Legislative District 30 has had recalcitrant leadership of late and the members have acted correctly in moving the district forward, principally in filling their vacant chair. I wish to comment on the recent articles related to LD30, including AZ GOP legal counsel Timothy La Sota’s opinion.
Mr. La Sota states that an individual called the special meeting. However, the meeting was called correctly in accordance with the LD30 bylaws. The LD30 bylaws state in Article IV, Section C that special meetings of the district may be called by the chairman when necessary, and shall be called at the written request of at least 15 percent of the then-serving precinct committeemen. Requests were made to the vice chairman to call a special meeting to elect a new district chairman, an election which is a privilege of the membership, and he failed to do so. The alternative was for 15 percent of the precinct committeemen to call for the meeting.
In the absence of a district chairman it was the responsibility of the vice chairman to call the special meeting, regretfully, the only actions of the Vice Chairman (Bud) Zomok were to cancel the meetings for the balance of 2015. By preventing the election of a new district chair, Zomok blatantly violated both the letter and the spirit of the bylaws along with the will of the majority.
Mr. La Sota asserts that a proper call was not provided to announce the special meeting. An appropriate call was mailed by the LD30 secretary 10 days prior to the meeting and is evidenced by the postmark of the United States Post Office.
Apparently, a lack of understanding of how a district’s bylaws must correctly interact with Robert’s Rules of Order causes Mr. La Sota’s third incorrect assertion. Mr. La Sota writes that “…the District 30 bylaws provide for a nominating committee to vet candidates….” The parliamentary term for an officer’s resignation is a “Request to be Excused From Duty” and when the officer is essential to the functioning of a organization it is a privileged question of the membership and it is their privilege to fill the vacancy. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, filling such a vacancy is so important that, unless the bylaws require notice, the position is filled immediately at the meeting at which the resignation was addressed.
The LD30 bylaws do require previous notice be given for special meetings. This should be done as soon as possible after the officer resigns, particularly in cases where the officer is essential to the functioning of the organization, required to represent the district, and who may have duties and responsibilities under the bylaws of a higher authority. The LD30 bylaws prescribe that the nominating process begins within five days after the nominating committee’s own election; this provision clearly indicates that it would be reasonable to expect the nominating committee to immediately initiate the process upon the resignation of the district chairman.
The Nov. 19, 2015, article in the Yellow Sheet Reports, Another Headache for Tyler Bowyer, the lead sentence states, “The Republican Party’s problem in LD30 is obvious: It now has two chairmen.” This statement is completely incorrect. A legislative district shall only have a single chairman; it is the privilege of the membership to elect their chairman, and they have done so. Imagine that, majority rules!
As for the AZ GOP potentially not recognizing the newly elected LD30 Chairman, Anna Stowe, it would not come as any great surprise as the AZ GOP has a poor record of not following the will of the membership.
I hope that AZ GOP will come to the logical conclusion in this matter, but should they not, so what! They do not have the authority to undermine the will of the majority precinct committeemen in LD30. I don’t believe that this distraction would be worth the time and effort of LD30; it would be better should they follow the stated objectives of their district, which is essentially to elect Republicans.
Andrew Costanzo is a
member-at-large of the Republican
Party of Maricopa County.