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Add Members

A committee with only a chair is not very useful. So the last step in establishing a committee is to add members.

In most cases, the committee chair makes appointments which are then ratified by the board.1 If you are the committee chair and want to add new members to your committee, be sure to ask the board chair or executive committee to add the ratification to the board agenda.

Anyone can be a committee member. They do not need to be a board member. In some cases, they do not even need to be a stakeholder. Committee membership is a great way for people to get started with neighborhood councils.

As committee chair, you should strive to get as many people on your committee as possible, especially people with different viewpoints. This ensures that the recommendations that come out of the committee have the broadest possible support.

However, you don’t want to appoint people who will not participate by showing up to meetings. If you don’t have more than half of your committee members present, you will not have a quorum2 and will not be able to have a discussion or make any decisions.

Also, do not appoint too many board members to your committee. Your bylaws will probably prevent you from having a majority of a quorum of the board on any single committee.3 This is to prevent the committee from deciding how the board is going to decide an issue before it has been discussed in a board meeting.

  1. See Article VII, Section 3, Paragraph B of your NC bylaws to find out the process for your NC. If the bylaws do not specify, Robert’s Rules of Order describes ways the committee members may be appointed. RONR (12th ed.) 50:11-17 

  2. The quorum for committees is defined in Article VII, Section 3, Paragraph B. If the bylaws are do not specify, then quorum for a committee is a majority of its members.4 

  3. See Article VII, Section 3, Paragraph B of your NC bylaws. 

  4. “The quorum in a committee is a majority of its membership unless the assembly has proscribed a different quorum.” RONR (12th ed.) 50:21