Current TXSTMA By-Laws

BYLAWS  OF
THE TEXAS SPORTS TURF MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

ARTICLE I ­ NAME AND OBJECTIVE

Section 1.1 Name: The Corporation shall be known as Texas Sports Turf Managers Association (hereinafter referred to as TXSTMA).

Section 1.2 Objectives: The objectives shall be to:

1.2.1: Encourage the collection and dissemination of scientific, educational and applied knowledge through association with those persons engaged in and who are concerned with the construction, maintenance and use of sports turf for superior playing conditions in the State of Texas.

1.2.2: Provide educational opportunities that promote the sports turf industry in the State of Texas.

1.2.3: Support research and development of superior playing surfaces for sports turf facilities as an organization or in conjunction with the Sports Turf Managers Association and SAFE Foundation.

1.2.4: Promote the development, design and use of related materials and equipment for the sports turf industry as a whole.

ARTICLE II ­ RECORDS

Section 2.1 Membership Register: TXSTMA shall keep at its registered office, or at such other place or places within the United States, as the Board of Directors may determine, a membership register, giving the names and addresses of the Members.

Section 2.2 Records to be kept at Registered Office: The records of this association shall be kept at the Headquarters of the Association.

ARTICLE III — MEMBERS Section 3.1 Appointment: The members of TXSTMA shall be approved and accepted by the Board of Directors of the Association or its duly appointed representative. Each Member must be in good standing, and accept and abide by the STMA Code of Ethics. Members who are not in good standing or violate the STMA Code of Ethics may be removed by the Board of Directors.

Section 3.2 Membership Classification: There shall be seven (7) classifications of Members: Professional, Commercial, Academic, Honorary, Student, Commercial Affiliate and Affiliate Membership.

Section 3.3 Categories of Voting Members: There shall be two (5) categories of voting membership.  All other rights, interests and privileges shall be equal.

3.3.1 Category I — Professional: Person with primary responsibility of employment in the management/maintenance of sports field(s) upon payment of dues and being accepted for membership, may become an active voting member in TXSTMA and is eligible to hold elective office.

3.3.2 Category II ­ Commercial: (includes consultants, architects, designers, contractors, management companies, distributors and manufacturers, etc.) Company engaged in a commercial enterprise providing services and/or products to the sports turf profession upon payment of dues and being accepted for membership, may become an active voting member in TXSTMA. One individual within the company shall be designated as the Primary Member and that individual is responsible for casting any
votes on behalf of the company. This individual, or his appointed company representative, is eligible to hold any elective office available to the commercial category.

3.3.3 Category III — Academic: Person engaged in research, education or in extension outreach programs related to sports fields, upon payment of dues and being accepted for membership, may become an active voting member in TXSTMA and is eligible to hold elective office.

3.3.4 Category IV — Honorary Lifetime: By majority vote of the Board of Directors, Honorary Lifetime voting membership shall be conferred upon a nominee who has made a significant contribution to the sports turf management profession in the State of Texas.

3.3.5 Category V Commercial Associate: Person employed by the same Category II member company, but who is not the designated representative, upon payment of dues and being accepted for membership, may become a voting member in TXSTMA and is eligible to hold any elective office available to the commercial category.

Section 3.4 Categories of Non­Voting Members: There shall be three (3) non­voting categories of membership.

3.4.1 Category VI­ Student: Any full­time student, upon payment of dues, verification of enrollment and being accepted for membership, may become a non­voting member of STMA and is not eligible to hold elective office.

3.4.2 Category VII — Affiliate: (includes coaches, athletic directors, administrators, owners, trainers, equipment managers, volunteers, etc.) Person who is indirectly or on a part­time basis, involved in the maintenance/management of sports fields, and upon payment of dues and being accepted for membership, may become a non­voting member of TXSTMA and is not eligible to hold elective office.

3.4.3 Category VIII – Retired Person who is retired and no longer seeking full-time employment within the scope of activities of any TXSTMA membership category, and who has been a member of TXSTMA for five years, may become a non-voting member of STMA and is not eligible to hold elective office.

ARTICLE IV ­ MEETINGS AND MEMBERS

Section 4.1 Place of Meeting: All meetings shall be organized and be held at such places as designated by the Board of Directors or its duly appointed representative.

