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Temporary Change to Bylaws


Guest J. Jachimek
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Currently, we have two types of membership in our association - full voting member and supporting members, who do not have the right to vote on association matters.

We are in the process of creating a council underneath the umbrella of our association. This council will have elected positions. Since this is the inaugural election for this council, we feel it is important to have as many members eligible to vote as possible. We want to create a temporary provision that says supporting members have the right to vote during this election only and any matters pursuant to this council. The temporary provision would only be needed for a short period of time - most likely two months.

How do we go about doing this?

Thank you.

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It sounds like you're looking at amending the bylaws to give supporting members the right to vote. A rule in the bylaws can't be suspended unless it includes provision for its suspension, or is a rule properly in the nature of a rule of order. This doesn't sound like one to me, but keep checking back to see what other posts bring.

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We are in the process of creating a council underneath the umbrella of our association. This council will have elected positions.

As noted, you'll have to amend your bylaws to change the voting rights of the non-voting class of members. But you'll probably be amending the bylaws to create the council so you can kill two birds with one stone.

If you want to restrict the voting rights you can adopt a bylaw that says that supporting members can only vote in council elections. Or only in the first council election. Or words to that effect. If you do it right you won't have to amend the bylaws two months later to remove the rule (though your bylaws would be cluttered with a rule that no longer applies).

But if you really "feel it is important to have as many members eligible to vote as possible", you might want to consider giving supporting members the right to vote. Period. Or call them something other then "members". RONR keeps it simple by stating that all members have the right to vote. It's something to think about.

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....

We want to create a temporary provision that says supporting members have the right to vote during this election only and any matters pursuant to this council. The temporary provision would only be needed for a short period of time - most likely two months.

How do we go about doing this?

Thank you.

Amend the bylaws to allow the supporting members to vote, but add a proviso that the right to vote will only apply to defined matters, and will expire on __/__/__ (see RONR pp. 578-579 for a description of provisos). Note the recommendation on those pages that provisions which have effect only for a short period of time -- your temporary extension of voting right seems to meet that description -- are better handled as attachments to the bylaws, so that they don't clutter up the main text. However, that seems to be a suggestion based on aesthetics and orderliness -- the bylaws amendment process must be followed, no matter where in the document you choose to place the temporary provision.

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  • 8 years later...

I have a different question related to temporary by law changes. My organization for the past two years has by membership vote approved a temporary bylaw change to not charge members of the military the standard initiation fee when joining as a new member. This year, the membership once again accepted a motion, and unanimously approved the temporary bylaw change to waive the initiation fee for veterans. At the following months meeting, the organization president declared that according to Roberts rules, no temporary change to the bylaws can be made three consecutive years and nullified the vote and temporary bylaw change approved by the membership. Can anyone tell me if this is legitimate?

Thanks!

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13 minutes ago, Guest New Trustee said:

I have a different question related to temporary by law changes. My organization for the past two years has by membership vote approved a temporary bylaw change to not charge members of the military the standard initiation fee when joining as a new member. This year, the membership once again accepted a motion, and unanimously approved the temporary bylaw change to waive the initiation fee for veterans. At the following months meeting, the organization president declared that according to Roberts rules, no temporary change to the bylaws can be made three consecutive years and nullified the vote and temporary bylaw change approved by the membership. Can anyone tell me if this is legitimate?

Thanks!

Please post as a new topic.

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