Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Past hour
  2. Uses of Committee of the Whole

    No. Informal Discussion would apply to a pending motion.
  3. Uses of Committee of the Whole

    Couldn't it just be moved for informal discussion?
  4. Today
  5. Uses of Committee of the Whole

    In this event, Committee of the Whole probably is the best tool available in RONR, and if it does not quite fit the assembly’s needs, the assembly may need to adopt special rules of order to accommodate such desires. RONR does not really anticipate that an assembly of that size would want to regularly discuss a subject with no motion pending.
  6. Entering a motion to remove president

    In the spirit of comity, I would like to disagree as little as possible with the other esteemed posters, so I should have stopped typing 25 words ago (as of "typing"); yet my drive for the correction of injustices, though more often OCD, prevails. I'll start with disagreeing with Gary P. Novosielski (I find that so easy to type, at least until I get past the first four letters): let me propose a principle, or maybe just an axiom, though I can settle on a rotted plank: The most inept, sloppy, vague, inherently contradictory, incomprehensible bylaws take precedence over the parliamentary authority. I will assume that any responses will accept that statement, at least for the sake of this argument, or explicitly say not. So let's start. I think this is mistaken: -- or at least, incomplete and misleading, because ... ... which would be absurd, which Robert's Rules (among others) recommends against, in interpreting bylaws. Rather, what the bylaws do is offer more than one way of getting a meeting convened. One way is, the president calls for it. So forget that. The other way is, " Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President and/or requested by other board members ." -- That is, requested of the the inimical president? Yeah, you got a case. ... Of whom, then? Well, how about the ultimate authority of an organization. So the "other board members" announce to the membership the special meeting that they are scheduling. ...So, how do we then tell conclusively whether the membership grants this request for a special meeting? They show up for it.
  7. Our bylaws are silent on who can bring charges. So your post is very helpful. Thank you.
  8. Write In Rejected By Club Board

    Thank you for the prompt responses. Very helpful. Thank you.
  9. Uses of Committee of the Whole

    The assembly wishes to discuss a subject with no motion pending at least once in each of approximately 25-33% of the meetings, and the assembly is >100 members. Perhaps this is a matter of interpretive disagreement, or its a theoretical debate and this isn't the place for it, or maybe it's merely my novice reading of RONR and maybe there is not much more to say on this topic except that, but my question with this passage would be, what matter is being handled in this example? That is, is a general discussion of a subject a matter to be "handled"? The point here is only to say (a) that examples and discussion in the section of RONR regarding committees generally and Committee of the Whole seem to assume that something specific beyond merely "discussion of [subject x]" was referred to or instructed of the Committee of the Whole, and (b) that if there is this other use of the committee of the whole for an assembly--to formally discuss a subject generally and without any specific instructions--that this is a powerful use of the device that deserves at least some attention in the new edition, as it is not readily apparent in the language of the 11th edition. To wit (and, if anything, perhaps this just communicates how a novice might (mis)read the text): when describing the task of committees generally, the 11th ed. says it is "to consider, investigate, or take action on certain matters..."(p. 489, II. 22-24), and I've had have a hard time understanding what it would mean for a committee to consider a subject without specifying what, exactly, a committee is supposed to consider about that subject; although, I think I might be a little clearer on that now. Regarding Committee of the Whole, the description is as follows: "In large assemblies, the use of the committee of the whole is a convenient method of considering a question [without limit of number of times of debate]" (p. 489-90). Elsewhere it reads, "The parliamentary steps in making use of committee of the whole are essentially the same as those involved in referring a subject to an ordinary committee. The assembly goes into committee of the whole (which is equivalent to voting to refer the matter to the committee)...the committee considers the referred matter, adopts a report to be made to the assembly, then votes to 'rise and report'. Finally, the committee chairman presents the report and the assembly considers the committees recommendations--all as in the case of an ordinary committee" (p. 531, IV. 22-3). These descriptions do not appear to me to be inclusive of other uses of committee of the whole as you and others have suggested, except with the exception that later in the section on Committee of the Whole, a motion simply to rise (as opposed to "rise and report") is offered as an allowable motion (p. 533, II. 7). Nonetheless, what seems to be the case is that the use of the committee of the whole in the way you describe is not explicitly precluded by the rules. I very much appreciate you and others taking the time to describe how Committee of the Whole has this other use, and I can now advise with this option in mind.
  10. Yesterday
  11. Tellers

  12. Meeting minutes

    I will leave it up to the board whether to adopt the rule. I would suggest, however, that if such a rule is adopted, the draft minutes should be clearly marked as a draft.
  13. Tellers