Section 4.2 Annual Meeting: The Annual Meeting of the Members shall be held on the date, time and place as determined by the Board of Directors for the installation of Directors and Officers and the transaction of such other business as may come before the membership.

Section 4.3 Special Meetings: Special meetings of the Members for any purpose may be called by the Board of Directors, pursuant to a resolution approved by a majority of the entire Board of Directors, or by a voting member who has obtained signatures on a petition from 25% of the voting membership as defined by these By­laws. Business transacted at a special meeting shall be confined to the purpose stated in the call and notice thereof.

Section 4.4 Notice of Meetings: Notice of each regular and special meeting of Members stating the date, time and place thereof and the general nature of the business to be considered shall be given a minimum of (10) days and not more than sixty (60) days before the date of meeting by whatever media the Board of Directors or its duly appointed representative deems appropriate to each Member entitled to vote thereat at their address as it appears on the records of the Association.

Section 4.5 Voting Rights: Each Member who is entitled to vote pursuant to the terms of these By­laws, shall be entitled to vote in person, or by proxy via e­mail, postal mail or fax and must be sent to the TXSTMA designated headquarters address, fax number or e­mail to assure that the individual voting is qualified to vote and their vote is counted only once.

Section 4.6 Quorum: A majority of the Members present in person or by proxy, entitled to vote shall be requisite to and shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Members.

ARTICLE V — BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 5.1 Purpose, Number and Representation. The business and affairs of the Association shall be managed under the direction of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall consist of 13 members: six (6) Officers and seven (7) Directors from the voting categories of membership, with representation as defined in Articles VI and VII. No more than one representative from the same Commercial Member Company may serve on the Board of Directors at one time.

Section 5.2 Quorum: All actions of the Board of Directors, unless otherwise noted, shall be by a simple majority vote of the members of the Board of Directors.

Section 5.3 Regular Meetings: Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such date, time and place, as the President shall determine. The Executive Secretary shall give notice to each Director by whatever media the Executive Secretary deems appropriate.

Section 5.4 Special Meetings: Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President on twenty­four (24) hours’ notice to each member of the Board of Directors. Upon receipt of the written request of any member of the Board of Directors, the President or the Executive Secretary may call special meetings. Such meeting may be held by whatever media or means deemed appropriate, including telephonically, internet or electronic messaging.

Section 5.5 Committees: From time to time, the Board of Directors may create such standing and special committees as they may see fit and may designate the duties and powers of such committees, provided however, that no such committee shall be given authority to amend the Bylaws of this Association. The President shall appoint committee chairpersons from the active voting Members of TXSTMA.

Section5.6 Nominations: The Nominating Committee shall present to the membership by written notice a slate of candidates for the Board of Directors and place those names in nomination. Serving as a Member of the Nominating Committee shall not be a restriction preventing such member from being a candidate for the Board of Directors. The Members shall have the right to elect, by write­in, any otherwise qualified member in good standing whose name does not appear elsewhere on the ballot.

Section 5.7 Removal of Board of Directors: The voting Members may remove an individual board member or the entire Board of Directors from Office. A voting member must obtain signatures on a Petition for Removal from 25% of the voting Membership.  The removal process will take place at a special meeting that has been called by the Executive Secretary for Board of Directors Removal. Voting members who cannot attend the special meeting in person can vote in absentia by mail, fax or e­mail. A two­thirds majority of the voting membership is required to remove an individual board member or the entire Board of Directors. At that same meeting, new board members may be elected to fill the open positions.

ARTICLE VI — OFFICERS

Section 6.1 Designation, Election and Term of Office: The Officers of this Association shall be President, President Elect, 1st Commercial Vice President, 2nd Commercial Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Immediate Past President.  ​ The Immediate Past President position shall be an advisory position on the Board voting only to cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

6.1.1 Designation: The Association’s President, President Elect, Commercial Vice­Presidents, Executive Secretary/Treasurer and Immediate Past President shall compose an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the President regarding the business management of the Association.  All actions of the Executive Committee shall be by majority vote.

