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Rules on Non-Members attending Board Meetings


Crystal R
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7 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

It is a majority decision for the members to invite a non-member in.  Any "duration of visit" rules would be in the inviting motion.

Of the entire board? so is an email vote ok?

Our board is made of the Executive Committee, Standing Committee, presidents and advisors. My President just sent the vote out via email to our Executive Team and I didn't think that was right. Thank you in advance!

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1 hour ago, Crystal R said:

Of the entire board? so is an email vote ok?

Our board is made of the Executive Committee, Standing Committee, presidents and advisors. My President just sent the vote out via email to our Executive Team and I didn't think that was right. Thank you in advance!

The board could decide by a majority vote at a regular or properly called meeting. Email voting is not allowed unless your bylaws provide for them.

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E-mail votes are never okay, unless they are authorized in your bylaws.  However, if the invitation is not expected to be controversial, there could be informal contacts (including by e-mail) among the board members and the presiding officer in advance of the meeting, to assess the level of agreement.  Such a poll would be non-binding.

There would still have to be an actual vote (or unanimous consent) at the start of the meeting to formally grant permission for the visitor to be permitted to remain and address the board.  If it is desired to grant the visitor the right to speak in debate, that would require a motion to Suspend the Rules.

I would refine jstackpo's reply to say that, notwithstanding any limits stated in the original inviting motion, the board is free to limit or extend the limits of the invitation, as it sees fit.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
addition as indicated.
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Agreeing with the previous responses, I would add that this sort of thing is usually handled by unanimous consent, often by the chair stating "If there is no objection, we will allow Mr. Expert to address us for ten minutes regarding the upcoming Special Olympics."  In my experience, it is rare for such things to be controversial or subject to debate.   It is also quite customary for a chairman, maybe after obtaining general agreement from some other members, to invite someone to attend the meeting and to address the board, with the actual formal approval taking place by unanimous consent at the meeting.

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