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Do Bylaws Matter?
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TOPIC: Do Bylaws Matter?
#420
Do Bylaws Matter? 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
In the upcoming month(s) you, as a member of the ACC Calgary Section, will be asked once again to review a draft version of our new section bylaws. I have been involved with the Bylaw Committee since its inception in March 2014, as there was general consensus by the board members that our section needed its own set of bylaws that go beyond those of ACC National. The release of the final version of the bylaws was intentionally delayed so that the committee could properly review the bylaws.

Since the last draft was presented to the membership over a year ago, there have been at least five iterations of the bylaws. The Bylaw Committee formulated, argued, debated, edited, agonized, synergized and drank home made gin while poring over the format and content of the document. Correcting grammatical errors is the pinnacle of any alpinist's career, so to have this opportunity arise multiple times throughout the snow/rock/ice cycle really bulked up our tick lists.

The bylaws are soon to be presented to the board for review, prior to releasing it to the membership for final comments. When the news finally falls upon your laptop, some questions to consider whilst reading the bylaws may arise such as:

- Do these bylaws protect the section and its members from the decisions and actions of a misguided board (regardless of how good the intentions of the board may be)?

- Do these bylaws empower the board to carry out the business of the section without unnecessary hindrance?

- Are these bylaws enforceable or are they just meaningless verbiage that cannot be followed?

- Is the language of the bylaws simple to understand?

- Do these bylaws provide a proper governance structure for the section, and allow for fresh perspectives, or are they setting the section up for 32 or 44 years of stagnation?


So, when the time comes, you can add on-sighting that review of Clause 12.4.2.a.iii to your seasonal goals list.

[N.B. Any spelling, grammatical or factual errors above are attributed to the lack of a Review Committee]
Ken Lee
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#421
Re:Do Bylaws Matter? 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
I don't have much to add as Ken's synopsis is pretty complete, but since I think By-laws matter, I'm going to try.

Google has been very helpful. Apparently, by-laws are a legally binding document, so to ignore them is rather daft. On the flip side, by-laws can provide much need legal protection for the board when adhered to.

nonprofitanswerguide.org/faq/boards-gove...why-do-we-need-them/

I copied and pasted this from the above link:

Bylaws are the written rules by which an organization is governed. They set forth the structure of the board and the organization. They determine the rights of participants and they determine the procedures by which rights can be exercised. In other words, bylaws guide the board in conducting business. Carefully crafted bylaws and adherence to them can help ensure the fairness of board decisions and provide protection against legal challenges.

Without by-laws, a club has no consistent process of governance. In theory, the club followed national by-laws, but this document is rather elusive.

Hopefully, the membership can settle on a set of by-laws that ensure rapid conflict resolution when disagreements occur, ensure fair decisions are made, and ensure legal protection of members and the board.

If written moderately well or better, I think the club has a lot to gain for by-laws.
Matthew Breakey
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