Letter to the Editor: IAGB Member Points Out Contradictions, Seeks Clarity on IAGB Election and Bylaws

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Dear Editor,

This is in response to the article published on Saturday, Sept.  30th, related to the upcoming IAGB elections.

https://indianewengland.com/2017/09/can-vote-iagb-elections-sunday/

In the interview, Mr. Kalpesh Kumar made a few statements that warrant further clarity.

1) “The rules established for standing for a position and voting for the elections this year are consistent with and flow from the IAGB Bylaws.”

It would be helpful to publish clarity on the above statement.

It may be noted that in the organization’s Bylaws (available publicly on their website), the section on the nominating process states the following.(Page 8)

‘ARTICLE VII

NOMINATING PROCEDURE

Section 1

  • During the first week of July of each year in which the elections to the Executive Committee are held, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Nominating Committee composed of at least three voting members other than the members of the Executive Committee.
  • The Nominating Committee shall nominate the Officers and Directors to be elected at the next Annual Meeting and shall report all its nominees to the Executive Committee by August 15.
  • The voting members shall be notified of the nominees by the end of August.’ 

According to this, the nominating committee should have had the nominees by Aug 15th. However, based on the press release issued by INE this process was not initiated until September 4th.  As such, one may question the “date” eligibility criteria for standing for a position captured in the response by Mr. Kumar.

2)  Mr. Kumar has stated the following in response to the question “Who can vote in IAGB elections this year?” 

“Only those who were IAGB members on August 31, 2017 and renewed their membership on or before September 8, 2017.”

Page 4 of the IAGB Bylaws states the following

‘ARTICLE IV OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS 

Section 1 

  • The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary and a Treasurer. 
  • Each of these shall have been a voting member of the Association prior to his election

Section 3 

  • The number of the Directors of the Association shall be fifteen, but may be increased to twenty on the recommendation of the Executive Committee and the approval of the General Body at any Annual Meeting. 
  • Each of these directors shall have been a voting member of the Association prior to his election

According to this, there is no requirement anywhere in the Bylaws requiring an individual to be a member prior to August 31 or to have renewed their membership by September 8. Since the nominations closed on September 15th, as long as an individual was a paid member prior to that, he/she should be able to contest and vote. More importantly, when taking the membership dues from an individual, IAGB  has failed to advise the individual of these ‘arbritrary’ restrictions on their membership rights.

Many eligible members (at least 10 known), who fairly paid their membership dues in this fiscal year (Sept. 1, 2017 – Aug. 31 2018) have been disqualified from the upcoming Oct 8th voting process because of the qualifying membership date requirements that seemingly have been arbitrarily introduced. One may also ask as to why these arbitrary requirements were not clearly specified when the election notification was sent out early in Sept.

– A concerned IAGB member.

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