Guest Donna

Making a motion

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A surprise motion was made at our meeting this week (not pertaining to the by-laws).  The motion was made, seconded and completed all in one meeting.  Is this the proper way to handle this.  Our member's are up in arms since it was not posted beforehand or completed at the next meeting.

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No rule in RONR requires previous notice of most motions.  There are, however, a few exceptions, most notably for bylaw amendments.  Any rule requiring previous notice of all motions would have to be in your own bylaws or special rules of order.

If you can give us more information on the nature of this "surprise" motion, we might be able to help you a bit more.

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This is a Sportsmen's Club and the motion was to become a non-smoking establishment.  I know all the rules, but this is a very rural portion of Pa.  7 people presented themselves at meeting this week and made a motion - voted and passed.  There are 8000+ members.  The 7 were seniors that frequent the club twice a year.  The majority of the members are very upset.  Help

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You said the club has 8,000 plus members, but only seven showed up for the meeting?   Is this typical?  What is your quorum requirement?  Was a quorum present?  If not, the motion is null and void.

Assuming that the motion was validly adopted, it can be rescinded or amended at any future meeting as long as it is still in effect.  To rescind or amend something previously adopted requires a majority vote if previous notice is given or a two thirds vote or a vote of a majority of the entire membership if previous notice is not given.

This motion sounds like it is in the nature of a standing rule.  The requirements for adopting, amending and rescinding standing rules are the same as for ordinary motions.  

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1 hour ago, Guest Donna said:

Our member's are up in arms since it was not posted beforehand or completed at the next meeting.

And the moral of this cautionary tale is that one of the major duties/responsibilities of membership is to show up at the meetings of the association.  Otherwise YSYL.

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If the majority of members are "very upset" maybe that will spur them to attend meetings. had they been there, I suppose they would've voted the motion down. But it sounds as if its handling was proper.

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So say we post a notice on our club bulletin board that our next meeting will involve discussion & a vote to rescind the no smoking motion--and we get a majority vote in favor of rescinding it - is this the correct way to do it?

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27 minutes ago, Guest Motion said:

So say we post a notice on our club bulletin board that our next meeting will involve discussion & a vote to rescind the no smoking motion--and we get a majority vote in favor of rescinding it - is this the correct way to do it?

Posting notice on your bulletin board may not be sufficient.  What, if anything, do your bylaws say about giving notice?  Is posting on the bulletin board sufficient?  I doubt it.  If RONR is your parliamentary authority, "previous notice" must be given by either an announcement at the previous meeting or by including it in the "call" of the meeting.  Here is what RONR in Brief says on pages 61-62 about giving previous notice of motions:

Previous notice of a motion is given either:
[page 62] a) by announcing an intent to make such a motion at the meeting immediately preceding the meeting at which the motion is to be made; or
b.  by having the secretary include notice of that intent in the call of the meeting at which the motion is to be made. This is the written notice of the time and place of the meeting, which is sent to members in advance of the meeting. [See p. 143 in this book.]

I suggest that you get a copy of RONR or, at a minimum, RONR in Brief. 

http://robertsrules.com/book.html

http://robertsrules.com/inbrief.html

Edited to add:  Whatever notice provisions are in your bylaws would supersede the notice requirements in  RONR.  If your bylaws permit giving notice of meetings, etc, by posting on the bulletin board rather than mailing a notice to the members, then that might be sufficient.  You need to read that provision very  carefully. 

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph

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3 hours ago, Guest Motion said:

So say we post a notice on our club bulletin board that our next meeting will involve discussion & a vote to rescind the no smoking motion--and we get a majority vote in favor of rescinding it - is this the correct way to do it?

Or without the previous notice, get enough of the "very upset" people to show up and vote to rescind it, such action requiring a 2/3 vote without previous notice. (Or a majority of your 8000+, which I imagine would be pretty tough to do.)

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3 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

You said the club has 8,000 plus members, but only seven showed up for the meeting?   Is this typical?  What is your quorum requirement?  Was a quorum present?  If not, the motion is null and void.

I'm still curious to know whether 7/8000 is a quorum in this club. Seems like an awfully unrepresentative group to be enacting such sweeping policy.

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In a new twist to this situation -- these 7 surprise visitors did not enter through our front door past our door person & show their membership card.  They were left in a back door by the person who stacked this motion.  Does that make a difference?  They are actually members, but did not enter through the front door and show their card.

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If they are bonafide members, and you have no "check-in" requirements in your bylaws or special rules of order (NOT "standing rules"), then it doesn't matter if they come down the chimney to get in to the meeting.

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23 hours ago, Guest Motion said:

They were left in a back door by the person who stacked this motion.  Does that make a difference?

Could be. I guess it depends whether they were in the inside of the door or the outside. :)

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