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Seating of new board members


Guest Steve W.

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I serve as a regional representative on an elected board in my industry.  My seat currently runs until March 1,2016.  There are two new seats coming up for election in December.  I was told by one of the organizers at the corporate HQ that the newly elected members would be seated on Jan. 1, 2016 and would overlap--with voting privileges-with the outgoing members for January and February.

 This would allow the regions represented  by those seats to have double the voting power during the two month overlap.  Does Robert's Rules speak to this ?

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I serve as a regional representative on an elected board in my industry.  My seat currently runs until March 1,2016.  There are two new seats coming up for election in December.  I was told by one of the organizers at the corporate HQ that the newly elected members would be seated on Jan. 1, 2016 and would overlap--with voting privileges-with the outgoing members for January and February.

 This would allow the regions represented  by those seats to have double the voting power during the two month overlap.  Does Robert's Rules speak to this ?

 

You must follow whatever provisions are in your bylaws regarding terms and number of seats per region. Unless otherwise provided, an officer's term begins immediately after she is elected.

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You must follow whatever provisions are in your bylaws regarding terms and number of seats per region. Unless otherwise provided, an officer's term begins immediately after she is elected.

I agree, and I would also suggest that, unless the bylaws provide otherwise, the term of the outgoing officer ends at the same time that the term of the new officer begins.

I serve as a regional representative on an elected board in my industry. My seat currently runs until March 1,2016. There are two new seats coming up for election in December. I was told by one of the organizers at the corporate HQ that the newly elected members would be seated on Jan. 1, 2016 and would overlap--with voting privileges-with the outgoing members for January and February.

This would allow the regions represented by those seats to have double the voting power during the two month overlap. Does Robert's Rules speak to this ?

Nope. Defining terms of office is up to your bylaws.

I will say that what the organizer is suggesting seems very odd, and I don't think I've ever heard of such an arrangement (the term of office of a successor beginning before his predecessor's term ends). I would double-check your bylaws to see if this is correct. If it is correct, I'm afraid you're stuck with it until the bylaws can be amended to fix what I can only assume was an oversight by the drafters of the original bylaws.

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I serve as a regional representative on an elected board in my industry.  My seat currently runs until March 1,2016.  There are two new seats coming up for election in December.  I was told by one of the organizers at the corporate HQ that the newly elected members would be seated on Jan. 1, 2016 and would overlap--with voting privileges-with the outgoing members for January and February.

 This would allow the regions represented  by those seats to have double the voting power during the two month overlap.  Does Robert's Rules speak to this ?

What exactly do your bylaws say about the terms of office and when newly elected members assume office?  btw, an actual installation ceremony is purely ceremonial and has no effect on when terms of office officially begin unless the bylaws say that the terms begin at installation.

 

Edited to add:  You might find the following provisions on page 444 helpful:

 

"TIME AT WHICH AN ELECTION TAKES EFFECT. An election to an office becomes final immediately if the candidate is present and does not decline, or if he is absent but has consented to his candidacy. If he is absent and has not consented to his candidacy, the election becomes final when he is notified of his election, provided that he does not immediately decline. If he does decline, the election is incomplete, and another vote can be taken immediately or at the next meeting without further notice. After an election has become final as stated in this paragraph, it is too late to reconsider (37) the vote on the election.

 

An officer-elect takes possession of his office immediately upon his election's becoming final, unless the bylaws or other rules specify a later time. If a formal installation ceremony is prescribed, failure to hold it does not affect the time at which the new officers assume office."

 

(Emphasis added)

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Unless otherwise provided, an officer's term begins immediately after she is elected.

 

I agree, and I would also suggest that, unless the bylaws provide otherwise, the term of the outgoing officer ends at the same time that the term of the new officer begins.

 

Edited to add:  You might find the following provisions on page 444 helpful:

. . . .

An officer-elect takes possession of his office immediately upon his election's becoming final, unless the bylaws or other rules specify a later time. If a formal installation ceremony is prescribed, failure to hold it does not affect the time at which the new officers assume office."

 

(Emphasis added)

 

The 11th edition of RONR addresses the point directly, on page 573:

"The length of the terms of office should be prescribed; and unless the terms are to begin at the instant the chair declares each officer elected, the time when they are to begin must be specified. (In either case, the terms of the outgoing officers end when those of the incoming officers begin.)"

 

(I may be remembering it wrong, but I think it was John Stackpole who suggested adding this provision to the book.)

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