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when is a Board Member not a Board Member


Robert Dingus
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its my understanding, that a Board of Trustees authority is only valid in any official capacity during their appointed meetings, and when conducting tasks specific to their role in that position.

if they are not functioning as a Board member then they would be like the rest of us just Association members, and have no authority.

does this sound correct ?

we have people that are sending questions directly to our Presidents Email, asking for specific details and documents, in other words being a pest.

if the Board Members are assembled and conducting business is my opinoin is when these questions and requests should be made.

 is this correct. 

Thank you Robert 

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1 minute ago, Robert Dingus said:

its my understanding, that a Board of Trustees authority is only valid in any official capacity during their appointed meetings, and when conducting tasks specific to their role in that position.

if they are not functioning as a Board member then they would be like the rest of us just Association members, and have no authority.

To the extent I follow, I think that's correct.  Unless your rules prescribe otherwise, a board member can't show up at a bowling fundraiser or something and start ordering people around because "I'm a board member."  However...

 

4 minutes ago, Robert Dingus said:

we have people that are sending questions directly to our Presidents Email, asking for specific details and documents, in other words being a pest.

 

The general principle may not apply here, for two reasons.  First, board members need some way to have access to minutes and so on, although generally those are available in the secretary's file.  Second, many jurisdictions have laws about access to corporate records for corporate officers (if it's an incorporated entity).

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We are a non profit 501c3, the information being requested is for minuets of meetings, and other files, that are available by all association members, by going to the front office.

the individuals asking or directing the President to give them information outside of the approved channel, is our concern. At this point she has to ignore these directives, as at her home she is not acting as a president, but an ordinary member with no authority. 

 

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RONR doesn't directly address communications outside of a meeting context.

I have been involved with boards and presiding officers of different kinds.  In some cases, presidents encourage board members to contact them in advance of a meeting for clarification of items on the agenda, so that the president could respond in advance, designate someone more appropriate to respond, or at least have information available to respond at the meeting itself.  There's nothing inherently wrong with this, and it can help meetings proceed smoothly.

In other situations, or when board members rise to pest level under that procedure, the president is free to say that such questions should properly be raised at the meeting, and discourage them from making inquiries in advance.

Much of it depends on how much responsibility the president has for setting the agenda, and how much knowledge he is likely to have on the specifics of a given question.

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The President is the Chair, so the agenda is set by the secretary, and by normal procedure established over the years, a flow to the meetings.

OK we need to create a policy / communications channel, to handle this then, we have nothing in our Bylaws about usage of modern tech, for the way things are done now.

 

thank you 

robert 

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9 minutes ago, Robert Dingus said:

the individuals asking or directing the President to give them information outside of the approved channel, is our concern. At this point she has to ignore these directives, as at her home she is not acting as a president, but an ordinary member with no authority. 

 

If it's information they're entitled to, I don't see an issue here, other than annoying her.  If it's annoying her, she should just tell people how to get them and to leave her alone.  I don't think she'd be doing anything wrong if she emailed them minutes to which they're allowed access, though.

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Unless there is some rule to the contrary, I see absolutely nothing wrong with members contacting the president for information or consulting with him regarding the organization's affairs. There is certainly no rule in RONR that prohibits it . Members, including the president, can have all of the private conversations with each other about the organization that they want to have.

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yes i agree private conversations are completely ok, however the pests are non board members, trying to get around the established fill out a request in the office.

i am working with the trustees to, as they are completely allowed to set policy in regards to their functions outside of the Annual meetings, and daily business with the on site business manager, and his office / front office personnel. 

since we do not have a communications policy we are going to have to create on that everyone can follow, the president and trustees cant have 250 people asking them for items all the time, data flow should be managed in a responsible manner.

 

thank you Robert 

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