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The Official RONR Q & A Forums


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    Springfield, Missouri
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    Astronomy and astrophotography (seetheglory.com); sailing aboard our Island Packet 350; amateur radio (W9TRM); parliamentary procedure
  1. An organization holds monthly meetings. Its bylaws provide that three months before the June meeting the board shall appoint a nominating committee that shall present nominees to the organization’s members during its May meeting. At the organization’s May meeting, the two nominees of the nominations committee were announced, and other persons were nominated from the floor. Before the end of this meeting the chair declared nominations closed. A question has arisen over the status of the committee’s two nominees. Neither had “accepted” their nomination prior to the close of nominations during the May meeting. Some are contending that their failure to “accept” their nominations prior to the close of nominations precludes them from being considered as nominees, except of course if nominated from the floor during the June meeting. RONR page 434 ll. 1-5 states that it is “desirable” for the nominating committee to obtain the acceptance of nomination for each person it wishes to nominate. This was not done in the case of the two nominees.
  2. alternating speakers

    RONR (pp. 379-380) states that "in cases where the chair knows that persons seeking the floor have opposite opinions on the question . . . the chair should let the floor alternate, as far as possible, between those favoring and those opposing the measure." At a recent convention with several thousand delegates at which I served as parliamentarian a motion was made, and during debate there were several delegates at the microphones ready to speak. After the maker of the motion spoke in favor of it, the chair asked if any wanted to speak in opposition to it, and no one responded. The chair stated that since no one wanted to speak in opposition, he would proceed directly to a vote on the motion. No appeal was made to the chair's ruling, and the motion passed overwhelmingly. Several weeks later, long after the convention ended, a delegate asked if the chair had handled this properly. Does the chair have the prerogative to close debate when only those in favor or a motion wish to speak? Or, should he have allowed persons in favor of the motion to speak until the previous question was moved and passed? I favor the second option, but cannot find this addressed specifically in RONR or this forum.
  3. An organization’s bylaws require all proposed motions to be reviewed and approved by a standing resolutions committee, with the proviso that if the committee rejects a proposed motion as inappropriate, then the sponsor has the right to have the membership override the decision of the resolutions committee and have the membership determine the appropriateness of the motion during an annual membership meeting. The committee has rejected a member’s proposed motion, and the sponsor is planning on exercising his right to present the motion during the annual membership meeting for a determination as to its appropriateness. Since this has never happened before, the member is asking how and when to present the motion, and its disposition. I am assuming that: (1) the member should present a motion as a matter of new business to the effect that the rejected motion is appropriate; (2) this would be a main motion, but any debate would be limited to the appropriateness of the resolution for presentation to the membership; (3) if the motion passes, then the rejected motion would be presented and treated like an ordinary main motion (a second, debatable, etc.). Any additional thoughts?
  4. one candidate

    The procedure is in the bylaws, so nominations from the floor are not an option. The two-thirds vote requirement, as I understand it, is to confirm the nominating committee's candidate. It's a ballot vote, yes or no. If a candidate receives less than 2/3 of those present and voting, he or she will not be elected. There is no precedent since this issue has never come up before. The question is how to proceed in the unlikely event that a candidate does not receive a 2/3 vote. Does the chair have the discretion to call another vote, which may cause some to change their vote. Or, does the nominating committee meet again to select another candidate.
  5. one candidate

    An organization uses a nominating committee to select candidates for office. The nominating committee presents only one name for each office for submission to the membership. Election requires a 2/3 vote. The question has arisen as to the correct way to proceed in the event that a candidate for one of the offices receives less than a 2/3 vote and is not elected. Some assume that the chair can call for one or more additional votes to see if a 2/3 vote is possible. Others contend that the matter must be sent back to the nominating committee for the selection of another candidate to be presented and voted on. I cannot find any specific guidance in RONR.
  6. An organization’s bylaws specify that “all candidates for the office of president shall be nominated by receiving 10 votes or more by secret ballot. . . .” At an annual meeting of the organization five persons receive 10 or more votes on the nominating ballot for the office of president, and 50 members receive less than 10 votes. Are the names and vote totals of all 60 persons included in the teller’s report that is read by the chairman of the tellers? Or, can just those persons receiving 10 or more votes be listed in the teller’s report since they will be the only nominees? It would appear to me that the names of all must be included in the report (and included in the minutes) pursuant to pp. 417 lines 18-21 and 418 lines 26-31, RONR.
  7. change of mind

    A nominee for an elective office announces in between ballots that he is removing his name from consideration. A few ballots later, he announces that he wants to reinstate his name as a nominee. Is this scenario addressed in RONR?
  8. self-interested motions

    That's what I needed. Thanks.
  9. self-interested motions

    All bylaw requirements are met. That's not the question. The question is whether the president can make a motion to amend the bylaws during the meeting to extend the term of his office from one to three years. I see nothing in RONR that would prevent a self-interested motion, but wanted to see if I am missing something.
  10. self-interested motions

    Can an officer make a motion in a duly called business meeting to amend the bylaws to increase the term of his office from one year to three years? I cannot find anything in RONR that would prevent him from making such a motion. Have I missed something? The officer is a member.
  11. Preamble amendments

    Gary, that was my conclusion. The sponsor in this case wants to amend one of the whereas's in the preamble to more fully state one of the reasons for the proposed amendment that is the substance of the motion. There is no effect on the scope of notice or the underlying motion. So it was my conclusion, logically, with minimal if any direction from RONR, or state nonprofit corporation law, that the modification of the preamble would be permissible even if within the 6 month notice period. This just makes sense, especially with this organization since it only considers and votes on motions and never preambles.
  12. Preamble amendments

    An organization’s bylaws require amendments to be submitted 6 months in advance of its biennial membership meeting. A proposed amendment was submitted more than 6 months before the meeting. However, the proposed amendment contains a preamble that the sponsor would like to modify. The question is whether the sponsor can modify the preamble to his proposed amendment less than 6 months before the meeting. RONR (page 298) states that the mover of a motion can modify it before it is stated by the chair. I understand that. But what about the 6-month notice requirement? And, does this requirement apply to the motion itself, or to the preamble as well?
  13. An election is pending for president of an organization. There are three nominees who were selected by a nominating committee. No election on the first ballot. At this point one nominee announces that he is withdrawing his name. On the second ballot he is elected, and he decides that he will accept the office. Some have questioned whether the votes for a nominee who announced that he was withdrawing as a nominee should be counted. The question is whether members' votes subsequent to a nominee's announcement that he was withdrawing as a nominee should be counted. I believe they should, but cannot find an explicit basis in RONR.
  14. nominating ballot

    That is my understanding.
  15. nominating ballot

    A charitable organization uses nominating ballots as its method of nomination of officers. Historically, the charity permits each member to nominate one person for each office. A member has indicated that he intends to nominate several candidates for each office. The bylaws do not address the issue. Would RONR permit multiple nominations by one member on a nominating ballot?