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Guest Rev. L.M.

annual meeting problems

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Guest Rev. L.M.

We recently had our church association's annual convention.  The outgoing President, in an effort to secure his agenda's place in the future scheme of things, urged the voting delegates to vote on a specific new Seminary Ed. Committee chairperson he wanted (the old Ed. Committee was apparently sacked, but was not formally--just implied because he wanted a new one now) who should have "exclusive authority" to create a new committee as well as a completely new curriculum and faculty.  He wants to put our Seminary online and felt the existing faculty and Ed. Committee would try to stop that.  This is in violation of the our Constitution and Bylaws, which states that the Board of Trustees has general supervision of the business affairs of the Association and must vote to approve all appointments to Lyceums, special workers, etc.  None of the voting delegates knew the Bylaws well enough to object.  The outgoing President had been in office 40 years and for the most part always gets his way.  He also frequently had, in the past, exercised unilateral veto power over those he disliked who were put before the Board as faculty members or Ed. Committee members.  (in the past, all faculty, Ed. Comm. appointments, class changes, etc. HAD to go before the Board)  This man cagily stacked the Board so that even if he had not asked for this outlandish "exclusive authority" business, there is a good chance the majority would just rubber stamp it anyway.  Guess what?  I'm the new President and former Seminary Ed. Dept. Co-Chair!  I was not put in office until the second day of the Convention. It was awful to see him suggest and even demand they vote for this new agenda like he did.  At one point he even said "I shouldn't be doing this!"  He kept telling them the association is "ruled from the pew" and they could vote this stuff in with no problems.  But they can't vote for things which are in conflict with/throw over the C & BY!  No one person can act on behalf of the Board without the Board's consent, even if his friends on the Board would be willing to rubber stamp it. It sets a dangerous precedent for the future.  I read the forum on Executive decisions, and apparently such a thing doesn't exist.  If, however, he did it regularly, could I invoke it to restore order on this?  Could I insist that a "whole new curriculum", possibly no longer offering classes on campus, which not all churches agree with,  go out as a written proposal when it is created to the churches for discussion and at next years annual meeting be voted upon by delegates now instructed how to vote by their members back home?  These delegates at this convention just changed history, threw over the C & B with no input from the members they represent!  What about the outgoing Ed. Committee, which was just sort of pushed out?  I felt like a Coup took place. I am the one who has worked closely with the Bylaws and feel this was a terrible abuse of power.  I have never seen such divisional actions taken or crafty board election stacking.  He made sure I was a "token" President unless I can exercise some sort of "Executive Decision" to stop this freight train.  He was, for all the world, a desperate old man.  I was seated as a Board Member only and supposedly had no voice in the meeting because I wasn't a voting delegate.  Had I tried to bring up a point of order on this he would have shouted me down.  It seemed like he was completely out of control.  Help!

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24 minutes ago, Guest Rev. L.M. said:

I read the forum on Executive decisions, and apparently such a thing doesn't exist.  If, however, he did it regularly, could I invoke it to restore order on this? 

That's correct that executive decisions don't exist unless your bylaws provide for them. So "No" to your question.

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Guest Rev. L.M.

Do I have no recourse to counter votes made by delegation which over rode the Bylaws?

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9 hours ago, Guest Rev. L.M. said:

If, however, he did it regularly, could I invoke it to restore order on this?  Could I insist that a "whole new curriculum", possibly no longer offering classes on campus, which not all churches agree with,  go out as a written proposal when it is created to the churches for discussion and at next years annual meeting be voted upon by delegates now instructed how to vote by their members back home?  These delegates at this convention just changed history, threw over the C & B with no input from the members they represent!  What about the outgoing Ed. Committee, which was just sort of pushed out?  I felt like a Coup took place. I am the one who has worked closely with the Bylaws and feel this was a terrible abuse of power.  I have never seen such divisional actions taken or crafty board election stacking.  He made sure I was a "token" President unless I can exercise some sort of "Executive Decision" to stop this freight train.  He was, for all the world, a desperate old man.  I was seated as a Board Member only and supposedly had no voice in the meeting because I wasn't a voting delegate.  Had I tried to bring up a point of order on this he would have shouted me down.  It seemed like he was completely out of control.  Help!

No, you cannot make an “executive decision” simply because your predecessor did so. The fact that he violated the rules with impunity doesn’t mean you get to do so as well.

For those actions of the President which are in conflict with the bylaws, however, you can rule that they are null and void. Keep in mind that your rulings are subject to appeal.

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Can I explain that votes which over rode bylaws need Board to resubmit them for approval..with the understanding that the part which is in conflict with bylaws (giving a committee person "ultimate authority" to appoint people, change Seminary curriculum, choose new faculty) can not be included in the new motion?  Our bylaws clearly state any appointments must be approved by the Board, ditto changes to lyceums.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

You should make your explanations to the assembly when you rule from the chair. But if these cronies are determined to have their way and the rules be damned, you are powerless to stop them as far as the rules of order are concerned.

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17 hours ago, Rev. LM said:

Can I explain that votes which over rode bylaws need Board to resubmit them for approval..with the understanding that the part which is in conflict with bylaws (giving a committee person "ultimate authority" to appoint people, change Seminary curriculum, choose new faculty) can not be included in the new motion?  Our bylaws clearly state any appointments must be approved by the Board, ditto changes to lyceums.

You can rule them null and void, and suggest that they may resubmit them if they wish, but that any provisions which conflict with the bylaws cannot be included in the new motion - unless, of course, the new motion is a motion to amend the bylaws.

Edited by Josh Martin

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