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Vacancy in President office


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He's baa-aack.  At least for today.  I have a question (okay, two actually) I believe I know the answer(s) to, but want confirmation that I'm on the right track to present to the membership.

I am President of an organization, and my three-year term expires this March at the Annual Membership meeting on the second Sunday of March. Bylaws cite a three-year term with the language " or until their successors are elected."  Also, in order to hold office, one must be a member for at least a year (I have) with annual dues paid for the current year.  Dues are payable in the month of March.  If unpaid by April 30th, the member is delinquent in his/her dues, and if unpaid by May 31st, the member's membership is automatically terminated.

If re-elected at the Annual meeting, I will decline to accept the office. I am also not planning to renew my dues this year.  I am highly doubtful any other member will take the position, which will mean there will be an incomplete election at the Annual meeting.  As such, I believe there will not (yet) be a vacancy in the office of President, and I will remain President until the election is completed.

Relevant bylaws further stipulate:

"Vacancies for any reason shall be filled by the Board until the next duly called membership meeting, at which time a special election for the remainder of the unexpired term shall be held by the membership. "

"The Vice-President shall: Perform all duties of the President in the absence, upon the death or removal, or during the disability of that officer; Perform such further duties as the Board of Trustees may require. "

My questions then are: On June 1st my membership will be automatically terminated for non-payment of dues.  If the election for President has not been completed by then, doesn't that then create a vacancy in the office?  Will the Vice President automatically assume the office of President, creating a vacancy in the Vice President office?

I believe the answer to the first question is yes.  The second question has me in doubt, though I  believe it is also yes.  I appreciate your insights, and will do my best to provide additional information for which you may ask.

Happy 2016!

 

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In my humble opinion, I agree with your answer to the first question, namely, that there will be a vacancy in the office of the president on June 1, if not sooner, and if no one has been elected president.   As to the second question, I'm not so sure the VP actually becomes president.  The bylaws say he performs the duties of the president in the event of the president's absence, disability, removal or death.  They do not say he becomes president or succeeds to the office of president.  I think that one is a matter of bylaws interpretation that is up to the society.

I suppose you have already considered that resigning as president or perhaps even as a member might bring things to a head a bit sooner.  :)   (But then we get into the issue of them accepting your resignation. . . .)  :huh:

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Thank you Richard.  My own thinking on that second bylaw is that I don't anticipate being removed, disabled, or dead, so I'm letting those go.  When I am no longer a member, and thus unable to hold the office, I don't see that as an absence either. I hope I'm right on all counts, at least the first three.  As for whether the RONR default vis-a-vis VP automatically ascending the throne on June 1st, particularly in view of the first quoted bylaw above, I'm still unsure.  Perhaps an amendment to that bylaw to exempt the President's office from the cited vacancy filling procedures is in order.

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• I am President.
• President's three-year term expires this March at the AGM.
• AGM = the second Sunday of March.
• Bylaws cite a three-year term with the language "or until their successors are elected." 
• In order to hold office, one must be a member for at least a year (I have) with annual dues paid for the current year.

• On June 1st my membership will be automatically terminated for non-payment of dues. 
• There will be an incomplete election at the AGM [March].  As such, I believe there will not (yet) be a vacancy in the office of President, and I will remain President until the election is completed.
Relevant bylaws further stipulate:
   "Vacancies for any reason shall be filled by the Board until the next duly called membership meeting,

   at which time a special election for the remainder of the unexpired term shall be held by the membership. "


   "The Vice-President shall:

   Perform all duties of the President in the absence, upon the death or removal, or during the disability of that officer;

   Perform such further duties as the Board of Trustees may require."


Q1.) On June 1st my membership will be automatically terminated for non-payment of dues.  If the election for President has not been completed by then, doesn't that then create a vacancy in the office?


Q2.) Will the Vice President automatically assume the office of President, creating a vacancy in the Vice President office?

A1.) Yes, probably.

You have conflicting rules.

(a.) Your bylaws have a qualification for office, which will kick you out of office as soon as you fail to satisfy the rule.

(b.) You bylaws have a defined term of office which would, normally, keep you in office regardless of forfeiture of membership.

A qualification for office will prevail over the defined end of a term-of-office. -- But this ranking of rules is subject to interpretation; some might argue the other way around; viz., that the end of an office prevails over qualification for office. (e.g., if the source of the rule is your state's corporation's code, then you don't to override your state's corporations code by a mere bylaw.)

 

A2.) Yes.

Under strict Robert's Rules, your bylaws must specific an ascension rule (or, non-ascension rule) for the office of President, by name, to override the default parliamentary rule, viz., automatic ascension by the VP, up to P.

 

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