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Shmuel Gerber

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Everything posted by Shmuel Gerber

  1. Quorum for Public Comment & Work Session

    But if a board is required to hear public comment, and there is no quorum of board members present, then the board has not, as a board, held the required hearing.
  2. In organizations of men, perhaps. But you know that women have been around just about as long as men have, right?
  3. No, that's not it. As stated on pages 272-273, a motion can be divided only if (a) each part presents a proper question regardless of the adoption of the other parts, AND (b) the effect of adopting all the separate parts is the same as adopting the motion as a whole, AND (c) the parts are easily separated, requiring at most an essentially mechanical separation, with appropriate minor grammatical adjustments. If the motion is thus divisible: (i) it must be divided on the demand of a single of member if it consists of a series of independent resolutions or main motions dealing with different subjects, or if it is a divisible series of amendments to a main motion offered in one motion; (ii) otherwise, it requires a majority vote (or unanimous consent) to divide the question.
  4. How is the word "members" ambiguous in these hypothetical bylaws?
  5. Exceptions

    This presents an interesting question. On the one hand, it is obvious that a committee should not be recommending actions that cannot be validly adopted by the assembly. On the other hand, I don't think it necessarily violates any rule of parliamentary procedure for the committee to do so. In other words, based solely on the rules in RONR, I would tend to think that a committee chairman cannot rule that a particular recommendation is out of order on the basis that the assembly cannot validly adopt it, but rather this consideration must be part of the committee's deliberative process. And in this particular case, I suspect that making that very determination -- as to whether a particular proposal meets all policy requirements of the organization -- is one of the committee's primary duties.
  6. Well, RONR (11th ed., p. 588) says, "The interpretation should be in accordance with the intention of the society at the time the bylaw was adopted, as far as this can be determined." Even if you think that RONR is wrong about this, and that "intention" is not relevant, wouldn't you agree that it's important to consider what the language would have meant to members of the particular society whose bylaws they are, rather than what it would have meant to the public?
  7. Which of the types of reports discussed on pages 514-525 would the committee's report be? And are the recommendations on a single subject or separate subjects?
  8. Debate on Appeal Decision of Chair

    That's an interesting idea, but I think the only thing the chair is actually ruling on is whether the point of order is or is not well taken. Presumably, the member had intended that if the point was well taken, then the amendment should be declared invalid; if not, then the amendment will stand. When the chair rules that the point is not well taken because it comes too late, it means that it is too late to invalidate the amendment, and he or she is ruling that the amendment stands for that reason. It would be different, for example, if the chair ruled that a point of order was not in order because it is unrelated to the business of the assembly, or that it cannot interrupt the member who has the floor because it does not need attention at that time (e.g., it relates to the absence of a quorum and the member who has the floor is merely speaking in debate). In such cases, then I think it could properly be said that an appeal from the decision of the chair involves the Point of Order itself.
  9. Debate on Appeal Decision of Chair

    Guest Hawk, a.k.a. Polaris, a.k.a. LLT, a.k.a. D. LLama, a.k.a. we know what your real name is -- Please either post using your real name, or stick to one pseudonym -- and you should register it so that you can edit posts when needed (i.e., when you want to add or clarify something immediately after posting). There's no use in constantly choosing new pseudonyms, and I happen to find it annoying.
  10. Signs for meetings?

    I don't understand how the chair will always know when a member is going off-topic until the interpretation is done, unless the chair knows all the languages, and even in that case, the other members need to know what was said in case they want to appeal the chair's decision. It is not uncommon, however, for a timekeeper to hold up a sign when a member's time (or all the members' time) for debate has expired.
  11. Either to leave things be or to apply the rules. If push comes to shove, the written rules take precedence of a custom that is in conflict with them (see RONR, 11th ed., p. 19). And the rules in RONR are clear that one session cannot tie the hands of a majority at the next session by postponing a matter to any time beyond the next session (see p. 87, ll. 6-21 and p. 183, ll. 3-17). In any event, even if the postponement were proper, the assembly can, by a two-thirds vote or unanimous consent, take up a question before the time to which it was postponed (see p. 363) or adopt an agenda that is in conflict with the existing order of business (see p. 372, ll. 11-22). And any point of order regarding the lack of a sufficient vote for a procedural action such as this would have to be made at the time the action is taken (see pp. 250-251).
  12. For the same reason, the cognoscenti always refer to the /pri-ZY-dent/ and /VIEs pri-ZY-dents/.
  13. Able to limit detail of a motion in the minutes?

    That's too bad. Robert's Rules of Order is for ladies and gentlemen (and children of all ages). So, for example, if thieves and bandits wish to use it for their meetings, they must at least be gentlemen thieves and bandits -- no cussing allowed.
  14. I assume that each of these meetings is a separate session, in which case the errors actually begin at the first meeting. It is not permissible to postpone a question to any time beyond the next session, so the original postponement is not in order, and a majority in the assembly has the right to consider the motion at the second meeting.
  15. Well, let's just say that item (a) on the list is close enough for government work.
  16. Running unopposed

    "Sour grapes" is when someone who doesn't get what he wants then denigrates the former object of his desire. What you're describing is just a sore loser.
  17. Seconding a motion

    Ok. I wasn't really paying attention to the fact that SaintCad was responding to what you had said. I was thinking about "preventing" in terms of the normal way of doing business at a meeting.
  18. Does the Senate have a rule that meetings end at the expiration of the "scheduled meeting time"? Or, in other words, who decided that the meeting will end at a particular time? If the decision wasn't made by a valid action of the Senate itself (such as the adoption of an agenda for the meeting that includes a scheduled time for adjournment) or in some manner authorized by a specific rule of the Senate, then the meeting isn't adjourned until the Senate decides to adjourn. A motion to adjourn can be made even while some other question is pending.
  19. Special Meeting Minutes Requirement

    Josh, you may have missed the post where DanL quotes the bylaws with specific provisions relating to resignations.
  20. Voting on Four Options

    I am following this topic to see how long it is before a gerbil ball enters the discussion. (Oops, looks like one just did.)
  21. Seconding a motion

    What Mr. Martin wrote is perfectly logical, yet SaintCad makes a good case. Regardless of how absurd the results may seem, I agree with Mr. Brown that if the rules in RONR apply to meetings of this association, then before a motion is stated by the chair, it needs to be seconded by a member other than the one who made it. After all, as Guest David Wilder mentioned to begin with, there would be no point in even having meetings and motions and debates if one member controls the outcome anyway. Yet the association has adopted rules for having and conducting such meetings, so perhaps it ought to follow those rules.
  22. Yet I don't think that that history of the Previous Question quite explains how it got its name. Jefferson's Manual says, 'When any question is before the House, any member may move a previous question, "Whether that question (called the main question) shall now be put?"' So, apparently this (or some earlier form of this) "previous question" (i.e., a question that has to be decided before consideration of the main question can continue) got so infamous that it became known simply as the Previous Question.
  23. Try https://archive.org/details/Robertsrulesofor00robe_201303