John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #2
September 8, 2001
A major concern for our members who attended the Executive and General Meetings has been whether there was a sufficient number of legal members present to satisfy the requirements for a quorum.
On several occasions there were three different accountings of members present and in one instance, at Tuscola, there were not enough members of the Executive Board to hold the meeting. All of the Agenda was carried over to the General Meeting and again there was conflicting numbers given on the total of legal members present. At a previous meeting there was no quorum and the Judge Advocate and Legal Advisor made a personal judgment call that the business of the meeting should go on because not doing so would grind the KWVA to a halt.
I personally feel this would not be the case and that business not brought up at the meetings, which were not legal because there was no quorum, could be brought up at a called meeting or a regular scheduled Executive meeting.
My view about guaranteeing whether there is a quorum is to avoid the question of sufficient numbers present to make sure business can be conducted. The official determination should not be dependent on a personal decision by the Judge Advocate and Legal Advisor. That permission is not granted in our National By-Laws.
Rules are made to be abided by and not made to be broken. I have been told they are only a guideline and can be interpreted any way you want to. I feel this is not a healthy attitude for the KWVA because it takes away the "Rule of Law" and puts the power in the hands of a few to be used at their personal discretion.
My solution to the problem of how to determine whether there is a quorum is simple. A sign-in sheet for all present at these meetings should be required. Three members should be the Sgts.-At-Arms to guarantee the correct numbers present for that purpose. Paid up to date Membership Cards are required to be shown and those who are not legal members should be required to sign a separate guest list and this includes wives. The Sgt.-At-Arms can be any member who wishes to do so for the benefit of the KWVA. Prior to the beginning of the meeting a written statement should be given to the Secretary or Acting Secretary and made a matter of record. No one person should be allowed to report the members present without the full agreement of all three Sgts.-At-Arms.
If a quorum is not present any motion from a member is sufficient to stop the meeting. No one person or persons has the authority to allow the meeting to go on for it would then be an illegal meeting.
This has happened in the recent past and all motions and other business should be null and void. Naturally these are my personal interpretations of our By-Laws and after I have read them several times I believe them to be right and correct.
My reasons for writing these Open letters should be self evident in that I am a proud member of the KWVA and I want it to function as a highly respected veterans organization.
Please acknowledge receiving this letter and your personal opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger