February 28, 2011


To:                   SPEEA Council Delegates

From:              SPEEA Governing Documents Committee

Subject:           PRE-SUBMITTED BUSINESS: Approve publishing for comment proposed revision of SPEEA By-Laws Section 14.2 – Processing (Referendums and Constitutional Amendments)



The SPEEA Governing Documents Committee has drafted and approved a proposed change to the SPEEA By-Laws Section 14.2 which address the processing of Referendums and Constitutional Amendments. It is the section that describes how “Pro” and “Con” statements are processed. This amendment needs to be published twice, for comment, before being accepted or rejected. (SPEEA constitution Article 15.2.2 - 2 and 15.2.2 - 3)

The proposal substitutes “For” and “Against” statements with rebuttals for the “Pro” and “Con” statements. The intention is to simplify the process of producing and incorporating these statements.

Note that the process has changed so as a result the timeline for the process has changed.

One other clarification is the initiating body, the Executive Board, SPEEA council or regional council, is the only body that can waive the requirement for written statements for the referendums it initiates, excluding referendums for recall from office, affiliation, merger, or borrowing against fixed assets. Also there is no provision for waiving this requirement if the referendum is initiated by a petition from the members.


14.2.  Processing

Each referendum submitted for the vote of the membership shall be accompanied by "Pro" and "Con" statements compiled by interested Council Representatives unless, by specific action, a majority of Council Representatives voting removes the requirement of including "Pro" and "Con" statements with a particular referendum. If this requirement for "Pro" and "Con" statements is removed, each such referendum must have the following note appearing with it: "The Council waived Pro/Con statements for this Referendum."

1)     The complete text of the referendum;

2)     Written statements of no more than 250 words in length advocating the members’ approval of the referendum and advocating the members’ rejection of the referendum;

3)     Written statement of no more than 75 words in length rebutting the statement advocating approval and the statement advocating rejection of the referendum;

4)     A listing of the names of the committee members composing the written statements; and

5)     If the referendum was initiated by a resolution of the Executive Board, SPEEA Council, or Regional Council, the total number of votes cast for and against the resolution


The Council Representative compilers shall be appointed by the SPEEA Council Officers are required within 5 days after the receipt of the initiating document to appoint a committee to prepare the statement advocating approval of the referendum, and a committee to prepare the statement advocating rejection of the referendum. Chairman at the Council meeting at which the Council authorizes the referendum or at the first Council meeting subsequent to authorization of the referendum by other than the Council. If the authorized referendum is not to be sent to the membership until a later date, the compilers may be appointed at a subsequent Council meeting provided that meeting is not less than two months prior to mailing of the referendum.

1)     The SPEEA Council Officers shall appoint the initial two members of each committee. In making these committee appointments, the officers shall consider Council Representatives, sponsors of the referendum, and other interested groups known to support or oppose the referendum issue.

2)     The initial two members may select up to four additional members, and the committee shall elect a chairperson.

3)     Each committee will be allowed 5 days after selection of the initial two members to prepare the written statements advocating approval or rejection of the referendum.

4)     The SPEEA Council Officers will gather the written advocating statements and make them available to both committees.

5)     Each committee will be allowed 3 days after receiving the written advocating statements to prepare written statements rebutting the statement advocating approval or the statement advocating rejection of the referendum.

6)     The SPEEA Council Officers will gather all written statements for inclusion into the referendum package.

Referendum initiated by a resolution of the Executive Board, SPEEA Council, or Regional Council may have the requirements for written statements removed by a vote of the initiating Board or Council as long as the following conditions are met

1)     The referendum issue does not initiate a recall from office, affiliation, merger, or borrowing against fixed assets.

2)     The vote must remove all requirements for written statements.

The SPEEA Council Officers are responsible for gathering the votes cast totals for any referendum resolution for inclusion into the referendum package.

A minimum of three Council Officers, acting as a Review Committee, shall be responsible for verifying the truth of these statements and have the authority to request back-up data from the author(s) and to delete any portions (as little as one word) of the statement(s) which cannot be validated. A copy of the quoted text bearing an original signature of the author shall accompany all statements attributed to other than the authors.

A maximum of two representatives for both the Pro and the Con positions will be permitted to attend the Review Committee meeting, to explain/question both statements, to make minor word changes to overcome objections, and to provide any needed back-up data. All Review Committee meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order (most recent revision).

"Pro" and "Con" representatives shall be permitted at least two full work-days to provide any back-up data required by the Review Committee, but not available at that meeting. The Review Committee shall specify to whom, at what time, and at what location such back-up data will be delivered for verification of the statements.

Each "Pro" and "Con" statement published shall have the following note: "Per SPEEA By-Laws, this statement has been reviewed by the SPEEA Review Committee, which is composed of Council Officers."

If deletions are made to any "Pro" or "Con" statement, the following shall be added to the note specified above: "Portions of the original statement have been deleted by the Review Committee due to lack of verification."

The maintenance of the SPEEA Constitution is the responsibility of the SPEEA governing documents committee.  The committee shall obtain a current copy from the certified electronic copy for markup.  The committee will prepare the document revision and a non-incorporated revision sheet describing the sections revised and the description of the revision and the authorizing authority.

The committee Chairman or designee will certify the revised document prior to distribution.  The SPEEA Constitution will include the endorsements (signatures) of the Committee Chairman and the SPEEA Secretary.