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Summary of Proposed 2013 Bylaw Amendments Concerning Elections, Appointments and Committees

Summary of Substantive Changes Prepared by Dan Brody, Unitarian Universalist Association Financial Advisor

A special election to fill a vacancy in the position of President, Moderator, Trustee, Financial Advisor, or member of a standing Committee of the Association will be held only when a vacancy occurs early enough in a term (at least 21 months before the term’s end) to allow the normal election process, including nominations, to take place. Otherwise, the person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until the end of the term.

Section 9.11 of the bylaws now requires the use of “instant-runoff” voting in a three-or-more-candidate race for President. In this system, each voter ranks each candidate by preference: 1, 2, 3, etc. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and those ballots are distributed to the voters’ second choice candidate. This process continues until a candidate receives a majority. If the proposed bylaw amendments are adopted, this system will be used, if there are three or more candidates for a position, in elections for Moderator, Financial Advisor, and Trustee. Each numbered Trustee position will be a separate election, so this system would come into use only if there were three or more candidates for a single numbered position.

The Presidential Search Committee and the Audit Committee will be removed from the list of committees of which the President is an ex-officio member.

The starting date of the terms of appointed members of standing Committees of the Association (as listed in Section 5.1) as well as of members of standing Committees of the Board (as listed in Section 7.1) will be the close of the General Assembly in odd-numbered years. The board will be able to make appointments to these committees in advance, or no later than 120 days thereafter. Appointed committee members will continue to serve until a successor is appointed.

Section 5.4 now says that a member of a standing committee may be removed from office only by a three-fourths vote of the board and only “for good cause” or if “the member is incapacitated or unable to carry out the duties of the office.” This provision will continue to apply to elected members of standing committees. However, the board will have the power to remove an appointed member of a standing Committee of the Association by majority vote for any reason.

Existing language that states that no member of certain committees may be a trustee, officer, or employee of the Association will be applied uniformly to each standing Committee of the Association.

Existing language that sets term limits for members of certain committees will be applied uniformly to each standing Committee of the Association.

Rule G.9.4.1 will be added to require that candidates for nomination for trustee or Financial Advisor must submit a one-page statement of qualifications along with their application.  The statements of all nominees will be distributed to congregations and published on the Association website.

Rule G.9.13.10 will be changed to remove the requirement that two trustees serve on the Election Campaign Practices Committee.

For more information contact administration@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, February 22, 2013.

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