    Do tellers have to be members of the board?
  14. City Council Meeting

    I’m not entirely clear on what part of this process you are concerned about, but none of what occurred appears to violate any rule in RONR. Since this is a public body, however, there are almost certainly applicable state and local laws pertaining to these matters, and those rules take precedence.
  15. Consider as a whole revised by laws

    I am somewhat puzzled as to what exactly occurred. Was a revision of the bylaws proposed and (for some reason) considered as a whole? If so, how can it even be determined what individual amendments were proposed? A revision is a completely new set of bylaws, not a list of individual amendments. Was a series of individual amendments proposed and (for some reason) voted on in gross? If it was the former, I concur with Mr. Lages. Instead, a member could move to reconsider the vote on the revision, and then move to amend the parts of the revision that the assembly finds disagreeable. In the latter case, I believe it would be in order to vote on the amendments individually, however, in the future the chairman should ask if any member wishes for particular amendment(s) to be considered separately, in order to avoid this situation.
  16. Write In Rejected By Club Board

    Were there regular mail ballots? It looks to like it was e-mail ballots and in-person ballots (an arrangement which has its own problems).
  17. Uses of Committee of the Whole

    I do not think such a ruling would be correct. No. The committee is never required to adopt a report. The committee is free to simply adopt a motion to rise. “If the committee wishes to bring its proceedings to an end because it believes the matter can be better handled under the assembly's rules, or because it wishes the meeting to be adjourned, the motion to rise can be made in this form: MEMBER (obtaining the floor): I move that the committee rise. (Second.) If this motion is adopted, the committee chairman then reports: COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The committee of the whole has had under consideration . . . [describing the matter] and has come to no conclusion thereon.” (RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 536-537) Yes. Yes. I do not think the language on pg. 299 is intended to exclude an unstructured discussion. I think it is simply expected that doing so would be less common than it would be to permit a single member to make brief remarks. I understand the concerns about the lack of limits, and the assembly is of course free to to place whatever limits in the motion it wishes, and is also free to adopt a motion ending the discussion at any time. It was my understanding that these were extenuating circumstances. Are you saying that the assembly regularly desires to have the entire assembly discus a subject with no motion pending? How large is this assembly? Good of the Order is generally a period where members make brief remarks and is not intended to be a full-fledged discussion, although it seems your assembly may use Good of the Order differently. In any event, another tool, if you really want an unstructured discussion, would be to move to Recess. This would only require a majority vote.
  18. Meeting minutes

    Yes, a rule could be adopted to permit it. I would recommend against adopting such a rule; at some point, you will probably be sending something inaccurate out to the members.
  19. Meeting minutes

    Can we release board minutes before they have been approved by the board at the next meeting? The meetings are open to the members of the organization, but often they don't attend. They still want to know what went on at the meeting.
  20. City Council Meeting

    On entering executive session: so far as RONR is concerned, a body may enter an executive session by a majority vote. However, there may be relevant laws since this is a public body, which is beyond the scope of this forum. The question about changing the plan is also beyond the scope of this forum. So far as RONR is concerned, members of bodies make motions, and those (original main) motions are amendable by the body. In this case, a non-member has submitted an application, and one individual (a non-member) made the change. The answer will depend on the rules under which this body considers such applications. Your case ultimately depends on your relevant laws. If there were no relevant laws, RONR would say that some member of the body would move to grant the request, or could move to grant some portion of it (to allow the zoning change subject to the landowner's agreement to a covenant, etc.) and that the applicant would have no parliamentary say. But that is likely not the case.
  21. City Council Meeting

    City council meeting was an open meeting when council went to discussion and vote on an issue they closed meeti Before a vote on a motion that would have required a super majority one of council members asked the applicant for a zoning change to state if they would change their proposal to remove one of the deviations Requested. The applicant was allowed to speak again Does this conform to Roberts rules and parliamentary procedures?
  22. Consider as a whole revised by laws

    Not at the same meeting, if that's what you're asking. If a revision of the bylaws containing numerous separate amendments is considered and rejected, the only way the same amendments can be brought up separately would be to start the amendment process over again at a subsequent meeting, following whatever procedure your bylaws prescribe for their amendment.
  23. When revised bylaws are being reviewed and considered as a whole and does not pass by 2/3rd vote can the assembly then vote on every single amendment separately?
  24. Uses of Committee of the Whole

