Alexis Hunt

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  1. Dan, thanks for that response! Perhaps, then there is a seventh option: the committee recommends both and they are considered in order, as per the language you cited?
  2. hoa minutes abstain

    A representative student body of which I was a part adopted a rule stating that members could ask to have their votes or abstentions recorded in the minutes. It worked quite well. As for putting more details about discussions in the minutes, it's not uncommon for someone to want such details recorded. But Robert's Rules takes the position that they do not need to be recorded, because they are not a part of the substance of the meeting: they are a detail of process rather than part of the outcome. Nonetheless, they can be useful for later reference for The most difficult issue that arises from putting summaries of debate into the minutes is that unless they are done in a skilled and impartial fashion, they can very frequently become the subject of much debate that isn't necessary, where one member thinks that a statement is very important and needs to be in the minutes, and another member objects. Worse, it can become a situation of "X said that all potates are awful" and then X reply's "No I didn't! You misheard me!" and then there is a lot of hullabaloo over this. Additionally, you can kiss any hope of the secretary being able to participate in the meeting goodbye, because they will be too busy recording what is going on.
  3. I am glad that your organization agrees that the current edition of Robert's Rules governs. I would recommend that you consider amending that statement to follow the text recommended here: It does sound like your bylaws provisions should be interpreted analogously, except that it may not permit your organization to establish special rules of order, which are rules of procedure that, although not quite bylaws, overrule the parliamentary authority. In this case, however, Robert's Rules is clear that the disciplinary provisions listed in Chapter XX prevail except when the organization's bylaws contain their own discipline. So if your House Rules are in fact bylaws, then the disciplinary provisions you quoted would take precedence. Otherwise, you would have to go through the somewhat more rigorous process outlined in Chapter XX of Robert's Rules.
  4. Ah, in my haste I omitted one important detail about the original scenario: No notice was given of the election, because it was an election prescribed by the bylaws for, say, the annual meeting.
  5. Yes, that would be fine, but they could not be counted as present without the bylaws authorizing it (e.g. they would not count for the purposes of quorum or an attendance requirement specified in the bylaws). Apart from that, there is nothing that restricts the Board from allowing members to participate in debate remotely.
  6. Suppose an officer is elected, accepts the position, and then resigns later in the meeting. Is notice required to fill the resulting vacancy? Does this change if the election was to fill a vacancy, and notice was properly given of the election? Does this change if the election is not effective until after the meeting?
  7. Because the rules don't provide for it.
  8. I would say that in your case, the practices of the organization would then prevail, so whatever system you use is what you should use. I agree with jstackpo; there is no need for an individual person to count each individual ballot.
  9. I vaguely recall a thread here a long time ago about preferential balloting that concluded that preferential balloting, as described on pp. 425-428, can be used without a bylaws authorization as long as there is a requirement that each candidate selected have a majority of the (possibly transferred) votes. But I could be wrong.
  10. From what you've described, it sounds to me on the face of it like it is entirely appropriate. While there could be specific rules about exactly what your committee can consider that would make it be otherwise, one would normally expect the bylaws committee to be responsible for bylaws, and so ordering that committee to prepare an amendment is an appropriate step. It's entirely valid for you to dissent at the meeting and even to vote in opposition to the motion, but once it's passed, it becomes the duty of the committee to follow the directions of the Board. Likewise, your duty as chair extends to having the committee do as directed by the Board. If you disagree, then that is fine, but you should not block the committee from doing its work. When the committee delivers its report with the proposed amendments, you can have someone else present the report and then argue against its contents when they are up for debate, if you still feel strongly.
  11. While I agree with your interpretation of the text, this statement isn't true of the motion to Rescind, along with others. The required vote does change depending on whether or not notice is given.
  12. I agree with Mr. Gerber. I believe that the text in the book is not crystal clear, but the language on p. 348 relating to a quorum-less meeting places the prohibition against notices alongside a clarification of the rule against transacting business, implying that both are clarifications of the same rule. Even if you interpret this the other way, I agree with his interpretation of a special meeting principle. A member should be entitled to ignore a special meeting and be confident that nothing occurred at the meeting which was not relevant to the subject of the notice. This is especially true when the special meeting may occur shortly before the regular meeting, such as for a trial scheduled the day before.
