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Youth Sports BOD Resignation Acceptance/Withdrawal


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I am on BOD of a non-profit youth softball association. It's Board members are elected by the membership. Open positions are filled by the Board, by majority vote, however, this is not in the Bylaws.

In a recent board meeting, a board member said he was threw with Board and verbally resigned after not being voted as a team manager and not being allowed to coach. He then proceeded to rant on about how the Board should have come to him about complaints. Shortly into his rant, the president called the meeting and walked out not wanting to continue hear the rant. The Board member continued his rant pointing out what he perceived were Board and individual member deficiencies and then stating he was done, resigned his position a second time, and walked out of the Board meeting room. Note he did not point out his deficiencies. The meeting adjourned after he walked out. From reading some of the posts, it sounds like everyone is saying he is still on the Board since we did not vote to accept or make any movement to replace him. He did say he would turn over his task to another member of the Board and that member agreed.

I do not understand why we would need to vote on resignation from a voluntary position in an all-volunteer organization. If someone does not want to serve for whatever reason, why do we have to vote or make a motion to accept his resignation?  Our bylaws do not contain wording regarding resignations, acceptance, or withdrawal of a resignation. The operating procedures, however, have rules regarding a member who leaves his position before the end of the term without cause not being eligible to serve on the Board the following year.  Now, he has sent an email to the Board that he has withdrawn his resignation. Can we still vote to accept the resignation in our next meeting and ignore the withdrawal?

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Oh boy.

4 minutes ago, Youth Sports said:

Open positions are filled by the Board with majority vote, however, this is not in the Bylaws.

Then don't do it.

5 minutes ago, Youth Sports said:

Shortly into his rant, the president called the meeting and walked out not wanting to continue hear the rant.

I would advise the President to restore order rather than walking out.  The President has no authority in these circumstances to "call" the meeting.

5 minutes ago, Youth Sports said:

I do not understand why we would need to vote on resignation from a voluntary position in an all-volunteer organization. If someone does not want to serve for whatever reason, why do we have to vote or make a motion to accept his resignation?

Right, clearly you can't make someone stay in their position.  The purpose of accepting a resignation is two-fold.  First, a resignation from, say, a board position without leaving the organization is a request to be excused from a duty.  They are asking to be allowed to keep the remainder of their membership.  Second, even if they are resigning from all contact with the organization, until you accept it they can take it back.  Why should they be unable to come back into that position if you haven't acknowledged their leaving it?

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First, thank you for the quick response. This my first time on this site.

The board member stated he was resigning from the Board but he would remain a member of the organization since his daughter still had friends in the league. This is a girls softball league, so the board member was a parent. So what is considered an acknowledgment of his leaving the position? Do we really need to have a motion and a second to acknowledge that he leaving? Or can other statements in the meeting be used as acknowledgment?

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7 minutes ago, Youth Sports said:

The board member stated he was resigning from the Board but he would remain a member of the organization since his daughter still had friends in the league. This is a girls softball league, so the board member was a parent. So what is considered an acknowledgment of his leaving the position? Do we really need to have a motion and a second to acknowledge that he leaving? Or can other statements in the meeting be used as acknowledgment?

Again, to resign from an officer position (and board member is considered an officer) requires permission of the appropriate body, particularly if one wishes to remain a member of the organization.  While the organization cannot make someone serve (unlike a legislative body in certain circumstances), it can certainly refuse to grant permission not to serve, and hence not allow the person to remain a member if they refuse to do so.  An acknowledgement would be a motion to accept the resignation.

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Thanks, Mr. Huynh and Mr. Godelfan. So, basically both of you are telling me that any statement to leave a board position, regardless of circumstances of that statement, is considered a request to be excused and must be voted on by the Board for acceptance. Is that correct? And until such time as a statement of leaving is accepted, the member can remain in his position and withdraw the statement of leaving.

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10 minutes ago, Youth Sports said:

One last question. I know I am trying to grasp at straws here. Can the board member's statement of resignation to the assembly be considered placed before the assembly for acceptance? 

If you had done it before he withdrew the resignation, yes.  However, since he has changed his mind and withdrew it you are stuck with him.  See RONR pp. 295-298.

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5 hours ago, Youth Sports said:

Thanks, Mr. Huynh and Mr. Godelfan. So, basically both of you are telling me that any statement to leave a board position, regardless of circumstances of that statement, is considered a request to be excused and must be voted on by the Board for acceptance. Is that correct? And until such time as a statement of leaving is accepted, the member can remain in his position and withdraw the statement of leaving.

