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Guest Gail Woolcott

How Does Filling a Vacancy Affect Term Limits?

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Guest Gail Woolcott

Our V.P. filled the vacancy when our president had to step down after 6 months. Therefore he completed 1.5 years of the past president's term. Our bylaws state that officers and directors are only permitted to sit for a term of two years twice (4 years). Our current president doesn’t feel that when he was filling the vacancy that it should count towards his two terms and that he’s actually permitted to sit for 5.5 years because of this. We need to find where in Roberts Rules where it says he can or can’t as our bylaws do not state the answer. 

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"The bylaws may contain a provision that 'No person shall be eligible to serve ______ consecutive terms in the same office.' In filling vacancies for unexpired terms, an officer who has served more than half a term in an office is considered to have served a full term. As stated on page 444, the term of office begins as soon as the officer is elected, unless the bylaws establish a different time."   (RONR, 11th ed., p. 448)

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On 7/21/2020 at 10:52 AM, Guest Gail Woolcott said:

Our V.P. filled the vacancy when our president had to step down after 6 months. Therefore he completed 1.5 years of the past president's term. Our bylaws state that officers and directors are only permitted to sit for a term of two years twice (4 years). Our current president doesn’t feel that when he was filling the vacancy that it should count towards his two terms and that he’s actually permitted to sit for 5.5 years because of this. We need to find where in Roberts Rules where it says he can or can’t as our bylaws do not state the answer. 

The president is incorrect.  As Mr. Honemann points out in his citation, for the purpose of calculating term limits, filling a vacancy for more than half a term counts as one term in the calculation.  Therefore in your specific case, if your paraphrase of the bylaws is substantially correct, your president may run for one additional two-year term, but would be ineligible to run for a third term.

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