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Lifetime Membership

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Our non profit club bylaws allowed 5 types of membership. One was lifetime. It was awarded by a vote of the BOD for folks that have been members for 15 years. One person was granted this membership. A few years later, the membership vote to do away with lifetime memberships. There are now questions about whether or not the lifetime membership granted to this person is no longer in effect. There was no mention in the bylaws how to remove a lifetime member and this type of membership is not even a part of the clubs bylaws now. Most thought that once the lifetime membership was removed from the accepted types of membership in the bylaws that the one lifetime member would no longer be a member under that type of membership. The bylaws do not state how to remove lifetime memberships or even if they can be removed.

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On 4/13/2018 at 7:16 AM, jstackpo said:

Amending the bylaws to "eliminate" lifetime members seems a much better way than others I can think of.

Eliminating lifetime memberships seems to me to be preferable to actually eliminating lifetime members, especially with extreme prejudice.

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4 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Oh... Kay...  but is it possible to resign a "Lifetime Membership"?     Other than by "extreme prejudice?

I see no reason why not.

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If the bylaws say (and, of course, I am making this up as I go along) in effect:  "Anybody member who reaches age NN, shall become a Lifetime Member" and then the bylaws go on to say such things as no dues required, full membership privileges, &c., a particular Lifetime Member cannot individually amend the bylaws to get out.   So no resignation possible. 

The potential problem with being generous with "Lifetime Memberships", is that they, the lifers, could count toward the determination of the quorum (if a percentage is used for that).  So if lots of lifers are in retirement homes (and don't get around much any more) the association could have a problem with inquorate meetings.   Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR551AVRgWI   

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25 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

If the bylaws say (and, of course, I am making this up as I go along) in effect:  "Anybody member who reaches age NN, shall become a Lifetime Member" and then the bylaws go on to say such things as no dues required, full membership privileges, &c., a particular Lifetime Member cannot individually amend the bylaws to get out.   So no resignation possible. 

The potential problem with being generous with "Lifetime Memberships", is that they, the lifers, could count toward the determination of the quorum (if a percentage is used for that).  So if lots of lifers are in retirement homes (and don't get around much any more) the association could have a problem with inquorate meetings.   Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR551AVRgWI   

But we don’t know if that is what the bylaws say. :)

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12 hours ago, jstackpo said:

If the bylaws say (and, of course, I am making this up as I go along) in effect:  "Anybody member who reaches age NN, shall become a Lifetime Member" and then the bylaws go on to say such things as no dues required, full membership privileges, &c., a particular Lifetime Member cannot individually amend the bylaws to get out.   So no resignation possible. 

Even so, I don't see why it would be necessary to amend the bylaws to get out.  The member could simply resign, the same as anyone who became another sort of member by some other method. It seems to me that resignation, even under these imaginary bylaws, would not be prevented.  Since the bylaws are presumably silent on resignation from either class of membership, the rules in RONR apply.

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11 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Even so, I don't see why it would be necessary to amend the bylaws to get out.  The member could simply resign, the same as anyone who became another sort of member by some other method. It seems to me that resignation, even under these imaginary bylaws, would not be prevented.  Since the bylaws are presumably silent on resignation from either class of membership, the rules in RONR apply.

I do not see a problem either.  Life membership generally entails a waiving of further dues and requires the person to be a member.  Anyone reaching an age of NN that is not a member would not become one upon that birthday.  Even if there were other qualifications, i.e. the member lives in a specific region, in a particular profession, or has attended a certain school, not everybody in that subgroup would necessarily be a member. 

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Thank you for your responses.  This is not a question of a "lifetime" member asking to be removed from membership.  This "lifetime" member was never named in the bylaws.

This section WAS part of the club's bylaws.

(d) Junior Membership is open to all persons under eighteen years of age who are interested in the breed and subscribe to the purposes of the Club. Reduced fees and dues of $10 per yr. are provided for this type of membership, which offers all Club benefits and participation, except that Junior Members may not vote or hold office.
(e) Lifetime Membership is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the breed or club. They pay no dues. To qualify, a person must have been a member of the ???? for 15 years. These are granted by the majority vote of the BOD.

This below section was and still is a part of the current bylaws.

(c) International Membership is open to all persons eighteen years and older: who reside outside of the U.S., who are interested in the breed, and who subscribe to the purposes of the Club. This type of membership pays $55 US per yr. Persons who were members prior to January 31, 2007, as long as they remain members in good standing, are “grandfathered” in with full voting privileges and may hold Board positions. Persons living outside of the US who join after 1/31/07 may not vote nor hold a board position. They will receive the newsletter and be able to participate on committees.

The membership voted to remove lifetime memberships and junior memberships.  There was 1 person who was a lifetime member and 4 +/- junior members. 

There is nothing in the  new and current bylaws that mentions anything about lifetime members or junior members nor does it say anything about previous lifetime members being grandfathered in.  The bylaws do mention certain members being grandfathered in (international members) in another section.

The previous lifetime member believes they should still be a lifetime member.  This person does not subscribe to the clubs objectives nor does this person follow the code of ethics for the club.

If this previous lifetime member applied for membership to the club now, they would most likely not be approved for membership.

If there is no mention of lifetime membership nor any mention of there being a previous lifetime member in the current bylaws, should this person be considered a lifetime member?  

Another point is that the "lifetime" member did not meet the qualification for lifetime membership part of which is 15 years club membership.

 

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12 minutes ago, Guest Club member said:

If there is no mention of lifetime membership nor any mention of there being a previous lifetime member in the current bylaws, should this person be considered a lifetime member?  

No. Mr. Mervosh answered this question in the very first post and I still agree with his answer. The subsequent discussion has been whether, and under what circumstances, lifetime members may resign when the bylaws do provide for such membership.

There is no doubt whatsoever that, if the bylaws have been amended to remove any reference to lifetime members (and no proviso was adopted on this subject), no one should be considered a lifetime member at this time.

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