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  1. Well no attempt of moving the date was changed, although when the physicals were announced, it was said that the meeting would be held after the physicals. I am going to try and get some food there, in the past there have been a few snacks & drinks but nothing substantial.
  2. I am certainly not qualified to give legal advice, but courts in different states have ruled differently in similar cases I have read about, often depending on various state laws. Look online for cases involving the "Dennis Canon" and episcopal churches, but be ready for a long drawn out reading adventure.
  3. The objections were names left off of the committees, like I was not initially reappointed to our bylaws revision committee. The committee chair questioned that and the president added me back in addition to my replacement. There were a couple of others settled the same way. My question was less about these objections, than about what formal acceptance we needed, as one member brought up that none of the appointments are valid. From what I have read here, they are valid. Thanks for all the help.
  4. The time is not so much of a problem as the date. I am not sure that if we hold the meeting after the physicals that we will have a quorum. Although one other option is to have food there, so as physicals are over people can eat.
  5. No the unpopular appointment was not settled at the meeting. Thanks for the info on unanimous consent, that is what I was thinking of, I just didn't have the wording right.
  6. Another odd things has come up in my volunteer fire department. We have quite a few committees made up of members. Some committees are made up of certain members ex officio and those are specified in the bylaws. All other committees are appointed by the president, subject to the approval of the membership. However the bylaws are silent on what form that approval takes. In the few years I have been a member, I have never heard a motion made to approve or ratify the president's appointments of committee members. From what I can determine the lack of serious objection has always been taken as an informal approval. So this year the president read his list of appointments, and there were a few minor complaints, almost all of which were settled at the meeting. However there is one committee that has a chair who is growing more and more unpopular among the membership. Several members lobbied the president not to reappoint him committee chair, some even asked that he not be on the committee. This all apparently fell on deaf ears. So now a couple of members have brought up the idea that non of the committee appointments are valid as the membership did not approve of them. While I think they may have some technical merit to their point, I think that the traditional way the department has informally approved this action (which long predates my membership) is an acceptable way to conduct the business of the department. So my questions would be, absent specific language defining the method of acceptance, is a formal motion needed to accept the committees? When if ever does a traditional custom become the rule, at least until amended? If a motion is needed to approve the committees, can it be made at a later meeting? What would happen to the committee appointments if such a motion fails?
  7. In my volunteer fire department our monthly meetings are set in the bylaws. They are held on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM. There is nothing I can find in the bylaws that would allow any officer to change this, even in an emergency. However we have an anticipated schedule conflict coming up next month that will require the meeting time to be changed at the least and some have floated the idea of changing the date. We have a contractor coming in on the meeting night starting at 5 to provide our annual physicals. Why this was scheduled for the meeting night is beyond me. However the same room we hold our meetings in is where the bulk of the physicals will take place. Our president has simply said that we will hold the meeting after the physicals are done. While I think this is probably a violation of the bylaws, it does seem relatively reasonable. However due to fasting before the physicals quite a few members tend to leave right away, so this may lead to a poorly attended meeting. It seems to me that we could just move the meeting to the next day, but that would also appear to violate the bylaws. Can a motion be made at this month's meeting to postpone next month's meeting? Since the day & time are in the bylaws, would a simple motion be allowed to make such a change? I don't think that a bylaws amendment, while effective, would be warranted in this matter. We also would not have the time to pass such an amendment since this is only a month away.
  8. I was going to say that Shall is more archaic than ambiguous, in the context of laws (and bylaws) is always seems to me to mean must and not may. However in conversational English it could be seen that way, the question "Shall we go to the fair"? clearly makes it less absolute and that can be a problem as many more people will know conversational language over formal statutory usage. I am not a fan of trying to rewrite rules in plain language as plain language is very often not so plain. I have seen examples where in an effort to use plain language instead of codes/shorthand the result has been to elongate what was once brief messages. I have also seen efforts where trying to modernize religious works has lead to changing the theological meaning of a work. As for lack of education, that is actually partially to blame. Many of these efforts are made in the name of simplifying something that people have never tried to learn or understand. While that is a generalization this is what leads to the substantial change from govern to guide, which adds ambiguity where there was none before.
