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Shmuel Gerber

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Everything posted by Shmuel Gerber

  1. It's probably a glitch (for which undoubtedly there is some reason). If you have a dire need for this information while browsing on your phone, you could choose "Request desktop site" from the Chrome browser menu.
  2. Motion in Conflict with Law

    I was going to elaborate some (I'm not in class, so I have some time), but then I remembered that we've had this discussion in the past --probably more than once. Two pages of it can be seen here: http://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/26562-motions-that-conflict-with-non-procedural-laws/
  3. Motion in Conflict with Law

    And therein lies my motivation in responding to it. I don't think I misunderstood, but then again I suppose that's the nature of misunderstanding. :-) As do I. That doesn't mean I can't discuss why I would recommend a different way of explaining the issue.
  4. Combination Show of Hands/Nay Voting System?

    On what planet is Sarcasm a new language for you? Oh, wait -- that was the sarcastic part. Time to bone up on my metalanguage skills. (Also, you're supposed to be postponing mental decay, not deferring it: "The expression 'to defer' should be avoided, since it is often subject to vague usage." [RONR, 11th ed., pp. 179-180.] I would highly recommend indefinite postponement, if at all possible. :-))* * That's not a double-chin-with-unruly beard emoticon; it's an ordinary smiley followed by a closing parenthesis followed by a footnote marker, a typographical combination which ought to be familiar to all civilized writers in the Internet age but which has, sadly, been oft neglected.
  5. Motion in Conflict with Law

    I'm disagreeing with introducing the concept of the chair's proper role in the deliberative process of an assembly by illustrations involving reprehensible acts, or justifications involving (presumably) virtuous acts. The chair cannot peremptorily rule a motion out of order on the basis that it violates a substantive law simply because that is not one of the chair's proper functions in a deliberative assembly, and it is a matter for the assembly to determine for itself within that process. I don't think it is helpful to add, "So therefore a motion to commit murder (or rob a bank, or plant tulips, or whatever) is not out of order."
  6. Motion in Conflict with Law

    This is kind of a silly example. I suppose it would depend on whether the target of the hit is a member or a non-member. Members, after all, can be killed only after due process of discipline. That is neither more to the point nor less to the point, as both examples are beside the point, which is that the chair of an assembly is empowered and has the duty to enforce the assembly's own rules and the applicable rules of parliamentary procedure, but the chair is not empowered to decide whether the assembly's actions are good or bad, legal or illegal. It is irrelevant to say that this makes it easier for the assembly to accomplish actions that might be good yet are illegal, just as it is irrelevant to say that this makes it easier for the assembly to accomplish actions that might be bad and are illegal, or actions that are bad and legal.
  7. Quorum for Public Comment & Work Session

    But if a board is required to hear public comment, and there is no quorum of board members present, then the board has not, as a board, held the required hearing.
  8. In organizations of men, perhaps. But you know that women have been around just about as long as men have, right?
  9. No, that's not it. As stated on pages 272-273, a motion can be divided only if (a) each part presents a proper question regardless of the adoption of the other parts, AND (b) the effect of adopting all the separate parts is the same as adopting the motion as a whole, AND (c) the parts are easily separated, requiring at most an essentially mechanical separation, with appropriate minor grammatical adjustments. If the motion is thus divisible: (i) it must be divided on the demand of a single of member if it consists of a series of independent resolutions or main motions dealing with different subjects, or if it is a divisible series of amendments to a main motion offered in one motion; (ii) otherwise, it requires a majority vote (or unanimous consent) to divide the question.
  10. How is the word "members" ambiguous in these hypothetical bylaws?
  11. Exceptions

