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Resolution Ignored


Guest Dale T
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I am a  member of a membership-governed church whose board passed a motion to present a 3 phase kitchen remodel proposal to the membership. The membership approved and gave some financial support towards the proposal. After several months, the (congregationally elected) board members passed another motion to go ahead with the remodel even though financial criteria laid out in the first proposal had not been met and furthermore, they opted to do different things than what was included in the proposal. What is the best way to move forward now as we have an ignored board motion and an ignored resolution?

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A little more information might be helpful, but, unless your bylaws provide otherwise, a board has no authority to countermand a decision of the membership.  The board can and most likely should work to carry out the directives of the membership, but does not have the authority to contravene a membership directive.

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Although we don't have all the details about the hierarchy of your Church (which body is subordinate to which) I suspect the Board (intentionally or unintentionally) is countermanding the Membership's decision which is generally not allowed.  A Board member (at a Board meeting) or a member (at a meeting of the General Membership) should raise a Point of Order that the Board's decision to go through with the remodel is null and void.  See Official Interpretation 2006-12.

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Thank you for your replies. The by-laws do not allow for them to countermand a decision of the membership. The board is subordinate to the membership.

I believe they think they have the right to change the project based on the vague ballot wording: "To approve the capital improvement kitchen projects that will exceed $10.000." 

Membership understood the ballot to refer to all the information we were given in emails, architectural drawings and announcements as to the details of the project. The board maintains that they made the ballot as flexible as possible to allow for incidental changes that may pop up during remodeling projects.

The original board approved motion states: "To approve the kitchen committee's proposal for a 3 phase project that totals approxiamately $55,000."  Shouldn't the ballot have been the same as or similar to the motion?

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
11 hours ago, Guest Dale T said:

The original board approved motion states: "To approve the kitchen committee's proposal for a 3 phase project that totals approxiamately $55,000."  Shouldn't the ballot have been the same as or similar to the motion?

This motion doesn't say anything about putting a question on a ballot.

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On 7/20/2018 at 10:57 AM, Guest Dale T said:

I believe they think they have the right to change the project based on the vague ballot wording: "To approve the capital improvement kitchen projects that will exceed $10.000." 

Membership understood the ballot to refer to all the information we were given in emails, architectural drawings and announcements as to the details of the project. The board maintains that they made the ballot as flexible as possible to allow for incidental changes that may pop up during remodeling projects.

If there is any disagreement on this point, it would seem the membership may resolve it by amending the motion it adopted, or by adopting some other motion to give the board instructions in this matter.

On 7/20/2018 at 10:57 AM, Guest Dale T said:

The original board approved motion states: "To approve the kitchen committee's proposal for a 3 phase project that totals approxiamately $55,000."  Shouldn't the ballot have been the same as or similar to the motion?

No, I do not think that is required.

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