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Constitution is unclear (different Interpretations)


Drummin

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The content of a constitution is not perfectly clear.

Notice of every General Meeting shall be given to the members entitled to attend and vote, by a circular specifying the time and place of such meeting and business to be transacted. All notices calling meetings may be sent by post to members”.

Now a Special meeting is called.

There is no mention in the constitution of having to send notification in writing and taking note of the word ‘may be sent by post’. No notification was sent out by post. The members were not written to. Note. The normal practice is that a notice in writing is sent to members with the date, time and agenda for the AGM.

A newsletter was sent by e-mail to members which included in item 2, that “An Extraordinary General Meeting will be held in the clubhouse. Date & time. Plus wording of the Motion”.

Question 1. Does the newsletter qualify as a ‘circular’ or should the member have been written to ?.

Question 2. If we vote on this at the start of the meeting, (as to whether the members were properly notified or not) is the vote

a) A majority vote(procedure was or was not followed)

B)A 2/3 majority, because the vote is on a constitutional issue (to clear up the understanding / Interpretation as to whether the members must be notified in writing or not)

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1. Would a newsletter and text be sufficient under the term "by a circular" ?

Question 1. Does the newsletter qualify as a ‘circular’ or should the member have been written to ?.

Question 1. Does the newsletter qualify as a ‘circular’ or should the member have been written to ?.

What do you think?

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Circular- wikipedia: Circular reasoning (also known as paradoxical thinking[citation needed] or circular logic), is a logical fallacy in which "the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with".[1]

Oops, Freudian slip. Sorry.

Circular-dictionary.com:

circular noun

9.

a letter, advertisement, notice, or statement for circulation among the general public.

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It must be stated in every other thread or more, in one manner or another, "we don't interpret bylaws on this website" ...yada yada yada. Similarly, "we don't give legal advice on this website"...*repeat 'yadas"*.

So, without attempting to interpret bylaws and without attempting to give legal advice, I do have a question (or two) for the OP: Why not go the extra mile to ensure all members receive notice? Isn't that the point of giving notice? Or, is the point in this case trying to slip something by so that it goes unnoticed and call it sufficient? That's not really fair, is it?

If no one understands the meaning of "circular"; if no one wants to post a notice (whether by affixing it to a wall or telephone pole or actually "posting" it in the mail--then why not amend the bylaws to reflect common understanding, along with definitions, to eliminate ambiguity?

Who wants to win a vote by playing dirty or being sneaky? Not a demonstration of persuasive skills or a good argument, thus--no?

If it were me, and the bylaws said "circular", I would want to demonstrate that I made every reasonable effort to fulfill that duty as it were termed: I would "post" a notice in the mail, on a billboard or telephone pole--whichever your society prefers, and I would include it in a newsletter. Heck, I might even host a little faux debate utilizing circular logic and make an announcement of the meeting then, too.

Following all aforementioned circulated circulars, I would make every effort to amend the bylaws to be simple, clear, and easy to comply with in such a manner that every member can easily be notified.

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If I were given notice via a newsletter for a special meeting, when the norm had been by post (mailed), you can bet I would object loudly. If you were the victim "recipient" of such a notice, I would hope you were loud and articulate for the sake of the entire Board.

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If I were given notice via a newsletter for a special meeting, when the norm had been by post (mailed), you can bet I would object loudly. If you were the victim "recipient" of such a notice, I would hope you were loud and articulate for the sake of the entire Board.

And what if the newsletter had been sent by post?

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If the question is how, under RONR, some difference of views as to what should have done be handled, my understanding is that

  1. A member needs to raise a point of order, which they may do only at a meeting of the membership.
  2. It need not be at this meeting whose validity is in question; it could be the next meeting.
  3. This point of order needs to be ruled on by whoever is presiding at the meeting where the point is raised.
  4. You and a seconder may appeal that decision, as a result of which the people assembled would need to decide the issue by vote. Mind you, there may be a bias for the people who managed to attend the meeting to regard what notice they received as having been adequate.

Judging from experience with human dynamics (not all of it favorable), you may be more likely to achieve a commitment to future notices to be handled in a consistent way than you are to get the people in attendance to concede their meeting as being out of order. However, I have no knowledge of the standard of consistency to which your group may wish to hold itself.

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