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An electronic meeting was completed with a quorum in attendance. An issue was sent back to committee for wordsmithing of one section. How can the issue now be voted on? Only those in attendance and the outcome by majority or does the full board vote even those not in attendance? Lengthy discussion was completed on the call.
RONR 11 ed pp 97-99: "Except as authorized in the bylaws, the business of an organization or board can be validly transacted only at a regular or properly called meeting—that is, as defined on pages 81–82, a single official gathering in one room or area—of the assembly of its members at which a quorum is present." Could anyone help me determine: 1) Whether this ("organization or board") applies to a convention of delegates as defined later in the text 2) Whether a convention's Committee on Standing Rules could permit electronic meeting if it is not provided (or disallowed) by the bylaws, or whether other special rules of order pertaining to this being a "special meeting" (a special convention) might do the same
Our organization’s Board of Trustees has mandated that the “bylaws committee” propose amendment to our bylaws allowing electronic participation in meetings of the Board. Up to this point the organization has resisted this form of participation however during the last BOT meeting, a Board member presented a motion to cause the bylaws committee to prepare and propose the allowance of this type of participation. The motion carried by a vote of all Board members present with the exception of one dissenting vote (the Chair). During debate on the motion, I (as bylaw committee chair) raised concern for electronic meetings due to a fact that the organization is small and has managed without the need of any sort of “electronic” participation and due to the fact, we are less than a month away from beginning the amendment proposal process (reading proposals), making it very difficult for the committee to prepare any proposed amendment particularly with respect to how participation would be controlled and what rules/processes would be required. The Board rebuttal to this was that the motion was to only require preparation of a very simple proposed bylaw amendment to allow electronic forms of participation and the process/rules for conducting meetings with this type of participation would be prepared following approval of the amendment by the organization’s membership (Board does not have bylaw amendment privileges, only the membership during a noticed meeting). The Board reasoning for forcing this issue seems to be 2-fold, 1) desire to bring the organization into the “electronic age” and 2) to entice “younger” members to become involved with governing the organization by running for office. Emphasis placed on item 2) because quite often, the younger member travels in business and as such may not be able to meet our bylaw requirement, Board members must not miss more than three (3) consecutive meetings in any given year (out of 10 total meetings each year). There was additional argument that retired members quite often spend winters in warmer climates and may also have difficulty meeting the bylaw requirement for attendance. Note: Our bylaws stipulate, proposed amendments are to be read to members present at a meeting prior to the meeting at which the proposal will be voted on and there is no limitation on who within the organization may present proposed amendments. My question: "Is it appropriate for our Board to make such a mandate of the committee without first laying out the rules and processes for allowing “electronic” participation in Board of Trustee meetings?"