scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Disposition of Property
Wed Nov 24 1999 - 17:37:56 CST
> I believe that if 1/4 is correct, (29/120) that you may have
> seen a significant error by the Scout Executive, worthy of
> passing upward to several higher levels for them to provide
> SE guidance and another round of Voting. The minority attenders
> may still prevail yet democracy may yet be preserved.
> (Ut Oh!! This wacky guy thinks he is Tommy Jefferson))
With respect to the question of rentention or sale of a Scout Reservation
owned by a council, the Standard Local Council Articles and By-Laws (1991
printing) states at Article IV, Section 4: "One-third of the members of the
Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for all purposes. Unless otherwise
required by law...all questions...presented to a meeting of the executive
board at which a quorum is present shall be decided by a majority of those
Caveat one: A council is permitted to adopt other articles and by laws,
other than the "Standard" set.
Caveat two: If a council is in a jurisdiction that requires other rules,
other than those in the Standard set, those other rules of course apply.
The original poster said there were approximately 120 members of the
executive board. If this is accurate, a quorum would be 36. It was stated
that only 29 were present and of those present 22 voted for the disposition
and 7 voted against. This would, according to the Standard set of Articles
be incorrect. Too few Executive Board members were present to represent a
Of course the original poster could have been incorrect in his assessment of
how many Executive Board members there are. If the Board actually
represented only 87 members then a quorum was present (1/3 of 87 is 29). Or,
the poster could have been incorrect in his assessment of how many board
members were persent. He might have taken the total votes to represent the
number of board members present or 29. This could have been incorrect.
There could have been 7 additional members (or more) present, and thus a
quorum, but just not voting.
Note, that if there were 36 members present (on a 120 person board), and
therefore a quorum, the rules above state that a majority of those voting will
carry a motion. Hence if only 29 members voted (even though 36 were
present), then it is quite clear that a 22-7 vote constitutes the simple
majority necessary to carry the motion.
So what does this mean? It means that if you want to play lawyer, you have
to get your facts and the applicable rules straight. And we do not have
either on this list.
On the other hand (lawyers always have at least three hands), it is always
possible to rescind the prior vote (as another poster pointed out) if done so
before anything permanent happens (like signing a sales contract). I do not
have the foggiest idea what is the best answer for this council. I do know
(because we were told) that the board seemed to think that getting rid of the
camp was the best idea. Admittedly there were those who "committed" their
vote to the other alternative, but then again, didn't they vote with their
feet, by not showing up?
So, the real answer, like so many other legal "disputes", what you want it to
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet
ASM Glenview, IL