Weldon Merritt

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About Weldon Merritt

  • Birthday 03/09/1944

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    Spokane, Washington

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  1. If your group thinks it is important to include the rationale behind a deciison, it is free to adopt a Special Rule of Order to require that. But remember that my reasons for a decision may be entirely different from your reasons. As far as I am concerned, what is important is not whether a previously-adopted motion was supported by a good rationale when it was adopted, but whether the motion still makes sense now. If you can't muster good arguments to support the current value of the motion, then maybe it is not worth retaining.
  2. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that RONR advises that when there will be a periodic change in the membership of the assembly (as by an election), the assembly should appoint a minutres approval committee to approve the mintues of the last meeting preceding the change. (I don't have my book handy to provide a cite, but I'm sure someone else will provide it.) That won't help the current situation, but it certainly could alleviate similar concerns in the future.
  3. Well, yes;; there is that possibility. In that event, the meeting should be adjourned. But then the motion would come up as unfinished business at the next meeting (assuming the next meeting is within a quarterly time interval).
  4. Your bylaws should specify some parliamentary authority, and I think it is safe to say that most If not all) of us on this forum would say it should be RONR. RONR is not the only possible choice, but it is by far the most comonly used amd the moct comprehensive. If your bylaws do not specify a parliamentary authority, you can adopt one by a Special Rule of Order, but this should be considered a stopgap until you can amend the bylaws to specify one. If you don't specfy any parliamentary authority, your organization is bound by the common parliamentary law, which bears a remarkable resemblence to the rules in RONR
  5. More accurately, nothing happens automatically just because the maker leaves. As Mr. Mervosh says, consideration of the motion continues, with or without the mover's presence, until the assembly decides on its disposition (adopt, defeat, postpone indefititely, postpone to the next meeting, refer to a committee, or anything else that legitimately can be done with it).
  6. Or better yet, renove the provision so you don't have to worry about these sorts of issues (or any of the many other dilemmas created by having co-presidents).
  7. Maybe. But even so, the proper action would be to raise a Point of Order that " the recess was against the rules," and if necessary, appeal the chair's ruling.
  8. I agree that this is the safer course, and I believe that it is in fact the correct course. But I will point out that if it is desired that the board be able to set thw dues by a majorioty vote instead of the otherwise required higher threshold, the byalws could be ameded to provide for it.
  9. Not quite. There initially were three (now four) nominees for three terms, one of which is a partial term. Although it is expected that the person who was appointed to fill the partial term in the interim (until the election) is one of the nominees, which one receives the partial term and which two the full terms will be determined by the election. When I thought there would be only three nominees (based on inaccurate information I was given), I was trying to see if there was a way to avoid the possibility of multiple tree-way ties. Dan and Shmuel came up with a good suggestion, but since I now know that there will be four nominees, the election will need to be held in the usual manner. Then the two nominees who receive the largest majorities will get the full terms, and the one with the third largest majority will get the partial term.
  10. And a Happy New Year to you, Larry.
  11. That was the part that initially had me puzzled as well. While I don't purport to speak for Dan, what I understand from his most recent post is that, with only three candidates for three positions (one of which is the unexpired term), and no opportunity to nominate anyone else or to cast a write-in vote, the same majority that elects two of the three to full terms simultaneously elects the third one to the unexpired term. As it turns out, however, the issue is now moot, except possibly for future reference. The senior minister informed me yesterday that there actually will be four candidates for the three terms. Given the rush of the Christmas service, I didn't get all of the details, but either the nominating committee submitted one more candidate than required (which is, of course, their right) or someone took advantage of the alternate nomination by petition process. Either way, we now clearly will need to have all three positions filled by majority vote, with the full terms filled by the candidates with the two largest majorities, and the unexpired term filled by the one with the next largest. Or, of course, we may need to revote if fewer than three receive a majority. As for the future, I am going to recommend that we amend the bylaws to go back to letting the board choose which newly-elected trustee will get the unexpired term if the same situation arises in the future (which it quite likely will).
  12. Fair enough. But I wasn't really thinking of your opinions as an interpretation of the bylaws, but rather whether the RONR rule on non-supendability of a ballot vote must be taken literally in the particular circi\umstance I described. What I have gleaned so far (if I am understanding you and Dan correctly) is: The requirement for a ballot vote cannot be suspneded, but the voters can be instructed to vote for just the two candidates that they want to have take the full terms. But it still is not clear to me whether this would require a suspension of the rules. Once it is determined (by ballot) which two of the three candidates will get the full terms, the chair may declare the sole remaining canddidate elected to the sole remaining position (the unexpired term), even if he or she received less than a majority. If my understanding of your opinions is incorrect, please let me know. I know that Mr. Novosielski, and possibly others, probably will disagree, but it makes sense to me. I find it hard to believe that RONR would require a reballiting for the third position when the only possible outcoime is election of the sole remaining candidate.
  13. Yes, while I was hoping that there might be a way to avoid a ballot vote, I was not at all confident that there would be. The responses I have received have all confirmed that indeed a ballot vote is required, with the only issue being exactly how it is conducted. I was preceding under the assumption that if a ballot vote is required voters would have to be instructed to vote for up to three candidates, and we would need to hope that the election would not result in repeated three-way ties. Thus my follow-up question whether, in the event of a tie on the initial vote, the rules could be suspended to provide for a different way to select which candidate gets the short term so that repeated balloting would not be necessary. The answer to that question seems to be yes; but the suggestion to instruct voters to vote for only two candidates (to get the full terms) seems to be a better suggestion. I still have a couple of remaining questions Would the rules have to be suspended to require (rather than just suggest) that voters vote for no more than two candidates? One of your responses implies that you don’t think suspending the rules would be necessary. If voters are instructed to vote for up to two candidates, and some of the voters ignore the instructions and vote for all three, how should those ballots be treated? As abstentions (as Shmuel suggests) since they do not indicate a presence among the three? Or as illegal votes, since they voted for too many candidates?
  14. That's what I started out thinking, even though I was looking for a possible way around it. But If I am understahnding Dan and Shmuel correctly, they seem to disagree with your view, at least with regard to election to the unexpired term. And while I don't necessarilly agree with them all of the time, I do put a lot of credence in their opinions, especially when they agree with each other. Now if any of the other authors would care to weigh in, so much the better.
  15. Darn that spell check again! I really need to do a better job of proofreading. Spell check doesn't help much when the wrong word is correctly spelled..