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association nomination committee irregularities

Guest Tania

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Hello,  our association  will be electing a new board soon.  


     Our by laws state  that a nomination committee must be formed by June 1st   and shall submit a slate of candidates  for the positions of officers and directors by July 1st .  No members of the current board can be on the nomination committee.  No member of the nomination committee can be on the nominated on the slate of candidates submitted by the nomination committee but can be nominated by petition after the slate of candidates  have been submitted by the nomination committee to the club secretary..    The nomination committee will consist of three members of the club and two alternates.  


     When the nomination committee submitted their slate of nominees to the board,  one of the nominees was also on the nomination committee which is in conflict with our Association Bi Laws.


     Our By Laws also state that the nomination committee shall submit its slate of candidates to the club secretary, by July 1st, who shall mail to the membership on or before July 15th. After July 15th,  additional nominations  may be made by its members, if so desired.  Additional nominations may be made by written petition, signed by five (5) club members , accompanied by a written acceptance and a biographical description, willingness to be a candidate, must be address to the club secretary and postmarked on or before Aug 15th.  no member can be a candidate for more the one (1) position and the additional nominations which are provided for herein may be made only from among those members who have not accepted a nomination from the nomination committee.  Nominations postmarked after August 15th will not be accepted.    Nominations may not be made in any other manner other than the provisions above


When the slate of candidates was submitted by the nomination committee to the the secretary,  this slate included  a member who was also on the nomination committee.  this is a clear violation of our club bylaw.  We checked with both of the alternates to find out if either alternate were called upon to be included in the nomination committee and nomination process and they were not included.  One alternated stated he was called by the  nomination committee chair on July 6th but she did not leave a message or call back.  This alternate felt  the call must not have been important because she did not leave a message or follow up with another call.


It was also discovered that  the club secretary had called one of the potential candidates on July 11th to ask if he would like to serve on the board  and would he consider a nomination on the nomination committee slate of candidates---  We feel these are more violations of our club by laws.



My questions are


1) The slate of candidates  submitted to the club secretary had a club member who was also on the nomination committee. A) Is she removed from the slate of candidates ?

                                    B) Is the position on the slate of candidates lest open or is another  member                                          selected?

                                    C)And if so, whom selects the member to fill the position,

                                    D)How should this be addressed to the current board?

                                    E)What is the correct and legal course of action that should be taken in                                                order?                                      

                                     F) to not be in conflict with the association By Laws?


2)  The By laws state the slate of candidates be submitted to the club secretary by July 1st and mailed to the membership on or before July 15th.  Also in the By Laws, it states that no board member to be on the nomination committee.  We know without a doubt a club member was contacted by the club secretary  on July 11th to be included on the slate of candidates submitted to the secretary.  

This gives us the impression that the slate of candidates was not completed and submitted to the secretary by July 1st and the current club secretary had been calling candidates to be on the slate of candidates.

                              A) With the appearance of the slate of candidates to be submitted by the                                                nomination committee invalid since it was not submitted by the July 1st                                               deadline? 

                              B) Is it improper and a violation of the club By Laws for the current club                                                   Secretary to be calling intentional candidates for the nomination committee?

                               C) How should this be addressed to the current board?


                               D) Were these Violations of the club By Laws?

                               E) What rights does the membership have in regards to these issues?

                               F)  What if the Board fails to act on these complaints? 

                               G)Does the membership have any recourse if these are Bi Laws Violations?


Did I mention the Nomination Committee Nominated the current club secretary as a candidate of club president?  


The association membership is frustrated with the improprieties that have taken place in this club and are dropping memberships.  This is just the latest examples.  In the past, the club secretary white washed six months of club meeting minutes.  The club secretary rewrote six months of club minutes, most of which were already approved and presented them as revisions to the meeting minutes.  This was done to cover up other wrong doings conducted by a majority of the current board.  Of course these "REVISIONS" were approved by majority vote.  The minutes to be revised were on the agenda which was sent out 3 days before the board was to meet.  I guess this is Prior notice which is needed for a majority vote to approve.  The previously approved minutes have bow disappeared.  The vote on the revised minutes was done as a whole for each meeting minutes to be revised.


