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AFS1970

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  1. Trying to see if there is a way to accomplish something without venturing out of parliamentary procedure and into the realm of legal action. Last month a member requested funds for a specific project, which is not unusual. The request was in the form of a motion and was passed. The Treasurer wrote the check and the member took the check to the vendor. Now one of the circumstances that made the project seem appropriate has changed. It is possible that had this information be known in advance that the motion to fund this project would not have passed. From what I have determined, As the meeting was adjourned normally, a motion to reconsider would not be possible. As the bill was already paid, a motion to rescind would not be possible either. We have no bylaw provision allowing for the member to be finned. Short of legal action, which would probably not be worth the expense, is there a way to get the member to pay back all or part of the money that was authorized to be spent? Or is this just going to be a case of we got taken and have learned our lesson?
  2. I think the voter who dies is clearly different from the voter who resigns. The Voter who dies gave no indication they would not have stayed a member if it were up to them. The voter who resigns has indicated that they no longer want to be part of the organization. That being said, if the voting is actually conducted in a secret manner, I am not sure how one can tell who cast any specific ballot. As for the dead voting in public elections, my state had an interesting case of that (sort of) where the courts said they could not rule on the issue that it was a matter for the legislature. Our state legislature has so far failed to address the issue.
  3. Thank You, I had not thought about the committee being in place until the work is finished. I did find one other line in the bylaws but it may not come into play as this committee remains in place, our bylaws say that the president appoints all committees subject to membership approval. To the bet of my knowledge no member has ever brought up removing or changing any committee members, but theoretically this could happen.
  4. I have found myself in an odd position. I was nominated for and am running for President of my volunteer fire company. I currently serve on our Bylaws committee which is almost done with a large revision. If I win, I will have to appoint a new committee. This is an ad hoc committee that was appointed by the current president a little over a year ago. If elected I plan on leaving the committee in tact by reappointing all the current members if they are willing to serve. However as President will I be able to serve on a committee? I would normally think no, but as we are finishing up a large task, I would like to be a part of finishing the work I was a part of starting. Our bylaws say nothing on who can serve on committees, We have other officers that serve on various committees, although none of them have appointing authority. This being an ad hoc committee there are no written rules as to how many members can or must serve on it. I just want to avoid the appearance of impropriety or any actual impropriety.
  5. Building on another thread here, which has to do with my organization, we have a section in our bylaws that requires members to be current in all fines in order to serve in office. However we have no other mention of fines that I can find in the bylaws. They are not mentioned under discipline, where I would have expected to find them. There are a couple of places where it mentions charging members deposits for organizational property they are given, with those fines returned when they resign and return the property. However I see nothing where there is any mention of levying fines or authority granted to either the organization as a whole (membership) or any specific officers, boards or committees to levy fines. I suspect this is a remnant left over from a previous revision of the bylaws, but we don't have archival copies of very may previous versions. It is likely impossible to determine the will of the assembly when passing such a bylaw. I have only been a member for a few years but have never seen someone fined. I am of the opinion that we need to remove this requirement for office unless we decide to add some authority into the bylaws which I have mixed feelings about. From what I have read elsewhere without a bylaw saying we can fine members we can't do so. Since we do lust RONR as parliamentary authority is there any blanket authority to levy fines in there?
  6. While this might be the more time consuming method, I offer the suggestion that in order to fix this by way of amendment the Annual Meeting being a regularly scheduled and called meeting is where such amendment should take place. There may well be other regular meetings throughout the year but apparently amendments can only be voted on at one of them. At least that is my decidedly uneducated and novice opinion of this.
  7. All of our committees are appointed by the President. There is no language as to how they are disbanded or replaced. Our custom is that the President appoints new committees at the start of his 2 year term. The problem is twofold. We have a couple of committees that due to various reasons just do nothing. We have had several presidents who have done nothing about this, either by way of orders or replacement. The other problem is a current president who indicated, after a meeting, that he was not going to implement a motion. Although we won't know if he really plans on doing this until a few months from now and there is an election in between, so it may be a moot point. While we are in the process of a bylaws revision, the idea of adding this duty came up, both to give some teeth to enforce committee work but also to give a clear charge should the president try and block the motion implementation.
