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Joshua Katz

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About Joshua Katz

  1. Roll Call Vote Election

    This is just election by blank-filling, is it not? (But how do you sequence the candidates? By pre-election polling?)
  2. Roll Call Vote Election

    I'm curious - what is the alternative where they vote more than once?
  3. Motion from out of town members

    Well, certainly agree with that. I got interested in parliamentary procedure because I used to go to meetings that ran hours and accomplished nothing - and the only reason they weren't longer was that the library closed at 9. But I think it's important that we emphasize not to engage in formalism for its own sake. The General emphasized this, and I think he got it right. I hear from too many people "well, yea, our meetings suck, but if we used RONR, they'd still suck because we'd be arguing about the rules instead of going in circles." Important to show these people that that outcome isn't predetermined.
  4. Elections for President/Vice-President

    That's not the contradiction. The contradiction (which is resolvable) is that it also says the officers are elected, without including any exception. The President is an officer, and is not elected.
  5. Motion from out of town members

    There are a few question types that I suspect embody some misconceptions about parliamentary procedure. This is one of them. It's hard to say what, but there seems to be some sort of mistake underlying an issue of this type. I've seen the same thing in some organizations - well, this is a motion to give money to this state, so this person from that state should make it. A theory: as I mentioned in an earlier thread today, it reflects a belief (which, to be fair, we parliamentarians don't always do much to dispel) that many, or most, rules are about formalisms, and procedure for its own sake. I ran into this, in a few ways, when I taught a class last summer for municipal officials. First, there was my boss, who pulled me aside to say that, yes, he knows I'm a parliamentarian, but please, don't insist on government officials engaging in mindless formalisms. I was taken aback because when he said it, I was working on a class outline that focused on why parliamentary procedure isn't a bunch of mindless formalisms. Then there were the students. I walked in prepared to explain the practical value of our rules and how they facilitate, not hinder, business - and I found that most of the questions I got during class assumed that parliamentarians love formalism for its own sake (aside from a few that, I suspect, might have been attempts to develop strategies for hindering business). It's an interesting dilemma.
  6. Elections for President/Vice-President

    You don't, based on what you've posted, have the ability to force him out of office (except as a disciplinary measure). Since the Vice President is elected, and the President can fill vacancies in elected office (with the approval of the Executive Board, and I'm sure you know what that means, though I'm not sure I do), it seems to me that the President can fill a vacancy in the Vice President office. Of course, the bylaws contain a pretty obvious contradiction - all offices are elected, but somehow the President isn't - but the more specific provision prevails, presumably. Should you somehow wind up without a Vice-President when it's time for the VP to ascend, it seems to me you'd be stuck electing a President under the provision that the executive officers are elected, but that's just my opinion since this is a matter of bylaw interpretation. You don't get to set any special requirements for office not in the bylaws, though.
  7. That much seems clear, I think. What I'm less clear about is whether the Executive Board could authorize a procedure whereby 10% of the income from an activity is credited to a committee. I understand that this might not have been adopted at all, but I'm just expressing doubt that it would be effective (together with any limits, such as the chairperson having to attend) even if there were a board vote. I'm even less clear on what purpose it would serve, but that's because I'm not a member and not privy to how your organization does things.
  8. Well, she did agree, but I'm not sure exactly what complaint you can make (other than rudeness) given that there was no entitlement in the first place. I'm not convinced even a vote of the board is sufficient for what you're trying to do, but I'm not a member.
  9. I only glanced through, but I don't see that. It seems to me that your executive board is simply your board, and it consists of the officers plus the principal. Which still leaves me confused about this: If I ignore the word "board" here, and deduce that you're a PTO member but not on the board, then, indeed, you have no right to the board minutes, and no right to attend board meetings. The board, though, may permit others to attend, including inviting two people and no one else. I see no contrary rules in the bylaws. The bylaws have some issues, and I think there are some problems with the monetary procedures you outline as having been adopted by the board. All payments, it appears, need to be budgeted or else approved by the membership. Either the members approved this earmarking, in which case the board can't contradict them, or they didn't, in which case I'm not sure the board can. But I also don't know why the committee wants the money - it appears that its function is to raise money, not spend it. In any case, unless the committee was appointed with power, by a body eligible to do so (I don't think the board is, although that may be a question of bylaw interpretation) it can't spend money except as budgeted. Although it does appear the committee chairs can make contracts with approval of the membership. Your financial affairs are confusing, but suffice it to say, I think there are many issues here.
  10. Authority to Un-appoint?

    Like everything else in those bylaws. Good luck.
  11. The only thing I can add to Mr. Brown's answer is that the membership can, by a 2/3 vote, require the board to produce its minutes.
  12. board member

    I'm not really sure what's being asked, but I'll address a few things I think might be asked. Some topic being on the agenda is not the same thing as a motion being made on it. An agenda item might read "Clubhouse issue," and a motion might be made, when that item comes up, to paint the clubhouse red. As a general matter, if you're not using small board rules, all discussion must be on a motion. This isn't some useless formalism - if the agenda item is "clubhouse issue" and you permitted debate without a motion, you'd end up talking in circles for hours. By requiring that debate be on a motion, everyone knows what's being discussed, and you'll get comments (hopefully) in favor of, or against, red. If someone wants green, they'll either speak against red, or move to amend - and debate will then be on the amendment. At all times, there's a yes/no question under discussion, with focuses debate. Incidentally, we don't recommend agendas be used if meetings are held as often as quarterly; following a standard order of business tends to work just fine in such cases.
  13. Budget

    Adoption of a budget doesn't approve the payment of amounts listed, unless you have a special rule to the contrary. Action is needed (from whoever is authorized to take it) to pay any budgeted amounts, and no action is needed to not pay budgeted amounts. Similarly, you don't need any special action to pay less than what is budgeted - just move to pay the amount you're going to pay. Incidentally, I don't think the description of the situation is quite right. An offsetting donation, even if restricted to a particular use, doesn't decrease any expense line, it just increases a revenue line. If you had budgeted $100 of charitable giving, and someone gives you $20 towards that end, that's a $20 revenue, and the charitable giving expense remains at $100 - you receive the money and still write out a check for $100.
  14. I'm inclined to say it is in the nature of a rule of order, but suspending it may depend on the rest of the bylaw structure (and the fact situation). The question is who it is protecting, which depends on seeing the rest of the provisions. Unless the bylaws make such a rule suspendable, for instance, I'd say it may not be suspended if it's role is to prevent people from voting on a restricted range of candidates (if voting takes a month, I'm assuming it's not an in-person process) or to keep in-person votes from being counted together with absentee votes. As a general matter, though, I think it is a rule of order.
  15. Under the rules in RONR, you can move to reopen nominations. However, your rules might prevent that, if they specify that nominations and voting take place in a different month. In addition, if voting takes a month, you're probably not doing it at meetings, and nominations cannot be reopened while voting is going on (just think of the problems that would cause). So, much depends on what exactly your bylaws say about your elections, and even then, it's probably going to be largely a matter of bylaw interpretation, which only your organization can do. That said, is there a prohibition on write-ins?