Were not sure on how to proceed.  Is this an issue to be brought to the attention of Attorney general of the state in which the association has is incorporation? (Delaware)

Not sure how to proceed any advice or help would be appriciated.

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It seems like you are saying that the slate presented by the committee included at least one improper nominee and possibly some blanks. And possibly the whole thing is blank, if it was submitted late. But it is proper for anyone to be nominated by five club members after the slate is submitted.

  1. Possibly, but it is up to your club to interpret your bylaws.
  2. No likely. The secretary has as much right to call people to ask if they are interested as any other club member.
  3. Unless the bylaws give it specific authority to do so, it is not the responsibility of the board to address this.
  4. Possibly, but it is up to your club to interpret your bylaws.
  5. Any member of the club can raise a point of order at the next meeting of the club.
  6. Good for them. It isn’t their responsibility.
  7. Any improper nominations should be removed from the list. But the unfortunate thing is that your bylaws may put you in a position of having no nominees for some or all of the positions. That would be a good reason to amend the bylaws.
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If i understand you correctly,  The secretary of the club is allowed to call potential candidates for the nomination committee.  Is this not the Nomination committee's job.  And would it not be a " conflict of interest" for the club secretary to participate within the nomination committee.


I also have a questions about Alternates


Our bylaws stste that their are to be two alternates for the nomination committee.  What is the role of the alternates?  Are they called to the meeting but not allowed to participate unless their is a vacancy? Do they attend the meeting? not attend the meetings? 


A question on Minutes of the Nomination committee.

Are the minutes of the nomination committee submitted to the board?  are their minutes to be taken or not taken? are they submitted to the board as a report? is the nomination committee minutes included in the regular board minutes when distributed to the club?


Point of order


If a point of order is raised and refused to be acted upon by the rest of the board is their any recourse besides an appeal?

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Guest Tania, most of your questions have to do with interpreting your bylaws, which we can't do here on the internet; and frankly I can't un-jumble those from the RONR-based questions that we on the world's premier Internet parliamentary forum might be able to answer.  Even the august (at least till the end of the month, and probably later) Timothy Fish had to throw lots of extra numbers in.  I really think you should contact the NAP or the AIP to consult with a professional parliamentarian.  It looks like you really need one.


Here's a stab, addressing your first paragraph in post 3.


There's no rule in RONR prohibiting the secretary, or anyone else, from telephoning whoever they want.  As the saying goes, "it's a free country."  And as the resplendently nattily-dressed Mr Fish said, in his #2, I think it was.


Yes it's the nominating committee's job -- but that does not intrinsically prevent anyone else from picking up their telephones and calling whoever they want.  As Timothy Fish implied, it's a free country.


Finally, for the first paragraph in post 3:  I don't see any conflict of interest, 


As to your alternates:  RONR won't help you.  Your bylaws should spell all this out.  If they don't your membership has to, at least in the guise of interpreting the bylaws (RONR, 11th Ed., p.588 or so).  Then, soonest, fix the bylaws to say what they should have in the first place.


As to minutes.  Generally, committees, including the nominating committee, do not take minutes.  They don't need to.  The nominating committee submits a report -- usually consisting of the nominees they have decided to recommend be elected.  And unless it's the board that is doing the electing, the nominating committee should be submitting its report to the electorate -- usually the membership, not the board. 


Point of order.  At a board meeting, only board members have membership rights, which include raising points of order and appeals.  And the recourse to the presiding officer's ruling a point of order not-well-taken is, routinely, to appeal that ruling.


If you're talking about a membership meeting, then the board does not exist there as the board.  At a membership meeting, board members are never there as board members, just regular members like the rest of us.  The president is there not because he's on the board, but because he's the organization's presiding officer.  The secretary is there not because she's on the board, but because the is the organization's secretary...The treasurer is there in case he has a treasurer's report -- as the officer, not as a board member -- and otherwise he's an ordinary joe like the rest of us.


So if you're asking about what to do at a membership meeting when the presiding officer does not handle it properly, see p.650 - 651.

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