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Pastor Tim

Amending Constitution

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The Constitution for our District of churches includes a provision on how they may be amended:  2/3 vote of delegates present at a regularly called meeting, with 30 days notice of the proposed changes.

There is a proposal to amend this to include giving our board authorization to make "grammatical and other changes in compliance with District Conference actions without having the conference vote on such matters."  These changes would then be reported at the next conference.
 

Is an amendment like this in order, even if the motion were to be approved? 

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5 minutes ago, Pastor Tim said:

The Constitution for our District of churches includes a provision on how they may be amended:  2/3 vote of delegates present at a regularly called meeting, with 30 days notice of the proposed changes.

There is a proposal to amend this to include giving our board authorization to make "grammatical and other changes in compliance with District Conference actions without having the conference vote on such matters."  These changes would then be reported at the next conference.

Is an amendment like this in order, even if the motion were to be approved? 

Yes, such an amendment is in order. It may be desirable, however, to further clarify the wording, since “other changes” is quite broad.

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On 10/7/2019 at 11:56 AM, Pastor Tim said:

The Constitution for our District of churches includes a provision on how they may be amended:  2/3 vote of delegates present at a regularly called meeting, with 30 days notice of the proposed changes.

There is a proposal to amend this to include giving our board authorization to make "grammatical and other changes in compliance with District Conference actions without having the conference vote on such matters."  These changes would then be reported at the next conference.
 

Is an amendment like this in order, even if the motion were to be approved? 

It would be in order to move it, but if I were a delegate I would never vote Yes on such a motion to give carte blanche permission to the board to change the bylaws.  We have pointed out in other threads here how a single comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence:

  • Let's eat, Grandma!
  • Let's eat Grandma!

And allowing "other" changes imposes no limits at all.

RONR contains suggested language that is much more specific, authorizing the Secretary, for example:

... to correct article and section designations, punctuation, and cross-references and to make such other technical and conforming changes as may be necessary to reflect the intent of the Society....

And such a motion would usually be made in connection with a specific question, not as a blanket power.

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It's been a few weeks since I posted this.  But...

With the proposed amendments to the Constitution, including some we will leave to the Secretary to make (in accordance with RONR), would it be correct to say that an amendment (for example) to change the size of the Board of Directors would fall outside the permission given to the Secretary to make "technical and conforming changes" and have to come to the full body for approval?

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1 hour ago, Pastor Tim said:

would it be correct to say that an amendment (for example) to change the size of the Board of Directors would fall outside the permission given to the Secretary to make "technical and conforming changes" and have to come to the full body for approval?

Absolutely. 

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5 hours ago, Pastor Tim said:

It's been a few weeks since I posted this.  But...

With the proposed amendments to the Constitution, including some we will leave to the Secretary to make (in accordance with RONR), would it be correct to say that an amendment (for example) to change the size of the Board of Directors would fall outside the permission given to the Secretary to make "technical and conforming changes" and have to come to the full body for approval?

Waaaaaay outside!

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