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Greg Goodwiller

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About Greg Goodwiller

  • Birthday 10/29/1960

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  • Location:
    Oxford, MS
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    Professional Registered Parliamentarian

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  1. Digital Media

    These are legal questions, not parliamentary ones. You need to consult an attorney.
  2. Nominations for office

    None of these is required by RONR, which states on page 444 beginning at line 18, " An election to an office becomes final immediately if the candidate is present and does not decline, or if he is absent but has consented to his candidacy. If he is absent and has not consented to his candidacy, the election becomes final when he is notified of his election, provided that he does not immediately decline. If he does decline, the election is incomplete, and another vote can be taken immediately or at the next meeting without further notice."
  3. Unless you have rules that prohibit it, any member may propose an amendment to the budget that is proposed, so I don't see any impediment to an amendment that would provide funding for a proposed or even hypothetical position, in the event that who ever is responsible for such a hiring actually fills the position.
  4. Abstain versus Recuse from Voting

    No, that is not correct. "Recuse" is actually not a word that occurs in Robert's Rules. It is used in the legal world and other settings. But when it comes to voting, members always have the right not to vote if they so choose, which is called "abstaining." Voting results, unless your rules state otherwise, are of "those present and voting." So if a member abstains, the effect is only that one fewer votes is cast. In regards to a tie vote, since a majority of votes cast is required for the adoption of most motions, a motion resulting in a tie vote is not adopted. So if the vote is 2 in favor and 2 against on the matter in question, your president doesn't have to vote no in order for the motion to loose. Under Robert's Rules your president under most circumstances would have the right - at that point - to vote "yes" and give the motion a majority in favor of it if he or she wanted it to be adopted. But if it is desired that that it not be adopted, he or she should just not vote, and that would be the result.
  5. Sorry. I have been at a meeting out of state for two days. NAP has in fact used a text/email system as an option at its last couple of conventions, the problem with which is that the motions arrive in all kinds of formats, often with missing information (such as what motion, exactly, is being amended!). At our last convention, we added a motion submission form on the NAP website, and gave everyone a link. That form required the inclusion of the necessary information, sent a reply email indicating that it had been received, and sent the information simultaneously to all those who needed to receive it. The only thing I think it was missing was an automatic sequential numbering system for reference (I'm working on that for the next convention). But the projectionist came up with a way to assign that manually, which got the job done. There are numerous companies that provide this online service. I would be happy to discuss the service NAP uses and how it works via email, if desired: greg@goodwiller.org. This may well be close to what your convention planners are already using, but just with the limitation that only a few computers are able to access the form. Our approach was to make the system as accessible as possible, but that is a decision for your client to make. It certainly isn't necessary, since it is quite easy to make a form available to as many folks as you like. regarding rules, limiting motions to electronic submission should only be done if you are sure that everyone has access to the technology. Perhaps it would be better to have a paper form that members could submit to a staff member or volunteer at a motion table, who could enter it for them - at least as an option. I think the system worked well overall, and will recommend that we cease using the text/email option next time, and just use the form.
  6. Nominator question

    If I were a member of your organization, I would interpret the rule as you do.
  7. Amendment to bylaws

    Concurring with my colleague for the references, it depends on who is making the motion. RONR's assumption is that some committee is bringing the recommendation. If so, in accordance with RONR's "Usual Order of Business for ordinary Societies" (RONR pg. 353, l. 4ff), those come in a particular place in the agenda depending on whether they are standing or special committees. If the motion is from an individual member, it would presumably come as new business closer to the end of the meeting. But note that there are generally notice requirements for bylaws that must also be met.
  8. Are members of the BoE elected? If so, vote for new BoE members. Perhaps even run for the office yourself. As a member of the board, you would have many more options at your disposal.

    I am assuming from Guest Arthur's statement that the workshops are "to informally discuss issues without motions" that there is in fact no "intention to decide anything." If I am wrong, that obviously affects my comments.

    RONR actually does mention "workshops" several times in the context of "conventions," as part of a convention program. Furthermore, in a section titled "Aids to the Crystallization of Opinion," RONR discusses methods for developing a greater consensus on controversial matters. In part, it states, "In more recent years, a practice has developed of establishing breakout groups with every member in attendance being urged to participate in a group. . . Often, the groups meet during a recess or adjournment of the assembly. Sometimes, the conclusions reached by the various breakout groups are conveyed to a committee that assembles them and attempts to report a consolidated response to the assembly. At other times, the breakout groups report through their moderators directly to the assembly after it has been reconvened and the matter under consideration is again pending. These reports are in the nature of debate" (RONR pp. 541-542). The point is, such gatherings are not "meetings" in the technical sense of that word. So they aren't bound by the rules of RONR - even if they result in input that may eventually come before an assembly while in session. So yes, I would say that RONR does "allow for 'workshops' " - particularly as a way to inform members and build consensus.
  11. Proper Jurisdiction

    Ultimately, it is up to organizations to interpret their own rules; however, in most disciplinary processes I am aware of that have courts or panels for "review," they are generally understood to "have jurisdiction" when the matter is properly before them and not someone else. It sounds to me as though the time period during which the Board of Directors has jurisdiction begins when the matter has been "decided" by the Trial Board, and ends 45 days later.
  12. bylaw interpretation

    It appears to me that the six month requirement is a requirement imposed by the Board, rather than by the membership in its bylaws. Therefore, any exception to the requirement would need to be made in accordance with the board's rules (which may also be in the bylaws) for the suspension of its rules.
  13. ex officio member on a committee

    While I otherwise agree with Mr. Novosielski's response, I think this statement goes a bit too far. What RONR actually says is only this: "The anomalous title 'co-chairman' should be avoided, as it causes impossible dilemmas in attempts to share the functions of a single position" (RONR pg. 176, ll. 3-6). First, the word "should" does not rise to the level of "prohibiting." And second, since that is the only reference to a "co-anything" that I am aware of in the entire book, I'm not sure it is fair to say that RONR even speaks to, let alone prohibits, anything other than co-chairs. The same principle would clearly apply, though, which is that if the position includes any sort of delegated authority, that authority hasn't been clearly delegated if it is still shared by more than one person at a time. Therefore, RONR's clear preference is for a "vice-chair," rather than a "co-chair."
  14. Principle of interpretation

    Not disagreeing with my colleagues - but yes, I think you have the gist of it - which is why, as already noted, if duties are defined in the bylaws, an open clause about other duties as assigned, or the like, is very important.
  15. Process To Null An Unnecessary Election

    First of all, it is ultimately your organization's responsibility to interpret its own bylaws. That said, having reviewed them, I don't read them to say at all what you are saying; namely, that the President appoints Members at Large. The bylaws clearly state that there are to be two such officers, and the article on the President's duties includes the responsibility for assigning one Member at Large the responsibility of overseeing "special interest groups," as well as authority to make committee chair appointments - neither of which, in my opinion, has anything to do with the election of those two Members at Large. So in my opinion, what was done in your absence was done in accordance with your bylaws.