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Josh Martin

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Everything posted by Josh Martin

  1. Running unopposed

    I don’t think it’s possible for your group not to come to an agreement (except in the case of a tie), due to the rule which winnows down the candidates. The assembly could, however, postpone the election to an adjourned meeting or to the next regular meeting. Since your bylaws do not include an “until their successors are elected” clause, the position will become vacant. This is really just a stalling tactic. In the long run, the only way to prevent the election of this person is to elect someone else.
  2. Can a board be elected w/o a vote?

    I don’t like it personally, but I suppose the society could do something like this: ”Five members shall be elected to the board of directors. After five members are elected, a yes/no vote shall be held on each of the remaining candidates (if any), with all candidates receiving a majority vote in the affirmative being elected to the board of directors.” I think this is what you were trying to get at, but it more clearly spells out how the process works.
  3. Presidents refusal to sign contract

    Do your rules require that the President sign all contracts? If so, get a new President. See FAQ #20. If not, have someone else (such as the Vice President) sign the contract. Then get a new President. Okay, but this is a contract for janitorial services, and this is an elected officer, not a hereditary monarch, so I’m leaning toward discipline.
  4. Changing Bylaws to add co-chair

    It seems to me that it would be in order to provide notice that the new co-representative shall be elected, provided that the bylaw amendment is adopted. So it would be possible to hold the election at the same meeting that the bylaw amendment is adopted.
  5. Neither a committee chairman nor a committee has the authority to spend any money, unless so authorized by the society or its rules.
  6. Well, you should know better than me whether it is customary. Do your nominees normally make speeches? Customs vary from organization to organization. As for mandatory, they don’t have to speak, but you have to let them speak if they want to. Yes, debate and questions are in order.
  7. Lone Vote in Committee

    A vote of 1-0 is a majority vote. By abstaining, the other members agreed to go along with the majority of the members actually voting - which turned out to be just one member. If they didn’t want the motion to be part of the committee’s report, they should have voted against it. So no, a second is not required, and the reporting member should not explain the situation. It is improper to refer to the committee’s deliberations during debate on the report.
  8. Letter of Reprimand

    It’s not entirely clear to me that a reprimand is a disciplinary action in the context of the rules in your bylaws. Even if it is, the board did meet again to give you an opportunity to dispute it, and they still voted to uphold the reprimand. Additionally, so far as RONR is concerned, an assembly can reprimand someone for whatever it wants. It’s not limited to violations of specific rules. Nonetheless, you may certainly bring this issue to the membership and try to convince them to countermand the board’s action.
  9. Not Voting vs Abstaining

    I agree completely. My hedging is largely due to not seeing the exact language of the bylaws.
  10. Officer Eligibility Nominations

    No. Only if your bylaws authorize the President to do so. No. It’s not clear that the President has the authority to appoint anyone, but assuming he does, this is an option. Alternately, the assembly can elect someone to two positions. If there is no one in a position, then that would seem to be a vacancy. In my opinion, if an incomplete election results in a vacancy, then the vacancy may be filled through the procedures in the bylaws, however, this appointment only remains effective until the election can be completed.
  11. annual meeting problems

    You can rule them null and void, and suggest that they may resubmit them if they wish, but that any provisions which conflict with the bylaws cannot be included in the new motion - unless, of course, the new motion is a motion to amend the bylaws.
  12. Changing a Vote by Ballot

    I must respectfully disagree. This seems to be far too much to trust to a member’s honor, especially if the change in the vote would affect the result. Additionally, welcome back, Mr. Elsman.
  13. Nominating Committee report

    If the member determines that the situation is serious enough that it requires immediate attention, it would seem to me that he could raise a Point of Order that the report is not the proper report of the committee. The member might also decide that it would be appropriate to initiate disciplinary action against the committee chairman (or reporting member). EDIT: See here and here for more detailed discussions of this subject and some other ideas for how to handle the situation.
  14. Nominating Committee report

    I don’t think this is an option in the case of a nominating committee report. Instead, nominations may be made from the floor.
  15. Removing Write-In Votes

    Your organization is only required to comply with its parent organization’s bylaws on clearly requisite points. If your parent organization permits write-in votes in its own elections, that doesn’t have anything to do with your organization’s elections. On the other hand, if your parent organization’s bylaws provide that its constituent organizations must allow for write-in votes, then that’s what you must do. I concur with Mr. Mervosh that if there is any question on this point, it would be prudent to check with the parent organization.
  16. Nominating Committee report

    Sure, why not? The Secretary has been presented with two conflicting reports from members of the committee, each claiming that their version is the report of the committee. This situation must somehow be rectified, and asking the other committee members about it seems like as good a solution as any. Certainly, but I think the OP’s concern is not simply with who to blame, but to ensure that the assembly is presented with an accurate report from the nominating committee. Personally, I think it would be better for all involved to resolve this situation in advance rather than hashing it out at a meeting of the membership.
  17. can a member of an association be banned / barred

    Then it would seem to me that the Executive Committee may remove this person from the committee. This would require a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice.
  18. The rules may be suspended, by a 2/3 vote, to permit a non-member to make a motion, although it is probably much simpler for a member who supports the proposal to make the motion himself.
  19. Nominating Committee report

    I disagree. I see no reason why the Secretary must take the chairman’s word at face value. Why not ask other members of the committee about their recollection of what the committee agreed to?
  20. Elections and ballot counting

    A teller, by definition, is someone who counts the votes. I don’t think calling some of them something else changes how many tellers there are. I agree that a rule pertaining to the counting of votes for a vote occurring during a meeting is clearly in the nature of a rule of order, and may therefore be suspended by a 2/3 vote. In the long run, the bylaws should be amended to change the rule.
  21. can a member of an association be banned / barred

    With regards to expelling the individual from membership, or other forms of discipline, see Section 63 of RONR, 11th ed. If it is desired to do nothing more than to censure the member, this may be done as a main motion, although it must be understood that this is simply a formal expression of the assembly’s disapproval. With regards to removing the member from the Finance Committee, we need to know how members are appointed to the committee in the first place. Given the litigious nature of the member, it may be advisable to consult a professional parliamentarian and/or an attorney before proceeding with discipline, in order to ensure you have all your ducks in a row in the event of a lawsuit or other action against the society.
  22. Not Voting vs Abstaining

    1. If the bylaws prohibit the chair from voting unless to make or break a tie, this is not an abstention. An abstention is to voluntarily refrain from voting. If the chair has the right to vote, but does not do so by custom, then it is an abstention. 2. You say that your bylaws require a reason, and “chair not voting” doesn’t include a reason. If it turns out that this is an abstention, I would say “The chair did not vote due to custom.” But Mr. Katz, the OP stated that “Our bylaws also require that a reason be noted in the minutes for all abstentions.”
  23. annual meeting problems

    No, you cannot make an “executive decision” simply because your predecessor did so. The fact that he violated the rules with impunity doesn’t mean you get to do so as well. For those actions of the President which are in conflict with the bylaws, however, you can rule that they are null and void. Keep in mind that your rulings are subject to appeal.
  24. Illegal election

    What exactly do the bylaws say regarding when the elections are held and/or how they are scheduled?
  25. Approving motions via email

    I concur with Mr. Harrison, but I would add that if it is often difficult to get a quorum at meetings, it may also be advisable to amend the bylaws to reduce the quorum requirement.