Richard Brown

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About Richard Brown

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    Grand Poo-Bah

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    New Orleans, LA
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    Becoming an Exalted Grand Poo-Bah

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  1. Georgia Bulldawg, it's ultimately up to your organization to interpret its own bylaws and to determine what rights "advisory non-voting members" of committees have. RONR does not provide for members such as those and considers "members" to be only members who have all rights of membership, which would include the right to vote. Any other classes of members and their rights would have to be set out in your bylaws or determined by your organization by interpreting its bylaws. The following definition of a "member" or an organization from page three of RONR might be of help: "A member of an assembly, in the parliamentary sense, as mentioned above, is a person entitled to full participation in its proceedings, that is, as explained in 3 and 4, the right to attend meetings, to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote. No member can be individually deprived of these basic rights of membership—or of any basic rights concomitant to them, such as the right to make nominations or to give previous notice of a motion—except through disciplinary proceedings. Some organized societies define additional classes of "membership" that do not entail all of these rights. Whenever the term member is used in this book, it refers to full participating membership in the assembly unless otherwise specified. Such members are also described as "voting members" when it is necessary to make a distinction. " I wish we could help you more, but RONR simply does not get into the rights of people who are less than full members with all rights of membership. Good luck. Sincerely, An Ole Miss Rebel in New Orleans
  2. Guest Shareda, I agree with the response above by Mr. Mervosh. You might keep in mind, though, that if it is possible to call the motion from the table, it comes back in the form it was in at the time it was laid on the table, complete with all pending amendments. You can't call up just the original motion and only one of the four amendments. It's all or nothing.
  3. New member Camp may not check back again, but if he/she does, I think it is up to the organization itself to interpret its own bylaws and rules to determine whether the president may get paid both as president and as a committee chair. Based on what has been posted, it seems the president can appoint himself chairman of every committee, thereby increasing his compensation substantially. The total cost to the society is the same, but i question whether the bylaws intend that the president be paid multiple salaries for serving in multiple capacities. It may be that an amendment of the bylaws is in order if this is a problem. Based on what has been posted, it seems to me that the president can indeed collect multiple salaries. The fact that the president is a member of all committees ex officio is not relevant. Someone who is a member ex offico is just as much a member as are the other members.
  4. The chairman can speak to the board member privately. He also can and probably should politely call the member to order next time it happens. If this sort of thing happens regularly, and with other members committing breaches as well, I think it would be appropriate for the chairman, at the beginning of a meeting, to perhaps remind the board members in general of the rules of proper conduct and decorum without calling out any particular member.
  5. I'm a couple of weeks late to this discussion, but I would also interpret the rule as being one which cannot be suspended. It strikes me as being essentially a requirement for holding office, i.e., a person must have been nominated in order to serve. Another factor I'm considering, which I don't believe anyone else mentioned, is that nominations are debatable. If the person is nominated, members might point out in debate why he is not the best candidate and possibly dissuade some members who had initially been in on the secret plan to elect him by means of write in votes. On the other hand, being officially nominated might cause him to get even more votes. In the end, I think the rule cannot be suspended. I also agree with the following post by J.J.that he made early on in this discussion:
  6. Guest Cathy, as Chris Harrison and Rev Ed pointed out, the rule in RONR is that a member parliamentarian should not make motions. speak in debate or vote except when the vote is by secret ballot. See page 467 of RONR. However, there are ways "around" that prohibition if the society wants to allow its "member parliamentarian" to participate more fully. See, for example, the following language on page 254: "Before rendering his decision, the chair can consult the parliamentarian, if there is one. The chair can also request the advice of experienced members, but no one has the right to express such opinions in the meeting unless requested to do so by the chair." Perhaps, rather than having an official member parliamentarian, the society can not decide not to have one and the chair can instead, when he feels the need, call on an "experienced member" knowledgeable in parliamentary procedure for advice. Another method, which I have seen used and discussed in this forum, is to adopt a special rule of order allowing a member parliamentarian to participate in the proceedings fully or to whatever extent the society establishes. Edited to add: The assembly can also adopt a motion to suspend the rules at a particular meeting to permit the member parliamentarian to participate more fully or even completely in the meeting. That would have to be done on a case by case or meeting by meeting basis.
  7. I agree with the previous responses and would add that the board itself can decide to make its minutes available to non-board members, either on an individual case by case basis or by the adoption of a motion on the subject. Also, unless the meetings were held in executive session, individual board members are free to let others see or have copies of the minutes unless your board or organization has a rule to the contrary. Note: Even if there is no rule prohibiting members from sharing the minutes, doing so might be frowned upon and bring disfavor on a member who does so. As I believe someone else pointed out, if this organization is incorporated or is some kind of homeowner association, state law might contain provisions regarding access to board minutes and organization records.
