Saturday, August 02, 2008

Amending the by-laws: The historical record

Amending the Palette and Chisel Bylaws
has been a big issue, recently,
because the term-limits amendment,
passed in the year 2000,
has been ignored by the P&C President
since it was not approved
by the vote of 2/3 of all voting members.

as we look at the historical record,
it's quite possible
that NO bylaw
has EVER been approved
by that margin.

Here, for example,
are the minutes from the
Quarterly meeting of January 24, 1989.

Note that the secretary, Nancy Albrecht,
has meticulously recorded
how many voting members were attending
(in person or by proxy)
as well as
how many were required for a quorum.

She has noted that 43 were required for quorum,
and 52 were in attendance.

Since 20% of all voting members are required
for quorum,
that means that the P&C
had 215 voting members at that time.
(about 50 more than we have today,
but then, that was when Richard Schmid was President)

So.... if there were 215 voting members,
then 144 votes would have been required
to amend the bylaws.
(which was 2/3 of all voting members)


Only 52 people attended the meeting!!

Halfway through this page,
you will read:

"By-laws. The amendments to the By-laws were presented to the membership in writing three weeks before the quarterly meeting. Louis Boshardy moved to accept the amendments as written, seconded by Dusan Ciran. Passed."

And here is what they passed --
a new version of Article II of the Bylaws.


Here is another Quarterly meeting
that amends the By-laws,
this one from July 19, 1989.

And notice, again
how many members were present (49)
and how many were needed for quorum (45)
... so there must have been 220 voting members at the time,
and 147 votes would have been
necessary to change the bylaws.

Near the bottom,
you can read:

"By-Laws Amendment. Albrecht presented the Proposed Article I,
which would replace the Article I
in the By-Laws revised Jan. 1988.
revisions were sent to all members.
There was no discussion or questions.

Motion to approve by Albrechtl, seconded by Lai. Passed."

(and you will also notice the committee reports,
back from the days when there
were active committees)

And here's the text of Article I
as it was approved,
and as it now stands today
(since Article I has not been amended ever since)

** but **

since this version of Article I
was approved by
no greater margin than the
Term limits amendment of 2000,
why is it not also considered invalid ?


Blogger orchidartist said...

Well, Chris, some necessary change was better than no change at all! And in reality, it was a small number of steadfast board members who did anything at all! Most regular members did not make it even to the annual meetings, when such things as amending the bylaws would have been suitable to discuss, and their presence was deemed essential. Robert's Rules were invoked on occasion, I do remember, and the outspoken few kept everyone else on their toes. I am gratified to see that, a century since it's humble beginnings, the P&C is still moving along, educating, exhibiting, nurturing the arts in Chicagoland. Thanks!


August 29, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

You were there, weren't you? -- thanks for your comment.

It's hard to pin down the attendance at very many meetings (nobody took notes like Nancy did) -- but I suspect that it was a bare quorum that approved all of the P&C bylaws.

The vast majority of members don't care about this kind of stuff -- they just want to paint.

August 30, 2008  

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