  13. Thanks for the reply. The combination of two-thirds and a majority of the membership does not protect absentees then, either, correct? It occurred to me, rereading this thread, that the following scenario could arise: Alfonso wants to make a motion to rescind, so he gives notice at the previous meeting. After is notice is given, Nancy moves the recission for which Alfonso gave notice. Since no notice was given, Nancy's motion requires either two-thirds or a majority vote of the membership to approve. She then moves to postpone it to the next meeting. If her postponement is succesful, she has effectively defeated the purpose of Alfonso's notice: Alfonso cannot move the motion, since an identical motion will be in the hands of the assembly, nor is there any effective means by which he can both defeat the motion and subsequently move his own motion with the lower threshold, since the assembly must have decided on the same question. Granted, this relies on either an unstable majority (either Nancy's postponing majority is temporary, or Alfonso's rescinding majority is temporary) or clueless members, but it is still a rather absurd application of the rules. Additionally, how should this apply to committees? The purpose of a notice rule (even one just to lower the threshold) is to give members an opportunity in advance to know that an item of business will be moved, and give interested members time to ensure their attendance and prepare their arguments. Once an item of business is referred to a committee, the membership knows that the committee is considering it but, officially, has no way of knowing when the committee will return its report. It could be many months after the original motion, and possibly at a surprising time. Yet, interpreting this strictly as has been suggested, the vote threshold required to consider the motion when it is reported back from the committee is based entirely on whether or not notice was originally given many months ago, and has nothing to do with the meeting at which the committee reports. In my opinion, based on the underlying principles, the motion coming back from committee should either: Require the higher threshold unless notice has been given that the committee will be reporting the motion back, on the basis that members should be informed in advance of the business to be considered. Never require the higher threshold, because once the motion is in the hands of a committee, every member is on notice that it may be brought up at any time.
  14. I don't think that I can introduce a counterargument based on the letter of the law, but to me that does seem very unintutive... but then again I do not always feel like I understand the fundamental purpose of the higher threshold is, since it is not to protect absentees.
  15. The Society of Cheese Aficionados has two classes of voting membership, Eaters and Providers, each with their own conditions. As of now, there are no membership dues. At a meeting, a member moves a motion "that the Governance Committee (a standing committee responsible for such matters) recommend bylaw amendments to provide for membership dues." and proceeds to give an eloquent speech about how the organization has, to date, been supported by the goodwill of the Providers in offering cheese for the Eaters, and the time has come where the Eaters should be required to pay a token fee to help cover their expensive tastes. The member, not having the expertise himself in drafting the complex bylaw amendments, would like to defer to the committee's wisdom rather than draft them himself. The motion is adopted with only mild opposition. Upon receipt of the motion, the Governance Committee engages into a vociferous debate as to whether or not Providers should also be included. The original discussion that led to the referral did not contemplate imposing dues on the Providers at all, so the committee has no understanding of the sentiment of the membership on the matter. They feel that the question of whether or not to do so is only incidentally before the committee, because of the vagueness of the original motion, and that it does not fall within their usual scope of expertise. Nevertheless, the strong sentiment of some of the members that Providers and Eaters should be charged equally implies that the sentiment may be shared by the membership. The committee decides that it does not want to simply report one set of amendments back in a vacuum, because it will possibly upset members who oppose that configuration and, worse, might result in ill-considered amendments from the floor. They also feel it would be irresponsible to pick one option and ignore the opposing views. I've come up with the following options. Which do you consider to be procedurally acceptable, and which would you recommend? Feel free to suggest your own. The committee reports back two possible original main motions, but does not recommend one, and informally arranges to have one moved and then the other proposed as a substitute. The committee recommends one original main motion, based on a majority of the committee, but also reports the other option as a substitute. The committee informally arranges for a motion to be made to perform the substitution. The committee recommends one original main motion, and also recommends that the other option be adopted as a substitute for it. The committee informally surveys the members and reports back the preferred motion based on the feedback. The committee reports a request for a clarification and does not complete its work until it receives a clarifying instruction. The committee has to suck it up and recommend only one set of amendments.