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Guest Austin Roth

Extending a referendum

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Guest Austin Roth

The Student Union I represent held a referendum back in 1991 to create a levy that students would pay over the term of 30 years for a new student centre building. The 30 year loan will be paid off in year 28 but the student centre is taking on a new capital project that is associated with the building that will take 2 years to complete. The cost of this new project is being lumped into the 30 year loan with a refinancing from my university.  Our Union has been asked if we could extend the levy past the 30 year term even though the loan will have been paid off. 

Within Roberts Rules, do I need to hold a new referendum to continue this levy or can my board vote to extend the levy past the 30 year term since the loan will now not be paid off?

Thank you, 

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RONR does not have the answer to your question. You will need to look at your bylaws to see what authority the board has regarding levies and, perhaps, the wording of the original referendum question.

Personally, I would be surprised if the board had authority to do this itself. After all, if it had that authority why would it need to have held the referendum in the first place?

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I agree with the opinion of Dr. Kapur, and would add that it seems to me this is as much a legal question as it is a parliamentary one. I think you need legal advice on this issue.

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5 hours ago, Guest Austin Roth said:

The Student Union I represent held a referendum back in 1991 to create a levy that students would pay over the term of 30 years for a new student centre building. The 30 year loan will be paid off in year 28 but the student centre is taking on a new capital project that is associated with the building that will take 2 years to complete. The cost of this new project is being lumped into the 30 year loan with a refinancing from my university.  Our Union has been asked if we could extend the levy past the 30 year term even though the loan will have been paid off. 

Within Roberts Rules, do I need to hold a new referendum to continue this levy or can my board vote to extend the levy past the 30 year term since the loan will now not be paid off?

Thank you, 

If the original question was adopted by a referendum of the entire Student Union membership, the board would not have authority to override or amend it, presuming the rules in RONR apply.

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Guest Austin Roth

Thank you, 

I was under the assumption that this would be the outcome. I am currently seeking legal advice but I thought better to check with the parliamentary experts first. 
Always enjoy reviewing this forum for useful information. 

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