At a special meeting earlier this month, the Chestnut Hill Community Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve a set of new bylaws for both itself and the Chestnut Hill Local, which is wholly owned by the association. The change is necessary for the CHCA to legally separate from the newspaper and become a 501(c)(3). The outcome of which will be determined at an October 22 meeting when the CHCA membership votes to make the final decision.

While the CHCA has, for all of its existence, functioned in most ways like a 501(c)(3), it has not been eligible to receive the financial support that most nonprofits are qualified to receive. The organizational shift will qualify the CHCA for tax-deductible donations and grants, allow it to raise funds, and exempt it from certain federal income taxes. The bylaw change, for all intents and purposes, is driven by the requirement that the CHCA and the Local must be two distinct entities.

As such, the two organizations will operate under a new set of bylaws and each will have its own board of directors. The Local’s board, according to language in its new bylaws, can be no less than five and no more than nine individuals.

The Local will have its own set of officers – a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. All Local board directors must be CHCA members, although they may not be officers of the CHCA board.

Furthermore, the Local’s directors, who will serve three-year terms, can be appointed by a simple majority vote from the CHCA Board of Directors or removed by a two-thirds vote. The Local’s Nominating Committee will nominate the Local’s officers, who will be elected at the Local’s Annual Organizational Meeting in May. No more than one-third of the Local’s board can be composed of CHCA board members.

Additionally, to retain some level of control over the Local, the CHCA will act as the sole member and parent corporation of the Local, a position that enables the CHCA’s board to retain powers on key points. For example, the Local must present two budgetary reports a year to the CHCA, as well as provide monthly financial statements or other reports as requested. The CHCA will also have final approval over the Local’s annual budget, bylaw amendments, and manager employment.

Even though the CHCA will have financial oversight in regards to the Local, the Local will retain editorial independence with the editor in charge of editorial content. The associate publisher will be in charge of the administrative and financial aspects of the Local and will report to the Local’s board.

Full text of both the CHCA and the Local’s bylaw changes can be seen below, as well as links to other information from the CHCA.