How to Write a Petition to Remove a Board Member

by Laura Reynolds

In most organizations, board members are volunteers who either have been elected by the membership of the organization or have been appointed to the position. When a board members stops doing his job -- or does things that displease a large portion of the membership -- there may be a movement to replace him. One of the ways to recall -- the first step to replacing -- a board member is to present a petition to the board at large.

Gathering Information

Read the bylaws. Most organizational bylaws or constitutions contain a procedure for removal of board members. Most require a certain number of signatures by current members of the organization, and many have time restrictions.

Decide why you want the board member removed. Reasons for removal should be based on the person's actions with regard to the organization.

List the reasons you think the board member should be removed in terms of actions he has taken or votes he has cast. Do not interpret or insert suspected motives in your list. Get as many people to provide input into this list as possible.

Wording the Petition

Draft your petition. Include a greeting such as "To the Board of Managers of Slippery Slope Homeowners Association" and a statement of action you wish to be taken; for example, "The following members request the recall of Beatrice Beansprout based on the following reasons."

List the mistakes or offenses by the board member in the main part of the petition that make necessary the removal from office.

End the petition with a conclusion and an affirmative statement as to the identities of the signers; for example, "A recall election is therefore requested by the following members, each of whom was a dues-paying member of Happy Shores Country Club at the time of signing."

Add signature spaces. Check your bylaws for information needed from each signer. There should always be a space for the date the petition was signed. Add an "attest" at the bottom for the person circulating the petition; for example ,"I (name) affirm that each person signing this petition is personally known to me and did so in my presence."

Follow the rules. If there's a certain format your petition must follow or a specific number of signatures you need, use the format and exceed the number necessary. Turn in your petition on a timely basis and submit all signature sheets together.

About the Author

An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.

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