  8. Well, heck. I haven't been here much lately because of other pressing business, but as I scanned the list of posts, the word "scrutineer" in the title of this thread caught my attention. I don't recall having heard the term and thought I might learn something new and interesting. Perhaps it's uniquely Canadian. But, alas, not one response even mentioned the word! (Edited to add: Oops. Rev Ed mentioned the word. Twice.). OK, Google, I hope you're doing fine today. I'm about to pay you a visit. I figure it's a fancy or old fashioned term for "watcher", but one just has to be sure he's right about these terms!
  9. Guest David, the preferred language when making a motion, as stated on page 33 of RONR is, "I move that. . . ."
  10. Guest Todd, it is ultimately up to each organization to interpret its own bylaws. We cannot do that for you, although we can give you some general principles of interpretation, etc. As to the powers of your board as quoted in the provision which I highlighted in bold and by underlining, a board has only those powers expressly granted to it in the bylaws. You might read the provisions on pages 481-483 and also 576-578 of RONR for more on that issue. Within those pages you will find the following language on page 482: "A society has no executive board, nor can its officers act as a board, except as the bylaws may provide; and when so established, the board has only such power as is delegated to it by the bylaws or by vote of the society's assembly referring individual matters to it. The amount of regular power delegated to an executive board under the bylaws varies considerably from one organization to another." There is also this language on page 483: "Except in matters placed by the bylaws exclusively under the control of the board, the society's assembly can give the board instructions which it must carry out, and can rescind or amend any action of the board if it is not too late (see 35)." The question here is whether your board has the EXCLUSIVE authority to manage the clubs affairs and the membership is powerless to act other than when electing officers. It is ultimately up to your organization to interpret that bylaw provision. My own opinion, which is solely my personal opinion, is that the quoted language does not give the board the exclusive power to manage the clubs, but rather the authority to do so along with the inherent authority of the membership to do so. It may be the custom to leave the club's management up to the board, but I don't read the quoted provision as granting the board the exclusive authority to do so. Others might well disagree. You also stated this: I agree with your president in part and disagree in part. Motions which conflict with substantive provisions (such as a prohibition on something) in the bylaws are indeed null and void. However, motions which are adopted in conflict with procedural provisions in RONR are not necessarily void. Only motions which conflict with fundamental principles of parliamentary procedure or violate the rights of absentees, such as a notice requirement, are void. Motions adopted in violation of most other rules of order are still valid under the principle that a timely point of order must be raised at the time of the breach or the breach is deemed waived.
  11. For some reason, the system is not letting me also quote Josh Martin's last post wherein Josh said, in essence, "it is up to your organization to interpret its own bylaws". (paraphrasing). Perhaps it is because the post above by guest MYC is on page one and the post by Josh Martin that I am trying to quote is on page two. At any rate, I agree with Josh Martin's response that each organization must interpret its own bylaws, but I think we can safely say that generally, when a rule provides that notice must be "sent" or "given", the sending of the notice is all that is normally required. It is not normally necessary that the intended recipient actually receive the notice. Also, if a rule requires that, for example, notice be sent (or given) to members ten days in advance of a special meeting, sending the notice at least ten days prior to the meeting is all that is required. It does not matter when.... or if.... the member actually receives it. Unless your rules require that the member actually RECEIVE notice, such actual receipt is not normally necessary, regardless of whether the notice is sent by regular first class mail, certified mail, email, or some other permissible means. It seems to me that if it can be shown that the member is actually aware of the proceeding, he should not be able to hide behind a claim of not having received the certified letter. Actual receipt of a notice is usually required only .... or at least primarily.... in legal proceedings where actual notice might be necessary. Question for Dan Honemann or Shmuel Gerber if either of you read this: does the forum software not let us use the multi-quote feature to quote a post from page one and also quote a post from page two of a multi-page thread? I wanted to quote from both posts within one response. Does anyone else know?
  12. Guest Todd, you never really answered one of the first questions we asked you. What, EXACTLY, do your bylaws say about the power of the Board? Please quote that bylaw provision exactly. Don't speak from memory and don't paraphrase. Quote it exactly, word for word.
  13. And no rule prevents someone who is a member of a body ex officio from holding office.
  14. I agree with Mr. Huynh s answer, but believe your question needs to be explored a bit further. Did the president resign before the end of this term in order to avoid a term limits provision in your bylaws? If so, you might keep in mind that unless you have a customized rule to the contrary, RONR provides that if an officer serves more than half of a term, he is considered to have served the full term.
  15. The rules regarding the right of members to attend meetings apply to ALL meetings, including those held in executive session. They are still meetings. For the right of members to attend meetings, see RONR page 3, lines 1-15 and page 264 lines 6-13. For information generally on executive sessions, see pages 95-96.