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Guest hamplaw2

Non-voting members of Nominations Committee

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Guest hamplaw2

The by-laws of my organization state that past-presidents may be appointed to the Nominations Committee, but only as non-voting members. Does this mean these non-voters can make motions to nominate a person who did not apply to be on the board? The intent of the provision was to draw upon the wisdom and institutional knowledge of the past-presidents without allowing them to unduly influence the direction of the organization. It seems that if they are allowed to do everthing but vote, such as moving to nominate someone from the floor, that this would violate the intent of the by-law. Thoughts anyone?

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Guest Edgar

It seems that if they are allowed to do everthing but vote, such as moving to nominate someone from the floor, that this would violate the intent of the by-law. Thoughts anyone?

It seems the intent was to allow them to do everything but vote.

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The by-laws of my organization state that past-presidents may be appointed to the Nominations Committee, but only as non-voting members. Does this mean these non-voters can make motions to nominate a person who did not apply to be on the board? The intent of the provision was to draw upon the wisdom and institutional knowledge of the past-presidents without allowing them to unduly influence the direction of the organization. It seems that if they are allowed to do everthing but vote, such as moving to nominate someone from the floor, that this would violate the intent of the by-law. Thoughts anyone?

If, as you say, the bylaws say past presidents may be appointed, and the body that appoints the Nominating Committee doesn't think having a past president appointed to it is a good idea, they can choose not to. As for nominating from the floor, any member has that right (barring other rules not mentioned yet), and that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Nominating Committee's duties nor would it have any apparent influence on the committee anyway, nor be in violation of the cited bylaw.

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Guest hamplaw2

Edgar, the intent was only to have them available as sort of a resource body, nothing else. This was only added a few years ago, so I was around when it was done. I can see how you might read it that way, however. There are more than 30 past-presidents so you can see that they could (and have in the past) had great influence, as they are also lifetime voting board members. Robert, we generally do use secret ballots. My question was about the validity of a past-pres, who is a non-voting member of the nominations committee moving to nominte someone for office. David, this was not a nomination from the floor of the board meeting. Rather, it was during the nominations committee meeting. There were three qualified members who had applied for the position. the preson getting the nomination did not apply, which is the procedure that has been followed for many years. The committee meets to nominate board members and one officer position. Our by-laws also provide that if someone doen't like a nominations committee nominee, he or she can run for the position, but that takes place well after the committee has met and made its choices.There is a separate procedure for actual elections by the membership that is rarely used. Generally, the nominations committee's choices are accepted. There have only been two contested elections in the entire history of the organization. I hope this makes sense. Our by-laws are a little weird and need rewriting. Many of them violate Robert's Rules.

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We are not permitted to interpret bylaws here, only answer questions on Robert's Rules, which really doesn't have an answer to your question. Perhaps it's best to amend the bylaws so that whatever was intended is concisely stated in them, no?

And the bylaws really can't violate Robert's Rules, but can conflict with them, and when they do, the bylaws take precedence.

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Guest hamplaw2

Thanks, everyone for your replies. I wasn't really seeking an interpretation of the bylaw, and apologize if I gave that impression. I was just curious as to whether a non-voting member of a committee could also make a motion. Both the bylaw and Robert's Rules are silent. And you're right -- I should have said conflict instead of violate. My bad.

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Guest Edgar

I was just curious as to whether a non-voting member of a committee could also make a motion.

You can search this forum for "non-voting member" (using the quotation marks) to find several discussions on this unresolved topic.

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Thanks, everyone for your replies. I wasn't really seeking an interpretation of the bylaw, and apologize if I gave that impression. I was just curious as to whether a non-voting member of a committee could also make a motion. Both the bylaw and Robert's Rules are silent. And you're right -- I should have said conflict instead of violate. My bad.

The term "non-voting" member is included in your bylaws, not RONR, and so the interpretation of what that means is left to your organization. If the only right of membership which is removed is the right to vote, then normal rules of interpretation would suggest that any other rights not mentioned would remain, such as the right to make motions, and speak in debate.

(If those were removed, the member would have to sit silently, and what would be the point of showing up in that case?)

But it's not possible for anyone (much less us) to actually interpret what that bylaws provision means in the context of your organization without carefully reading the entire document.

If you think the bylaws are not clear enough, you should endeavor to amend them.

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