6.1.2 Election: All officers shall be elected by ballot by a majority of the voting Members casting ballots prior to or at the annual meeting. Ballots may be submitted by regular mail, fax or e­mail means that assure that the individual voting is qualified to vote and their vote is counted only once.

6.1.3 Ascension Process: One candidate shall be placed on the ballot for each Executive Committee position with the exception of Immediate Past­President as this position will be ascended to by the outgoing President.  At each annual election the President­Elect shall ascend to President and the 2nd Commercial Vice­President Shall ascend to 1st Commercial Vice­President.  If a vacancy occurs in one or more of these offices, the ascension process shall preside and a vacancy vote of the membership must be taken by special election of the Members.

6.1.4 Term of Office: All officers shall serve in an office normally a term of one (1) year or until the next annual election, not to exceed two (2) consecutive terms. The Members may propose nomination for a second term of office for all officers. The term of office shall begin upon installation at the Annual Meeting of the Association. Serving the duration of the unexpired term of a vacated Officer position shall not count against the two consecutive term limit. Officers would be eligible to again serve on the TXSTMA Board following a minimum of a two (2) year period of nonBoard service. The Board may approve an exemption for the Secretary/Treasurer from the two year period of non-Board service requirement.

Section 6.2 Duties of the Officers

6.2.1 Duties of the President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Members and at meetings of the Board of Directors. The President shall have the authority to fill all vacancies on the Board of Directors pursuant to Sections 6.3 and 7.2. The President shall have general charge, supervision and control of the business affairs of the Association under the direction of the Board of Directors.

6.2.2 Duties of the President Elect: The President Elect shall preside at all meetings of the Members and the Board of Directors in the absence of the President. In the event the office of President shall become vacant, the President Elect shall perform all duties of the President until the annual election.
The President Elect shall oversee the coordination of all educational activities of the Association including the Annual Meeting.

6.2.3 Duties of the Commercial Vice Presidents: The Commercial Vice Presidents shall represent the interests of the commercial member affiliates to the Board of Directors.

6.2.4 Duties of the Executive Secretary/Treasurer: The Executive Secretary/Treasurer shall monitor the financial affairs of the Association, oversee records of all association votes and minutes, and provide a report of the association’s condition to the Board of Directors at the regular meetings.  The Executive Secretary/Treasurer may assign a representative to record all meeting minutes in the event a digital recording of the meeting is not available, otherwise the Executive Secretary/Treasurer shall ensure that a digital recording of the meeting is taken and stored in the office of the Association.  The Executive Secretary/Treasurer shall put in effect the decisions of the actions of the Board of Directors.  His or her term of contract and compensation shall be decided by the Board of Directors, but in no event can the Board of Directors commit itself to a contract exceeding three years.

6.2.5 Duties of the Immediate Past­President: The Immediate Past­President shall serve as chairperson of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee must have representation from the membership segments as defined in Article VII for all the directorship positions up for election during the current election cycle.  The Immediate Past President shall serve in an advisory capacity to the current Board of Directors to ensure all matters before them are dealt with in a manner that aligns with the Association objectives and is for the betterment of the organization.

Section 6.3 Vacancies: Vacancies occurring in any office shall be filled by appointment by the President. Appointments made under the provision of this section shall be for the duration of the unexpired term of office vacated. If the President’s position was vacated for any reason, the President­Elect would fill that vacancy and appoint a current elected Board Member to fill the President­Elect position for the remainder of the term. The President­Elect position would then be up for election by the membership at the next scheduled election.

Section 6.4 Changes in Representation

6.4.1 Any Officer, except the Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Commercial Vice­Presidents and the Immediate Past President, who gains full­time employment in the commercial sector during his/her term of office, shall have six (6) months or until the end of his/her term, whichever is less, to resign from the Board.

6.4.2 If the Commercial Vice Presidents become employed in the non­commercial sector during his/her term of office, he/she shall have six (6) months or until the end of his/her term, whichever is less, to resign from the board.

6.4.3 Any Officer who becomes unemployed in the sports turf industry or related field shall have six (6) months or until the end of his/her term, whichever is less, to become employed in the sports turf industry or related field, or resign from the Board.

