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Executive Committee members ignoring parliamentary procedure to stop Board from voting on new bylaws


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Executive Committee has 9 members including President. 3 of those members are trying to take over the organization and remove the Executive Director.  Bylaws Committee had a cross section of members with different views who met for many months and was able to come up with compromises that all but 3 members agreed to.  Bylaws  Committee has submitted extensively revised bylaws. Executive Committee voted to send new bylaws to the Board for a vote. President broke the tie vote to send bylaws to Board. These 3 members plus 2 additional members from bylaws committee who voted against passing the bylaws are trying to stop the bylaws from being voted on by the Board.  These members did not attend any bylaws committee meetings until the last couple of meetings and then tried to undo all the work that had been done.

The current constitution and RONR have been followed to bring a constitutional revision to the Board for a vote. We employed a PRP to help with the drafting of these bylaws to make sure they followed state law and RONR.

 

However, these executive committee members and their supporters disrupted a meeting that was scheduled as an informal meeting to explain new bylaws and took over the meeting. They also shared lots of inaccurate and misleading information about the new bylaws at that meeting. They will likely try to take over the annual meeting just as they did at this informal meeting.  Current constitution is badly written and has no workable provision for removing an officer (must do the trial thing, etc.) and has no provision for removing members. PRP told us that we could have an officer in jail for murder and we could not remove an officer under current constitution. Thus, these 3 executive committee members want to keep the current constitution and prevent a vote on the revision. The current constitution is so badly written that a group such as this can indeed take over an organization with over 100 Board members and over 10,000 members. The organization is in serious trouble. I appreciate any help you can give.

 

1. What do you do if 3 members of executive committee refuse to follow RONR and current constitution and try to control the organization by ignoring RONR and the constitution?

2. How do you remove 3 or 4 members at a time from a meeting?

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2. How do you remove 3 or 4 members at a time from a meeting?

 

I think you can only remove one member at a time, actually. See the pages Mr. Tesser cited for the process.

 

If the 9 member board has a role in approving these bylaws, and 5 of those 9 don't wish to approve them, they would normally not be approved.

 

As I understand it, the Executive Committee has nine members, and three members of the Executive Committee opposed the amendments. The two additional members of the Bylaws Committee do not appear to be members of the Executive Committee. So the proposed bylaws passed the Executive Committee and were referred to the board. The board has over 100 board members, so three or five people are a fairly small fraction of the board (it's not clear whether the two additional members of the Bylaws Committee are members of the board either).

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PRP resigned due to sudden family illness. PRP has now given us some helpful suggestions for dealing with this situation.

 

Experience with these people is what tells me they will try to take over. I can not put specifics here since anyone can access this forum. Besides, my understanding is that this forum is to assist with problems. Proving the problem exists is neither required or relevant.

 

 

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Experience with these people is what tells me they will try to take over. I can not put specifics here since anyone can access this forum. Besides, my understanding is that this forum is to assist with problems. Proving the problem exists is neither required or relevant.

 

As noted on the Introductory Page, "The Question and Answer Forum is provided to allow an open exchange of views relevant to specific questions of parliamentary procedure under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised."

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PRP resigned due to sudden family illness. PRP has now given us some helpful suggestions for dealing with this situation.

 

Experience with these people is what tells me they will try to take over. I can not put specifics here since anyone can access this forum. Besides, my understanding is that this forum is to assist with problems. Proving the problem exists is neither required or relevant.

 

Well, the issue is that with such sparse facts, it's not entirely clear what the problem is. We're told that the members "disrupted" a meeting and intend to "take over" the annual meeting, but I don't have the slightest idea what exactly this means.

 

The only substantial fact that has so far been provided about the member's behavior is that they "shared lots of inaccurate and misleading information about the new bylaws at that meeting." I'm not clear on how this, in and of itself, would enable a handful of members to control a much larger assembly, since there are presumably many other members present who can clarify the facts.

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Here are a few examples. One person grabbed the microphone after the speaker was introduced but before he could start speaking and insisted on launching a lengthy attack on bylaws before the speaker could give any information about them . The meeting became a verbal free for all with people attacking anyone on bylaws committee, the executive director (who is excellent, by the way  but stands in the way of them overthrowing the organization because she is so effective) as well as the bylaws. The speaker was not allowed to finish his presentation before the room had to be vacated. Think total chaos and verbal abuse. 

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Here are a few examples. One person grabbed the microphone after the speaker was introduced but before he could start speaking and insisted on launching a lengthy attack on bylaws before the speaker could give any information about them . The meeting became a verbal free for all with people attacking anyone on bylaws committee, the executive director (who is excellent, by the way  but stands in the way of them overthrowing the organization because she is so effective) as well as the bylaws. The speaker was not allowed to finish his presentation before the room had to be vacated. Think total chaos and verbal abuse. 

It sounds like the chairman was ineffective at keeping order.

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Guest Nancy N.

It sounds like the chairman was ineffective at keeping order.

 

Sometimes it's impossible, given Guest_zach's description of what amounts to Brownshirt tactics.  See the parenthetical note in Post 2, it wasn't kidding (p. 648 - 649).

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Here are a few examples. One person grabbed the microphone after the speaker was introduced but before he could start speaking and insisted on launching a lengthy attack on bylaws before the speaker could give any information about them . The meeting became a verbal free for all with people attacking anyone on bylaws committee, the executive director (who is excellent, by the way  but stands in the way of them overthrowing the organization because she is so effective) as well as the bylaws. The speaker was not allowed to finish his presentation before the room had to be vacated. Think total chaos and verbal abuse. 

 

This is indeed the sort of behavior which can get a member kicked out of a meeting. If it is expected that the meeting will erupt into "total chaos" then it may be prudent to have local police or private security present for the meeting. This will make things considerably more problematic, however, since although this handful of members may be the instigators, it seems there are actually quite a few problem members if the meeting became "a verbal free for all." Presumably, however, they are still in the minority... otherwise there's not much you can do.

 

Good luck.

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