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rgodbey

Timeline required for Special Meetings

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I know that in Robert's Rules, it is pretty vague in regards to Special Meetings, and that if nothing is in the Bylaws surrounding certain aspects then it is left up in the air?

We have a chair who wants to call a special meeting, which in and of itself is a violation of our bylaws as it clearly states that it has to come from council as a majority vote. But what it doesn't say is how much time they have to give before the meeting. Are they able to set it for tomorrow or the day after? I would say that the topic that needs to be discussed is something that needs time to be thought through.

Not sure what the next step is, as our bylaws are a grey area here.

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If you think the time is too short, couple of options...

Encourage enough of your friends NOT to show up.  If enough stay away (this is a risk, of course), there will be no quorum, thus no business at the meeting.

or

Show up, then raise a point of order that the time was not "reasonable". If "enough" (i.e. a majority) of the folks at the meeting agree (another risk) that will end things.  'Course, you can also raise the point that the meeting was called improperly -- same risks.

In short:  Democracy is a risky business.  (But we all knew that.)

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9 minutes ago, rgodbey said:

I know that in Robert's Rules, it is pretty vague in regards to Special Meetings, and that if nothing is in the Bylaws surrounding certain aspects then it is left up in the air?

We have a chair who wants to call a special meeting, which in and of itself is a violation of our bylaws as it clearly states that it has to come from council as a majority vote. But what it doesn't say is how much time they have to give before the meeting. Are they able to set it for tomorrow or the day after? I would say that the topic that needs to be discussed is something that needs time to be thought through.

Not sure what the next step is, as our bylaws are a grey area here.

The notice would have to be "reasonable."

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Notice of the meeting must be sent a reasonable time in advance. What is reasonable must take into consideration the surrounding facts. For example, do members have to make travel arrangements? Hotel reservations? Visa applications? Do you see my point? The object of the requirement for reasonable time is to make it possible for members to do what it takes to attend the meeting. Exactly what that time is must be reasonable in the light of the circumstances.

Edited by reelsman

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What is "reasonable" is for the members attending to decide.  Your remarks are arguments related to reasonableness.  Fine.  Make them at the meeting if the point of order goes to an appeal.

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3 hours ago, rgodbey said:

I know that in Robert's Rules, it is pretty vague in regards to Special Meetings, and that if nothing is in the Bylaws surrounding certain aspects then it is left up in the air?

We have a chair who wants to call a special meeting, which in and of itself is a violation of our bylaws as it clearly states that it has to come from council as a majority vote. But what it doesn't say is how much time they have to give before the meeting. Are they able to set it for tomorrow or the day after? I would say that the topic that needs to be discussed is something that needs time to be thought through.

Not sure what the next step is, as our bylaws are a grey area here.

Actually, if nothing is in the bylaws regarding Special Meetings, then they are prohibited, not left up in the air.

If a chair calls a special meeting without authority, then no amount of advance notice will cure the fact that the chair can't call special meetings.

If the council has the authority to call special meetings with no specific advance notice, then the notice must be "reasonable".  If anyone believes the lead time was unreasonable they may raise a Point of Order and/or Appeal, and see what happens.

And only topics specifically described in the call of the meeting may be taken up during that meeting.

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