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Qualifications for director


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I belong to a regional organization with local clubs. Each club is entitled to name a director to the regional BOD. The regional org's bylaws say only that the directors must me a member of her local club. My local club wants its bylaws to also require that the person we name as director must be a past president of our club. Some members say we cannot add requirements to those imposed by the regional bylaws. We can't find anything in Robert's Rules. Who is right?

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I belong to a regional organization with local clubs. Each club is entitled to name a director to the regional BOD. The regional org's bylaws say only that the directors must me a member of her local club. My local club wants its bylaws to also require that the person we name as director must be a past president of our club. Some members say we cannot add requirements to those imposed by the regional bylaws. We can't find anything in Robert's Rules. Who is right?

You are free to adopt whatever rules you would like that aren't in conflict with whatever your regional authority says, since you can impose rules that would prevent your assembly from taking a specific decisions. It is up to you to interpret what would be in conflict with the regional authority.

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You are free to adopt whatever rules you would like that aren't in conflict with whatever your regional authority says, since you can impose rules that would prevent your assembly from taking a specific decisions. It is up to you to interpret what would be in conflict with the regional authority.

But, the regional authority has the final say over the meaning of its bylaws not the local clubs.

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I've seen a similar situation. I felt that since the regional bylaws said something to the effect that "directors must me a member of her local club," then principle of interpretation #6 (page 599, RONR, 11th ed) should guide those interpreting the regional bylaws. Thus, the local club may not impose the additional requirement that a director must 1) be a member of the local club AND 2) be a past president of the local club, since principle #6 says the regional bylaws permit everything less than the limitation.

-Bob

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I've seen a similar situation. I felt that since the regional bylaws said something to the effect that "directors must me a member of her local club," then principle of interpretation #6 (page 599, RONR, 11th ed) should guide those interpreting the regional bylaws. Thus, the local club may not impose the additional requirement that a director must 1) be a member of the local club AND 2) be a past president of the local club, since principle #6 says the regional bylaws permit everything less than the limitation.

-Bob

I believe you meant page 590. However, I'd have to disagree that that principle interpretation should be interpreted as requiring that a local assembly be permitted to consider anyone meeting the requirements. It is different to permit something than to explicitly require it. Most bylaws permit the adoption of special rules of order; this does not impose a requirement that any be adopted. Certainly a custom could arise in the local organization that only past presidents be elected as director; I see no reason why a bylaw of the local assembly could not place further restriction on the qualifications.

Consider, alternately, an organization with many units that requires that the officers of each unit be members of the parent organization. There is no reason to read this as prohibiting a unit from further imposing a requirement that its officers be members of that specific unit; to read it otherwise is, in my opinion, quite absurd.

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My local club wants its bylaws to also require that the person we name as director must be a past president of our club.

Even if you can't do that . . .

If your club thinks it should only send a past president, it's free to select a past president to send (assuming the past president is still a member). So the club gets to do what it wants. And if, down the road, none of the past presidents are willing or able to serve, you're not stuck. So be careful what you wish for.

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I'd argue that a past-president requirement limits the person with respect to the requirements of the regional association - as a member of that association (I presume you all are, as well as being local members, or is your club the actual "member" of the regional association). Only that regional association can impose limits like that.

At any rate it will be up to the locals and the regionals to figure out what their respective bylaws "really" mean and how much one controls the other -- we don't even know what they say here, let alone mean!

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I belong to a regional organization with local clubs. Each club is entitled to name a director to the regional BOD. The regional org's bylaws say only that the directors must me a member of her local club. My local club wants its bylaws to also require that the person we name as director must be a past president of our club. Some members say we cannot add requirements to those imposed by the regional bylaws. We can't find anything in Robert's Rules. Who is right?

One would have to prudently dig through the bylaws to give a valid opinion, since so many factors could affect the answer to your question.

Restrictions on eligibility to be nominated, to be elected, and to serve are different things, as are restrictions on local clubs and regional officers.

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