1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Middle Island, NY

    Red face By Law Question - Very Important!!

    We are in a little bit of a dilemma here in Middle Island and I need some direct advice. If a person isn't qualified to run for a specific office per the department's approved by-laws, does the Chief and/or the Executive Board have the authority to "ignore" that section of the bylaw and make that person eligible for office if the Exec Bd and Chief vote for it unanimously and the department votes for it unanimously. Isn't that considered amending the by-laws? Do they have that authority. Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated ASAP!!

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Darien CT USA


    Depends on how your bylaws are written.... take a REALLY close look at the wording to see if there's ANYTHING that explains what to do in this situation. Here is how my department works...

    If no qualified person is able to run then the ballots are opened to unqualified, but most qualified candidates.

    Example... For the position of "Engineer" candidates must be qualified to drive all apparatus. If nobody "qualified" wants the position, then the ballots are opened to people that are qualified on most of the apparatus.

    Hope this helps...

    Turk II

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    MetalMedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly


    If you have all of these "unanimous" votes, who is going to challenge the by-laws in this matter? With all of the members in support of doing this, it sounds like a by-law ammendment would be in order to correct a recognized problem.

    In my experience with parlimentary procedures, the by-laws are your framework for the organization. It is not uncommon to conduct parts of business which may not be covered in the by-laws, since there is no way to cover every possible situation in your by-laws. When a question does arise, someone can call for a "point-of-order" and evoke the by-laws if there is a conflict. But with unamous votes in this case, that does not seem likely.

    If I were the President in such a case, I would allow the motion to be heard to "suspend the rules" prior to taking the vote for the member. This would eliminate the action as being president setting. Once the matter was taken care of, I would appoint a by-law review committee to see if you indeed do need to change your by-laws to prevent this problem from happening again.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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