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Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 96 Feb. 2004

Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 96  Feb.  2004
Answers to your Parliamentary Questions
drvideo@comcast.net


"Dear Parlimentarian" is written by the author of Parliamentary Procedures Made Simple: The Basics, an 80 minute video that tells how to have better meetings.


Bowers, Camille O. wrote:

The Parliamentarian -- I know I seem like a pain, but I've just got problems in our

organization.  I have attached our constitution, bylaws and standing rules so that you can help me with this one.  I have been Area B

Secretary/Treasurer on the Board of Directors of TMRA for the lst 5+ years.

I decided that I did not want to be Area B Sec/Treas any longer because I am very interested in our safety and awareness program.  I wrote a letter of resignation on November 30, 2003 and stated at our Area B meeting on that day in front of probably 65+ TMRA members and the President, Secretary, 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, Area B VP, TMRA Chaplain that I was resigning and running for 1st vp.  I handed then resignation letter to the President of TMRA.  We have to resign by the close of nominations, January 15, 2004.  We did not have a December Board meeting due to lack of participation.  At the February Board Meeting we had a lot of business to take care of and didn't

get through until 7:30 that night -- TMRA Secretary forgot to read my letter to the Board of Directors.    The Referee now says he will take my name off the ballot because I didn't proceed according to our constitution and bylaws.  That rubbish.  Please let me know your thoughts. <<#3916429 v1  Latest Version of TMRA Constitution and Bylaws.doc>>  







Dear Camiille,

    Were you present at the board meeting and did you participate in the board meeting?




The Parliamentarian



 

Yes - the February Board meeting was in executive session from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 for charges filed against several board members -- then the regular board meeting started at 4:45ish and lasted until 7:30 -- we just had a lot to do and the secretary forgot to read my letter.



 

 

 

Dear Camille,

    Does the secretary keep a log of when letters arrive?

 

The Parliamentarian

 

 

She files them in date order of arrival or sending them out -- I don't know about a log.

 

 

Dear Camille,

            In reviewing the information that you sent,  although you submitted the letter to the board in plenty of time,  you have not met the requirements in your bylaws to seek office because the letter of resignation was not voted upon by the board.  Since you were present at the Board meetings, and an active participant,  the correct procedure for handling this was for you to suspend the rules at the meeting and take up your application.  Or if the letter of resignation was on the agenda and the members had skipped over it, you could also have used the motion “call for the orders of the day” which brings everyone back to the order of the agenda.

            I realize that this is a disappointment for you, but hopefully you will use this knowledge to help you in the future.  Even if you don’t know the rules,  you can always ask in a board meeting how to handle some procedure.  In looking back, you could have said, “I have submitted my resignation so that I may be considered for office.  When can we take my resignation up for consideration?”  If you had made every effort to do this and then the board refused to do something, I believe you would have a case to challenge this ruling, but it is my opinion that this isn’t the case.  George Demeter in his book on parliamentary law states that if we sleep on our rights, it is too late to correct it after the meeting adjourns.  In this case, I believe his rule applies.

 

The Parliamentarian   

 

Bowers, Camille O. wrote:

 

We did not have a board meeting in December -- the resignation letter HAS to be submitted before the cut off date of 30 days prior to the close of nominations -- the nominations close on January 15 -- that would mean I had to submit my letter by December 15 -- we did not have a December meeting.  

 

Bowers, Camille O. wrote:

 

They will be in the minutes of the Area B meeting, of course.

 

Dear Camille,

Then I would use the minutes as evidence that you submitted your resignation in  the right time period, and because there was  no meeting in December because of lack of quorum, that you have fulfilled the requirements.  It is because of unusually circumstances that the letter was not accepted. Unless this was not the body that was to vote on the letter. It is too bad that the letter was not voted on at the meeting that it was presented-- that could be the argument of the other side.  You will just have to see where this goes.  It could swing one way or the other.  I would still recommend that the board review the bylaws and the procedure on this issue.  It certainly could happen again.




The Parliamentarian






 

 

Dear Camille,
    You are certainly in a catch 22 situation.  When you announced that you submitted your letter at the November meeting,  was this announcement written in the minutes?  Some how you will need some proof that you followed the rules.  However,  your resignation was not accepted and the committee chairman still may be a stickler for the rules.  It sounds to me that this is an opportunity to re-write some of your procedures to prevent this from happening again.

The Parliamentarian

 

 

Karen wrote:

 

Dear Robert McConnell,

 

Recently our group elected co-vice presidents. Now some members are questioning if this is acceptable. Our by-laws make no mention of sharing an officer position. What should be done? Should we have new election or since membership voted on it is it acceptable for them to share the position? I can not find any mention of sharing officer positions in your book.

 

Karen Paul        President

Winston-Salem Crafts Guild

 

Dear Karen,
    Thank you for writing and buying our book.  If your bylaws do not provide for co-vice presidents then you either have to amend your bylaws to address this or not do it.  Having a shared office causes all kinds of problems, that is why no parliamentary book addresses this issue or recommends it.  Someone ultimately has to be responsible for the duties of this office.  If you are going to change your bylaws to allow for this, the bylaws must be carefully written to address who is going to do what.  You must also consider how co-vice-presidents affects the relationship with all the other operations of the organization.  Why not let those serving in the office decide who will take the office.  The members need to be notified that what they did was illegal and then how it is resolved.  If both want to be vice-president then you will have to have another election.

The Parliamentarian

 

 

Jill Starks wrote:

 

Hi~
I would like more information about joining your organization.

Jill Starks

 

Dear Jill,

    Thank you for writing .  We are not a parliamentary association, but a company that dedicates itself to educating people about the principles of democratic democracy that are to be used in meetings based upon Robert's Rules of Order.  However, there are two parliamentary associations that we have joined.  One is the National Association of Parliamentarians and the other is the American Institute of Parliamentarians. If you would like further information about these,  we will be glad to get you some information.

The Parliamentarian