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Guest Chris

Overturning a board decision

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Guest Chris

Several years back, allegheny county (pa) enacted clean air laws for bars, restaurants and clubs. Certain establishments were eligible for exemption from this, however paperwork had to be filed with the county indicating intent.  Our club members chose to remain smoking, the board voted and the paperwork was filed. The current board has decided to overturn this decision to the dismay of many regular members. Is this allowed? Can one board overturn another boards decision? One which will surely effect the club financially? Several members have already indicated they will not come down anymore and will be asking for a refund of their dues? The members have started a petition, to which some of the board said is illegal? Can this be right? Please...any help with this would be greatly appreciated! 

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Yes, a board can overturn a decision which it made earlier. It's the same board, even although some or all of it membership may have changed. 

You will need to look to your bylaws to determine if members are entitled to a refund of dues under these circumstances, and questions concerning legality need to be addressed to a lawyer. Nothing in RONR prohibits members from starting a petition.

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You might want to also look at your bylaws to see what, if any, powers they grant to the board on an exclusive basis. Since the membership originally 'chose to remain smoking', they (the membership) may have the power to instruct the board not to reverse the previous decision, or to rescind a reversal if the board goes ahead. You need to find out whether your bylaws grant the board exclusive authority in this matter.

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2 hours ago, Bruce Lages said:

You might want to also look at your bylaws to see what, if any, powers they grant to the board on an exclusive basis. Since the membership originally 'chose to remain smoking', they (the membership) may have the power to instruct the board not to reverse the previous decision, or to rescind a reversal if the board goes ahead. You need to find out whether your bylaws grant the board exclusive authority in this matter.

Agreeing with Mr. Lages.

If the membership voted to remain smoking, then it's likely that the board would have no power to contradict that decision.

But we are told that the decision to remain smoking was the result of a board vote, and the board can change its mind.  Still it is possible that the membership (which outranks the board, if the rules in RONR apply) can countermand that change.

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Thank you all! I will be reviewing the minutes. I was on the Board at the time the decision was made several years back and went to the club daily to talk to all of the members who frequented the club regularly for their opinion. I’m sure our decision to remain smoking was brought before the membership for a vote. I’m very appreciative of your help! 

 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Even if the original decision was not made by the membership, the members may now vote to rescind the current board's decision unless the bylaws place such matters under the exclusive authority of the board.

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