Greg Goodwiller

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About Greg Goodwiller

  • Birthday 10/29/1960

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  • Location
    Oxford, MS
  • Interests
    Professional Registered Parliamentarian

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  1. It sure sounds to me as though however "chaotic" it might have been, no one objected in any way (as in, offered anything in the nature of a point of order). If that is the case, then any error was only procedural, and would have to have been raised immediately after the vote.
  2. Note that what my colleague says is not that the president votes to "break a tie," but that the president votes (or may vote) when his or her vote will "determine the outcome." Since a tie vote means that the question does not have a majority in favor and therefore is defeated, that would be the case on a motion requiring a majority vote for adoption either when the vote is a tie and the president wants the motion to pass, or when one more vote in the negative would create a tie, and the president wants the motion to be defeated. Same on two thirds or other voting thresholds, but with different numbers of votes (create two thirds in the affirmative, or deny two thirds in the affirmative, etc).
  3. I wish RONR at this point said something more like, "the assembly, board or committee to which the committee being appointed belongs or reports." But as it doesn't, this is my interpretation of its meaning as well.
  4. RONR states (beginning on page 174, at line 31): NAMING MEMBERS TO A SPECIAL COMMITTEE. A standing or special committee may include, or even have as its chairman, one or more persons who are not members of the assembly or the society; but if the chair appoints the committee, the names of all such nonmembers being appointed must be submitted to the assembly for approval, unless the bylaws or the motion to appoint the committee specifically authorizes the presiding officer to appoint nonmembers.
  5. It sounds to me as though you are asking whether or not (after the fact) it matters that the assembly didn't formally adopt the agenda, but rather just went about its work. If that is the question, the answer is that it doesn't matter, and it doesn't affect the legitimacy of the actions taken.
  6. There is another motion, called "postpone definitely" that is preferred over the motion to "table" in most cases (as described by my colleague above). One of its advantages is that it simply postpones the motion - in whatever state it currently exists (amended or not, etc.) - until some specific time later in the meeting (or in some cases, at a future meeting), or until something has happened (for example, until after a paper has been distributed and members have had time to read it). No new motion is required once that point in the meeting has arrived. The chair simply announces that it is now the pending motion. The motion to postpone definitely is a low ranking motion (#5 out of 13). It requires a second, is debatable and amendable, and requires a majority vote. An even lower ranking motion (#2) is the motion to "postpone indefinitely." It is the motion that, if adopted, actually "kills" an item's consideration for the remainder of the session (subject to reconsideration). It has the same other characteristics as the previous motion. You should consider purchasing a copy of Robert's Rules of Order. If you are new to all this, Robert's Rules of Order in Brief is a good place to start - it is a brief volume that provides a good introduction to parliamentary procedure.
  7. Thank for this, Mr. Honemann. I have always appreciated the level of decorum that is practiced in this forum. It honors our profession. And I regret the extent to which this particular thread has not done so.
  8. It is likewise too late to object to the form in which the matter was reconsidered. For any future use of this motion, however, I would also note that you may have skipped a step. If the motion to reconsider is adopted, all you have done is "re-open" the item reconsidered for further debate, amendment, or other action. You have not yet disposed of it. Robert's Rules states the proper form for the chair's declaration of an affirmative vote to reconsider as follows: CHAIR: The ayes have it and the votes on the resolution and the amendment are reconsidered. The question is now on the amendment, which is ... [etc.]. Note that if the result of the vote on the motion to Reconsider is negative, it is the only vote taken. But if the motion to Reconsider is adopted, this is followed—after any debate—by the taking of the vote or votes that are consequently reconsidered (RONR pg. 332, ll. 18-26).
  9. Dr.

    Yes, and I think that is what I said - or at least, it is what i intended to say. My point was only that a majority rules. The presiding officer can't just make a declaration that an executive session is ended. Although to Mr. Honemann's example, I'm a bit unclear myself about what should happen if an executive session is explicitly for the purpose of dealing with a particular item of business. As he states, a motion to leave executive session while that matter is pending would require more than a majority vote. But what about if that item has been dealt with? Would it be proper to take up anything else? And if not, why would a motion to end the executive session be necessary? RONR really says very little about Executive Sessions - just the bits on pages 95-96, and 229-230, plus some provisions related to disciplinary proceedings.
  10. No, it is considered an "abstention" by Robert's Rules. Any member who has the right to vote also has the right not to vote. And unless the organization's rules say otherwise, the vote count is based on those present and voting. A member who doesn't vote therefore isn't "counted" at all. It is as if they aren't there. So if 8 members are present but only 7 of them vote, a majority is four votes - whereas if all 8 had voted, a majority would have been five votes.
  11. Yes, I suppose that is right. A client may choose to agree with you, or may choose instead to agree with the other six parliamentarians who have weighed in at this point (one of whom, i would note, is a member of the RONR authorship team) who are all in agreement that you are wrong.
  12. Transpower, sorry. But you're WRONG on this one. Period.
  13. Nothing in Robert's Rules would preclude moving forward with a project authorized at some point in the past but not immediately undertaken. Your own rules or something in the motion itself related to the project's schedule would need to be honored. But there is no parliamentary rules that applies.
  14. I believe you are missing the point of the interpretive principle. It isn't that the president is more specific than "members." Those are both equally specific methods for appointing committees - either the President names the committees, or the membership names the committees by vote. If the bylaws state it once in one of those ways, but then in another place state it the other way, they have a conflict in their bylaws that they need to resolve by an amendment. But the initial question had "committees" (plural) in the first instance, and "committee" (singular) in the second, which led me to believe that the second instance was describing one specific committee, whereas the first instance was describing the general rule. If that is the case, I stand by my answer, and even if that is not the case, I don't agree that the interpretive principle should be applied to conclude that "president" is more specific than "members."
  15. Dr.

    Correct, except that leaving executive session isn't something that someone just "states." It requires an action of the body. It may, of course, be done by unanimous consent, but that is different than just "stating" it. If a majority of those present wish to remain in executive session, they have a right to do so.