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Abstain Conflict

Guest bglass

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I am the board chair for a farmers market. We elect members of our board from our membership. Members are vendors in our market. We are a 501c6 that uses the Roberts Rules in our bylaws as to our procedures. We have 13 board members that represents different facets of our market. For example, we have members  that represent crafts, produce, plants, prepared foods, ect. They are not direct elected by category but elected by the whole membership.


Here is our dilemma. Part of our responsibilities is to bring in perspective new vendors/ members. After they apply, they come before the board to present their products. The board than votes to accept or decline the prospective vendor. There is a possibility of conflict here. Sometimes we get the same product that comes before the board. For example, we get a vegetable grower, and we have a member that is on the board that is also a vegetable grower. If the prospective vendor were to get into the market, they would be considered a direct competitor financially to the board member.


Is it appropriate for the board member that sells vegetables to abstain from voting or be recused by the chair?


Thanks for your help in advance- B



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