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The Leadership Puzzle: The Bylaws

Written by Posted On Monday, 29 June 2020 05:00

The Bylaws and Robert's Rules provide common procedures for the deliberations and debate at Board meetings. What happens if the Bylaws conflict with Robert's Rules? Remember: Bylaws rule, Robert's Rules supplement. If Bylaws are silent, then Robert's Rules take precedence. 

The conduct of all business is controlled by the general will of the voting body. Robert's Rules provide for constructive and democratic meetings to help, not hinder, business of the assembly. The fundamental right of deliberative bodies requires all questions to be thoroughly discussed before taking action. Silence means consent! You must be recognized by the Chair before speaking.

Be attentive to key areas where the Bylaws can prove too onerous. For instance, mandating the taking of attendance sometimes has unintended consequences, especially in the case of a subsequent lawsuit over a Director being removed. What if the Bylaw says a Director could be removed if they miss more than 3 Board meetings without excuse. Who defines what consititues an "excused" absence? Who decides? Was it arbitrary?

Now may be a good time to review the language of your Bylaws and clarify any inconsistencies. You may be surprised. Perhaps throw them out and start fresh. Compare your Bylaws to the Model Bylaws of the National Association of Realtors and layer on what is appropriate.



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