At our July 26, 2016 meeting, in addition to voting on the propositions, we will be voting on two changes in the Club’s standing rules. The first is to correct what appears to be a typo, but just to be sure, we’ll vote on the correction since the typo has been on the website for a few months. All subsequent votes, including the second change to the endorsement rules, can proceed once the endorsement rules are corrected.
At our January meeting, we voted on a change to the standing rules that had been carried over from November, 2015. This was to add a limitation to state that only those members who live in El Cerrito would be eligible to vote for endorsements of El Cerrito City Council candidates and measures that were specific to El Cerrito.
Two club members have objected to this change. One member complained that there was no advance notice, as required, that there would be a vote on the standing rules. And Royce Kelley, our regional director and an ECDC member, pointed out that to reduce rights of full-fledged club members with a simple majority vote was highly irregular.
Although the motion to limit voting rights passed with a simple majority, our standing rules require a two-thirds majority to change the standing rules, and 10-day notices. Neither of those requirements were met. Since I had just been elected Club President and presided over that vote, I must apologize for the error in procedure. I have to admit I didn’t anticipate that I would face such a complex matter less than an hour after my election as president and just wasn’t fully prepared.
Obviously, we could just remove the limitation from our endorsement rules, since it was included in violation of the standing rules themselves. But I feel it is important to allow our club members to be heard on this issue before we do so.
The executive board concluded that both objections have merit, and voted unanimously to provide our members with the opportunity to reconsider this matter. Therefore, please consider this as the notice for this advisory vote. (Note: Mister Phillips did not vote on this decision.)