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Accepting Changes to Proposed Amendments to Bylaws After 90-Day Notice


Guest Tom
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Our church bylaws require a 90-day notice prior to seeking a vote to amend the bylaws.   When the proposed amendments are put forward for vote (after proper notice), can members propose additional changes to the wording during the meeting without adhering to the 90-day requirement?  Can the Chairperson accept wording changes if no one objects to the changes during the meeting, or would it be prudent to initiate a new 90-day review period for the newly proposed edits?

ARTICLE X     AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Procedure. These Bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the membership present and voting at any regular congregational business meeting or at a special business meeting called for that purpose. A proposed amendment to the Bylaws must be presented in writing to the Leadership Team and to the membership not less than 90 days prior to the meeting called for the purpose of voting on bylaws changes.

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Changes to properly noticed bylaw amendments can be made at the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted only if the proposed change falls within the scope of notice for the amendment. As a relevant example, if someone in your congregation submits a properly-noticed amendment to change the 90 day notice period to 50 days, a motion may be made at the meeting to change the 50 to any number between 50 and 90, whereas an attempt to change the 50 to a number greater than 90 or less than 50 would not be in order. Scope of notice refers to the space between what your current bylaws require and what the noticed amendment proposes.

Any change that is outside the scope of notice is not valid even if no one present objects to it.

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In this particular case, I am not so sure about the response of Mr. Lages.  The bylaw may be subject to an interpretation that the version that is presented will be the version that is voted on.  It is impossible for me to know what the society intended when the bylaw was adopted.  I think Guest Tom really needs to tell us.

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On 9/22/2021 at 7:35 PM, Atul Kapur said:

I see nothing in the OP to suggest that Mr. Lages' response, which is based on RONR, is inappropriate or incorrect. 

That is, I see nothing in the quoted portion of the bylaws to suggest that the rules in RONR do not apply.

Nor do I.

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