Bruce Lages

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Everything posted by Bruce Lages

  1. I suspect your recourse is going to be more legal than parliamentary.
  2. The example of a bylaw amendment legislating an officer out of his office is one where an adopted bylaw, at the time of its adoption, has an immediate effect that occurs before the end of a current term of office. But does RONR prohibit an organization from adopting a bylaw amendment in June, say, raising the dues and making the amendment retroactive to Jan 1? or even earlier?
  3. According to RONR, it's neither. The newly adopted term of service would take effect as soon as it is adopted. If you want the change to take place at some other time, you need to either write that provision into the bylaw amendment, or adopt a proviso at the same time as the amendment, stipulating that the amendment will not take effect until whatever time or condition you chose.
  4. Also, be aware that the only way to oppose a candidate is to vote for someone else. There should not be a yes/no type of vote for elections. Are you saying that the opposition to this candidate was in the form of 'no' votes?
  5. If that's the only issue raised, I don't see any way that a re-vote would be valid. Not that it changes anything, but was this previous suspension not known before the vote was taken? The time to raise an objection to the candidate was during the nomination process - nominations are debatable.
  6. In most cases, no, it would not be allowed. But, we really need to know the reason for asking for a re-vote before we can give you a definitive answer.
  7. The default quorum in RONR is a majority of the current members. But this is frequently changed by organizations to suit their particular situation. Check your rules to see if a quorum is established for the executive committee. In the absence of any such rule, it would be the default of a majority - in your case 3 members. Incidentally, an executive committee is more in the nature of a board than a typical committee, but this does not alter the default quorum requirement.
  8. If your bylaws actually state that voting will take place by show of hands, then that's how you must vote and the president seems to be correct (but not because she wasn't at that meeting and didn't get to vote). You cannot overrule a bylaw requirement by just a majority vote - you would have to follow the procedure given in your bylaws for amending them. But, please - when you rewrite your bylaws, take out the requirement for voting by show of hands. If you adopt RONR as your parliamentary authority, you will have access to the use of several means of voting, from the default voice vote to a secret ballot vote or even a roll call vote. But you will be able to chose which method of voting to use in any given situation by a majority vote at that time.
  9. Need to show? No, the only people who need to see (or hear) the secretary's draft minutes are the members of whatever body's meeting the minutes are for, i.e. - the board, the general membership - since they are the ones that have the responsibility to correct and approve them. The secretary can, of course, chose to share the minutes with the president or other members, but is under no obligation to accept any suggested changes from those members. Just be sure that draft minutes that are circulated are clearly labeled as 'draft', as you seem to be doing.
  10. Read? No, nor are you required to approve them. However, unless there is a very good reason not to, the minutes definitely should be approved at the next meeting. If copies of the draft minutes are distributed beforehand it is not necessary for the secretary to read them, although this must be done on the demand of a single member. If there is a (very) good reason why they cannot be approved at the next meeting, they should be approved as soon as possible. For a society that only holds an annual meeting, RONR strongly recommends that a committee or the board be authorized to approve those minutes.
  11. How is the term of office for the treasurer defined in the bylaws? Please provide an exact quote.
  12. You are correct that an amendment requires a majority vote to be adopted regardless of what vote is required for the main motion, But, while an affirmative vote of a majority of the entire membership can adopt almost any motion, it is not required in any case that I can think of. You should probably check your bylaws to see under what circumstances a vote of a majority of the entire council membership is required and what it applies to. Your rules may vary from those of RONR. And Saint Cad is correct - it's too late now to raise a point of order regarding the (presumed) mistakes made.
  13. If RONR is specified as your parliamentary authority in your bylaws, then you don't really need any further bylaws statement regarding which body is empowered to accept resignations: "The power to appoint or elect persons to any office or board carries with it the power to accept their resignations..." (RONR, 11th ed. p.467, ll 25-26). When the resignation was announced to the membership and a special election to fill the vacancy was called, the membership, in effect, accepted the resignation, even though there was no formal vote taken to accept it.
  14. Where does the statement on filling vacancies come from, if not from the bylaws?
  15. Yes - that is the more logical interpretation of the initial post. Sorry for mis-reading the question.
  16. When the bylaws stipulate (as does RONR) that the president may not serve ex officio on the nominating committee, it is very hard for me to understand how that can be equated to the president 'being absent'. Clearly, the bylaws mandate that serving ex officio on the nominating committee is not one of the "duties of the president", and therefore not something that can be transferred to the vice president. In my view, the VP had no business attending the meeting, much less voting, in the first place.
  17. Since you say you're dealing with a board, you should be aware that boards of about a dozen or so members can adopt RONR's small board rules, which allow the presiding officer of the board (usually the president) to vote along with everyone else, as well as participate fully in debate.
  18. In your scenario, reconsideration is no longer applicable - it would have to have been made at the same meeting. But postponing a motion to two meetings in the future is not permitted under RONR. The motion can only be postponed to the next business session. But check to see if your council rules provide otherwise. If they don't, then the motion is dead and can just be made again at a future meeting. I would say that under the stated circumstances,the motion to amend should just be made again at whatever time the main motion is taken up.
  19. This seems to raise the question - one which clearly must be answered by the organization - whether there are other 'members' of the student government in addition to officers and representatives.
  20. In what way does the roll call need to be changed? In general, changes may be made to approved minutes via the motion to amend something previously adopted.
  21. Dr.

    Your chairman is correct that 'any motion made during an executive session is to be recorded in the minutes', but that has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a meeting is in executive session or not. Minutes are taken at all meetings, regardless of whether they are held in executive session or not. Note though, that the minutes of an executive session are kept separate from the minutes of open session, and should be approved only in an executive session. Edited to add: Of course only motions that would normally be recorded in open session minutes are included in executive session minutes. Not all motions are included in minutes.
  22. In describing the duties of a parliamentarian, RONR says "A member of an assembly who acts as a parliamentarian has the same duty as the presiding officer to maintain a position of impartiality, and therefore does not make motions, participate in debate, or vote on any question except in the case of a ballot vote" (RONR, p.467, ll. 8-12). Since these restrictions on the presiding officer are relaxed under the small board rues, I wonder if they are also relaxed for a member parliamentarian on a small board.
  23. In the order in which you asked - no, a seconder is not required for a notice of motion to be given; and - yes, in general, a motion requires a second before the chair places it before the assembly. An exception to this requirement is in a meeting using the 'small board' rules ( no more than about a dozen members present), where seconds are not required.
  24. You should also be aware that, if the president does appoint you to this vacancy, you may not be getting a full two-year term, depending on far into his two-year term the resigning member was. Appointments to fill vacancies serve for the remainder of the original term.
  25. If the articles in the bylaws in question are titled as in many bylaws - including the sample bylaws in RONR - I would at least entertain the suggestion that the words "Article XX" are not considered to be part of the article itself for the purpose of determining eligibility for amendment, since they convey no policy and merely denote sequence. That reasoning would certainly allow for re-numbering of articles in the bylaws without any confusing gymnastics. .