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Charlie Arnold

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  1. This question is directed toward the timing of the Eligibility of a candidate for an office. The question has risen in this fashion. Someone would like to run for an office that he accepts he is not qualified for at the time of the nomination, however, will have or could have the qualification met by the time the election takes place. Can the candidate be nominated for the office? This question can also be pushed to: can he be nominated and elected if he has the qualification met by the time he is to take office? The current by-laws provide the following: "Nominations for Elective Officers shall be made on the regularly scheduled meeting nights in October and November. Nominations and ballots will be closed at the end of the November meeting. Any write-in names will not be counted and will disqualify the entire ballot. Nominations shall be limited to eligible Regular Members only." -"In order for any member to hold the office of Fire Chief he/she must meet the following qualifications..." The point being raised is the by-laws state "to hold office" "he/she must meet the following qualification. Specifically: When must a person meet the qualifications listed above? At the time of the nominations or at the time of election or by the time the elected candidate would take the office, in essence, "hold the office". When the nominations were held the same night as the election this seemed a mute point, but now there is a month gap between the closing of nomination and elections the question has been brought up as a point to be debated. The current President ruled on the floor that the person must be eligible at the time of the nomination to be a valid nomination. It would seem that he is correct, but if he was not the ruling would still stand because a point of order was not further raised or contested within that meeting. Thoughts?
  2. To me, this seems obvious, but to others, it is not! When providing an interpretation of a Bylaw shouldn't the interpretation be rendered based upon actual wording and punctuation rather than the "so called intent" of a bylaw? It would seem that "intent" opens a can of worms leaving it in people's judgment of what they remember an intent should be or open to bias. The problem specifically is that someone has been removed from office because of a statement about required training states the specific training must be provided by the specific state we are operating within. That could not be argued against because it specifically stated the state in the bylaw. Then in another move to remove several people from office, there is a statement of qualification that does not have the state stated specifically only the type of training. The issue here is a ruling was made because of a specific word being present without any relief for an equivalent. Now the same individuals are trying to say another qualification without the state specifically being listed still applies because of the intent of the wording. To me, this is two faced and wrong. I have always interpreted a bylaw based upon the current wording, not the intention. This keeps all emotion out of the ruling. Is this a correct way to look at making an interpretation of a bylaw, by the actual wording that is, not by intent of the wording?
  3. I do see that now, yes. I think it is a common error I have seen in multiple organizations.
  4. It has also been pointed out that even though our bylaws state nominations are closed the month previous, that the members can vote to re-open nominations. Would that require a 2/3 vote to re-open and would it require a suspension of the bylaws first?
  5. I have uploaded the relevant portions of our Constitution and By-Laws for your review. The President and Vice-President for this election were unopposed as nominations were voted to be closed in November, therefore our practice has been for someone to make a motion for the secretary to cast the ballot for the unopposed offices. As for the office the contention is about, there were several names voiced during the nomination process, however anyone who declined their candidacy (nomination) at that time were not listed as nominees. Two remained as accepting the nominations. Now prior to the election next week, both sides of an issue have been made public, including threats of a law suit if a certain nominee does not win because of a parliamentary point of order or procedure. The issues stated again is as follows: Two nominees exist at this time for said office, "A". I have been told that Nominee 1 has declared publicly that he now intends to drop out of the race by declining his nomination prior to the moment of election. It has been rumored that he has stated this action is for the purpose to assist Nominee 2 win the election of the office by Nominee 1 dropping out at the last moment and that our by-laws state that nominations are closed in the prior meeting so no other name can be added for the election. Therefore, electing the Nominee 2. It is rumored that Nominee 2 has stated something similar to the fact that "we gott'em" and there is nothing the membership can do about it and if they do I am gonna take them to court. Therefore, I have been asked the following: (1) Can Nominee 1, after being present and accepting the nomination and nominations being closed, decline the nomination just prior to the election. Ballots have already been printed for election between Nominee 1 and Nominee 2. (2) If Nominee 1 can not "un-nominate himself" at this point then the election ballot would proceed, which would also allow a write-in opportunity since there would still be a ballot election. Is this correct? (3) Should this ruling be voted on by our membership if statement (2) was the parliamentarians' ruling to avoid the accusation of it being manipulated by the president or parliamentarians'? (4) If Nominee 1 drops out of the race, say he is even allowed to withdraw his name from nomination, leaving Nominee 2 as the only candidate is a motion in order to NOT ALLOW the secretary to cast the ballot for the un-opposed office, thus forcing a ballot election where a write in name could be placed into the race for possible election. (5) There is nothing the membership can do, Nominee 2 will be elected because Nominee 1 dropped out of the race at the last minute by declining the nomination. Based upon previous practices, President shall entertain a motion for the Secretary to cast the ballot for the unopposed office of "A". (6) If that motion passes FOR THE SECRETARY TO CAST THE BALLOT, then Nominee is elected to the office, if the motion does not pass, then we are back to a ballot election by the membership where a write-in name could be placed on the ballot for possible election. I truly need advice as to which of these are correct and could be followed. Any and all recommendations for help on this would be appreciated. VOTING PROCEDURES CONSTITUTION.docx
  6. Is it also correct that the one nominee can not un-nominate himself, once he accepted his candidacy and thus the nomination, to force a unanimous election by creating an un-opposed election?
  7. We have a situation where someone nominated for an office is trying to drop out of a two person election in order to force the election of the other member. This has enraged other members believing that when the nominations were closed that the person who is intending to drop out to manipulate the election was willing to serve and would easily be elected, thus there were no further nominations and were closed per our By-laws. Also per our by-laws nominations were closed a month ago, with no provision for re-opening. Those who are outraged by the threat of this nominee to drop out of the race, in order to give the election to the other person who many people do not get along with has caused great concern and conflict. The two members involved have publicly told others there is nothing anyone can do about it and if members try to do something about it, the one if not elected will sue the company. Those who are outraged have held a caucus and are planning to write-in another name. If I understand ROR correctly, since our by-laws do not cover this action, once the person accepted the nomination and was present during the nomination process, that person remains on the ballot regardless of what they say about trying to decline. I saw someone in this forum has stated that a person once nominated "can not un-nominate themselves". Therefore, there is a ballot and not an election the member by being unopposed and because there is a ballot election, a write-in is possible. Is that correct? As one of the parliamentarians I have been asked by both sides what is possible and what is not.
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