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Josh Martin

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Everything posted by Josh Martin

  1. That would make more sense, thanks. Although that still leaves the rather concerning matter that the bylaws are apparently unclear on what “certain items” e-mail voting is authorized for. Well, if we equate “didn’t know how to challenge the chair on the issue” with “consent,” sure.
  2. Reporting Committees

    The society could authorize the subcommittee to include members who are not members of the committee. ”Subcommittees must consist of members of the committee, except when otherwise authorized by the society in cases where the committee is appointed to take action that requires the assistance of others.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 497) No, unless authorized by the society.
  3. I think a videoconference would be fine, if authorized by the bylaws. This would still meet the bylaws requirement that members are permitted “to appear and present evidence and argument” at an appeal hearing held on a particular date. I concur that the organization is not required to use the trial procedures in RONR for the appeal hearing. If it wishes, the organization may develop its own procedures instead, so long as those procedures are consistent with the organization’s bylaws. It seems to me that the disciplinary procedures discussed here are extensive enough that they are likely intended to replace, rather than merely modify, the trial procedure in RONR. With that said, coming up with rules for a trial is a lot of work, so using RONR’s rules as a baseline, modified as necessary to comply with the bylaws and to meet the society’s needs, would seem prudent.
  4. I don’t understand what this means. Robert’s Rules does not permit voting by e-mail. Do you mean to say that you have adopted rules in your bylaws that permit voting by e-mail? In the event that a non-member is disorderly, the chair may order him removed, subject to appeal. Beyond that, the chair has no authority to decide whether non-members may be present. Well, I don’t know that one event establishes a custom, but yes, the assembly’s reactions may eventually establish a custom, or the assembly may adopt formal rules on the subject. I rather that doubt that this is a public body. The assembly seems to have been shocked and appalled that a non-member was attending, while this would presumably be a regular occurrence for a public body.
  5. It seems to me that if the bylaws authorize voting by e-mail, the votes described in this procedure could be taken by e-mail, although I think that the hearing itself (if the accused avails himself of this option) would need to be held at a meeting. The bylaws supersede RONR in all areas where they conflict, but RONR may still be a useful resource. RONR describes the procedures for a trial in great detail, which could supplement the procedures in the bylaws.
  6. This is governed by the assembly’s rules or customs. In some assemblies, no non-members are permitted to attend unless their presence is objected to. In others, they are not permitted to attend unless specifically permitted. If this is becoming a problem, the council is free to adopt rules on this subject, but the council cannot vote outside of a meeting unless the bylaws so provide. EDIT: Changed “members” to “non-members.”
  7. No Candidate Term limits

    Sure, but if we go into the longer view, where the bylaws can be amended, there are also much less drastic options, such as amending the bylaws to remove the term limits, or perhaps replacing this position with a committee if it’s too much work for one person.
  8. No Candidate Term limits

    But shutting down the organization would require the same procedures as amending the bylaws, and the entire problem is that there isn’t sufficient time to do that.
  9. absentee ballots

    Yes, you are wrong. A quorum is the number of members that must be present to conduct business. It has nothing to do with how many members are voting. A member who is present, but abstains, still counts toward the quorum.
  10. No Candidate Term limits

    Perhaps the society could elect someone else to the position with the understanding that you will advise and assist him in his duties. Members may be more willing to serve if they know that they can expect help. This would seem to be a viable workaround until the bylaws can be amended.
  11. Process To Null An Unnecessary Election

    If the positions are in fact elected by the membership (which is my interpretation), the President cannot “reject” them. Additionally, the fact that the President was absent does not undermine the validity of the election. Well, then it would seem logical to amend the bylaws to remove the provision “The President shall appoint at least one Board Member at Large to coordinate special interest group activities,” but until that is done, the President shall have to appoint at least one of the board members at large to coordinate special interest group activities. There does not appear to be anything “improper” about the existing bylaws, but the society certainly may amend the bylaws as it wishes.
  12. Process To Null An Unnecessary Election

    Didn’t the membership already have an election?
  13. Process To Null An Unnecessary Election

