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Vote by the minority to carry the day

Guest Mary Whigham

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This is a biggie! State organization put into play a bylaw amendment 6 years that stated that any club wishing to leave the state organization must ask by ballot all members of that club to weigh in. If 5 elect to stay, the club must adhere to the wishes of the 5 and stay members. These 5 retain its membership, assets and status. Secondly, no club may "honorably" withdraw unless dues are paid up and upon payment of dues and notification of valid withdrawal, termination of membership may be granted.

Our club formed in 1895 under its current name and bylaws as adjusted from time to time. We use Roberts Rules as our guiding principle. The state uses Roberts unless their bylaws state otherwise....When does the minority prevail?

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So if our bylaws defer to roberts rules as our guiding resource and is not specific to rights of the minority and I believe Roberts suggests that it is the majority having given the minority due process that prevails, the minority in this case cannot prevail?

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Your first assumption is incorrect: "So if our bylaws defer to roberts rules..." The other way around is correct.

The bylaws supersede RONR, when they disagree or say things with differing implications and outcomes. Your bylaws say that 5 members is all it takes to keep a local group in the state organization, no matter how many others wish to leave. Of course, the "others" may walk out anyway and form a new association, but the remnant of 5 get to keep the official "membership, assets and status."

Don't like it? Amend the bylaws.

This wouldn't be a Church, by any chance?

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It is the larger state group's bylaws that we have been a member of for a number of years that declared the 5 man rule some 6 years ago not our organization. We annually budget and vote to pay dues. As the state organization has declined, we are looking to keep our monies at home. Our bylaws state the treasurer may only expend money by order of the club. We are having a hard time understanding how an organization that we pay dues to can tell us that we can't stop paying dues if 5 of our members declare they want to continue to pay dues when our bylaws indicate monies may be paid only by order of the club and obviously this would be by a majority vote to approve the budget!

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Without seeing the state association's bylaws, I can't say whether or how they can enforce the "5-man" rule or whether their adopting it in their bylaws requires you to adhere to the rule.

Suggestion: find a local parliamentarian to work with you on this one...

If you anticipate that you might

have continuing parliamentary

difficulties or problems you

might want to get in touch with

a real live professional

parliamentarian in your area

(not virtual ones like us)

for consultations.

Contact either (or both) the ...

National Association of Parliamentarians

213 South Main St.

Independence, MO 64050-3850

Phone: 888-627-2929

Fax: 816-833-3893;

e-mail: hq@NAP2.org



American Institute of Parliamentarians

550M Ritchie Highway #271

Severna Park, MD 21146

Phone: 888-664-0428

Fax: 410-544-4640

e-mail: aip@aipparl.org


for a reference or information.

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