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No Discussion on Revised Constitution or By Laws at Annual Meeting


Guest JB Kennedy
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My question is in regards to the statement below. At an Executive Committee meeting that will be held Aug 19, 2018 where the proposed constitution and by-laws revision will be discussed, and then will be brought before the annual meeting in September, can it be done without allowing for discussion at the annual meeting? See below:

We will be having our last Executive Committee meeting before the Annual Meeting on August 19th @ 2:30pm.  I am attaching a copy of the proposed Constitution & By-Laws so you can look over the changes and bring any questions to this meeting.  We will have our last discussion at the Executive Committee meeting.  We will be voting on the Constitution & By-Laws at the Annual Meeting without any discussion.

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19 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

Amendments to the bylaws are debatable and only the assembly at the annual meeting can limit or end/prohibit debate, via the proper motions to do so. Their statement is meaningless and not enforceable otherwise.

I agree, with the caveat that there could be a bylaw provision (albeit one I would dislike) allowing for revision or amendment without debate, and this statement could simply be a summary of that rule.

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11 minutes ago, Guest Zev said:

If there is such a provision in the bylaws, is it not true that such a provision has no application outside of a meeting and therefore could be suspended?

Certainly. I guess that raises an interesting question: can a notice summarize rules if those rules may be suspended? Arguably, a person could be dissuaded from attending who would have, had the rules been suspended, changed the outcome. But I think it's probably fair to charge people with sufficient knowledge of the rules that summarizing an existing rule in the call, without noting it may be suspended, should be assumed not to mislead. 

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10 hours ago, Guest JB Kennedy said:

My question is in regards to the statement below. At an Executive Committee meeting that will be held Aug 19, 2018 where the proposed constitution and by-laws revision will be discussed, and then will be brought before the annual meeting in September, can it be done without allowing for discussion at the annual meeting? See below:

We will be having our last Executive Committee meeting before the Annual Meeting on August 19th @ 2:30pm.  I am attaching a copy of the proposed Constitution & By-Laws so you can look over the changes and bring any questions to this meeting.  We will have our last discussion at the Executive Committee meeting.  We will be voting on the Constitution & By-Laws at the Annual Meeting without any discussion.

If the rules in RONR apply:

The Executive Committee is subordinate to the Membership, and cannot direct the membership on how its meeting shall be conducted.  It would require a 2/3 vote of the membership, either to Suspend the Rules that allow debate, or to move the Previous Question immediately on the bylaws question.  Remember that the Executive Committee will not be in session during the membership meeting, and if present, will be there as ordinary members.  They do not run the meeting.

Any attempt improperly to restrict the rights of members is grounds for an immediate Point of Order.  Main motions are debatable, and people claiming that this particular one isn't bear the burden of proof, (which would be in the form of a written rule in the Bylaws, or adopted (by the membership) as a Special Rule of Order).  They certainly will not be able to find such a rule in the pages of RONR.

If they do come up with some rule, it is in the nature of a rule of order and may be suspended.   

E.g., "Mr. Chairman, I move to suspend the rules and allow debate on this question.

This motion requires a second, is actually not debatable, and needs a 2/3 vote for passage..

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