  9. I was involved with my local party committee for a few years, not libertarian, but probably functions much the same way. First of all, you probably should have formed a new organization instead of adapting an existing one. In my state this only takes 25 members and is done quite often. We had a party formed a few years ago to elect a US Senator, it worked but they didn't form the party right and someone was able to seize party leadership away from the founding members. That party didn't last past the senator's term. However for you, that ship has sailed. I am always weary of interim leadership, because if your existing rules do not provide for that, then you are dependent on a handshake deal. In politics, expecting someone to keep their word is often a fools errand. Are any of the powers or authority he is claiming actually in the existing rules? Authoritarian or not, it seems to me you will be saddled with this leader until the normal end of his term, unless you can remove him. I would guess that your bylaws are silent in this area, so I would hope there is some parliamentary authority to apply, hopefully RONR. If so then see if you can get the 2/3 support to do this, although from your post this seems unlikely. I am curious to how removing him as President would still leave him on the board. Is the board elected by the members? IS the President elected from among the board members or from among the general membership? Does he sit on the board because he is President or is he in effect holding two different offices?
  10. No a quorum was still required to pass the minutes, but additional embers could come in and be counted anytime between the call to order and the approval of the previous minutes. I only offered it as a possible explanation / answer to her question. I can see if, like my old organization, they tied attendance to the minutes, that being the meaning. Hers seems like it would require signing a form, whereas mine just required you to show up. I never saw anyone come in late and then try to make motions, so I have no idea how that would have worked out. Thankfully we managed to avoid that confusion while I was there.
  11. Sorry for any confusion, I meant a member could arrive and be counted up until the previous meeting's minutes had been read.
  12. I used to be in an organization that said members could arrive and be counted as in attendance up until the minutes were read. After that they were not counted on the attendance roll and thus not as part of the quorum. I wonder if this means that a late arriving member may sign in and acknowledge the minutes to become a late addition to the quorum.
  13. In an election where members need to meet certain requirements for office, what is the status of a ballot that has a write in name for someone who is not eligible? Is this a vote, in which case it effects the total. or an abstention in which case it doesn't? I would think on the one hand it is a vote, as the member clearly did not intend to not vote but I can also see it not counting as the candidate would not have been allowed to pass the normal nomination process.
  14. How is membership defined? I know PTO stands for Parent Teacher Organization, but are administrators and other faculty also considered members? I know in my part of CT it is common to have PFO's which are Parent Faculty Organizations. Because who the members are will of course effect who can vote, but also may essentially allow for parties or voting blocks to form, even unofficially.
  15. Since these bylaws definitely say 3/4 as opposed to a majority or 2/3, it seems pretty clear based on the idea that nothing is there without a purpose that they wanted the higher number. I suspect that this is because termination of membership is the most serious punishment that an association can give out. It is like a parliamentary death penalty, you cease to be part of the assembly. Thinking of these fractions in terms of percentages is what helps me understand what I think was the intent. Most motions require 51% to pass, some important motions require 66.6% (effectively 67%) to pass, this one motion is very important so requires 75% to pass. Not being a member, I can't say for certain that my interpretation is any better than anyone else's, but it seems logical. I used to be in an association that had several classes of membership. Not only were some classified as active apart from the others, but the active members had some requirements to meet over the year in order to vote the next year, so you could be in an active class but ineligible to vote. Very cumbersome but it did work for the specific organization. So I can see a similar situation here where defining who can vote on this very important issue may be critical. This is a very interesting debate, I do learn quite a lot reading these forums. I will throw my decidedly amateur opinion into the non-ambiguous side with J.J. as to me the plain meaning seems clear.
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