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Richard Brown

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  1. Recusal vs. Abstention

    RONR defines abstaining as simply not voting. There is nothing in RONR to indicate that a person who abstains from voting must also refrain from participating in the debate. Recusal is a term more often associated with public bodies, and state law or a local rule might require a member with a conflict of interest or a personal interest in the subject matter to recuse himself. This is outside of RONR, but I agree with Mr. Harrison that to recuse oneself from consideration of a measure usually means to not participate in its consideration at all. That is something that might be defined by your state law or local ordinances or rules if the assembly is a public body. It is not addressed in RONR.
  2. It is absolutely a different question. Candidate C is no longer on the ballot. Yes, he can be written in, but he is not one of the options being offered on the subsequent ballot. It is therefore a different question. You can't assume that those who voted for candidate C when he was listed on the ballot as a candidate would want to write his name in as a write-in candidate if he has announced that he is withdrawing and is not listed as a candidate on subsequent ballots.
  3. Agreeing with Mr. Novosielski, this is what RONR says about the tellers report and the vote count on page 418: "The tellers' report is entered in full in the minutes, becoming a part of the official records of the organization. Under no circumstances should this be omitted in an election or in a vote on a critical motion out of a mistaken deference to the feelings of unsuccessful candidates or members of the losing side." (Emphasis added by me).
  4. Quorum, Board, General, Bylaws,

    I think that is a very good question and I hope we can have more discussion about it.... and that someone (or more) from the RONR authorship team will weigh in on this issue.
  5. Hmmm.... You are aware, are you not, that RONR does not suggest that language and does not include it in the sample bylaws on page 585. It uses the phrase "until their successors are elected". Here's the language from page 585: "The officers shall be elected by ballot to serve for one year or until their successors are elected, and their term of office shall begin at the close of the annual meeting at which they are elected. Edited to add: See also pages 574, 653 and 654.
  6. A member recording a meeting

    I agree with Dr. Stackpole at least in the sense that someone who wants to record a meeting SHOULD ask for permission (or ask if there is any objection). However, there is no rule about this in RONR. The only statement in RONR about the use of a recording device is that such a recording can be helpful to the secretary in preparing the minutes (page 471). The use (or non use) of recording devices is something that is completely up to each organization, but in some states there might be applicable statutes about recording people without their consent.
  7. Emailing minutes in advance

    The draft minutes can (and often are) sent to the members in advance, but they should be clearly marked as DRAFT minutes. However, it is still necessary to go through the steps to approve the minutes at a meeting, allowing an opportunity for corrections, unless there is a minutes approval committee which has the authority to approve the minutes. Also, the minutes must still be read upon the demand of a single member. See pages 473-475.
  8. Nominations for office

    Nominations can always be re-opened unless specifically prohibited in your bylaws. It requires a majority vote to re-open nominations (unless it is done by unanimous consent without objection). See pages 288-289.
  9. ex officio member on a committee

    I agree with Dr. Goodwiller. The way I read RONR, it strongly discourages having co-chairs co-anythings, but it does not actually prohibit the practice.
  10. John, Are you sure? Based on some previous posts I have seen in this forum and also on two responses in the thread I link to below, there seems to be some uncertainty as to whether the absentee ballots should be counted again in the repeat balloting. This could be especially problematic if a candidate withdraws, causing subsequent balloting to be on a different question. Here's the thread I referred to: http://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/31545-voting/
  11. Guest J. Hauser, where is your previous question? I think I remember it, but can't find it. Was it posted using the same name, "J. Hauser"?
  12. However, per the footnote on page 441, the assembly may vote to suspend the rules to remove the candidate with the fewest number of votes from the ballot after each round of voting. However, unless the bylaws provide otherwise, such candidates who have been removed from the ballot are still eligible to be elected as write-in candidates. As a practical matter, though, usually the members who have been voting for such a remove candidate wind up voting for someone else who is still on the ballot because they realize that some members simply change their votes in order to conclude the election and go home. Here is the exact language from the footnote: "An organization could suspend the rules, or adopt a special rule of order, so that the nominee with the fewest votes is dropped from the list of nominees for succeeding ballots in the expectation that voters will then confine their choice to the remaining nominees. Only a bylaws provision, however, could make the dropped nominee ineligible for election so as to render illegal any subsequent votes cast for that nominee". (Footnote on page 441). Candidates may, of course, voluntarily withdraw. If they are tied, or if the assembly refuses to suspend the rules to remove the candidate with the fewest votes, the candidates may also agree among themselves to determine by lot, such as drawing straws or flipping a coin, that one of them will voluntarily withdraw.
  13. Please tell us a little more. For example, was there an actual motion to reconsider made? If so, when was it made? At the previous meeting? Or was no such motion actually made at the last meeting but it is on the agenda for the next meeting as "reconsider and amend"? I suspect that what is really being proposed is a motion to rescind (or amend) something previously adopted. As someone else pointed out, the motion to reconsider is subject to special rules and time limits. The motion to reconsider must usually be made at the same meeting at which the motion to be reconsidered was adopted, but it can get rather complex. See pages 315 ff But, to answer your question, yes, a motion adopted at one meeting can be reconsidered and can also be rescinded or amended. However, there is no motion in RONR to "Reconsider and amend'. A motion to reconsider is a particular type of motion. A motion to rescind or amend is a different motion.
  14. Quorum, Board, General, Bylaws,

    Yes, they do, but the question is whether such a person can resign since the bylaws say such a person is on the board automatically by virtue of being a past president (usually the immediate past president). And, even if he can resign, can he be replaced? Or will the board be one member short, since no one else on earth meets the definition of "immediate past president" except that one person?
  15. I don't see why the presence or vote of a pastor would be necessary unless it is explicitly required by your bylaws.