Dennis Clark

Nominating Committee violations

6 posts in this topic

Our Association is considering doing away with the Nominating Committee as the method of nomination of its officers.  I would really like to have some feedback from some folks who work with various groups around the country to get arguments for and against using that method as opposed say to having potential nominees nominated from the floor at the annual committee.  In our Society some of the members are convinced that a couple of members who have served 2 non-contiguous one year terms (which is prevented by the bylaws) spoke out in committee against a perfectly qualified candidate who had performed her duties more than satisfactorily was not nominated for a higher office, or to any other office despite her having expressed her willingness to do so.  This member is one of the senior members of the Association.  There is speculation that this member was not nominated, not because she was not qualified, but because of a handicap she has a result of a disease.  This of course can't be confirmed.  What if anything can be done about this situation?

Dennis Clark, PRP

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48 minutes ago, Dennis Clark said:

Our Association is considering doing away with the Nominating Committee as the method of nomination of its officers.  I would really like to have some feedback from some folks who work with various groups around the country to get arguments for and against using that method as opposed say to having potential nominees nominated from the floor at the annual committee. . . .  (Remainder of post omitted)

Dennis, within the past couple of months or so there was a thread about this issue in either the general discussion or advanced forum.  The original poster made reference to what I believe is a Florida  statute regarding homeowner or condominium associations which specifically prohibits the use of nominating committees.  If you dig deeper into the rationale behind the statute, it might help with your decision.  

If I have time later, I'll search the forum for that  thread.  But, if  you want to search for it yourself, the key search terms would probably be "nominating committee" and "Florida".  I think a link to the statute was posted in the thread.  As i dug into it, it made for interesting reading. There are articles about that Florida statute.

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Dennis, I have not been able to find the thread that I think I saw in one of the RONR forums.  Perhaps I read about it in a recent issue of NAP's National Parliamentarian.  And perhaps the thread has been deleted.

However, I did a Google search and found information on the Florida Condo statute.  Here are a couple of links that  may get you started on your quest to determine whether to keep a nominating committee.  I'm sure you can expand the search considerably.  I know I've read more about it, I just can't remember where I read it.

https://www.hoaleader.com/public/470.cfm

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/documents/electionbrochureenglishmaster06092010.pdf

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dennis Clark said:

Our Association is considering doing away with the Nominating Committee as the method of nomination of its officers.  I would really like to have some feedback from some folks who work with various groups around the country to get arguments for and against using that method as opposed say to having potential nominees nominated from the floor at the annual committee.  In our Society some of the members are convinced that a couple of members who have served 2 non-contiguous one year terms (which is prevented by the bylaws) spoke out in committee against a perfectly qualified candidate who had performed her duties more than satisfactorily was not nominated for a higher office, or to any other office despite her having expressed her willingness to do so.  This member is one of the senior members of the Association.  There is speculation that this member was not nominated, not because she was not qualified, but because of a handicap she has a result of a disease.  This of course can't be confirmed.  What if anything can be done about this situation?

For starters, I think it is important to make clear how a nominating committee works in RONR. So far as RONR is concerned, the role of the nominating committee is to nominate one person for each open office - the person who, in the nominating committee's opinion, is the best candidate for office. It is not the nominating committee's job to nominate every candidate who is eligible, qualified, and willing to serve. The nominees from the committee are just recommendations. Others are free to make their own nominations from the floor. My recommendations are based upon this type of nominating committee. If your own bylaws provide that your nominating committee works differently, that would be important to know.

The main advantage to such a system is that a small group can be tasked with making nominations. What exactly this involves may vary from society to society. In some organizations, the nominating committee's role might be to apply pressure to members so that someone actually runs for each open office. In others, their role might be to sort through multiple applications and make their recommendation regarding the candidate who is, in their opinion, the most qualified for the office.

In very large organizations, where many members may have little knowledge of the candidates or their qualifications, the nominating committee can serve to have a small group of experienced members who are more knowledgeable on these matters advise the society. Finally, the committee's recommendations are not the final word. If the membership finds a more qualified candidate - perhaps because they disagree with the committee's assessment, or someone comes out of the woodwork at the last minute, the membership is free to elect that person instead of the nominee recommended by the committee.

The main disadvantage to such a system is that it can have the effect of giving an enormous amount of influence to a small group of people. In some organizations, challenging the nominating committee is so rare as to be unheard of, and the nominating committee's recommendation becomes tantamount to election. If this is because no one else is interested, or because the membership truly agrees with the committee's decision, then that's one thing... but if it is because the assembly is afraid to challenge the committee, then that's quite another. A nominating committee can also often become a way to continually elect the same officers (or their hand-picked successors). It's also possible that the committee is simply useless and it's recommendations carry very little thought behind them. Many of these problems occur because the assembly fails to take the task of electing the nominating committee seriously.

In the end, it comes down to what works best for your organization. I have seen organizations where nominating committees have been a tremendous boon to the society and others where they have been a disaster. There is no one answer that will work for every organization.

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