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Authority to Name the Members of a Special Committee


Guest W.R. Watson
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My organization has adopted RONR, is incorporated, is multi-national in scope, and two members from each affiliate unit are elected to represent the affiliate unit in the assembly (the assembly meets bi-annually). The bylaws give the President of the organization the right to establish a special committee.  My question is the following (I understand that the assembly decides the meaning of its bylaws but I am seeking your professional opinion):

In your opinion, does the right to establish a special committee give the President the right to name the committee members.

I was under the impression (rightly or wrongly) that the authority to name the committee members rest with the assembly unless the President is specifically granted this authority elsewhere in the Bylaws. Could you please comment and thank you!

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I agree that, when the question is taken out of context, the answer would appear to be no, since the creation of a committee and the appointment of members to it are two difference things, but my guess is that absent anything else in these bylaws indicating otherwise, this provision is intended to authorize the President to do both.

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Well, the discussion on p. 495 would seen to indicate that "establish" and "appoint" should remain as separate concepts and separate authorizations or powers.  So I would have to respectfully disagree with HHH's assertion that the power to do one (specified in the bylaws) implies the power to do the other (not specified).

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39 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

Well, the discussion on p. 495 would seen to indicate that "establish" and "appoint" should remain as separate concepts and separate authorizations or powers.  So I would have to respectfully disagree with HHH's assertion that the power to do one (specified in the bylaws) implies the power to do the other (not specified).

I could probably argue either side of that, which suggests it may ultimately be a matter of local interpretation.

But if nothing else, it points out yet again that bylaws need to be carefully crafted to say what they mean.

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Guest W.R. Watson, do your bylaws say anything anywhere else about who appoints the members of standing and/or special committees?  If so, please quote that language. 

Absent some applicable bylaw language, I agree with Mr. Honemann's interpretation.  It seems to me that the intent is that the president have the power to create special committees and to appoint the members to those committees. 

I agree that this may ultimately be a matter of bylaws interpretation and could go either way.

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