Section 6.5 Removal of Officers

6.5.1 By Board of Directors Action: Any Officer missing two (2) consecutive meetings without valid reason may be dismissed from the position and the vacancy filled in accordance with Article VI, Section 6.3.

6.5.2 By Member Action: See Section 5.7 for the removal process for an Officer or the entire Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VII — DIRECTORS

Section 7.1 Number, Representation, Election, and Term of Office: There shall be seven (7) Directors elected from the voting categories of membership. The Directors are defined as follows:

7.1.1 There will be one Director from a voting membership category to serve over the Advertising committee.

7.1.2 There will be one Director from a voting membership category to serve over the Communications

committee.

7.1.3 There will be one Director from a voting membership category to serve over the Region I (DFW) committee.

7.1.4 There will be one Director from a voting membership category to serve over the Region II (Austin / San Antonio) committee.

7.1.5 There will be one Director from a voting membership category to serve over the Region III (Houston) committee.

7.1.6 There will be one Director from a voting membership category to serve over the Membership committee.

7.1.7 There will be one Director from a voting membership category to serve over the Scholarship committee.

7.1.8 Election: All Directors shall be elected by ballot by a majority of the voting members casting ballots prior to or at the annual meeting. Ballots may be submitted by regular mail, fax or e­mail means that assure that the individual voting is qualified to vote and their vote is counted only once.

7.1.9 Term of Office: The Directors shall serve a two (2) year term. Directors representing the Advertising, Region I, Region III and Scholarship segments shall be elected in odd numbered years (as determined by the day and year of the election). Directors representing Communications, Region II and Membership segments shall be elected in even numbered years following the same election process designated in 7.1.8.​

Section 7.2 Duties of the Directors

7.2.1 Duties of the Advertising Director: The Advertising Director shall secure sponsorships/advertising for events, the newsletter and the scholarship golf tournaments working jointly with the Region Directors, Communications Director and Scholarship Director respectively.

(2) Notify newsletter advertisers of advertising options and rates as set by the Board of Directors.

(3) Notify Region Directors of sponsorship levels for educational field days as set by the Board of Directors.These levels will be determined once the Board of Directors is advised that a date and location have been secured by the Region Director hosting the event.  Certain contractual agreements by the facility may predicate sponsorship of the event.  The facility sports turf manager or appropriate authority shall advise the Region Director if such agreements exist prior to any event sponsorship commitments being offered by TXSTMA.

(4) Keep accurate list of advertisers and sponsors, their annual contributions and opportunities to do the same.

(5) Actively pursue new commercial members about advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

(6) Secure sponsorships on a completed “General Agreement” form which details the terms of the agreement for sponsorship between the vendor and TXSTMA.

7.2.2 Duties of the Communications Director:  The Communications Director shall gather articles, advertising formats & information to produce the quarterly chapter newsletter with assistance from the Advertising Director.  This includes obtaining permission to reprint any article by any author who did not submit their work directly to TXSTMA for publication.   A completed “Permission to Reprint” form must be filed with the chapter office prior to printing said material in any publication produced by TXSTMA.

(2) Ensure that all information to be included in each addition of the newsletter is received 6 weeks prior to the 15th of the month in which the newsletter is to be mailed.  The newsletter is to be mailed in the months of February, May, August and November annually.

(3) Ensure the content of each dition of the newsletter is provided, either in person or via electronic means including e­mail, to the designated printer 4 weeks prior to the 15th of the month in which the newsletter is to be mailed.

(4) Consult with the designated printer on format and content proofing for each publication produced by TXSTMA prior to final printing.

(5) Recruit and utilize TXSTMA scholar members from appropriate college and university turf or agronomy programs, and their entities, to act as “Technical Advisors” over scientific information contained in each publication produced by TXSTMA to ensure accuracy of the information.  The Board of Directors may make recommendations of specific individuals and may also refuse the use of certain individuals it deems to be unqualified to serve in this capacity.

(6) Ensure that all printed publications are delivered, either in person or by postal mail, to the chapter office for proper labeling and postage preparations prior to mailing.

(7) Advise the Board of Directors immediately when any delays in meeting printing and/or mailing deadlines is a potential.  The Board of Directors will take appropriate action to address and correct the situation.

