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Benjamin Geiger

What is the difference between a committee and a board? Is our Steering Committee actually a board?

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Our bylaws provide for a Steering Committee. The relevant portion of our bylaws is as follows:

Quote

9.2. Steering Committee: The Steering Committee shall be comprised of all officers, the State Executive Committeeman and State Committeewoman, Chairpersons of Standing Committees; President/Chairpersons of local Caucuses that have been chartered through the Florida Democratic Party and have at least 10 active members; and Regional Directors. Other HCDEC members may be invited to attend for the purpose of making reports on special projects.

9.2.1.  It is the function of the Steering Committee to help the Chairperson govern the day-to-day operations of the HCDEC. The Steering Committee may hire staff as needed as included in the annual budget approved by the HCDEC.

9.2.2.  The Steering Committee shall meet at least one week prior to any regular or called HCDEC meeting to review the agenda as presented by the Chairperson.

9.2.3.  The Steering Committee shall be empowered to act on behalf of the full Committee in between regular meetings of the HCDEC. Such actions are subject to approval at the next HCDEC meeting.

 

Is our Steering Committee actually a board? If so, what rules differ?

What is the practical difference between a committee and a board? The discussion on p. 9 seems to boil down to "boards have the authority of the assembly and committees don't", but I'm not certain I understand it properly. 

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I think it is actually a board.  It is not all that unusual for an organization to call its executive board a "Steering Committee".    For more information on boards, and the differences between boards and committees, try reading  pages 481-489 on "Boards and Committees".  

Edited to add:  I'm intrigued, however, by section 9.2.3 of your bylaws.  It reads as follows:  " 9.2.3.  The Steering Committee shall be empowered to act on behalf of the full Committee in between regular meetings of the HCDEC. Such actions are subject to approval at the next HCDEC meeting. "

It seems a bit of a contradiction to say on the one hand that the committee is empowered to act on behalf of the full committee in between regular meetings of the HCDED (the full committee??), but that its actions are subject to approval at the next HCDED meeting!   It seems to me that the quoted provision puts every action of the steering committee in limbo and that its decisions might be meaningless until approved by the HCDED.  That is a strangely worded provision, but I've seen much worse in bylaws of political organizations.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last two paragraphs

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

HCDEC = Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee

The "Committee" is the larger assembly and the Steering Committee is its board, seeing as it is given broad responsibility and power to act between Committee meetings. I agree with Mr. Brown that the "approval" language is imprecise. Perhaps "review" is what's intended.

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