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Agenda Topic Discussion


Guest MYC_Raiders
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1.  Are general members permitted to address an agenda topic from a previous meeting?  The topic did not require a motion, it was simply a discussion regarding a complaint submitted and what the Commissioner Board decided the outcome would be.  The agenda for that meeting was not distributed, nor made public, therefore certain members were unaware that this topic would be discussed and were unable to speak on the matter.  Are they permitted to revisit this topic at the next meeting?

2.  Can something be prohibited if there is nothing stated in the bylaws that the action is forbidden or permitted?

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Guest MYC, perhaps I'm just missing something, but I believe more information would be helpful.  For example, what exactly is this "Commission Board"?  Is it some type of public body?  If so, your question might covered by superior state and local  laws governing the "commission board" and its meetings.

It will also help if you can provide a bit more information regarding what you mean by "revisit" the topic at a later meeting.  Discussion for the sake of discussion, without a motion to actually do or adopt something, is usually prohibited absent a suspension of the rules or a special rule of order permitting it.  However, public bodies are often subject to state law provisions regarding public comment.

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Guest Guest MYC_Raiders

@Richard Brown, our organization is part of a Youth Football League.  The League is run by Commissioners, which are essentially the Governing Board.  Our organizations, as well as the other organizations involved, are considered "general members" which pay dues and are permitted to vote on matters concerning the league.  The league has their own set of bylaws, however, it does state that meetings shall follow Robert's Rules of Order.

Our organization recently wrote a complaint to the League Commissioners concerning another team violating the League Bylaws.  The Head Commissioner (essentially the President of the Board) advised that our complaint would be discussed with the other Commissioners and he would get back to us.  He never responded to our complaint and instead, simply addressed it at the monthly league meeting without advising us that it would be on the agenda.  Therefore, we did not have proper representation at the meeting to thoroughly discuss the issue further and ultimately allow us to clarify our concerns to the other teams (general members). 

As a result, we reached out to the other teams (general members) and invited those interested to a brief meeting so that we could clarify our position and determine how to proceed.  We were unsure if we wanted to initiate a petition or simply motion for changes to occur.  The Head Commissioner contacted us and informed us that we had the opportunity to address this issue at the meeting and since we didn't do so, the topic is essentially dead and can no longer be discussed further.  Is that true?  Can we no longer address this topic at the next meeting?

He also went on to accuse us of going behind the Commissioners backs to have this meeting and stated "there is nothing is our bylaws that allows you to do what you are doing with having a meeting and getting a petition together".  If there is nothing in the bylaws that forbids general members to meet with each other to further discuss issues amongst each other, can they forbid us from doing so?

Lastly, the Head Commissioner also stated "I'm sorry you don't agree with the Commissioners decision but our decision is final and a petition will not change it".  Can they legally "ignore" a petition if it is signed by more than 2/3 of the general membership?

Thank you in advance for any insight you can offer.

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27 minutes ago, Guest Guest MYC_Raiders said:

The Head Commissioner contacted us and informed us that we had the opportunity to address this issue at the meeting and since we didn't do so, the topic is essentially dead and can no longer be discussed further.  Is that true?  Can we no longer address this topic at the next meeting?

No, this is not correct, at least not due to any rule in RONR. It is conceivable the organization has its own rules on this matter. As noted above, however, it is generally not in order to discuss a topic without a motion pending.

It is also somewhat unclear whether the meetings in question are meetings of the board or of the membership. Members of the society who are not members of the board have no rights at a board meeting, and it is at the board’s discretion whether to let them speak. At a meeting of the membership, however, the members would have the right to make a motion on this subject and to speak in debate on that motion.

27 minutes ago, Guest Guest MYC_Raiders said:

He also went on to accuse us of going behind the Commissioners backs to have this meeting and stated "there is nothing is our bylaws that allows you to do what you are doing with having a meeting and getting a petition together".  If there is nothing in the bylaws that forbids general members to meet with each other to further discuss issues amongst each other, can they forbid us from doing so?

Nothing in RONR prohibits members of a society from meeting whenever they want, talking about whatever they want, and making whatever petitions they want, nor does it authorize a board to prohibit members of the society from doing these things. I concur that this is not a formal meeting of the society itself (since it was not a regular or properly called meeting), and therefore cannot conduct any business in the name of the society, but that doesn’t appear to have been the goal anyway.

27 minutes ago, Guest Guest MYC_Raiders said:

Lastly, the Head Commissioner also stated "I'm sorry you don't agree with the Commissioners decision but our decision is final and a petition will not change it".  Can they legally "ignore" a petition if it is signed by more than 2/3 of the general membership?

Yes, they can ignore a petition regardless of how many members have signed it. Petitions have no formal status unless so granted by your rules.

If your bylaws do not grant the board exclusive authority in this matter, then the membership could overturn the board’s decision at an actual meeting of the membership by a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice.

If the bylaws do grant the board exclusive authority in this matter, the only recourse would be to amend the bylaws, or to elect new board members.

Edited by Josh Martin
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Whenever an individual makes a harsh statement in the face of a reasonable request from two-thirds of the members he is just courting trouble. Perhaps you should have another meeting with the other club representatives and make plans to amend the league's bylaws to provide that officers "shall hold office for a term of ____ year(s) or until their successors are elected." If this does not catch the attention of the "dear leader" then my suggestion would be to give notice that an election will be conducted to elect a new Head Commissioner. Once this is done perhaps the remaining commissioners will be a little bit more humble. It makes no sense to me that two-thirds of a society has concerns that are ignored and they then take no action whatsoever.

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