  8. I am thinking about what the action is called after a meeting. We are considering adding a duty to the president that he/she be responsible for ensuring matters from the meetings are carried out. Suppose the motion is to buy a new computer. The committee that was directed to do so does not do so. While the president generally has oversight of committees we are considering making it more clear that the president has to enforce the will of the assembly. I saw some similar language in another thread here, that seemed to call these matters orders, but I wasn't sure that was the right word.
  9. Trying to figure out of I am using the right wording for something. If someone makes a motion at a meeting that directs someone to do something, it is seconded, debated and voted on. The motion passes. Is the matter at hand still called a motion? I have also heard it called an order or a ruling. What is the best (and least confusing) term to use?
  10. In our case we had some sections that were bullet points and some that were paragraphs. We had to pick one format or the other.
  11. Not quite a table or diagram, but in the bylaws revision I am a part of, we are formatting several areas as a list of bullet points instead of a paragraph. It will make the total document a few more pages but hopefully make them easier to reference.
  12. The specific powers will be listed, as will be the way an emergency is declared. One thing that was interesting was that many of the empowering legislations allowed for a very broad interpretation of emergency. I think I have come up with one that keeps the historical spirit of the existing section and still allow for some measure of control to keep the boards from running rampant. This has been a fairly hard project to research. Mostly because of the ongoing political debate over presidential emergency powers so that clutters up the google search results. Then most link lead me to state statutes, including my own state, which empower companies to enact emergency rules. However finding example of powers like this is rare. We are lucky in that we know what we want to allow and what we want to limit. I am suggesting that we make this its own article both for clarity and as you suggested to make it easy to find. I am now at the point of putting together the wording then trying to make it as simple as possible. There are a couple of items that could be combined into single sections but could also stay separate. So I think I will bring both ideas to the committee.
  13. Our fire department has two sets of officers, an executive board which runs the corporate affairs and a service board which runs the fire & EMS operations. There has been much discussion on emergency powers during the pandemic. The problem is that we have an existing bylaw section under the powers of the service board that gives them one specific power. As we are nearing the end of a bylaws revision process this is the best time to address such things. However I have a question on where to include them as some duties would fall under the executive board. After much searching online, I have come up with two options but am not sure which one is better. Option 1 would be to leave the service board section where it is, possibly with some expansion and add an additional section under the executive board that includes their powers. Option 2 would be to create a new article for all emergency powers and include sections for both boards, moving the service board section into this new article. I know this is not specifically a RONR question, but as this forum deals with such issues, I value to advice of the members here.
  14. I was being partially facetious with saying neither, but also considering that If it only applied to one than it didn't apply to the other but which was which could be up to interpretation. Neither was a bit much of an exaggeration. These are all things being considered, this is why I asked here. in the last two years we have had 3 attempts at changing various provisions in the officer requirements all but one of which failed. The one that passed was introduced by the committee to fix some problems just before last years election and we were able to get it passed. Mostly because of the absence of some of our more troublesome members. However that revision while it fixed a couple of earlier problems, created a new problem which we are trying to fix in this revision. As for the suspension part, we definitely need to work on that a bit more, but I think that will be the easy part. I have been a member almost 4 years and have never heard before being on this committee anyone seriously talk about suspending the rules. I would like to think so, but I can tell you based on current and past officers and elections, I doubt anything that is clear will remain so for very long.
  15. Unambiguous or not, I had never considered that interpretation of the unanimous requirement, so thanks for giving me more food for thought. I looked up the section on the requirements for the officers in question and may have found some more ambiguity. I remember from past threads the difference between a requirement to serve and a requirement to be elected. However out bylaws for all 7 of these positions say "in order to be eligible for the position of" which seems to me could be interpreted to be either both election and service or neither, or one or the other. Now I don't mind if our current president has to squirm a bit in making a ruling, but as I plan on running against him, I don't relish this task all that much. Here I thought I was asking such a simple question.
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