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DebbieinFL

When can Committee members schedule a meeting

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As Mr. Martin and I have said, it's a judgment call.  Lots of things are judgment calls, and I don't see any reason this is more problematic than other rules that use words like reasonable, excessive, etc. 

 

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Thank you all for your replies.  

In summary, this is my take away based on your discussions given the information I've tried to supply:

  •   A complete reading of my committee's emails would prove beyond reasonable doubt that a clear and constant, not drawn out, back and forth discussion in determining a date for a meeting convenient to all was being carried on.
  • The phrase of "fail to call a meeting" (p.499) would not make sense to me, as one reply read, in the middle of trying to set up a meeting.
  • In addition, the issue we were dealing with was a continuation of a previous meeting so the clause in pg. 501 would also seem to apply. 

So my conclusion, to be sent as an email to my committee, is that the calling of that meeting by said members would be classified as improperly called. 

With that said (and I didn't know whether this should be a separate thread) ....,  within an improperly called/convened/attended meeting, what happens to or what is to be done with any decisions made there?  We had been tasked with deciding about a bylaw amendment. What if those that gathered at that meeting came up with language for the bylaw amendment, prepared a plan to present the bylaw amendment to our parent organization, and started to execute that plan in spite of my objections?

 

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Unless the President or the assembly rules that it was not a valid meeting, the majority vote of the committee is the decision of the committee. The committee chairman has no veto power and has only one vote, just like all the other members. When you miss a meeting, it is no different than a regular committee member missing a meeting. 

Edited to add: you said this meeting was a continuation of the previous meeting. Please explain.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph

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7 hours ago, DebbieinFL said:

Thank you all for your replies.  

In summary, this is my take away based on your discussions given the information I've tried to supply:

  •   A complete reading of my committee's emails would prove beyond reasonable doubt that a clear and constant, not drawn out, back and forth discussion in determining a date for a meeting convenient to all was being carried on.
  • The phrase of "fail to call a meeting" (p.499) would not make sense to me, as one reply read, in the middle of trying to set up a meeting.
  • In addition, the issue we were dealing with was a continuation of a previous meeting so the clause in pg. 501 would also seem to apply. 

So my conclusion, to be sent as an email to my committee, is that the calling of that meeting by said members would be classified as improperly called. 

 

 

That is not the conclusion I would draw, FWIW. Your original post describes that the "determining a date" centered on your inability to attend at a time/date others could. A committee chair does not have veto power, as has been noted, and the chair's absence doesn't in and of itself mean the meeting can't/shouldn't be held. I would think twice before sending that email out.

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A chair does not have veto power, true. BUT,

  • the chair calls subsequent meetings, right?
  • If the meeting was not properly called it's not a meeting, it's a gathering, right?
  • And at a gathering decisions are not binding, right?

Mr. Brown - our committee met initially to discuss a particular issue and determine a course of action. We had adjourned with action items and knowing we might have to meet again to finalize actions to be taken regarding the issue. We had been emailing opinions back and forth which got so cumbersome that it was decided we would need to meet physically again and that's the meeting I was trying to coordinate when a committee member took over determining a place and time of his convenience without consulting me.

 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

The meeting is legitimate until it is adjudged otherwise in response to a Point of Order. You are out of practical options unless a majority of committee members or members of the parent assembly agree with you. Your best course of action is to move to amend or rescind whatever was done that you don't agree with at the next meeting.

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:( I am confused by various of the last replies.

On 12/10/2016 at 8:59 AM, Richard Brown said:

Unless the President or the assembly rules that it was not a valid meeting, the majority vote of the committee is the decision of the committee. The committee chairman has no veto power and has only one vote, just like all the other members. When you miss a meeting, it is no different than a regular committee member missing a meeting. 

Edited to add: you said this meeting was a continuation of the previous meeting. Please explain.

Mr. Brown, I explained above that we were dealing with a particular issue. So may I please ask your opinions about my last two comments are?  Others would be, of course, welcomed as well.

Thank you :)

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On 12/10/2016 at 2:19 AM, DebbieinFL said:

In summary, this is my take away based on your discussions given the information I've tried to supply:

  •   A complete reading of my committee's emails would prove beyond reasonable doubt that a clear and constant, not drawn out, back and forth discussion in determining a date for a meeting convenient to all was being carried on.
  • The phrase of "fail to call a meeting" (p.499) would not make sense to me, as one reply read, in the middle of trying to set up a meeting.
  • In addition, the issue we were dealing with was a continuation of a previous meeting so the clause in pg. 501 would also seem to apply. 