    Thank you for your time. While on the one hand I understand the rules may permit not prohibit this use, on the other hand do the rules necessary conflict with a chair's ruling that "a motion to move into committee of the whole without a referred question or specific instructions is out of order"? Am I correct that the committee nonetheless has to provide a report, even though there was no specific direction given to the discussion? Am I also correct that, even without specific instructions or referred question, the committee may adopt recommendations, for example, to instruct the committee further regarding this policy? Am I correct that a quorum of members is not required for the hearing but a quorum of the committee is? I appreciate you offering this suggestion. I am reluctant to use the passage on p. 299 to justify an open discussion, though, because as it appears to me there, from the examples provided in that passage, that the permission requested is for a member to address remarks or give a presentation--or, more broadly, that there is a single member wishing to address the assembly at some length, without a pending motion or leading to a motion, but not to open up an unstructured discussion, possibly including scores of members rising an indefinite number of times to speak the same. It also appears that this is for extenuating circumstances and not intended to be relied upon regularly. If an open discussion more unstructured than Committee of the Whole were to be sought, it would seem more like a motion to insert Good of the Order in the middle of reports, which would require 2/3 to suspend rules interfering with moving Good of the Oder to the next item of business (following the report in question and skipping over, temporarily, general orders and new business).
  25. Write In Rejected By Club Board

    Mr. Ross, I agree with the responses above by J.J. and Josh Martin. I also agree that the election was rather poorly handled, especially regarding the email and regular mail ballots. I have a concern, however, with the email and regular mail absentee ballots. Are both of these types of absentee voting authorized by the bylaws?
  26. Write In Rejected By Club Board

    1.) Only if the write-in candidate received a majority of the votes cast, or if your bylaws permit election by plurality. Otherwise, another round of voting should be held for the third position. 2.) No. As you correctly note, write-in votes are permitted unless the bylaws provide otherwise. If those responsible for designing the ballot fail to include lines for write-in votes, members are still free to write-in their vote in the available space on the ballot. 3.) A special meeting of the membership should be called for this purpose - or the issue could be resolved at the next regular meeting, if that is within a reasonable time. The board does not have the authority to resolve questions pertaining to an election by the club, unless so authorized by the club or its rules. Additionally, in the likely event that there is an incomplete election for the third position, this election should be completed as soon as possible. My only quibble is with the word “bylaws.” I think a special rule of order would be sufficient to authorize the board to resolve questions pertaining to the club’s elections, and the club also could simply adopt a main motion to authorize the board to do so for a particular election.
  27. Null & Void Vote

    Well, let’s back up a bit. There is no such thing as a motion to “recall” an officer. A motion to remove an officer, depending on the language in the bylaws pertaining to the term of office, requires one of the following: Previous notice and a majority vote, a 2/3 vote without notice, or a vote of a majority of the entire membership with notice. A lengthy formal disciplinary process which takes place over several meetings and ultimately culminates in a trial and votes on the questions of guilt and the penalty, and a majority vote is sufficient for removal. There is no circumstance in which RONR says that it requires previous notice and a 2/3 vote to remove an officer. Further, failing on some of the above points may or may not constitute a continuing breach, depending on the details. So, in order to determine whether it is in fact correct that the motion to remove the officer is null and void, please answer the following questions: Do your bylaws have their own rules for removing an officer? If not, what is the exact wording for the term of office in your bylaws? It is not entirely clear to me that the motion is null and void. Even assuming it is, however, the minutes of the previous meeting should not be changed. The minutes are a record of what happened at the meeting, whether or not what happened was proper. The Point of Order, the chairman’s ruling on the point, and his reasoning will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting where the point is raised. This whole situation is also very puzzling, since it appears that the officer’s term was about to end anyway, and there also appears to be the complication of proxy voting (as we are told one member “had enough votes by themself” to decide the issue, but I don’t think these facts change the answers to the questions raised.
  28. Uses of Committee of the Whole

    Thank you. These facts are extremely helpful. Based on this information, I think I would recommend the following: Case 1.) I think Committee of the Whole actually is a very appropriate tool for this case. The member could move “That the assembly enter into a Committee of the Whole, for the purpose of discussing the policy pertaining to (whatever) adopted by the committee.” Case 2.) The best method in this case would to simply have a committee hearing on the topic. If the committee member wishes to do this during the assembly’s meeting, he could move “That the assembly recess for the purpose of holding a hearing on the committee’s recommendation pertaining to (whatever).” The member may insert such other specifications as he desires for the hearing in the motion. You understand correctly that questions of fact are permitted after a report, but comments are generally not allowed unless they are going to lead to a motion. It is also in order, in my view, simply to move for an “open discussion” on a particular topic, if that is what the assembly wants to do. “For a member to begin to discuss a matter while no question is pending, without promptly leading to a motion, implies an unusual circumstance and requires permission of the assembly (see p. 299) in addition to obtaining the floor.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 34) The rules which require a motion to be pending for discussion are to prevent a small number of members from wasting the assembly’s time by talking about random nonsense. If the assembly feels that, in a particular case, it serves the assembly’s needs better to permit more open discussion, it is free to do so.
  1. Load more activity