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Term of Officers


Jim Anderson
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The bylaws of an organization I am a member of specifies the term of office for our Trustees (Directors) is 3 years. There are no bylaw limitations specified as to whether a Trustee can serve more than one consecutive term. RONR page 448 states (The bylaws may contain a provision that "No person shall be eligible to serve _______ consecutive terms in the same office."). This seems to indicate a Trustee could serve more than one term even though the bylaws do not address a limitation.

As our bylaws do not declare a maximum number of terms,

  • Is it appropriate for a Trustee to be elected to more than one term?
  • In addition, if a member is elected to serve out the remaining term (one year of three year term), of a resigned Trustee and without a bylaw to address a maximum number of terms, is it appropriate for the member to be elected to a complete term?

Thank you,

Jim Anderson

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1 hour ago, Jim Anderson said:

In addition, if a member is elected to serve out the remaining term (one year of three year term), of a resigned Trustee and without a bylaw to address a maximum number of terms, is it appropriate for the member to be elected to a complete term?

Agreeing with the previous responses, I will add that unless your own bylaws or rules contain a contrary provision, serving less than one half of a term does not count as a full term. For term limits purposes, someone must serve at least half a term for it to be considered as having served a full term.

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9 hours ago, Jim Anderson said:

In addition, if a member is elected to serve out the remaining term (one year of three year term), of a resigned Trustee and without a bylaw to address a maximum number of terms, is it appropriate for the member to be elected to a complete term?

No.

If a member is elected to fill a vacancy, they serve for the unexpired remainder of the term being filled.  Once that term is complete, then they can be reëlected to a complete term, subject to any term limit rules.

For the purposes of term limits, less than half a term does not count, and a half term or more counts as a full term, but this rule has no applicability if you have no term limits in your bylaws.  Of course, there is always one type of term limit that is always in effect, and that is the election process.  Officers can serve only as many terms as the voters are willing to elect them to. 

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48 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

No.

How do you get "No" for an answer?  Nothing prohibits the trustee from being elected to a full term after the expiration of the unexpired term.  I am assuming, as did Chris Harrison and Joshua Katz, that the original poster is referring to being elected to a full term after first completing  the unexpired term.

If the original poster, Jim Anderson is talking about electing the member to a full  term before he completes the unexpired term, then that is a different situation and I would  agree with your answer.

@Jim Anderson can you clarify what you have in mind? Are you referring to being elected to a full term after first completing the unexpired term or are you referring to being elected to a full term before completing the unexpired term?

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11 hours ago, Jim Anderson said:
  • In addition, if a member is elected to serve out the remaining term (one year of three year term), of a resigned Trustee and without a bylaw to address a maximum number of terms, is it appropriate for the member to be elected to a complete term?

 

 

1 hour ago, Gary Novosielski said:

No.

If a member is elected to fill a vacancy, they serve for the unexpired remainder of the term being filled.  Once that term is complete, then they can be reëlected to a complete term, subject to any term limit rules.

Well, I agree with the second part of this, but can't figure out what the word "No" is doing there.

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I may have misinterpreted.  As I read the question, the OP was asking if, when electing someone to fill a vacancy, it was appropriate to elect the member to a full term instead, based upon their bylaws having no term limits.

My answer was intended to make two points: 

  • First, that vacancy filling does not extend the term beyond that of the original occupant.
  • Second, that term limits have no bearing on the length of an unexpired term. 

Once that term is over, the same person may, of course, be elected to a full term, especially since there are no term limits in this scenario.

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