So my conclusion, to be sent as an email to my committee, is that the calling of that meeting by said members would be classified as improperly called. 

 

On 12/10/2016 at 9:29 AM, 1stChurch said:

That is not the conclusion I would draw, FWIW. Your original post describes that the "determining a date" centered on your inability to attend at a time/date others could. A committee chair does not have veto power, as has been noted, and the chair's absence doesn't in and of itself mean the meeting can't/shouldn't be held. I would think twice before sending that email out.

I agree with 1stChurch, and with the others who have said that two members of a committee may call a meeting when the chair has failed to do so. And as Josh Martin has noted, attempting to schedule a meeting (and delaying the actual meeting because of your own illness and scheduling conflicts) is not the same thing as actually calling a meeting.

You should also look at this earlier thread referred to by Hieu Huynh.

It seems to me that your question has been answered as well as it's going to be answered on this forum, and pretty soon this topic is going to be locked closed.

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Even if you call the meeting, the other members could then set a date for another meeting which may not be convenient to you, and that meeting would - without a doubt - be legit.  Also, think of it this way: you are only one member, if every other member can make the meeting then why should the meeting not take place because one member cannot attend?  RONR, and most likely any By-law requirements, do not set quorum at 100% attendance knowing that there are going to be times when not everyone can attend every meeting. 

I understand your frustration - but really it's only one meeting.

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4 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

 

I agree with 1stChurch, and with the others who have said that two members of a committee may call a meeting when the chair has failed to do so. And as Josh Martin has noted, attempting to schedule a meeting (and delaying the actual meeting because of your own illness and scheduling conflicts) is not the same thing as actually calling a meeting.

You should also look at this earlier thread referred to by Hieu Huynh.

It seems to me that your question has been answered as well as it's going to be answered on this forum, and pretty soon this topic is going to be locked closed.

Shmuel -

Will the authorship-team be issuing an official interpretation in the near future?

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39 minutes ago, Steven Britton said:

Shmuel -

Will the authorship-team be issuing an official interpretation in the near future?

It's possible. But I don't believe anyone has drafted one on this topic yet.

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4 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

 

I agree with 1stChurch, and with the others who have said that two members of a committee may call a meeting when the chair has failed to do so. And as Josh Martin has noted, attempting to schedule a meeting (and delaying the actual meeting because of your own illness and scheduling conflicts) is not the same thing as actually calling a meeting.

You should also look at this earlier thread referred to by Hieu Huynh.

It seems to me that your question has been answered as well as it's going to be answered on this forum, and pretty soon this topic is going to be locked closed.

Thank you for replying. My latter confusion was two-fold:

  • in reference to whether this meeting would fall under the "subsequent meeting" instruction of pp. 501 
  • if a meeting is improperly called are the decisions made binding at all

But if it's determined that this is "a dead horse," then I understand and will ask no more. :)

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1 hour ago, DebbieinFL said:

Thank you for replying. My latter confusion was two-fold:

  • in reference to whether this meeting would fall under the "subsequent meeting" instruction of pp. 501 
  • if a meeting is improperly called are the decisions made binding at all

But if it's determined that this is "a dead horse," then I understand and will ask no more. :)

I think the meeting would fall under the "subsequent meeting" instructions, but they refer back to the rule that applies to the first meeting, so it appears that two members are sufficient to call a meeting if the chair fails to call one.  Whether the chair "failed" or not is, I think, up to the committee to decide, unless overruled by the parent body.

If a meeting is improperly called, it is not a valid meeting, and nothing done is valid, but the most likely way that would happen in this scenario is if the two people calling the meeting failed to send notice of the meeting to all committee members.

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1 hour ago, Gary Novosielski said:

I think the meeting would fall under the "subsequent meeting" instructions, but they refer back to the rule that applies to the first meeting, so it appears that two members are sufficient to call a meeting if the chair fails to call one.  Whether the chair "failed" or not is, I think, up to the committee to decide, unless overruled by the parent body.

If a meeting is improperly called, it is not a valid meeting, and nothing done is valid, but the most likely way that would happen in this scenario is if the two people calling the meeting failed to send notice of the meeting to all committee members.

Thank you! Yes, that summary clarifies things for me. I appreciate all the help.

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