Region 11 President Dan Neumarkel has put a motion on the Mid-Winter IBT agenda that we hope will at least get the board in a debate over this issue.
Here is the draft of his motion (it is also available on the WBCCI website in the IBT program PDF):
I move that our Board, the International Board of Trustees, instruct and
require its Constitution & Bylaws Committee to produce a written report to
Headquarters containing the recommendations of the Standing Committee with regard to the Region 11 proposal that moves to STRIKE from the WBCCI
Constitution, Sec. 4 of ARTICLE IX, BOARD OF TRUSTEES and in its place
INSERT, under ARTICLE XII, DELEGATES MEETINGS, the words, “The Delegates shall have full authority to construe and interpret the Club’s Constitution and annually review and/or repeal any Club Bylaw and/or Policy.”
The purpose of this motion is not to debate the merits of the Region 11
Proposal. Instead, the question is whether the Chairman of the Constitution
and Bylaws Committee has acted beyond the scope of his authority to stop the Proposal from being read, debated and voted on by all the other Units in the WBCCI.
The Proposal in question has been certified by all the Units in Region 11
and passed unanimously. The certification process followed the instructions
provided by WBCCI General Manager, Cindy Reed, and she in turn sent the
Certified Proposal to the Chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Don Shafer, so that his Committee could study and produce a report
containing their recommendations. Unfortunately, Chairman Shafer has
notified Region 11 in writing that the Proposal will not be reviewed by his
committee, and that he will not, “allow it to go forward.”
His explanation was that, in his opinion, Region 11 failed to follow
procedure as outlined by Article XVI, Section 3 of the Constitution. This is
also the opinion of Dona Garner, International Parliamentarian. However,
their interpretation requires reading Section 3 prior to Section 1, with the
idea that Section 1 must be in accord with Section 3. This is not how
Article XVI is written. The correct sequence of reading begins with Section
1 and ends with Section 3. If that is not obvious enough in its own right,
Section 3 itself states that, “proposed amendment(s) [are to be] distributed
in accordance with Sections 1 and 2,” of the article.
Chairman Shafer’s viewpoint requires that Amendment Proposals be sent to his committee for review prior to the certification process so that it might be
modified. One very distinct problem with doing it that way is that the
Committee’s review and recommendations would not be germane to an amended Proposal that is subsequently certified. It is conceivable that the Maker of the Proposal could amend it in a way that would be satisfactory to the Committee, only to have it go to all the other Units with a letter from the
Committee that condemns it.
The only way in which the Committee’s recommendations can be germane to a final Proposal is for the Committee to review the Certified Proposal.
Indeed, this is how it has always been done in the past, and is fully in
accord with how Article XVI, Sections 1 through 3 read.
This Board has authority over the Constitution and Bylaws Committee and its
Chairman. It is appropriate for us to require a timely report from them
since such a report is required by our Constitution and Bylaws. WBCCI CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE IX, BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Sec. 3 The Board of Trustees shall define the policies of, and shall
have full administrative authority in all matters pertaining to the
International Club and shall exercise general control and supervision of all
officers and committees.
Sec. 4 The Board of Trustees shall have full authority to construe
and interpret the Club's Constitution and Bylaws and Policy and may delegate this authority to its Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
These two Sections from the Constitution indicate that Mr. Shaver and his
committee are subordinate to the Board. The Board “may” delegate its
authority, but there is no language that it “must.”
The Committee’s duties are proscribed by WBCCI BYLAWS, ARTICLE III, COMMITTEES, POLICY - GENERAL DUTIES
E. Constitution and Bylaws To... receive and review proposals for
amendments to the International Constitution and to provide a written report
to Headquarters containing the recommendations of the Standing Committee
with regard to such proposed amendments. (1/19/96)
Note that the Duties correspond with Article XVI and that neither provides
any permission for the Chairman or the Committee to refuse such a review
once it has been received from Headquarters. The Chair does not have the
prerogative of denying or preventing Units from obtaining, discussing,
debating and voting on the Region 11 Proposal. The Duty as described is not
discretionary. It is required.