(8) Work jointly with the Region Director of each educational field day to ensure all pertinent information about the event is received and included in the event flyer at least 8 weeks prior to the event date.

(9) Ensure that all information to be included in any educational field day flyer is received by the designated printer at least 6 weeks prior to the event date.

(10) Ensure that all educational field day flyers are printed and received in the chapter office for proper labeling and postage at least 4 weeks prior to the event date.

(11) Update and maintain pertinent information on the STMA “Chapters” “Texas” web page with assistance from the chapter office.

(12) Develop, update and maintain various chapter flyers with assistance from the chapter office.

(13) Work jointly with the Membership Director to include dates and locations of other industry related events in the newsletter and on the web page that may be of benefit to the membership of TXSTMA.

7.2.3 Duties of the Membership Director: The Membership Director shall assist the Executive Secretary to maintain chapter membership rosters.

(2) Develop strategies for recruiting new members. Identify and research potential organizations to align TXSTMA with, for professional benefits of both organizations.

(3) Secure information about trade show booths at industry related conferences/conventions that would increase the awareness, benefits and membership of TXSTMA.

(4) Maintain contact with members regarding the chapter, educational field days and STMA, reporting any issues, concerns or comments to the Board of Directors.

(5) Update and maintain membership application brochure with assistance from the chapter office.

(6) Contact non­renewal members annually about possible membership renewal or explanations for non­renewal and provide this information to the Board of Directors for evaluation and corrective action to retain members.

(7) Work jointly with the Executive Secretary to ensure that annual membership renewal notices are prepared and mailed out prior to December 15th annually.

7.2.4 Duties of the Region Directors: Secure date and location for the educational field day in your specific region as directed by the Board of Directors.

(2) Secure topics and speakers for the educational field day in your specific region.  The Board of Directors shall be notified in advance, and give final approval for, any honorarium or expensed to be incurred for a speaker prior to securing a formal commitment from the speaker.

(3) Establish the program agenda for the educational field day in your specific region.

(4) Work jointly with the Communications Director to provide the date, time, location and directions to the educational field day; the program agenda and name(s) of primary sponsor(s) for the event flyer.  This information shall be received by the Communications Director at least 6 weeks prior to the date of the event.

(5) Work jointly with the Advertising Director to secure sponsorship(s) for the educational field day in your specific region.  Sponsorship levels will be set by the Board of Directors once they have been advised by the Region Director that a date and location have been secured for the specific region and facility contractual agreements have been clarified.

(6) Secure and provide staffing of a registration area for the educational field day in your specific region.  If available, the Executive Secretary may be of assistance.

(7) Recruit and utilize the chapter members in your specific region to assist in the organization, set up, post event clean up and success of the educational field day.

(8) Secure and coordinate the set up and delivery of food and beverages for the educational field day in your specific region.  This should include coffee, juice, water, soft drinks or tea, doughnuts and a catered meal for lunch.  Sponsorship of these items is preferred and should be offered to vendors as part of the sponsorship package for the event.

(9) Secure sponsorship(s) on a completed “General Agreement” form which details the terms of the agreement for sponsorship between the vendor and TXSTMA.  The original of this form must be filed with the Executive Secretary in the chapter office at least 14 days prior to the date of the event for proper invoicing of the vendor for payment.  Certain other payment arrangements may be made upon approval by the Board of Directors.

(10) Advise the Executive Secretary of the need to have the chapter trade show booth, laptop, powerpoint projector, video monitor or other educational materials shipped to you for your educational field day at least 10 days in advance of the event.  The chapter shall assume all shipping and handling charges for delivery and return of the items shipped.  All items shipped shall be returned to the chapter office within 10 days after the conclusion of the event for which they were provided.  Should the Region Director incur any of these charges, reimbursement will be permitted so long as a completed chapter expense report form is submitted with the original invoices and/or receipts of the incurred expenses attached.

(11) Assist, as needed, with the shipping, set up, break down and staffing of the trade show booth when TXSTMA secures and attends various trade shows, conferences and conventions within your specific region.  This will be determined by the Board of Directors for each particular event.

7.2.5 Duties of the Scholarship Director: The Scholarship Director shall secure dates and locations to host two golf tournaments to raise funds for the annual scholarship fund.  One of these shall be in North Texas and one in South Texas.

