It is my intention to offer the following motion Tuesday morning at the 10:10 am time during the Introduction of New Motions. I post it here with some brief commentary in order to express my rationale and purpose for bringing it up.
The Text of the Motion
Thank you, Mr Chairman. My name is Jay Adkins, messenger from FBC Westwego in Louisiana and I rise to submit the following motion:
I move the convention-elected office of Recording Secretary be permanently removed from holding a seat as a member on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention by striking “…and the recording secretary…” from Bylaw 15, C., Bylaw 18, A., Bylaw 18, A. (5) and any other applicable references in the Bylaws of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This action should also be understood to nullify the phrase “…and the recording secretary…” found in Article 9 of the Amended and Restated Charter of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.
(If, for some reason, this action requires a “division of the question” because of requested change in the Charter, then it is the intention of this action to address that point as well and I move the nullification of “and the recording secretary” from Article 9 of the Amended and Restated Charter of the Executive Committee of the SBC.)
Purpose and Rational
This is a Bylaw change and as such (according to Bylaw 36. “Amendments”) it may be amended by a 2/3 majority vote (pursuant to Bylaw 21) and is allowed by Article 8 of the Amended and Restated Charter of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.
I want to be quick to say that this motion is not directed toward any person who may or may not be elected to this office. My concern is solely about the position itself and the undue influence it could be said to retain in perpetuity.
There are currently three seats on the EC which are granted by ex officio (voting) status. Those are (1) the Convention-elected President, (2) the elected WMU President and (3) the Convention-elected Registration Secretary.
The Convention President typically serves no more than 2 years while the WMU President is term limited at 5 years.
The typical Executive Committee member has a two-term limit with each term being 4 years (for a total of 8 years). There is currently the possibility of someone serving more than two full terms if they had been elected in the midst of a vacated position. That might happen if a seat is vacated less than half way through a term. The the candidate chosen to fill that position remains eligible for two more full terms. If, however, the vacated seat has been filled for over half of that particular term, then the candidate is only eligible for one other full term.
The Registration Secretary, however, has no term limit and in the case of the most recent officer, has sat in perpetuity on the Executive Committee for the last 24+ years.
With malice toward none, I believe this to be a long outdated and unusual practice (especially when it could be argued that the position is antiquated and no longer even necessary) which has innocently but unfortunately allowed for a strange loophole of extended influence on the Executive Committee and should no longer be allowed to continue in this way.
I know that are some who have suggested we ought to dissolve the position in its entirety. I am in agreement with that direction if the convention chooses to do so, but regardless of that question, there is no longer any legitimate reason why any one individual should sit on the Executive Committee in perpetuity for such an inordinately influential amount of time and so, I urge the passage of this motion to rectify this longstanding and strange practice.