    This seems like a very hard sell, since the bylaws specifically provide for two members at large. I think a more reasonable argument would be that there are two members at large, and one of them is appointed by the President. But I agree with J. J. and Mr. Goodwiller that the more logical reading of the bylaws is that both members are elected by the membership and the President appoints one (or both) of them to coordinate special interest group activities.
  14. If the amendments are unrelated, however, a single member could demand a separate vote on a particular amendment.
  15. Dealing with an Executive Committee

    First, forget about this idea of declaring the EC to be “compromised.” RONR has no such motion, so unless your bylaws define this, any such motion will be purely symbolic. The question is whether the General Membership may act on this issue. As a general rule, the answer is “yes.” The exception would be if the bylaws grant the Executive Committee exclusive authority in this area. If so, then the answer is “no.” Since I assume the statement “all authority to deal with any issues” is a paraphrase, and not the actual language defining the Executive Committee’s authority, I don’t think I have enough information to determine which is the case. (If it’s not a paraphrase, I think you’re out of luck. “All” sounds like “exclusive” to me.) If the board does have exclusive authority in this regard, the general membership might still have other recourse, such as disciplining the members of the Executive Committee (possibly up to and including removing and replacing them), electing new members in the next regular election, or amending the bylaws.
  16. No Quorum

    The issue of board meetings was introduced by SFHA Bubba, who is not the original poster and is talking about a different organization. I hope that clears up the confusion.
  17. No Quorum

    Sure. For example, suppose there are four board members present, who are also parent members, and four other parent members present. That seems sufficient to me. “The quorum for a general membership meeting must consist of a representation by at least 8 association members, including a minimum of 2 executive board members and 6 parent members.”
  18. No Quorum

    As I understand the facts, the officers have been absent from meetings of the general membership, not from the Board of Directors. Additionally, the board cannot act in the absence of a quorum, so this rule doesn’t protect you as much as you think.
  19. The vote is invalid, but the error won’t fix itself. The chair should rule at the next meeting that the vote is null and void. Exactly how it occurred. The minutes are a record of what was done, whether or not what was done was proper. The minutes of your next meeting will include the chair’s ruling on this subject, along with his reasoning.
  20. Planning Commission Term Expired

    How is the term of office defined? Does it say that they serve “until their successors are elected?”
  21. No Quorum

    I might be missing something, but it seems that there would not have been a quorum even if the Secretary and Treasurer had attended. Your bylaws require eight members for a quorum, and you say that “two parents and myself, along with coordinator” were present. That makes four people. With the Secretary and Treasurer, there would have been six, which is still less than eight. I would still like an answer to Mr. Brown’s question about what officers, specifically, are members of the Executive Board. You say that the Secretary and Treasurer will not attend meetings. Are they the only other members of the Executive Board, besides yourself, or are there others? As to the problem of not enough members generally attending the meetings, I suggest free food and other efforts to get enough members to attend a meeting where the bylaws can be amended to reduce the number of general members that must be present and eliminate the rule requiring a certain number of executive board members.
  22. Recording names of seconders in minutes?

    I don’t see what’s wrong with you just continuing to serve as de facto parliamentarian. But if you insist, I suggest simply “The Parliamentarian is free to participate in debate, make motions, and vote in all cases.” It is not necessary to say that the Parliamentarian retains the rights of membership, because he already does. Under RONR, the parliamentarian refrains from exercising those rights (except to vote when the vote is taken by ballot). I concur with Mr. Brown that a special rule of order is sufficient.
  23. Do your bylaws have rules governing discipline? What was the full procedure for this - was there simply a motion and vote to suspend them, or were there procedures leading up to it? Did the notice of the meeting include the business to be considered at the meeting? The President is mistaken in his claim that RONR requires an agenda. They may be thinking of the requirement that the call of a special meeting must include the business to be considered.
  24. Nullify election and hold a new election

    Throw it in the garbage. This is not an official edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. See here for how to get The Right Book.
  25. Voting of members not present

    None of this violates any rule in RONR. It appears that the member was present when he made the motion and when he voted. That’s what counts. The fact that he was not present at the previous meeting is irrelevant. Indeed, the member would still have had the right to vote even if he had not read the transcript.