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of this part there shall be an election of community committee members and alternates for a term of three years, or until such person's successor is elected and qualified, in one of the local administrative areas so that the term of office of the community committee members and alternates within one of the local administrative areas will expire each year.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the eligible voters in a community shall elect every three years a community committee composed of three members and shall elect first and second alternates to serve as acting members of the community committee in the order elected in case of the temporary absence of a member, or to become a member of the community committee in the order elected in case of the resignation, disqualification, removal, or death of a member. An acting member of the community committee shall have the same duties and the same authority as a regular member of such committee. The election shall be conducted by mail ballot in all counties, except that the Deputy Administrator may authorize use of the meeting or polling place method in a specific county where such is deemed justified. Where elections are by mail or by polling place, the county committee shall give advance public notice that nominations may be made by petition. Election shall be by secret ballot and by plurality vote with each eligible voter having the option of writing in the names of candidates. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section and

7.10(c) of this part, the three regular members of the community committee shall be the delegates to the local administrative area and county conventions and the first and second alternates to community committee shall also be, in that order, alternate dele. gates to the local administrative area and county conventions. A person may not serve as delegate if such person has been a member of the county committee for that county during the 90 days preceding the community committee election. Failure to elect the prescribed number of alternates at the regular election shall not invalidate

such election or require a special election to elect additional alternates.

(c) In any county where there is only one local administrative area, the community committee shall be the county committee.

(d) Where there is only one community in the county, one committee person shall be elected to hold office for a term of 3 years, or until such person's successor is elected and qualified, so that the term of office of one committee member will expire in each year. There shall also be elected annually a first alternate and second alternate to serve as acting members in the order elected in case of the temporary absence of a member or to become a member in the order elected in the case of resignation, disqualification, removal, or death of a member of the committee. In the event an alternate fills a permanent vacancy on the committee, such person shall assume the office until the next election or until the replaced committee member's successor is elected and qualified. An acting member shall have the same duties and authority as a regular member.

(e) In any county where there are three local administrative areas, the delegates elected pursuant to $ 7.9 (a) and (b) of this part shall meet in a local administrative area convention held before the close of the same calendar year in which they were elected to elect a county committee member and a first and second alternate. A first and second alternate shall serve as acting members of the committee in the order elected in case of the temporary absence of a member, or to become a member in the order elected in case of the resignation, disqualifica. tion, removal, or death of a member of the county committee. In the event an alternate fills a permanent vacancy on the county committee, such person shall assume the unexpired term of the county committee member who was replaced. An acting member of the county committee shall have the same duties and authority as a member. The Deputy Administrator may fix the exact convention date. Each delegate shall be entitled to only one vote on any ballot, and there shall. be no voting by proxy. A majority of the del.

egates so elected and qualified to vote at the time of the convention shall constitute a quorum. Such convention shall be held to the extent practicable in the manner set forth in $ 7.10 of this part and in accordance with instructions issued by the Deputy Administrator. (52 FR 48512, Dec. 23, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 23749, June 24, 1988)

ployee of the county committee, or the county agricultural extension agent for the county. If the county agricultural extension agent is not selected as secretary to the county committee, that person shall be an ex officio member of the county committee but shall not have the power to vote.

(52 FR 48512, Dec. 23, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 23750, June 24, 1988)

$ 7.10 Conduct of county convention.

(a) The county committee serving at the time shall be responsible for designating the place at which the county convention will be held and for the conduct of the convention in accordance with instructions issued by the Deputy Administrator.

(b) The delegates to the county convention shall determine which county committee members shall be the county committee chairperson and county committee vice-chairperson.

(c) Each local administrative area shall have the same number of delegates at the county convention. If a portion of the delegates from a local administrative area are precluded from attending the county convention as the result of the limitation imposed by the preceding sentence, the delegates from such local administrative area shall elect those delegates who shall attend the county convention.

(d) County conventions shall not be associated with or held in conjunction with any other election or referendum conducted for any other purpose.

(e) The county committee shall give advance public notice of the county convention which shall be open to the public.

(f) The county executive director shall notify in writing all newly elected county committee members, alternates, and county committee members with unexpired terms of the election results.

87.12 Tie votes.

(a) Tie votes in community committee elections held by mail or polling place method shall be settled by lot. Tie votes in such elections held by the meeting method which cannot be settled by further balloting on the same day shall be settled by lot. In counties with one local administrative area, a tie vote in determining the chairperson and vice chairperson of the county committee which cannot be settled by further balloting on the same day shall be settled by lot.

