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Richard Brown

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Everything posted by Richard Brown

  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.
  16. Voting

    I agree with this response, but I do feel it's important to point out what appear to be other problems with the process the original poster described. Since they may be having to vote again anyway, I hope they will do it the right way next time.
  17. Voting

    I see several procedural errors and problems here. First, regardless of what you are voting on and if RONR is your parliamentary authority, no motion is adopted and no one is elected to any position with less than a majority vote unless your bylaws or rules provide otherwise. Second, you never drop the candidate with the fewest number of votes unless you have a specific rule to the contrary. All candidates remain on the ballot for subsequent rounds of voting. Third, unless you have a bylaw provision to the contrary, no person or body has the authority to arbitrarily declare a winning candidate to be ineligible and the election void outside of a meeting. A point of order must be raised in a meeting of the voting body that the person is ineligible. The chair can then make a ruling on the point of order and his decision can be appealed to the assembly. There is no Authority in RONR for any individual or any body, such as an executive board, to declare someone ineligible and the results of the election void outside of a meeting of the body that did the electing.
  18. Having multiple appointed positions on one committee

    Caryn Ann, this is something not covered specifically by RONR and is something that your organization is ultimately going to have to sort out for itself. However, my own opinion, for whatever it is worth, is that Ms Smith, by virtue of her appointment as an actual Committee Member by group B, is in fact a full-fledged regular Committee Member and that she cannot switch back and forth between hats from meeting to meeting and sit as the representative of group B at one meeing and as an alternate for group A at another meeting.. I think she must wear the hat of the regular member from group B at every meeting. Ultimately, however, this is a decision which your committee or organization must decide for itself. Keep checking back. There may well be other opinions.
  19. Voting

    If a winner is not selected on the first ballot, you never drop the candidate with the fewest number of votes unless you have a rule which specifically requires it. All candidates remain on the ballot for subsequent rounds of voting unless they voluntarily withdraw. Also, who or what body declared the winner ineligible and on what basis and based on what authority? Did this declaration of ineligibility occurred during a meeting or after the fact?
  20. Quorum, Board, General, Bylaws,

    I concur with my colleagues and with the advice of Josh Martin. Hopefully, at least some of the resignations haven't been accepted yet or haven't become effective yet. As to the resignation of the past president, assuming he is a member automatically by virtue of being the immediate past president, there seems to be a split of opinion among our regular posters as to whether such an immediate past president can resign. RONR is silent on that particular point. That might be a matter of bylaws interpretation which can be done only by your organization. What exactly (don't paraphrase) do your bylaws say about the quorum requirements, resignations, terms of office and filling vacancies? Edited to add: Even if it is possible for the immediate past president to resign (assuming that is what the position is), it is doubtful that he could be replaced sense he is probably the only living person who meets the definition of immediate past president. Having an immediate past president serve automatically is very often problematic for this very reason.
  21. Correcting minutes

    I disagree. RONR does say that committees usually don't need formal minutes, but, without a doubt, every society and every committee is free to decide what it will put into its minutes and other records. If a committee wants detailed minutes, it may have detailed minutes. It is not for us to tell them what must and must not be in their minutes and Records
  22. Correcting minutes

    The society itself is the ultimate judge of what should and should not be included in the minutes. This can be determined by rule, by custom, or on a case-by-case basis. However, as you can see, when the minutes get into "he said - she said", it becomes very problematic. The minutes are intended to be a legal record of what was done, not what was said.
  23. Nominating Committee

    The members of the board of directors are free to lobby the members of the nominating committee to nominate their preferred candidates just as are all members of the society. The nominating committee is free to accept or reject these suggestions. I suppose the board of directors could pass a resolution urging the nominating committee to nominate certain persons, but the nominating committee is free to ignore that request. I also think that such a request would be highly unusual and inappropriate, but I don't know that it would violate any particular rule in RONR. Perhaps someone else is aware of such a rule. It seems to me that it would be inappropriate for the board of directors, in a meeting, to openly question the nominating committee about its reasons for selecting certain nominees. However, I think it is perfectly permissible for the members of the board to privately question the members of the nominating committee. The members of the nominating committee are free to respond or not respond as they choose. Stay tuned for other points of view.
  24. You actually should not even vote to accept it. The chair sit simply thinks the treasurer for his report and then moves on to the next item of business. However, the president may say something to the effect of. "Thank you Mr. Treasurer. Your report will be placed on file". You do not approve it. You do not accept it. You merely place it on file without voting on it.
  25. elect a candidate by acclamation

    If Mr. A is the only nominee and there is a ballot vote, how would he not win unless there is not a single vote for him or there are enough write-in candidates that he fails to get a majority? On a ballot vote in an election, you do not vote Yes or no. You vote only for people. There is no "NO" vote. If there is only one person who votes for him, and no write in votes, he wins. However, if he fails to receive a majority of the votes cast, you just keep voting. You can also reopen nominations. If the group still fails to elect someone, then you have no election for that office. You then try again at the next meeting. At some point, depending on your bylaws, that might turn into a vacancy which is to be filled according to your method of filling vacancies. You should not just leave the position vacant. You find a way to fill it. But, until it is filled, it may indeed be vacant unless your bylaws provide that officers serve until their successors are elected.
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