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Nomination during Good of the Order


ClayRembert
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Hi,

In brief, we are having  a major problem finding someone to become secretary of our organization.  We've tried several approaches during the last few meetings and consequently, the Chair has been  performing as the "Acting" Secretary.  So the question is,  how common is it to make additional nominations during the "Good Of The Order" segment of a meeting? Thanks in advance!

Edited by ClayRembert
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Nominations wouldn't exactly  be proper fodder for the Good of the Order as discussed on RONR p. 362.  The bigger question is why are you all having problems finding someone willing to serve?  Is there anything the organization can do to make the job more desirable?

Edited by Chris Harrison
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1 hour ago, ClayRembert said:

We are a new Resident Council formed in a retirement community as of Jan 2019. The overwhelming majority of our membership consists on Septuagenarians and Octogenarians...many of whom have physical/mobility challenges.

I'm quite sure your problem is caused by the fact that your members do not realize how easy the job of the secretary really is (unless, of course, you have imposed all sorts of extra jobs on your secretary by the bylaws that you have adopted). 

I know this because I am a member of the Residents Council in the old folks home where I reside, and I can assure you that it seldom takes any action which requires recording in the minutes.

 

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Hi Daniel,

Initially, we had a secretary, but she voluntarily resigned after a few weeks. She openly attributed it to her declining cognitive skills.  By the way, our bylaws echo the responsibilities enumerated in the 11th edition, so no, we have not imposed anything unreasonable.  Recently, I've heard folks state that they are uncomfortable having to be counted on and making a "commitment" at this stage of their lives. Another common statement is: I like being a part of the council...just don't ask me to DO anything, let someone else will do it..

Edited by ClayRembert
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Hi Reelsman,

Yes, our dissolution clause  allows that to happen "with or without" cause.  However, we are continually exploring creative ways to avoid that from happening so soon.  Having just formed this year, we are currently "unincorporated" and are trying to stabilize ourselves enough to apply for 501 (c3) status in the next 6 months...

Edited by ClayRembert
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5 hours ago, ClayRembert said:

Hi,

In brief, we are having  a major problem finding someone to become secretary of our organization.  We've tried several approaches during the last few meetings and consequently, the Chair has been  performing as the "Acting" Secretary.  So the question is,  how common is it to make additional nominations during the "Good Of The Order" segment of a meeting? Thanks in advance!

I don't know about making additional nominations during the "Good of the Order"  portion of the meeting, but I suppose nominations can be re-opened to do so.  Regardless of whether it is technically proper, I do'n't see a need to be overly technical.

As to how to find a secretary, have you tried just nominating somebody (or more than one person) and then electing one of them?    Someone could actually be elected by means of a write in vote regardless of whether there are official nominees.  A vote of 1 to 0 is enough to elect!  And it can be done by acclamation if there is only one nominee.  Often people won't volunteer for a position, but if they are actually nominated and elected, they happily agree to serve.  In fact, you can elect a resident as secretary, but have someone else volunteer to do most of the actual work as an "assistant to the secretary".

With regards to Chris Harrison's suggestion to hire someone or to find someone's child or grandchild to serve as secretary, that might be a very workable solution.  My mother in law lives in an "independent living center".  They have a very active support group composed of children and grandchildren of residents and members of the community.  There are quite a few children and grandchildren, like my wife, who are always willing and even eager to help out when there is a need.  My wife has become a regular fixture there, as have many other children and grandchildren.

I think with a little creative thinking (and a possible bylaws amendment), there is a way to solve your predicament.

Edited to add:  If your bylaws require that the secretary be a resident of the facility, consider an amendment to eliminate the requirement that the secretary (and perhaps other officers) be a resident.

Edited by Richard Brown
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Hi Richard,

Mega thanks for the feedback and here is more background info.

Ours is one of three buildings (www.b2council.in) on this retirement campus. Based on the polled statements of several long time residents, (those living here over 10 years) disastrous results ensued whenever folks attempted to organize a council of any type.  So we held an information session and invited the dwellers of the 107 units in our building. Unfortunately, one of the greatest common factors is, roughly 95% of residents in attendance at the mass meeting had NO experience or knowledge of Homeowner's Associations, Tenant's Associations, Resident Councils or similar type organizations.  So, it became clear that we were also facing a huge education hurdle. 

Yes, because of the private make up of the community as a whole, our bylaws state that membership is restricted to those whose names are on the rental lease. Our bylaws encourage nominations from four sources (Chair, committee, petition & floor). Eventually, we plan to start accepting tax deductible donations, hence the interest in attaining 501(c3) classification.  But to be viable, we must have a stable governing body.  Hope that all makes sense...thanks!

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14 minutes ago, ClayRembert said:

our bylaws state that membership is restricted to those whose names are on the rental lease.

Yes, but do they say that officers (such as the secretary) have to be members?

"...unless the bylaws provide otherwise, it is possible for an organization to choose its officers from outside its membership." (RONR 11th ed., p. 447, lines 17-19)

Edited by Atul Kapur
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Mr Rembert, as Dr. Kapur just pointed out, there is a difference between requiring MEMBERS to be residents and requiring that OFFICERS be residents.  RONR does not require that officers be members.  So, the question is, "Do your bylaws specifically require that officers be members of the organization or residents of the facility?"  If not, then officers do not have to be members or residents.

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Hi

Yes, the bylaws specifically state that all members who have ballot casting privileges as well those who hold positions on the governing body (Pres, VP, Treasurer, Secretary & Board Members) must be legal residents of the building.  The Bylaws were ratified in April and incidentally, I have been performing in the role of Chair and Acting Secretary since June 2nd.  Hope that clears things up...thanks.

 

Edited by ClayRembert
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