(b) In the county or local administrative area convention, tie votes which cannot be settled by further balloting on the same day shall be settled by lot.

8 7.13 Vacancies.

(a) In case of a vacancy in the office of chairperson of county or community committee, the respective vice chairperson shall become chairperson; in case of a vacancy in the office of vice chairperson, the respective third member shall become vice chairperson; in case of a vacancy in the office of the third member, the respective first alternate shall become the third member; and in case of a vacancy in the office of the first alternate, the respective second alternate shall become the first alternate. When unanimously recommended by the three members of the county committee, as constituted under this paragraph nd paragraph (c) of this section, and approved by the State committee, the offices of chairperson and vice chairperson of the county committee may be filled from such membership without regard to the order of succession prescribed in this paragraph or the action of the delegates to the county convention.

8 7.11 County committee members.

(a) County committee members elected in accordance with $ 7.9 of this part shall hold office for a term of three years or until a successor is elected and qualified.

(b) The county committee shall select a secretary who shall be the county executive director, other em

(b) In case of a vacancy in the panel of delegates to the local administrative area or county convention, the respective community committee alternates shall act as delegates.

(c) In the event that a vacancy, other than one caused by temporary absence, occurs in the membership of the county committee and no alternate is available to fill the vacancy, the State committee shall call a meeting of the delegates of the appropriate community committees to elect persons to fill such vacancies as exist in the membership of the county committee and in the panel of alternates, except as provided in $ 7.28 of this part.

(d) In the event that a vacancy, other than one caused by temporary absence, occurs in the membership of the community committee and no alternate is available to fill the vacany, a special election shall be held to fill such vacancies as exist in the membership and in the panel of alternates.

$ 7.14 Appeals.

(a) Any eligible voter in the county may appeal to the county committee in writing or in person, or both:

(1) The eligibility or ineligibility of a person to vote,

(2) The eligibility of a person to hold office, and

(3) The validity of the community committee elections. Such appeal must be made within 15 days of the election date, except that appeals on a determination of eligibility of a person nominated by petition must be made within 7 days of the date of notification of ineligibility.

(b) Any eligible voter in the county may appeal to the State committee in writing, in person, or both:

(1) A county committee decision on an election appeal. An appeal of a county committee decision must be made within 15 days of the notification of the decision, and

(2) The validity of a county convention. An appeal on the validity of a county convention must be made within 15 days of the county convention.

$ 7.15 Eligibility requirements of county

committee members, community com

mittee members, and delegates. (a) To be eligible to hold office as a county committee member, comrnuni. ty committee member, a delegate, or an alternate to any such office, a person must meet the conditions set forth in this section.

(b) Such person must:

(1) Be eligible to vote in the local administrative area in which the election is held if proposed for county committee member or alternate, or in the community in which the election is held if proposed for community committee member or alternate;

(2)(i) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, be residing in the local administrative area in which the election is held if proposed for county committee member or alternate, or be residing in the community in which the election is held if proposed for community committee member or alternate.

(ii) In cases where a State line, a county line, a local administrative area boundary, or a community boundary runs through a farm, eligible persons residing on such farm may hold office in the county or community in which the farm has been determined to be located for program participation purposes. In cases where a candidate has no farming interests in the local administrative area or community in which the person resides or only a token amount, as determined by the State committee, an eligible person may hold office when such person resides in the county and has farming interests in the local administrative area or community in which the person is a candidate.

(3) Not be ineligible under $ 7.27 of this part.

(4) Not have been dishonorably discharged from any branch of the armed services; removed for cause from any public office; convicted of any fraud, larceny, embezzlement, or felony, unless any such disqualification is waived by the State committee or the Deputy Administrator;

(5) Not have been removed as a county committee member, communi. ty committee member, delegate, altertion remaining in the term of office; and

(11) If the office is that of county committee member, not have served three consecutive terms as county committee member just prior to the current election; however, any partial term served by an alternate who filled a permanent vacancy on the county committee, shall not count toward this three term limitation. The tenure of office of any county committee member, community committee member, delegate, or alternate to any such office, shall be terminated as soon as any such person becomes ineligible for office under the provisions of this section.

nate to any such office, or as an employee for: Failure to perform the duties of the office; committing, attempting, or conspiring to commit fraud; incompetence; impeding the effectiveness of any program administered in the county; refusal to carry out or failure to comply with the Department's policy relating to equal opportunity and civil rights, including the equal employment policy, or interfering with others in carrying out such policy; or for violation of official instructions, unless any such disqualification is waived by the State committee or the Deputy Administrator;

