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  1. Good day all. There is a definite conflict in our bylaws when it comes to elections. In short that section of our bylaws calls for one "Class" of member (Retired) to be able to cast two votes (during the same election for one of the Boards 9 seats, for a "Retired" member), and the other "Class" of member (Active) may only cast a vote for one of the remaining 8 seats, but may not vote for the "Retirees" seat. I was made aware, from my previous post, that under Robert's Rules, there is only one kind of member and that member has but one vote. And that RONR 588 – 591 #2 reads: “When a provision of the bylaws is susceptible to two meanings, one of which conflicts with or renders absurd another bylaw provision, and the other meaning does not, the latter must be taken as the true meaning.” My questions: What, if any, recourse do I have at this point? Do I have to wait until after the upcoming election to contest it? Thanks in advance.
  2. Good day. I have a couple of questions regarding our associations bylaws and upcoming Board election. We have 3 categories of members: 1. Regular (includes active and retired members), 2. Associate and 3. Honorary. Our bylaws state (in part)" Regular members are both active and retired members..." An addendum was added to the bylaws (still questionable as to how) creating a 4th membership class, "Retired Member", that states "one Board seat shall be for a retired member, and shall be elected by retired members"... Just a quick background, originally the reference to "Retired member" was for members of a "sister organization" who would have a seat on our organizations Board, but would only serve in an advisory position (no voting power). That being said I voiced my opinion to the Board and the President that, given the current language, it appears that 1. a Regular (Active) member does not have the right to vote for a "Retired" member" and 2. that since "Regular members" include both active and retired members, this gives retired members the right to vote twice, at the same election, for a seat on the same Board. Am I incorrect in thinking that there is a definite conflict (based upon that language) in our bylaws? And if so, can that conflict have an effect on the upcoming election? Hope it's not too confusing (although it is screwed up). Thanks in advance.
  3. Several years ago my religious organization ended an employment relationship with a professional church worker. The personnel committee, organized as a sub-committee of the general assembly, was responsible for overseeing the matter. This sub-committee sent correspondence to the synodical church leadership concerning the employee relationship that may have had an impact on that persons employment opportunities in sister churches. We believe all of this correspondence falls under the protection of state and federal privacy laws relating to employers/employees, so there was no report regarding this correspondence given to the general assembly. Recently, a member of our assembly became aware of the existence of some of the correspondence. This member firmly believes the nature and content of some of the correspondence should have been shared with the general assembly. Therefore, the member created a motion seeking this correspondence be released to the assembly. This motion was first presented to a sub-committee of the assembly, but failed to progress due to lack of a second. Now the member seeks to present his motion to the entire assembly. To do this, the member will first have to get approval from the assembly to add a new business item not on the adopted agenda for the assembly meeting; our agenda is fixed by our constitution and bylaws, so this business would be considered a changed agenda. If the assembly approves (two-thirds majority required), then the member would present their motion. But we now believe the motion this member seeks is in conflict with state or federal privacy laws, and therefore is out of order. We feel that raising this topic in any form in the general assembly puts the organization at risk for lawsuit from the aggrieved employee due to breach of privacy. My question now is: when does the Chairman have the responsibility to declare the motion is out of order? For example, when the member comes forward to move to change the agenda, it is reasonable to expect that he/she will need to say something about the business they would like to add to the agenda. We cannot say for certain in advance exactly how the member may characterize the new business he wants to bring forth. Therefore, must we wait until he/she has said something about requesting information that would be considered violating the privacy law? And is it reasonable for the Chairman to interrupt the member mid-sentence to declare the motion out of order and prevent the member from making statements that could potentially put the organization at risk of privacy violation? Can we stop the business from moving forward even at the "change the agenda" stage, versus potentially waiting until the entire motion is read (assuming the change-the-agenda motion is successful)?
  4. I am aware that one of the fundamental rights of RONR is protection of the minority, hence the use of 2/3 votes for motions like previous question and limit debate. My question arises when a 2/3 vote is equal to majority, such as when the assembly consists of only 6 voting members. In that case, a majority would be able to hinder the minority of rights like debate, because they also have 2/3 and could therefore pass motions like previous question. Does Robert's Rules mention anything about this scenario? Would it ever make sense to require a 5/6 vote when the assembly consists of 6 voting members?
  5. Guest

    Abstain Conflict

    I am the board chair for a farmers market. We elect members of our board from our membership. Members are vendors in our market. We are a 501c6 that uses the Roberts Rules in our bylaws as to our procedures. We have 13 board members that represents different facets of our market. For example, we have members that represent crafts, produce, plants, prepared foods, ect. They are not direct elected by category but elected by the whole membership. Here is our dilemma. Part of our responsibilities is to bring in perspective new vendors/ members. After they apply, they come before the board to present their products. The board than votes to accept or decline the prospective vendor. There is a possibility of conflict here. Sometimes we get the same product that comes before the board. For example, we get a vegetable grower, and we have a member that is on the board that is also a vegetable grower. If the prospective vendor were to get into the market, they would be considered a direct competitor financially to the board member. Is it appropriate for the board member that sells vegetables to abstain from voting or be recused by the chair? Thanks for your help in advance- B
  6. Guest

    conflict of interest

    I have posted questions to this forum in the past and have real positive answers regarding the American Legion. Since we are a 501c3 entity. is it a conflict of interest if the husband is the Commander and his wife is the adjudent of the Legion Post. I would guess that since both have signing authority on the checks and other legal instruments that it might cause some questions from the members.
  7. Is it a conflict of interest if a daughter is serving as President and a mother is serving as Treasurer?
  8. Guest

    Conflict of interest

    Can the president and vice president of a non profit organization live together under the same roof?
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