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Bylaws, Membership Dues


Richard Rogers

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From the Bylaws :

SECTION 2 - Dues - Membership dues, in an amount established in an on-going motion of the club
prior to the (15th) day of September of each year by the Board of Directors, are payable on or before
the 1st of January for continuation of membership. Any member whose dues are not paid for the current
year (coincides with the club official year of January 1st to December 31st) shall be considered a
member not in good standing and shall not be entitled to nominate candidates for office, vote or
receive any privileges of Club membership. On October 1st the Chair of the Membership Committee
shall send via regular mail to each member a statement of his/her dues for the ensuing year. On or
about December 1st the Chair of the Membership Committee shall send to each Division Director a list
of those current members who have not yet paid their dues. Division Directors will contact unpaid
members so as to avoid late payment.

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I think the membership's recourse here is to either:

1) amend the bylaws to be more specific about the method for sending notice, if that's what is desired, since the term 'regular mail' could  be (and apparently is being) interpreted in more than one way. If they want to be notified by postal mail, then that's the wording that should be used; or

2) amend the bylaws to remove the words 'via regular mail' so that the requirement to 'send to each member...' can be accommodated with RONR's prescription as given on p. 89, ll. 16-22:

"When notice is required to be sent, unless a different standard is specified that requirement is met if written notice is sent to each member either:

     a) by postal mail to the member's last known address; or

     b ) by a form of electronic communication such as e-mail or fax, by which the member has agreed to receive notice.

 

 

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It is ultimately up to each organization to interpret its own bylaws. My own reading of what was posted is that payment of dues is probably mandatory regardless of how or whether the dues notice is sent. 

In my opinion, based on your bylaws excerpt and on RONR, sending the notice via email does not comply with the bylaws except possibly for those members who have consented to receiving notices via email.

Although it might be an innocent mistake, the person responsible for the improper notices could be subject to censure or even discipline for failure to obey the bylaws.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
1 hour ago, Richard Rogers said:

If the bylaws state that membership dues notice should be sent via regular mail, but Chair of the Membership Committee states that only E-mail will be sent, what recourse does the general membership have ?

Richard

At a meeting of the general members, a motion to direct the Membership Chair to send statements by postal mail (or whatever method you deem proper) may be adopted. 

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1 minute ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

At a meeting of the general members, a motion to direct the Membership Chair to send statements by postal mail (or whatever method you deem proper) may be adopted. 

My gut feeling is to agree with this and I almost said exactly the same thing in my post.  However, something in the back of my mind is telling me that a member of the authorship team, probably Mr. Honemann, has told us before that it is improper to adopt a motion directing someone to do something that is already required by virtue of the bylaws or a previously adopted motion. 

I'll try to find something on point, but, in the meantime, I hope that if someone has the answer, that person will weigh in.

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16 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

At a meeting of the general members, a motion to direct the Membership Chair to send statements by postal mail (or whatever method you deem proper) may be adopted. 

Why?  Particularly, why the second part?  The bylaws say to send it by postal mail.  A motion to send it by whatever method you deem proper will be, in my opinion, out of order, if it is taken to replace the bylaw requirement.  If it complements the bylaw requirement, we're getting into bylaw interpretation so I won't go there.  A motion to send it by postal mail, on the other hand, does nothing.  It already has to be sent by postal mail.  What is the effect if the motion is adopted?  More importantly, where do things stand if the motion is not adopted?  Since, in either case, nothing at all changes, I think the motion is out of order.

Strategically, I think an effective move here might be a point of parliamentary inquiry, although it carries some risk.  A point of order is harder, given that nothing has actually happened yet.

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7 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

The bylaws say to send by "regular mail," not postal mail. The method deemed proper is the one that the assembly believes is meant by "regular mail." I'm not going to make that decision for them.

If in other sections of the Bylaws, it is stated that they will mail ballots with envelopes....... would postal mail, by the reference "mail" be "regular mail" ? 

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On 10/29/2017 at 1:01 PM, Richard Rogers said:

If in other sections of the Bylaws, it is stated that they will mail ballots with envelopes....... would postal mail, by the reference "mail" be "regular mail" ? 

I don’t know that what the bylaws require for ballots and what they require for dues notices have anything to do with each other.

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It would be the wording consistency. If the word means this in several places it would stand to reason that "regular mail" would mean "postal mail" . I do not think it is that hard to understand that  the wording " regular mail" means "postal mail"  when it is used in other sections of the Bylaws as just "mail" and means "postal mail" because you have to use envelopes for  "postal mail" . "mail" and "regular mail" are the same, which is "postal mail" . There is no form in this club to accept e-mail as a form of communication other than "postal mail" for ballot voting.

  

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It is ultimately up to this organization to interpret its own bylaws, but to me it is clear that the terms "mail",  "postal mail" and "regular mail", as used in these bylaws all mean "U.S. Postal Service First Class Mail" as opposed to, say, registered mail, certified mail and email. 

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Okay, so the bylaws say that "On October 1st the Chair of the Membership Committee shall send via regular mail to each member a statement of his/her dues for the ensuing year."

The Chair of the Membership Committee apparently sent these statements to members by e-mail. If the Chairman is about 15 years of age, this may be understandable, so give the kid a break.  :)

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38 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Okay, so the bylaws say that "On October 1st the Chair of the Membership Committee shall send via regular mail to each member a statement of his/her dues for the ensuing year."

The Chair of the Membership Committee apparently sent these statements to members by e-mail. If the Chairman is about 15 years of age, this may be understandable, so give the kid a break.  :)

Ahhh, well said!  Thanks for the morning chuckle! :)

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