(2) Work jointly with the Advertising Director to secure hole sponsorships, foursome sponsorships and other tournament sponsorship opportunities.

(3) Work jointly with the Advertising Director to secure raffle prizes, golfer goodie bag items and tournament awards from various sponsors.

(4) Administer the scholarship program which includes the “Dr. James A. McAfee Student Scholarship for Sports Turf Management” given annually to a student enrolled in a secondary education turfgrass or agronomy program and desires to pursue a career in the sports turf industry; and the “Cody Hobbs Scholarship for Continuing Education” given annually to a professional or commercial member who provides in essay format the reason attending a sports turf industry conference/convention, short course or other educational correspondence program would be of professional benefit to the applicant.  Along with the essay, a brochure or other educational literature providing description of the event or program must be attached for the application to be complete for further consideration.

(5) Work jointly with the Communications Director to get the information out to the state institutions of higher learning who offer a turf or agronomy program and the TXSTMA membership.

(6) Review all applications for completeness and advise the Board of Directors on recommendations for recipients and award appropriate scholarships as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section 7.3 Vacancies: Vacancies occurring in any directorship shall be filled by appointment by the President. Appointments made under the provision of this section shall be for the duration of the unexpired term of office vacated.

Section 7.4 Changes in Representation:

7.4.1 Any Director who changes employment and is no longer employed within the sports turf industry

or related field primarily occurring in the State of Texas shall have three (3) months or until the end of his/her term, whichever is less, to resign from the Board.

7.4.2 Any Director who becomes unemployed in the sports turf industry or related field shall have six (6) months or until the end of his/her term, whichever is less, to become employed in the sports turf industry or related field, or resign from the Board.

Section 7.5 Removal of Directors

7.5.1 By Board of Directors Action: Any Director missing two (2) consecutive meetings without valid reason may be dismissed from the position and the vacancy filled in accordance with Article VII, Section 7.2.

7.5.2 By Member Action: See Section 5.7 for the removal process for a Director.

ARTICLE VIII — CODE OF ETHICS Section

8.1 Ethics Committee:  The Board shall enforce the STMA Code of Ethics. The Board shall engage an Ethics Committee when any matter of member ethics is brought to the attention of the Association by means of phone, fax or email communication.  The Committee shall consist of a Chairman and members of his/her choice selected from the voting members of the association but may not include the member(s) in question of ethics violation or the accusing party. .  The President may remove the current Ethics Committee Chairman within the first 30 days of his/her office with the approval of two thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors.  The Ethics Committee will be appointed at the first of each year by the current President and will consist of 1. The Past President, 2. One Commercial Member, and 3. One Professional Member.

Section 8.2 Violations: Any alleged ethics violation by any member including the Board of Directors, shall be addressed by the Ethics Committee.

Section11.8 Loss of Membership Privileges: Any member which fails to meet the obligations of a member in good standing as determined by these Bylaws and the Board of Directors or whose actions are deemed to be detrimental to the welfare of TXSTMA by the Ethics committee will forfeit all rights, benefits and privileges of membership by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. This decision will be considered final.

ARTICLE IX — INDEMNIFICATION OF OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS

Section 9.1 Insurance and Indemnification: This Association shall indemnify each Director, Officer, employee or agent of TXSTMA against expenses, including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonable incurred by them to the fullest extent to which Officers and Directors may be indemnified under the terms and conditions of STMA’s Directors and Officers insurance by virtue of TXSTMA affiliated chapter status, so long as that status shows the Association to be in good standing.

ARTICLE X —DUES

Section 10.1 Dues: The Board of Directors shall establish the annual membership dues.

ARTICLE XI — AMENDMENT TO THE BYLAWS Section 12.1 Amendment Proposal: Any voting member may propose an amendment to the Bylaws. The proposal shall be in writing and submitted to the Board of Directors.

Section 12.2 Amendment Process: The Board of Directors shall recommend Bylaws changes to the membership using any appropriate means. The Bylaws shall be amended by a majority of Members casting votes by means of a mail, fax or e­mail ballot means that assure that each individual voting is qualified to vote and their vote is counted only once.