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Motion to be temporarily out of accordance with bylaws


lpc124
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We have a wonderful president and vice president serving on our church's board of trustees. The bylaws state that they can hold up to 2 consecutive 1 year terms and they are now both completing the second 1 year term.  (The bylaws allow them to serve again but after a 1 year break.)

The situation is that our minister is taking sabbatical this coming year and the board is in agreement that they would like to have the president and vice president remain in their roles for another 1 year term to provide the necessary stability for a rapidly growing and active congregation. How would we handle this at the January business meeting when we are scheduled to vote to fill these two offices? Would it be acceptable to make a motion to acknowledge where the bylaws stand on these board terms and to make an exception with a clear rationale and time frame that we would not be in accordance with our bylaws?

 

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8 hours ago, lpc124 said:

We have a wonderful president and vice president serving on our church's board of trustees. The bylaws state that they can hold up to 2 consecutive 1 year terms and they are now both completing the second 1 year term.  (The bylaws allow them to serve again but after a 1 year break.)

The situation is that our minister is taking sabbatical this coming year and the board is in agreement that they would like to have the president and vice president remain in their roles for another 1 year term to provide the necessary stability for a rapidly growing and active congregation. How would we handle this at the January business meeting when we are scheduled to vote to fill these two offices? Would it be acceptable to make a motion to acknowledge where the bylaws stand on these board terms and to make an exception with a clear rationale and time frame that we would not be in accordance with our bylaws?

 

Absolutely not.  Such a motion would be out of order, and would probably create a continuing breach.

The church would have to amend its bylaws, using the method contained in the bylaws for their own amendment, in order to change any term limits contained in the bylaws.  Such rules are not suspendible.

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I agree with the previous posters. Another alternative possibly worth pursuing is for the"new" board to invite these two outgoing members to attend and participate in board meetings as guests. They can be invited (or permitted) to attend by a majority vote and to participate in debate by a two thirds vote. 

I am not opining on whether this is advisable, but rather just that it is a possibility. Doing this might well create problems of its own. 

I have a hunch the "new" board will rise to the occasion with or without the participation of the outgoing officers.

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20 hours ago, Rev Ed said:

I have a god idea: why not simply switch roles.  The current Vice President could run for President and the current President could run for Vice President. That would get around the By-law, legally.

Most likely that would not work.  It doesn't appear that they are restricted from running again due to their position, but rather their term.  And in this case both of their terms are up and they must take 1 year off prior to being elected again.

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1 hour ago, keefe said:

Most likely that would not work.  It doesn't appear that they are restricted from running again due to their position, but rather their term.  And in this case both of their terms are up and they must take 1 year off prior to being elected again.

That hadn't occurred to me.  Maybe, maybe not  It depends on what the bylaws actually say, which, from this remove, we cannot sensibly and confidently opine upon. lpc (I leave out your ID number out of deference), what do they say?

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21 hours ago, Rev Ed said:

I have a god idea: why not simply switch roles.  The current Vice President could run for President and the current President could run for Vice President. That would get around the By-law, legally.

Great Steaming Cobnuts,O Wonderful Edness One, please fix your furshlugginer typo.

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1 hour ago, keefe said:

I agree.

That's a relief.  Some might think that the wording we have is explicit. specific, and unambiguous enough.  O keefe (not to be conflated with your descendent O'Keefe), we have narrowly dodged our first quarrel.

God thing we're getting along so well on this.

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5 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

Great Steaming Cobnuts,O Wonderful Edness One, please fix your furshlugginer typo.

Done - thanks for the catch.

7 hours ago, keefe said:

Most likely that would not work.  It doesn't appear that they are restricted from running again due to their position, but rather their term.  And in this case both of their terms are up and they must take 1 year off prior to being elected again.

How does the restriction actually read then?  Does it say "two terms in one position" or "two terms on the Board"?  In the former, it would mean that the two officers could simply swap positions (ok, assuming the membership votes that way.)  In the latter, you are stuck and have to amend the By-laws if the members want to keep these members on the Board for the upcoming year.

On a side note, if necessary the Board could create a Standing Committee (unless the By-laws state otherwise) consisting of these two members and all the Board members - call it the "General Committee" and it allows the Board to meet with these two members in a formal situation and provide input.

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8 hours ago, keefe said:

Most likely that would not work.  It doesn't appear that they are restricted from running again due to their position, but rather their term.  And in this case both of their terms are up and they must take 1 year off prior to being elected again.

That would depend on the exact language.  Does it say that having served as in one office for n terms, a person may not run for any other office?

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2 hours ago, Rev Ed said:

On a side note, if necessary the Board could create a Standing Committee (unless the By-laws state otherwise) consisting of these two members and all the Board members - call it the "General Committee" and it allows the Board to meet with these two members in a formal situation and provide input.

It could, but this would require the board to hold two sets of meetings and take action on a lot of things twice - once in this "committee" and once in the actual board. So this seems unnecessarily elaborate to me. It seems simpler for the board to invite these individuals to its meetings and to suspend the rules to permit them to speak in debate.

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19 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

It could, but this would require the board to hold two sets of meetings and take action on a lot of things twice - once in this "committee" and once in the actual board. So this seems unnecessarily elaborate to me. It seems simpler for the board to invite these individuals to its meetings and to suspend the rules to permit them to speak in debate.

Simpler, yes.  But the advantage is that the Committee does not have to deal with every issue that might come up at a Board meeting.  It all depends on what you want to do.

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1 hour ago, Rev Ed said:

Simpler, yes.  But the advantage is that the Committee does not have to deal with every issue that might come up at a Board meeting.  It all depends on what you want to do.

Then invite the two outgoing (or former) board members to board meetings only when the wisdom of their experience is desired.  Take those issues up early in the meeting and let them be on their way.

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