council shall be broadly representative of the demographics of the people served by Aging and Adult Services.

E. The County Executive or his/her designee, the Director of the Department of Human Services and the Executive Director of the Office of Aging and Adult Services shall be ex-officio members of the Advisory Council.  Additional ex-officio membership may be added at the discretion of the Advisory Council.

F. The term of membership on the Advisory Council is four (4) years.  Members may be re-appointed for one additional four-year term.

G. In no instance shall an Advisory Council member serve for more than eight (8) consecutive years. Upon completion of a Council member's second term which consists of (8) consecutive years, said member may continue as an honorary member, taking part in all phases of the Council membership, with the exception of voting. 

H. Terms of membership should be staggered in length to ensure not more than a thirty-five (35) percent turnover annually.

I. The County Executive shall, subject to confirmation by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the Board of Commissioners in office, appoint candidates to the Advisory Council.

J. Any person employed by the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services will not be considered for membership on the Advisory Council until a minimum of five years of separation of employment has expired. The separation of employment must be in good standing.

K. To avoid a conflict of interest, a Council member must absent himself/herself from all deliberations concerning programs or funding for projects with which his/her organization is directly involved. Any voting member of the Council who is directly involved with the development and/or implementation of a proposal or contract to be funded by the Office of Aging and Adult Services will declare a potential conflict of interest at each Council meeting when the proposal or contract is discussed. This declaration will be recorded in the minutes and will include refraining from voting on matters pertaining to the proposal or contract. If the conflict of interest presents itself to be ongoing, consideration will be given for removal from the Advisory Council.

L.  Excluded from consideration as an Advisory Council member shall be:

(1) members of the Board of Directors or the Advisory Committee and employees of agencies under contract to the Office of Aging and Adult Services. Such persons may serve as members of a technical advisory committee or other special committees, but may not serve as voting members of the Advisory Council;

(2) political party officials;

(3) holders of a County elective office;

(4) personnel employed by County government;

(5) management level employees of townships, boroughs, municipalities and state or federal government; and

(6) spouses and immediate family members of all of the above.

M.  All Council members shall make themselves available to serve on at least one standing Committee of the Council.

A. The re-organizational meeting of the Advisory Council should be the meeting in January of each year.

B. Meetings shall be held at such times and places as the council shall decide.

C. The Advisory Council shall meet a minimum of four (4) times per year.

D. Special meetings may be called by the Council Chairperson and committee chairpersons at such times as are found necessary.

E. Written notice of regular meetings will be provided to all Advisory Council members.  For special meetings, notification shall be given not less than five (5) days before the date of the special meeting.  The notice of a special meeting shall include the purpose of the meeting.

F. Members of the Advisory Council, who miss four (4) regular meetings within a calendar year and whose absences are unexcused, shall receive written notice of their removal from the Advisory Council.  Two unexcused absences within a calendar year will result in a warning letter being issued.

The order of business for regular meetings may be as follows:

A. Call to Order
B. Approval of Minutes
C. Correspondence
D. Executive Director's Report
E. Chairperson's Report
F. Standing Committee Reports
G. Old Business
H. New Business
I. Open Session
J. Adjournment


The order of business at any meeting may be altered at the discretion of the Chairman or presiding officer.

The officers of the Advisory Council shall be a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson.  A Secretary and a Treasurer may be elected as the need arises.  Officers shall be elected by the Advisory Council at the annual reorganizational meeting and shall hold office for two (2) years, or until their successors are elected.  Officers shall not be able to serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.  Such officers shall be Council members in good standing. 

The Chairman of the Advisory Council shall establish such committees as may be necessary to expedite functions of the Council and shall appoint the chairperson of such committees.  The following standing committees shall report at each meeting of the council and have the following functions:

Executive Committee -  This committee will consist of the Executive Director of the Office of Aging and Adult Services, the Advisory Council chairperson, the Advisory Council Vice-Chairperson, and the chairperson of each of the three standing committees. If any of these positions is determined by the Executive Director to pose a conflict because of the service provision provided by the chairperson's organization, they will be exempt from these meetings. The Committee will meet as needed and determined by the Executive Director.


- Areas of concentration are personnel (including nomination of Council officers), administrative policy, annual bylaw review and revision, fiscal budget, contract management, researching legislative issues, advocacy, and inter-relations with the PA Department of Aging and the Department of Human Services.

- Review advisory council bylaws on annual basis and recommend any necessary changes.

Services in the Community-

- Become familiar with the various programs and services available through the Office of Aging and Adult Services. 

- Meet with the Supervisor of Senior Centers to help to promote the local neighborhood senior centers throughout the County. 

- Assist with annual Unsung Hero event during  Older Americans Month.

- Assist Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services staff at community and health fairs by helping at the tables and sharing information.

Resource Development and Strategic Planning-

- Assist with Aging and Adult Services 4-year planning process and the annual updates required by the PA Department of Aging;

- Promote volunteer opportunities within the Agency and assist with recruitment of volunteers within PA MEDI  and the Advisory Council;

- Partner with Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services staff  to develop and present programs and resources for older adults.

The quorum for a meeting of the Advisory Council shall be at least fifty (50) percent of the non-vacant seats on the Council.

After notice to the membership, the members of the Advisory Council must, by a 2/3 vote of the members present, amend or revoke these Bylaws at any regular or special meeting duly convened.