Question: Long term project fund

We have been saving for a project over several years and several boards have allocated funds so it is now enough to finally make the purchase. The funds were voted on by the membership over the last several years and were included in every budget since. Now the new board wants to use the money for other purposes. According to the bylaws it says they can't use funds that have been saved up over the years for any purpose other than what it was intended, but the new board wants to have a re-vote. What can we do to stop this? I have also found out that one of the board members promised to repay an expense for something that was not approved by the entire board...and guess which funds they want to use? Yes, the same funds for the long term project. Any ideas on what to do to stop this? We have told them that it goes against the bylaws, but they don't want to listen.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
That seems like a real breach of faith with the people who contributed to this project -- I can understand your concern. If the money was raised with the specific understanding by donors that it was for one purpose and then the money is spent for a completely different purpose, you may be in hazy legal territory (with consumer protection laws), as well. Unless there's been a drastic change in the situation (ie you no longer need the computer technology or the school roof blew off and you need to spend some of the playground money on emergency repairs), I would strongly recommend against doing what your group is proposing. If possible, I'd suggest conveying this information at your next meeting and bringing plenty of friends who think like you do to vote down any reallocation proposal. And by the way, procedurally, based on the bylaw you mention, the only way to pull this off would be to repeal the bylaw (which typically takes a two-thirds vote), then vote to reallocate the money. Good luck, and please let us know how things work out.

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