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Transitioning to new bylaws


Tom Coronite
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Our church is currently considering a revision to our bylaws. Some committees currently have many members who are in name only. The revised bylaws would reduce the number of committee members. For example, the Diaconate now has 15 elected members out of a possible 32 positions. The revision would provide for only 12 positions.

Is it proper to adopt the new bylaws with a proviso that the applicable number of committee members be reached (eventually) through attrition? Or is our only option to amend (increase) the number of positions on the committee or eliminate some members?

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I don't think that would be practical. To do that, we'd have to make the bylaws effective in a couple, few years. There are other changes to the bylaws that are needed today.

After reading the section on provision to the bylaws, I'm left thinking a time based proviso is what's proper. But is that all? As such a proviso would create more problems than it solves, I'm wondering if a proviso stating "the bylaws are adopted but the provisions limiting the number of XX committee members is not effective until such number is attained through attrition" would be proper.

Or would you see such a provision as specifying a time that portion of the bylaws takes effect?

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58 minutes ago, 1stChurch said:

I'm wondering if a proviso stating "the bylaws are adopted but the provisions limiting the number of XX committee members is not effective until such number is attained through attrition" would be proper.

Or would you see such a provision as specifying a time that portion of the bylaws takes effect?

For an example of one way to accomplish this "delaying action", see the U.S. Constitution. See the 22nd Amendment.

Quote

 

Section 1.
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.

 

 

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Or the 18th amendment:

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1: After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

2: The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

3: This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

And isn't that in the 22nd amendment a grandfather clause rather than a delaying action?

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1 hour ago, Todd Crowder said:

Or the 18th amendment:

And isn't that in the 22nd amendment a grandfather clause rather than a delaying action?

I think a grandfather clause is exactly what's desired here.  The purpose of the amendment is to reduce the size of a committee from its present level without affecting the membership of anyone currently on the committee.

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4 hours ago, 1stChurch said:

I don't think that would be practical. To do that, we'd have to make the bylaws effective in a couple, few years. There are other changes to the bylaws that are needed today.

After reading the section on provision to the bylaws, I'm left thinking a time based proviso is what's proper. But is that all? As such a proviso would create more problems than it solves, I'm wondering if a proviso stating "the bylaws are adopted but the provisions limiting the number of XX committee members is not effective until such number is attained through attrition" would be proper.

Or would you see such a provision as specifying a time that portion of the bylaws takes effect?

So how about a proviso specifying that the bylaws regarding the committee size becomes effective when there are 12 current members remaining?

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1 minute ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

So how about a proviso specifying that the bylaws regarding the committee size becomes effective when there are 12 current members remaining?

That would allow more members to be appointed, as long as the number of members is never allowed to fall all the way to 12, because the amendment is not in effect till then.

I think it is best to have the limit go into effect immediately, but provide that "the provisions limiting committee sizes shall not be construed to require the removal of any committee member currently serving as of the date of adoption of this motion."

 

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8 hours ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

How about not filling vacancies until there are 12 members?

Well, that's exactly what I was suggesting in my original post ("Is it proper to adopt the new bylaws with a proviso that the applicable number of committee members be reached (eventually) through attrition?) and asking if it would be proper to do so. Because if we adopt bylaws that say the number shall be 12, we'd have to eliminate 3 to get to 12.

So if a proviso grandfathering the "extra 3" is proper (and I realize now that it is) then keeping the 15 is what we'd do, and not replace anyone before we got to 12.

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