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Henry Farley

Voting on the proposed constitution

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As expressed by others in another thread, I am disappointed that Council have continued with its plan to put a new Constitution to an EGM rather than an AGM thereby denying members the opportunity to propose amendments.

There are several matters in the Constitution that might well be voted against and the chance to do so on a selective basis is given by producing 4 motions.

For instance the way that subscriptions are to be decided is far from clear.

Under the constitution 13.6 the membership fees are to be set in accordance with the regulations. That leaves open to question who actually sets them since under the Finance regulations the membership fees are ‘set’ by the treasurer while under Regulations 1 the membership subscription fees are ‘decided’ by Council in accordance with the constitution.

That sets up a circular reference between the Constitution and Regulations 1.

 

In any case it is not clear how the membership may act if they don’t like the new fees.

It may be that since the treasurer’s report is voted upon at the AGM it could be rejected under 9.3(f)

Since the fees will not be known before the deadline for submission of motions that is not a reasonable route for clubs to propose alternative fees.

 

So if a majority vote against Motion 3, or any other motion for that matter, we are left with an incomplete Constitution.

What happens then? Is the proposed Constitution then abandoned, as I think it should then be, or is there some other workable interpretation?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you Henry for spotting and raising this issue.

As everyone is aware the EGM is purely about the constitution and not about the regulations but without the regulations certain parts of the constitution cannot be fully understood.

I must hold my hand up at this point as I have been totally focused on the constitution itself and have neglected to check that the regulations properly reflect the intention of the constitution . Membership fees are notified by the treasurer in his report as you have noted which is too late for any motions to be submitted by clubs. The Regulation 1 should make it clear that any change to the following year's subscriptions shall be notified by the treasurer 120 days before the AGM along with a brief reasoning. The full reasoning and detail would form part of the treasurers report to the AGM. 

By adopting this procedure we solve the problem raised by many clubs who say they cannot get the membership fees in from their members between the AGM and the 1st January.  It is possible, of course, that clubs may submit their own motion to the AGM and we would still not know what the subsequent years fee will be until the AGM has voted however if Council are acting correctly and any changes (with reasoning) are notified in plenty of time then it is considered that this is a remote possibility.

My apologies to all for this error. Regulation 1 will be changed accordingly and published on the website.

Please note that Regulation 4 (Finance) already includes this requirement.

Edited by philholliday
additional line added

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Phil,

Your response neatly illustrates why a motion might be voted against. We are indeed only voting on the proposed Constitution and not the Regulations which may be changed at any time without reference to the membership and among other things control finances.  In passing I'll note that the finance regulation only requires the treasurer to set the fees but has no requirement to publish them.

However this is but an example of why a motion may fail and leaves unanswered my query about how to proceed should this happen.

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5 hours ago, Henry Farley said:

In passing I'll note that the finance regulation only requires the treasurer to set the fees but has no requirement to publish them.

This is adequately covered in the reworded Regulation 1.

With regard to changes to the regulations it should be noted that this would be an item at a Council meeting and Clubs are given notice of each and every such meeting and are at liberty to send a representative should they so wish (proposed constitution 11.6(a)) so there is provision for membership scrutiny already written into the proposed constitution. Should any Club miss the notice of a Council meeting then minutes of each meeting are put on the website soon after the meeting so nothing could be done without the  full knowledge of the membership.

Regulation 4 (finances) is an additional measure over and above the basic provisions in the proposed constitution which is itself actually more prescriptive than the current constitution so even without Regulation 4 the MYA funds and financial dealings are under closer scrutiny than ever before.

 

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There has been a lot of discussion about the new constitution on the MYA Forum.  Some of it valid some of it very clearly from people who do not read documents properly an only see what they want to see.
 
The main issues seem to be 
1. How subscriptions and charges are dealt with and decided.
2. The system of voting expressly moving away from a club block vote to a more democratic vote,   as indicated by the club MYA members.
 
I also have a concern about 
3. Representation of “Class Associations”  
 
My thoughts are as follows.  I like the principal of the style of the new constitution with the intention of more class involvement in the organisation of the classes.
I believe there is still some detail which has not been sorted out and which is a little conflicting between Regulations and older policy documents which have not yet been updated . Essentially a lot have them have bee very sloppily written.  There is also currently a total absence of any Regulation for the rules of the presidents Club.
 
Re 1. My concern about subscriptions is not that essentially the treasurer sets a proposed figure,  accepted/ratified at council meeting but the timing of this and how it is notified to Clubs. There needs to be a mechanism to ensure that Clubs (all Members) know of any proposed subscription changes sufficiently in advance of AGM that if they do not like it they have time to propose a motion to change it to the AGM.  I think the intention is that the proposed subs will be known 120 days before AGM so this is possible.  Its just how is this to be communicated that is the issue.  I am not sure relying on Clubs  to have someone to monitor Council meeting minutes on the website it sufficient.
 
Re 2.  I Strongly support the more democratic principal.  There has been to much block voting by officers and committees reflecting their personal views and not necessarily views of their MYA members. or for that matter even canvassing their views. There has also been little incentive to be involved and vote if you belong to a small club as the block vote of a big club would negate your input.  The For /Against/ Abstain system  levels the playing field and incentivises involvement.  What happens if a Club doesn't exercise its members votes!  Well that is mostly up to its members.  To sanction their officers or decide if they want to be members either of the Club or of the MYA.
 
Re 3.  I believe there is an injustice re Representation of 'Class Owners Groups’ (COGs).   The COGs essentially cannot meet the definition of Class Association because they are not independent organisations.  The are currently effectively MYA sub committees delegated to administer particular Classes.  As such they can only get representation at council (note councils choice or representative not the COG’s) if council appoints such a representative and even then they will not have any right to speak on matters concerning their class, unless chairman decides to let them.
 
The question then is are any of these points material to voting for or against the 4 motions and if choosing to vote against any one of the 4 motions what would the overall affect be?
 
The bit I haven't got my head around yet is the possibility of selectively voting for some of the motions and against others.  I need to look at what sections are in each motion to decide.
 

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