(6) Not have been disqualified for future service because of a determination by a State committee that during previous service as a county committee member, community committee member, delegate, alternate of any such office, or as an employee of the county committee such person has: Failed to perform the duties of such office or employment; committed, attempted, or conspired to commit fraud; impeded the effectiveness of any program administered in the county; in the course of their official duties, refused to carry out or failed to comply with the Department's policy relating to equal opportunity and civil rights, including the equal employment policy, or interfered with others in carrying out such policy; or violated official instructions, unless any such disqualification is waived by the State committee or the Deputy Administrator;

(7) During the term of office, not be a full-time employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture;

(8) If the office is that of county committee member, not be a sales agent or employee of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation during the term of office;

(9) If the office is that of delegate to the local administrative area or county convention, not have been a county committee member for that county during the 90 days preceding the community election;

(10) If the office is that of county committee member, not be serving as a county committee member with one or more years following the current elec

$ 7.16 Eligibility requirements of all other

personnel. (a) The county executive director and other employees of the county committee must not have been: Dishonorably discharged from any branch of the armed services; removed for cause from any public office; or convicted of any fraud, larceny, embezzlement, or felony, unless any such disqualification is waived by the State committee or the Deputy Administrator.

(b) The county executive director or any other employee of the county committee must not have been removed as a county committee member, community committee member, delegate, alternate to any such office, county executive director, or other employee of the county committee for: Failure to perform the duties of the office; committing, attempting, or conspiring to commit fraud; incompetence; impeding the effectiveness of any program administered in the county; refusal to carry out or failure to comply with the Department's policy relating to equal opportunity and civil rights, including equal employment policy, or interfering with others in carrying out such policy; or for violation of official instructions, unless such disqualification is waived by the State committee or the Deputy Administrator.

(c) The county executive director or any other employee of the county committee must not have been dis(c) Delegate to conventions. A dele. gate to the local administrative area or county convention may not be a member of the State committee.

qualified for future employment because of a determination by a State committee that during previous service as a county committee member, community committee member, delegate, alternate to any such office, or as an employee of the county committee has: Failed to perform the duties of such office or employment; committed, attempted, or conspired to commit fraud; impeded the effectiveness of any program administered in the county; refused to carry out or failed to comply with the Department's policy relating to equal opportunity and civil rights, including the equal employment policy, or interfered with others in carrying out such policy; or violated official instructions, unless such disqualification is waived by the State committee or the Deputy Administrator.

(d) The tenure of employment of any count executive director or other employee of the county committee shall be terminated as soon as any such person becomes ineligible for employment under the provisions of this section.

$ 7.18 Terms of office of county and com

munity members. The term of office of county and community committee members and alternates to such office shall begin on a date fixed by the Deputy Adminis. trator, which shall be after their election and not later than the first day in the next January. Before any such county committee members or alternate county committee members may take office, such person shall sign an oath of office pledge that they will faithfully, fairly, and honestly perform to the best of their ability all of the duties devolving on them as committee members. A term of office shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified as provided in $ $ 7.8 and 7.9 of this part.

$ 7.19 Terms of office of delegates to the

conventions. The terms of office of delegates and alternates to the local administrative area and county conventions shall begin immediately upon their election and shall continue until their respective successors have elected and qualified.

8 7.17 Dual office.

(a) County committee membership. A member of the county committee may not be at the same time:

(1) A member of a community committee;

(2) A delegate to a local administrative area convention;

(3) A delegate to a county convention;

(4) The secretary to the county committee;

(5) A member of the State committee; or

(6) County executive director or any other county office employee.

(b) Community committee membership. A member of the community committee may not be at the same time:

(1) A member of a county committee;

(2) The secretary to the county committee;

(3) A member of the State committee; or

(4) County executive director or reg. ular county office employee.

8 7.20 State committee duties.

The State committee, subject to the general direction and supervision of the Deputy Administrator, shall be generally responsible for carrying out in the State the agricultural conservation program, the production adjustment and price support programs, the acreage allotment and marketing quota programs, the wool and mohair incentive payment program, and any other program or function assigned by the Secretary or a designee of the Secretary.

8 7.21 County committee duties.

(a) The county committee, subject to the general direction and supervision of the State committee, and acting through community committee members and other personnel, shall be gen. erally responsible for carrying out in

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