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Josh Martin

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Everything posted by Josh Martin

  1. Church Council election

    No. Correct, although I would say “eligible candidate” rather than “nominee.” Write-in votes are permitted. A plurality means that a candidate receives more votes than any other candidate. If there is only one nominee, then that nominee will most likely win, but there could be a very successful write-in campaign. The assembly could also vote to reopen nominations.
  2. I concur with my colleagues, but would add that if flexibility on this subject is desired, the organization could adopt a rule in the bylaws that “The organization may adopt a rule providing for a waiting period for membership.”
  3. Quorum for Public Comment & Work Session

    Conversely, if no business is conducted, no quorum is required.
  4. Public hearings

    The spelling the OP used was “council,” not “counsel,” so I believe the question is about what the role of the council’s members should be during the hearing, not what the role of their attorney should be.
  5. Revisiting a vote

    Based on the facts presented, I do not believe a motion for a revote is in order at this time. It may be in order to rescind or amend what was previously adopted, but as Mr. Huynh notes, it will be necessary to know what you were voting on. As I understand the facts, the committee was choosing between multiple options, and members were erroneously informed that a 2/3 vote (rather than a majority) was required for selection - note the statement that “several runoffs were held.” It seems that the committee eventually selected one of the options. So renewal will not be the proper course of action. It may be in order to rescind or amend the adopted motion, depending on what they were voting on.
  6. Church Council election

    If I understand correctly that there is no clause in the bylaws providing that council members shall serve “until their successors are elected,” then it would appear that the council should elect someone to serve until November 2018, at which time the membership may complete the election, and the person elected at that time shall serve the remainder of the term. I agree that the election of the other officers is null and void because a ballot vote is required by the bylaws and a ballot vote was not taken, but this would not seem to address the OP’s principle concern (that she was not elected).
  7. Okay, but the ambiguity point is important. If there is no ambiguity, then original intent is not relevant.
  8. Church Council election

    And then what happened? Did they proceed to elect someone else, or has the election for this position still not been completed?
  9. Changing election procedure

    Either would work, but I would strongly advise against this. Combining absentee votes and votes at a meeting tends to lead to problems. It would be preferable to either leave it as is, or amend the bylaws so that all members vote prior to the meeting.
  10. Acclamation by 2/3 majority voice vote

    I agree, provide that the bylaws do not require a ballot vote for the election of these positions.
  11. Even if the bylaws are amended, the election of the committee will still be null and void, because its election conflicted with the bylaws in effect at that time. Bylaw amendments take effect immediately, but they are not retroactive. If the society wishes to keep the members it has chosen, it will be necessary to amend the bylaws and to hold a new election.
  12. A Point of Order would have had to be raised at the time.
  13. I’m not sure that a tradition or a posting on the website is sufficient. If the assembly has adopted a rule that all of its regular meetings shall adjourn at a particular time, or if it adopted an agenda or motion providing that this particular meeting would adjourn at a particular time, then the chair may announce the adjournment when that time is reached. If the assembly wished to continue the meeting beyond the scheduled time, this would require a suspension of the rules, or amending the motion or agenda which scheduled the time for adjournment. If no time for adjournment has actually been scheduled by the assembly, then a member could move to adjourn.

    Generally speaking, yes, a Point of Order must be raised promptly at the time of the violation in order to be timely. There are some situations where a violation constitutes a “continuing breach,” but that does not appear to be the case here.
  15. Suspension of rules

    To the best of my knowledge, the rules on this subject have not changed in any significant way. I don’t understand exactly what you mean by this. Could you please elaborate on this question?
  16. Special Meeting Minutes Requirement

    I did miss that part. Thanks. It thus unfortunately seems that, even though the removal was improper, the President and Vice President are certainly out of office now, since they resigned and the bylaws specifically provide that no acceptance of resignations is necessary for them to be effective.
  17. Special Meeting Minutes Requirement

    But as I understand the facts, the election of subsequent officers also occurred at the special meeting, and are therefore also null and void. Additionally, I suspect that the resignations have not yet been accepted. So the removal and the elections could be declared null and void, and the resignations could be withdrawn. It seems to me that the proper course of action would be to raise a Point of Order that the removal and subsequent elections are null and void. If this fails at a board meeting, they can try again at a meeting of the membership. I agree that it would have been preferable if the President and Vice President had not submitted their resignations, but I don’t think it’s time to give up just yet.
  18. So what exactly did you mean when you said “In the past, the executive board has decided the structure of the event.” How were these decisions made?
  19. But you say that “In the past, the executive board has decided the structure of the event.” So while the board may not have made the original decision to hold the event, the board did, at some point, adopt a motion regarding the event.
  20. by law

    Check your bylaws first, and then see RONR, 11th ed., Section 57.
  21. Why not? As I understand the facts, a member spoke, without recognition, after the chair had put the question, possibly even interrupting the actual taking of the vote (although this is unclear). What about this is proper?

    Yes, I think this is all correct, based on the facts which have been provided. It appears to be the chair’s interpretation that the motion conflicts with the constitution, so he should indeed rule the motion out of order. If the chair’s interpretation is correct, the member’s only recourse would be to seek to amend the constitution. I do not have enough facts to answer this question with any confidence, but in order to rule an appeal out of order as dilatory, the rules in question must be so clear on the matter that there cannot possibly be two reasonable opinions on the subject. In my view, this is a very high bar to meet, so I would generally lean toward permitting an appeal. Even assuming that this assumption is correct (and I am not at all certain that it is) this is not necessarily sufficient to conclude that the motion conflicts with the constitution, let alone that the constitution is so clear on this subject that an appeal is dilatory. Intent is not the only factor used in interpreting the meaning of the constitution. Not at all. If the membership sustains the chair’s ruling, the precedent created is that ultimate authority over discipline rests with the board. I disagree. Intent is only one component of interpretation of rules. Intent, in and of itself, is not sufficient to conclude that the motion conflicts with the constitution, let alone sufficient to conclude that an appeal is dilatory. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591. It may well be that the constitution is so clear on this matter that an appeal is dilatory, but I see no reason to assume that this is the case, based on the facts provided. I also do not understand this continued assertion that permitting the membership to interpret the membership’s rules “undermines” the membership’s rules. On the contrary, it would seem to me that the precedent created by such an interpretation will strengthen the membership’s rules and provide additional clarity on the subject.

    It is correct that, if the constitution is so clear on this matter that there cannot possibly be two reasonable opinions on the subject, the chair can and should rule the appeal out of order as dilatory. Since we have not actually seen what the constitution says (we only have a brief paraphrase), however, I am not certain why you are so confident this is the case. This not quite the same thing as saying that the general membership is not the proper body to interpret the rules. Not at all. I am suggesting that the general membership has authority with respect to interpreting the society’s rules, including the constitution. This is a separate question from the appeal process on disciplinary matters in the society’s constitution. If it is in fact correct that the bylaws grant the executive committee exclusive authority regarding disciplinary appeals, then the membership should uphold the chair’s ruling on appeal. The question before the assembly is not whether it agrees with the disciplinary action, but whether the chair’s interpretation of the rules is correct. I have not seen any suggestion that the constitution gives the board the authority to decide appeals on questions of interpreting the constitution, only a suggestion that it gives the board authority to decide disciplinary appeals.

    Yes, this is all correct. What the appeal would be concerning, however, is whether it is in fact correct that the constitution gives the executive committee exclusive authority in this matter. If the membership has the power to amend the constitution, it has the power to decide that question. We’re talking about an appeal of the chair’s ruling, not an appeal of the executive committee’s disciplinary action.