The ratification of new bylaws for the Madison Valley Community Council has been postponed to a special meeting April 19.
The meeting has been set for 7 p.m. at the MLK FAME Community Center, 3201 E. Republican St.
The council was scheduled to ratify a draft of new bylaws at its regular meeting in March, but delayed a vote after former council president Lindy Wishard brought forward concerns.
Wishard argued the new bylaws were too complex, contradicted themselves in one section, and consolidated too much power with the council’s board of directors. She also took issue with language allowing for the imposition of dues on members. Dues are currently set to be nothing once the bylaws are passed.
Not long after that meeting, council vice president Dana Hanna said she was at work on revisions to the bylaws that would take care of the contradiction — which involved the question of whether or not members could vote on an absentee basis.
Hanna announced on the Community Council's Facebook group on April 3 that she had put together a sheet of clarifications and open questions about the bylaws, and invited the community to comment on the notes made so that feedback could go to the council's lawyer for revisions.
However, she added that the bylaws were “boilerplate” from nonprofit law firm Atkin & Associates, and generally appropriate and standard for a 501(c)3 community council.
“At the end of the day, it’s a legal document,” she said.
Hanna agreed with one of Wishard’s criticisms, that the bylaws warranted a fuller discussion among the community. The March meeting of the council included a presentation from the city Department of Transportation that ate into discussion time. Additionally, the election of new board members to the council last summer has left some members of the old guard feeling voiceless.
“Given the tension right now, they’re feeling we’re trying to screw people out of their power, and that’s not the case,” Hanna said. “Part of that’s a result of the amount of time we don’t meet face-to-face. ... With a little more discussion, we’d probably realize we aren’t that far apart.”