I think he's got it.  By George he's got it!

Ah, but wait.  Didn't we determine that according to the bylaws, the board does not have the power to fill vacancies?   In that case, the resignation would have to be submitted to the general membership (via the secretary) and the full membership would vote to accept the resignation from the board.

Or am I missing something?

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5 hours ago, Youth Sports said:

One last question. I know I am trying to grasp at straws here. Can the board member's statement of resignation to the assembly be considered placed before the assembly for acceptance? 

No, but a motion to accept it (with a second) would then be in order.

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Thanks. He remains on the Board due to the omission of procedures and motions to act on the resignation. I introduced procedures that are under review on how to address how the league handles resignations given in writing, electronic media, or verbally in Board meeting.  In addition, I also introduced procedures giving the Board the ability to fill vacant positions on the Board that are not filled by general elections. Both procedures are currently under review of the Board. The changes will be voted on at the next Board meeting.

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Hold on just a second.  Does your board have the power to amend the bylaws?  Because it sounds like you just said your board intends to vote on whether or not to give itself power that currently belongs to the membership.  Also, as Mr. Novosielski mentioned supra, resignations need to be accepted by the membership.  

As a procedural note, also keep in mind that filling vacancies is different from filling positions that are not filled by general elections.  The latter sounds like an incomplete election, whereas the former arises after the positions have been filled.  But the board cannot grant itself the power to do either.

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On 1/23/2017 at 7:28 PM, Youth Sports said:

Thanks, Mr. Huynh and Mr. Godelfan. So, basically both of you are telling me that any statement to leave a board position, regardless of circumstances of that statement, is considered a request to be excused and must be voted on by the Board for acceptance. Is that correct? And until such time as a statement of leaving is accepted, the member can remain in his position and withdraw the statement of leaving.

Look at the flip side of this "acceptance of resignation" business.  It is not unusual for a popular and hard working officer to announce or submit his resignation in a moment of frustration.  The membership really wants him to stay on and hopes he will reconsider.  Frequently, after some members talk with him, the officer does reconsider and decides to stay on.  If the society has not yet acted on the resignation, he can simply withdraw it and all is well.  Everybody is happy. It is as if he never submitted it.  However, if the society had not had the option of delaying action, the officer would already be gone, kaput.  I have seen this happen several times.  It gives everyone a "cooling off" period.   If you really want him gone, then accept the resignation asap, even in the same meeting if he submitted it verbally in a meeting.

The alternative is to amend your bylaws or adopt a special rule of order to say that a resignation is effective when received.  No acceptance necessary.  But, that option has its own problems.  Over time, the procedure outlined in RONR where the resignation must be accepted seems to be proven to be the best course for most societies.  You are free to adopt your own rule.

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/28/2017 at 7:36 PM, Joshua Katz said:

Hold on just a second.  Does your board have the power to amend the bylaws?  Because it sounds like you just said your board intends to vote on whether or not to give itself power that currently belongs to the membership.  Also, as Mr. Novosielski mentioned supra, resignations need to be accepted by the membership.  

As a procedural note, also keep in mind that filling vacancies is different from filling positions that are not filled by general elections.  The latter sounds like an incomplete election, whereas the former arises after the positions have been filled.  But the board cannot grant itself the power to do either.

 

First, our bylaws give the board the power to amend the bylaws by a two-thirds vote of the board. Secondly, each year during general elections, we have a few board positions where there were no approved candidates. in your comment, you state there is a difference between filling a vacancy and filling a position not filled by the general elections. What is that difference?

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On 4/22/2017 at 0:37 AM, Youth Sports said:

First, our bylaws give the board the power to amend the bylaws by a two-thirds vote of the board. Secondly, each year during general elections, we have a few board positions where there were no approved candidates. in your comment, you state there is a difference between filling a vacancy and filling a position not filled by the general elections. What is that difference?

If the general election fails to fill a position, then the first thing to do is to see if the bylaws provide that officers serve "until their successors are elected." If they do, then the incumbents would continue to serve until they resign or the membership completes the election. If the incumbents resign, or if the bylaws do not contain the "until their successors are elected" clause, the position could be filled in the same manner as any other vacancy, except that the person the board elected to fill the position would serve only until the membership could complete the election.

If your bylaws provide their own rules for what to do in the event of an incomplete election (and it seems they might, based on your other thread), follow those rules.

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