Guest Paul

Suspension of rules

19 posts in this topic

Our bylaws have a restriction of not accepting nominees on election night.    

On election night one more popular candidate became available. 

I made a motion that "the bylaw which excludes nominations on election night be suspended".  The motion carried almost unanimously.  

Now a member is questioning the ability to temporary suspend this bylaw item. Did I do wrong?  

BTW, the candidate in question lost. And last year I attempted to delete that bylaw restriction, but it got lost in procedure. 

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8 minutes ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

Eligibility requirements in the bylaws cannot be suspended.

Yeah, but what's this got to do with the price of eggs?  :)

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23 minutes ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

Eligibility requirements in the bylaws cannot be suspended.

I don't see the provision which prohibits floor nominations as a qualification for holding office. I understand Hieu's rationale, but I think the provision is in the nature of a rule of order and can be suspended.

This might well turn on the wording of the actual bylaw provision. If it says that no one can be elected to office unless  nominated by the nominating committee, then I would agree that it is perhaps a qualification for office. But if the provision says simply that nominations from the floor shall not be permitted, I believe that is in the nature of a Rule of Order and can be suspended.

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1 hour ago, Guest Paul said:

Our bylaws have a restriction of not accepting nominees on election night.    

On election night one more popular candidate became available. 

I made a motion that "the bylaw which excludes nominations on election night be suspended".  The motion carried almost unanimously.  

Now a member is questioning the ability to temporary suspend this bylaw item. Did I do wrong?  

BTW, the candidate in question lost. And last year I attempted to delete that bylaw restriction, but it got lost in procedure. 

I believe that this rule is in the nature of a rule of order, not an eligibility requirement,  and may be suspended.

The motion to suspend the rules normally does not name the rule being suspended, so a more correct form might be "I move to suspend the rules and (re)open nominations for the office of _____".   As such it would require a 2/3 vote to pass, where the motion to reopen nominations normally requires only a majority vote, but it appears this was not an issue in your case.

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I agree it's a rule of order, but I'm worried (partly because I've given possibly contradictory advice on related matters) that it may be a rule that protects absentees.  It may even protect a minority less than 1/3 (say, if there's a single candidate and less than 1/3 actually like them).

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7 minutes ago, Guest Paul said:

Thanks, So in essence bylaws can never be suspended.

In general, but not never

Rules that are clearly in the nature of rules of order (i.e. pertaining to the orderly conduct of business within a meeting) are suspendible even if they are included within the bylaws.  

That's what prompted the discussion above about whether this rule was or was not in the nature of a rule of order.

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1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

This might well turn on the wording of the actual bylaw provision.

The actual wording is:

The officers of the club shall be elected annually at the third regular meeting in December.  Nominations will be taken only on the first and second meetings in December.

There is no nominating committee, they come from the general membership present.

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42 minutes ago, Guest Paul said:

The actual wording is:

>> The officers of the club shall be elected annually at the third regular meeting in December. 

>> Nominations will be taken only on the first and second meetings in December.

There is no nominating committee, they come from the general membership present.

Ah! -- So we know the rule is NOT a "qualification for office".

The rule merely makes such a device "not in order". (Nominations are not motions, technically.)

Therefore, Robert's Rules of Order's description of "Suspend the Rules" would apply, and this customized rule is "in the nature of a rule of order", and is suspendable.

 

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1 hour ago, Guest Paul said:

The actual wording is:

The officers of the club shall be elected annually at the third regular meeting in December.  Nominations will be taken only on the first and second meetings in December.

There is no nominating committee, they come from the general membership present.

I think this may be a matter of bylaws interpretation, which only your organization could do. Perhaps the bylaws could be amended to make it clear whether this rule could be suspended.

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43 minutes ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

Perhaps the bylaws could be amended to make it clear whether this rule could be suspended.

I fully intend to eliminate this and other needless restrictions entirely.

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I have a question on suspending officer eligibility requirements. My organization's bylaws state that a member must have attended certain conferences in order to be eligible to run for president. In the past, the organization voted for and approved suspending that requirement to allow a member to run for president that year as long as the member agreed to attend the next available conference. That person was elected president. Was that improper?

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3 minutes ago, Guest Kim K said:

I have a question on suspending officer eligibility requirements. My organization's bylaws state that a member must have attended certain conferences in order to be eligible to run for president. In the past, the organization voted for and approved suspending that requirement to allow a member to run for president that year as long as the member agreed to attend the next available conference. That person was elected president. Was that improper?

Yes, that was improper. Qualifications for holding office cannot be suspended.

Note: in the future please start a new topic when asking a new question

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6 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Yes, that was improper. Qualifications for holding office cannot be suspended.

Note: in the future please start a new topic when asking a new question

My apologies. Will do. Thanks for the quick response. 

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48 minutes ago, Guest Kim K said:

My apologies.

Nothing to apologize for, Mr Brown loves saying that once or twice a week.

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2 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

Nothing to apologize for, Mr Brown loves saying that once or twice a week.

The thing to apologize for, and which Kim K did apologize for, is posting a new question into an old topic. The forum instructions clearly say not to do that. Next time how about graciously accepting apologies instead of making people feel bad for apologizing.:-)

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2 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

The thing to apologize for, and which Kim K did apologize for, is posting a new question into an old topic. The forum instructions clearly say not to do that. Next time how about graciously accepting apologies instead of making people feel bad for apologizing.:-)

Point well taken.  I apologize.

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(OK, then, fulminations and fustications aside, back to work.)

On 1/26/2017 at 5:16 PM, Godelfan said:

I agree it's a rule of order, but I'm worried (partly because I've given possibly contradictory advice on related matters) that it may be a rule that protects absentees.  It may even protect a minority less than 1/3 (say, if there's a single candidate and less than 1/3 actually like them).

I'm not just worried, I'm mostly convinced.  If the rule in the bylaws is not protective of absentees, whatever else would it be for?

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