Executive committee authority in an emergency?

I am the board chair for a local non-profit. I am newer to the board, and was recently voted in as chair mostly from no one else being willing (though I am qualified for much of the role knowledge-wise, just lacking some experience).

My question relates to the authority the executive committee can safely exercise in an emergency. We just discovered some major errors by our bookkeeper that is putting us at risk, and are fighting with our sole employee over their unwillingness to handle anything outside their original job description (we had 4 employees pre-COVID, and are not financially able to fill any of the others yet. So other than the maintenance job, the other three basically became one). Lately this means we are essentially back to being a working board, but most of the board did not sign up for that. Three of us have been putting in 20+ hours a week on top of our “day jobs”, with very limited interaction from the other three outside regular monthly meetings. They are technically meeting the obligations they signed up for, but it is causing issues with us resolving urgent matters because we have to beg, borrow and steal to get action items approved between meetings.

Conveniently, the three working hard are three of the four exec committee members. How much authority can we safely assert to make decisions without full board participation if it’s an emergency (such as making sure our power stays on, or making employee decisions if something comes to a head as I believe it may soon)? Our bylaws are unfortunately vague, and just say the exec committee can act on behalf of the board between meetings, but that all decisions must be ratified at the next meeting. What if the decision can’t be undone, but the full board doesn’t agree later?

Sorry, thinking out loud a bit here – our area is facing a pretty large resource crunch right now, so I’m grasping until I can get our lawyer, accountants, state non profit association etc to call me back.

submitted by /u/Outlandish_Cinnamon
[link] [comments]temporary staffing agencies in phoenix, az