March 21, 2020
As previously discussed in earlier memoranda concerning meetings and Conventions, my goal was to emphasize the flexibility that we must embrace in order to ensure the business of the organization is carried out to the extent feasible. This guidance was sent in anticipation of restrictions of state and local governments on the number of people allowed to assemble at one location. For many such locations, those restrictions make achieving a traditional quorum at meetings and Conventions difficult, if not impossible. To the extent that our bylaws do not sufficiently address how we should proceed, I believe it is crucial to offer this guidance.
The guidance outlined in the Executive Order, keeping the current officers in place until such time that elections can be held without jeopardizing the health and well-being of members, may remain the best option.
But as you consider next steps, in keeping with the requirements of the bylaws, and to ensure adherence with all applicable laws, please understand that the flexibility previously emphasized means that you can, with some creativity and ingenuity, maintain the necessary quorum and adhere to applicable laws by utilizing available technology to achieve the goal of conducting the business of the organization.
Through technology, a quorum can be established. Delegates and other Members may attend such meetings by way of videoconference or tele-conference, provided any voting be counted from only those who are attending the meeting, in person or otherwise, while it is being conducted.
Through this guidance, it is my hope that you will use your best efforts to conduct the necessary meetings and Conventions. As you do so, it will be helpful to limit the business to the most critical items, such as election of officers and voting on resolutions.
In terms of voting, it will be necessary to develop a system that allows for the proper recording of all votes. For instance, if a vote is submitted by way of email, the subject line must correspond to the subject of the discussion. The time-stamp on the email must also be recorded to ensure that the vote is taken at the time the matter is being voted on.
There is an abundance of technology available that can assist in this regard. Available services include, but are in no way limited to, the following:
We recognize that there is no single approach that can be utilized at every level of the organization. We just ask that you use your best efforts to meet the challenges of today’s environment. Our collective mission is far too important to not move forward.
William “Doc” Schmitz