    This presents an interesting question. On the one hand, it is obvious that a committee should not be recommending actions that cannot be validly adopted by the assembly. On the other hand, I don't think it necessarily violates any rule of parliamentary procedure for the committee to do so. In other words, based solely on the rules in RONR, I would tend to think that a committee chairman cannot rule that a particular recommendation is out of order on the basis that the assembly cannot validly adopt it, but rather this consideration must be part of the committee's deliberative process. And in this particular case, I suspect that making that very determination -- as to whether a particular proposal meets all policy requirements of the organization -- is one of the committee's primary duties.
  12. Well, RONR (11th ed., p. 588) says, "The interpretation should be in accordance with the intention of the society at the time the bylaw was adopted, as far as this can be determined." Even if you think that RONR is wrong about this, and that "intention" is not relevant, wouldn't you agree that it's important to consider what the language would have meant to members of the particular society whose bylaws they are, rather than what it would have meant to the public?
  13. Which of the types of reports discussed on pages 514-525 would the committee's report be? And are the recommendations on a single subject or separate subjects?
  14. Debate on Appeal Decision of Chair

    That's an interesting idea, but I think the only thing the chair is actually ruling on is whether the point of order is or is not well taken. Presumably, the member had intended that if the point was well taken, then the amendment should be declared invalid; if not, then the amendment will stand. When the chair rules that the point is not well taken because it comes too late, it means that it is too late to invalidate the amendment, and he or she is ruling that the amendment stands for that reason. It would be different, for example, if the chair ruled that a point of order was not in order because it is unrelated to the business of the assembly, or that it cannot interrupt the member who has the floor because it does not need attention at that time (e.g., it relates to the absence of a quorum and the member who has the floor is merely speaking in debate). In such cases, then I think it could properly be said that an appeal from the decision of the chair involves the Point of Order itself.
  15. Debate on Appeal Decision of Chair

    Guest Hawk, a.k.a. Polaris, a.k.a. LLT, a.k.a. D. LLama, a.k.a. we know what your real name is -- Please either post using your real name, or stick to one pseudonym -- and you should register it so that you can edit posts when needed (i.e., when you want to add or clarify something immediately after posting). There's no use in constantly choosing new pseudonyms, and I happen to find it annoying.
  16. Signs for meetings?

    I don't understand how the chair will always know when a member is going off-topic until the interpretation is done, unless the chair knows all the languages, and even in that case, the other members need to know what was said in case they want to appeal the chair's decision. It is not uncommon, however, for a timekeeper to hold up a sign when a member's time (or all the members' time) for debate has expired.
  17. Either to leave things be or to apply the rules. If push comes to shove, the written rules take precedence of a custom that is in conflict with them (see RONR, 11th ed., p. 19). And the rules in RONR are clear that one session cannot tie the hands of a majority at the next session by postponing a matter to any time beyond the next session (see p. 87, ll. 6-21 and p. 183, ll. 3-17). In any event, even if the postponement were proper, the assembly can, by a two-thirds vote or unanimous consent, take up a question before the time to which it was postponed (see p. 363) or adopt an agenda that is in conflict with the existing order of business (see p. 372, ll. 11-22). And any point of order regarding the lack of a sufficient vote for a procedural action such as this would have to be made at the time the action is taken (see pp. 250-251).
  18. For the same reason, the cognoscenti always refer to the /pri-ZY-dent/ and /VIEs pri-ZY-dents/.
  19. Able to limit detail of a motion in the minutes?

    That's too bad. Robert's Rules of Order is for ladies and gentlemen (and children of all ages). So, for example, if thieves and bandits wish to use it for their meetings, they must at least be gentlemen thieves and bandits -- no cussing allowed.
  20. I assume that each of these meetings is a separate session, in which case the errors actually begin at the first meeting. It is not permissible to postpone a question to any time beyond the next session, so the original postponement is not in order, and a majority in the assembly has the right to consider the motion at the second meeting.
  21. Well, let's just say that item (a) on the list is close enough for government work.
  22. Running unopposed

    "Sour grapes" is when someone who doesn't get what he wants then denigrates the former object of his desire. What you're describing is just a sore loser.
  23. Seconding a motion

    Ok. I wasn't really paying attention to the fact that SaintCad was responding to what you had said. I was thinking about "preventing" in terms of the normal way of doing business at a meeting.