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ELECTED CANDIDATE RESIGNES BEFORE OFFICALLY TAKING OFFICE?


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ELECTED CANDIDATE RESIGNES BEFORE OFFICALLY TAKING OFFICE? 

 

The second week of August, our National organization recently experienced a situation regarding the election of our General Treasure that is not addressed in RONR or our own history to clarify.  I would be interested in your opinion regarding how it should have been handled. 

 

Our existing Treasure was elected to the office of Assistant General Superintendent, leaving a vacancy and remaining term of two years for the office of General Treasure.  

 

Our Bylaws prescribe that our General Presbytery (300 regional leaders) met to nominate candidates for the office of General Treasurer.  Any individual from that body who receives more than 10% of the total nomination votes is considered a nominee. A screening committee meets with any and all nominees to assess their willingness to serve before they are placed on the electoral ballot the following day.  In our case two (2) individuals were nominated.  One (Individual A) was elected as General Treasurer by the General Assembly (several thousand delegates from all over the nation) after several electoral ballots and gave an acceptance speech and declared the General Treasurer elect to assume office on November 1, 2019.  However, that evening individual A resigned as General Treasurer elect.  

 

Unfortunately, this all occurred on the last day of our bi-annual convention and the meeting was officially adjourned with everyone thinking when they left that individual A had been elected.   Not having any precedence, out Executive Presbytery (18 member of our national board) interpreted the situation as a vacancy in the office of Treasurer and exercised their right, as prescribed in our bylaws, to appoint a person to fill the unexpired term.  The Executive Presbytery chose to appoint Individual B (who was the only other nominee) to the office of General Treasure. Individual B accepted and was declared Treasure elect the day.

 

Some are now wondering how parliamentary law might have helped us navigate this complex issue.  

·     One contingent feels the Executive Presbyter had the authority to appoint any person, whether they were nominated or not, because individual A’s withdrawal created a vacancy in the office and the General Session had already adjourned.  They feel someone other than was nominated should have been appointed by the Executive Presbyter to fulfill the remaining two years term until we meet again in two years.  

·     A second contingent says that because individual A never officially took office on November 1, the nominating body (General Presbyter) should have been reconvened to redo their nominations and the General Assembly called back to order even though it had adjourned with no bylaw provision for emergency meetings. 

·     A third contingent believes the withdrawal of individual A did not change the fact that individual B was nominated by the only group authorize to make a nomination and should have been appointed to fill the unexpired term.  

 

How would you apply Parliamentary law to resolve this dilemma?  What option above is wisest in light of parliamentary principals.  

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I'm good with what the Executive Presbytery did. Individual A was elected and the fact that he takes office in the future changes nothing. The vacancy was created by the acceptance of his resignation. If the bylaws do not allow special meetings then no special meeting may be called. Consequently no person or group of people had sufficient authority to force the General Assembly to reconvene and the only option is for the Executive Presbytery to exercise their prerogative as the bylaws stipulate. Being nominated does not confer any special dispensation on any individual. The claim that to be nominated now results in the assumption of office by someone that was not elected is a fantastical claim that has no basis. I have a very dim view of elections in which the assembly is limited to the list of nominees presented by a nominating committee, however, some societies operate this way and have had few problems.

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Based on what we have been told, I think it was correct to treat the situation as a vacancy and that it was handled properly. If the executive Presbytery is the proper body to fill vacancies, it was probably free to choose anyone it wanted to fill the vacancy. It was free to choose someone who had been nominated for the position earlier or to choose someone else. The selection of someone to fill the vacancy was within the sound discretion of the executive Presbytery.

@Greg Goodwiller do you have an opinion on this? 

Edited by Richard Brown
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