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Guest Nathan
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My question is multiple but the premise is singular.

 

The director of our churches has called for the churches to hold special business meetings, “To approve a statement which reads that a Quorum for the Strategy Team Meetings will be no less than Five Churches and 15 Strategy Team members present. We would like this to be approved before our Semi-Annual meeting on XXX 30, 2017. 

 

My question,

1. Is this a proper motion?   a There isn’t any provision for discussion or debate here. As a matter of fact some have asked questions and there’s been no response       b The verbiage seems vague to be a proper motion i.e. "approve a statement"? 

2. There is no explanation, no  parameters given to explain how the Executive Board will determine the majority vote of the churches approving or disapproving this motion?

3.  There is nothing in our Bylaws that says we can pre-vote on motions prior to the Annual Meetings so is this an appropriate or acceptable?

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

If there is nothing in your bylaws that authorizes the board to initiate a vote by mail, then they are inventing new rules. Should the result be presented as a done deal at your semi-annual meeting, you can raise a point of order that it is null and void unless ratified at the meeting.

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17 hours ago, Guest Nathan said:

My question is multiple but the premise is singular.

 

The director of our churches has called for the churches to hold special business meetings, “To approve a statement which reads that a Quorum for the Strategy Team Meetings will be no less than Five Churches and 15 Strategy Team members present. We would like this to be approved before our Semi-Annual meeting on XXX 30, 2017. 

 

My question,

1. Is this a proper motion?   a There isn’t any provision for discussion or debate here. As a matter of fact some have asked questions and there’s been no response       b The verbiage seems vague to be a proper motion i.e. "approve a statement"? 

2. There is no explanation, no  parameters given to explain how the Executive Board will determine the majority vote of the churches approving or disapproving this motion?

3.  There is nothing in our Bylaws that says we can pre-vote on motions prior to the Annual Meetings so is this an appropriate or acceptable?

1. No, it doesn't appear to be in the form of a properly worded motion, but it doesn't need to be, and probably isn't intended to be. Although the notice of a special meeting should clearly describe the subject matter of the motions or items of business to be brought up, it need not give the exact content of individual motions to be considered (RONR, 11th ed., pp. 91-93). The absence of any mention of discussion certainly doesn't mean that no debate will be allowed.

2. Nothing which has been posted indicates that the votes required for approval of motions made at these special business meetings is to be anything other than the votes required under the regular rules of each of the churches holding one of these special meetings.

3. If your bylaws allow for special meetings to be held (if they don't, then they can't be), one would assume that votes taken at such meetings will be just as final and binding as votes taken at Annual Meetings. What makes you think that they won't be?

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In my rush yesterday I inadvertently left out some information. This is not a Special Business meeting. The director wants to establish a new Quorum for the Executive Board because there are not enough people attending the meetings to make committee decisions let alone to present motions to the Association. It was suggested at the last Executive Board meeting that he bring this up at the next calendared Associational Meeting at the end of the month. It was also suggested that he send out an email explaining to the churches why the quorum had to be changed and that we would be voting on this at the Associational meeting. At that time the Executive Board will answers all questions regarding this issue after presenting a motion that, “Asked for a temporary reduction in the Quorum of the Executive Board of no less than Five Churches and 15 Executive Board members present so they could begin revising the Association Constitution & Bylaws and begin restructuring the Association in a 3 step process (and the steps would be listed). All of this was agreed upon by the attendees in that last Executive Board meeting. But the director’s email is now asking for the churches to call their own special business meetings before the calendared Association Meeting and pre-vote on lowering the quorum of the Executive Board and send the director the results prior to the Associational meeting where he will announce if the motion passed or failed. The explanation that is given for this action has generated some questions by Pastors who were not in attendance in that last Executive Board meeting and by some who were. This kind of email business and voting seems like a great idea but we have no guidelines or provisions that allow for this in our Bylaws. Some of the pastors (and myself) have asked the director how he is going to determine a quorum for this kind of email voting? How is he going to determine if he’s received enough votes to pass this motion or determine if it failed? Why did he reword the motion that was already agreed upon by the Executive Board? It appears we’ve gone from one quorum issue to creating another. So far he has not responded

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Maybe I’m making this more difficult than it’s supposed to be or I’m not expressing myself very well. My reference to taking the votes by email is based on the director asking how he wants each church to vote in their own individual specially called business meetings and then send him the results through the email prior to the Annual Meeting where he will announce the results to the attending churches. This has never been done in the existence of this Association and there are no guidelines in the Bylaws that speak of churches pre-voting on motions prior to gathering together at the Annual Meetings where we will learn if the motion passed or failed (sounds like the presidential election).

There are many questions resulting in this proposal and there are no answers coming from the director. These are some of the thoughts that’s being passed around on my end,  “Does a church have the right to ask questions or seek clarification on this action?”  “Since the director is providing the instructions to the churches should all inquiries, questions or comments go through him and would he only be required to answer the church that is asking the question or should he make available the question and his answer to all the churches? … like what normally happens during a regular business meeting.

I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I’m trying to split hairs (I think it’s a very good idea but there seems to be some flaws in this thought process that hasn’t been worked out yet). When I think about the process I see in our business meetings questions keep popping up in my mind, like, “Who is officially making the count and should there be more than one? “How would you document this in the minutes, would you just make a verbal or written report for the clerk?”

The pastors in our association want to make sure that everyone has their opportunity to voice their opinions or concerns prior to any vote but more importantly that what we are doing is proper and legal since it involves over 20 churches. Our director is somewhat new and has been introducing many new ways of doing things which has been good but this one just seems a little off for some reason.

So that I’m on the same page as you … when you say, “As best I can determine from what you have posted, all voting will take place at these special meetings,” are you saying that you believe that this kind of action does fall in the guidelines of RRO, that each church can pre-vote on the issue and then write their own statement as instructed and email their results back to the director?

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