Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Special Meeting for Elections - Date Conflicts


Recommended Posts

I just joined, this is my first post.  I searched the forum but couldn't find an answer directly on point.

 

Our organization's chairman resigned a month ago.  Our 1st vice chair is acting chairman.  Our rules specifically say that resignaton of the chairman does not cause the 1st vice chair to become chair, they say that an election must be held.  For background, our chairman is normally elected at a two year county convention (700 delegates), which occurred a few months ago.  The new chair will be elected by the executive committee (100 or so delegates).

 

Our rules do not address who has the authority to call elections and does not instruct us on when the new elections are to be held.  We generally meet every other month.  Under our rules, the chairman, or 10% of the membership, can call a special meeting.  The call must list the purpose of the meeting, and no other business can occur there.  The acting chair, in consultation with the officers, has decided to put the election on the agenda for our regular August 5 meeting.  Prior to publication of the offical agenda, Group A collected 15% of the membership and called for a special meeting on September 2 for the purpose of electing a chairman.  Group A believes attendance at the August 5 meeting will be sparse, and that their prefered candidate, Candidate Q, will be hurt by an August 5 election date.  Candidate Q is an attorney for the organization and will be heavily devoted to a legal matter of the organization that will go to trial in mid august.

 

The acting chair objects that it is his perogative to set the election date, in consultation with the other officers.  He also does not want to be seen as giving preferential treatment to Candidate Q.  As a compromise, he suggested that the election be put on the agenda, but that during new business a motion could be made to move the date of the election.

 

In response to Group A's special meeting request, Group B is preparing a special meeting request.  Group B wil submit their request on July 24 or so, calling for a meeting on July 29 to set elect the new chairman.  Again, the thinking is that the timing will hurt Candidate Q, and the apparent hope is that, since it is on such short notice, the meeting will be attended mostly by those of Group B making the call for the meeting.

 

1.  If our rules are silent on who can set the date of an election, is there a Roberts Rule that addresses this?

 

2.  Can Group A essentially set the election date by stating that is the purpose of the special meeting to be held on September 2?

 

3.  Would Group B's call for a special meeting on July 29 for the purpose of holding the election that night be out of order since it conflicts with the earlier, valid (as far as % of those calling for the meeting) request / motion of Group A?

 

Thanks so much,

 

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

The acting chair objects that it is his perogative to set the election date, in consultation with the other officers.

 

The chair is incorrect on this point, unless your rules so provide.

 

As a compromise, he suggested that the election be put on the agenda, but that during new business a motion could be made to move the date of the election.

 

The election is on the agenda during or after New Business? That makes very little sense. The chair is correct that the election may be postponed, but this timing seems unusual.

 

1.  If our rules are silent on who can set the date of an election, is there a Roberts Rule that addresses this?

 

No.

 

2.  Can Group A essentially set the election date by stating that is the purpose of the special meeting to be held on September 2?

 

No, because you can't call a special meeting to be held after the next regular meeting. At the regular meeting, the assembly could schedule an adjourned meeting for September 2 and postpone the election to that time.

 

Yes, but it doesn't prevent the matter from being addressed at the regular meeting or an earlier special meeting.

 

3.  Would Group B's call for a special meeting on July 29 for the purpose of holding the election that night be out of order since it conflicts with the earlier, valid (as far as % of those calling for the meeting) request / motion of Group A?

 

No. First of all, the earlier request was not valid. Secondly, no rule prevents conflicting special meetings from being called. A motion to postpone the election to the regular meeting on August 5 would be in order.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much!

 

1.  "No, because you can't call a special meeting to be held after the next regular meeting."

 

Can you reference this?

 

2.  "Secondly, no rule prevents conflicting special meetings from being called."

 

Even if the express purpose of the meetings and the only business that can occur conflicts?

 

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

1.  "No, because you can't call a special meeting to be held after the next regular meeting."

 

Can you reference this?

 

Well, I'm apparently wrong on this one. So the correct answer to that question is actually "Yes, but it doesn't prevent the matter from being addressed at the regular meeting or an earlier special meeting." See RONR, 11th ed., pg. 92, line 35 - pg. 93, line 4, and the footnote on pg. 93.

 

2.  "Secondly, no rule prevents conflicting special meetings from being called."

 

Even if the express purpose of the meetings and the only business that can occur conflicts?

 

Yes. Think about the alternative. Would it really be fair for a handful of members to prevent the assembly from taking up the election earlier if it so wished (especially considering that a special meeting can apparently be called after the next regular meeting)?

 

Ultimately, if your rules are silent, the assembly itself controls when the election will be held. At whatever meeting it comes up (regular or special), the assembly can postpone it if it wishes. Of course, if your assembly's attendance varies wildly and people are using that fact to try to manipulate the outcome of the election, perhaps it would be best to adopt specific rules for when to hold such elections.

 

It also occurs to me that Group B seems to be calling their special meeting with very little notice. Do your rules actually allow for special meetings to be called with such a small amount of notice? If so, that might be another thing to look into. If not, their request is not valid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, makes sense.

 

Our rules say special meeting with either three or four secular days notice.

 

Since the special meeting for September 2 has already been called, what happens to that motion?  Would that special meeting still occur if the July 29 special meeting occurs? As the only item to be considered there would be election of a chairman, would we end up with the odd situation of having another election?

 

Our rules are very lacking.  Our rules say any rules changes made by the executive committee only last through the next county convention, when they have to be ratified.  In 2011 the convention was mismanaged and a disaster and the rules changes were not considered.  I was elected to the rules committee in 2012.  At the 2013 convention, our rules changes were ruled out of order.  There's so much that needs to be addressed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our rules say special meeting with either three or four secular days notice.

 

I'm not entirely sure what a "secular day" is, but it still seems like an awfully short notice period for an assembly of 100. You may want to change that in the future.

 

Since the special meeting for September 2 has already been called, what happens to that motion?  Would that special meeting still occur if the July 29 special meeting occurs? As the only item to be considered there would be election of a chairman, would we end up with the odd situation of having another election?

 

It depends on what happens at the July 29th meeting (and at the regular meeting on August 5th). As I noted, the assembly can postpone the election, so there is no guarantee it will be completed on the 29th. I would say the special meeting on the 2nd is moot if the election has been completed prior to that point. Under no circumstances would you hold a second election.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...