Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
Tom Coronite

What Vote is Needed?

Recommended Posts

A church executive board, authorized to act for the church between the church's meetings, votes to join the XYZ association of churches. The adopted motion is "to join the XYZ association."

Two years later at a meeting of the church, a motion is made "to terminate membership in the XYZ association." What vote is needed?

Is it 2/3 because it is a motion to rescind something previously adopted, and per Official Interpretation 2006-13?

Or is it a majority vote, because the original motion of the board was complied with (we joined the association) and this is simply a new action?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It think it's your garden variety motion to rescind what was previously adopted.  So it's either a majority vote if previous notice is given, a 2/3 vote, or a vote of a majority of the entire membership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

It think it's your garden variety motion to rescind what was previously adopted.  So it's either a majority vote if previous notice is given, a 2/3 vote, or a vote of a majority of the entire membership.

It seems the key here may be whether previous notice is/was given. With previous notice, just a majority vote needed. [UNLESS there are overriding denominational rules/procedures, etc.].

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, g40 said:

It seems the key here may be whether previous notice is/was given. With previous notice, just a majority vote needed. [UNLESS there are overriding denominational rules/procedures, etc.].

No, the question, as Tom Coronite indicated, is whether or not the motion which was adopted ("to join the XYZ association.") has been fully executed, so that a motion "to terminate membership in the XYZ association" does not conflict with any adopted motion having continuing force and effect.

I think it's an interesting question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

I would say the force of a motion "to join" is exhausted when the act of joining is complete. Had the motion been "to maintain membership" then it would have perpetual force.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

I would say the force of a motion "to join" is exhausted when the act of joining is complete. Had the motion been "to maintain membership" then it would have perpetual force.

Would you say the same if the motion to terminate membership was not 2 years later? perhaps, the next day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Tom Coronite said:

A church executive board, authorized to act for the church between the church's meetings, votes to join the XYZ association of churches.

The adopted motion is "to join the XYZ association."

Two years later at a meeting of the church, a motion is made "to terminate membership in the XYZ association."

What vote is needed?

Is it 2/3 because it is a motion to rescind something previously adopted, and per Official Interpretation 2006-13?

Or is it a majority vote, because the original motion of the board was complied with (we joined the association) and this is simply a new action?

Good question.

Let me make an analogy.

***

Assume an original main motion, "Resolved, To [paint red] the XYZ association". -- Assume it is adopted in the year 1999.

Once fully executed, once the paint dries, and once time passes, and you then wish to make a serious change in 2017, you don't move "To Rescind the 1999 resolution."

What do you do?

You move a new main motion, "To [verb] the XYZ association."

(fill in the verb: "paint green"? "paint blue"? "strip and varnish"?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

Once fully executed, once the paint dries, and once time passes, and you then wish to make a serious change in 2017, you don't move "To Rescind the 1999 resolution."

 

I agree, but I think it's a somewhat odd consequence that, if a majority can be mustered to paint it green prior to the painting being done, but not a majority of the membership or a 2/3 vote, they cannot prevent the red-painting, but can then paint over it.  That majority can still control the color, they just have to waste red paint first. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

I agree, but I think it's a somewhat odd consequence that, if a majority can be mustered to paint it green prior to the painting being done, but not a majority of the membership or a 2/3 vote, they cannot prevent the red-painting, but can then paint over it.  That majority can still control the color, they just have to waste red paint first. 

I'd find it odd if the rules didn't stop a temporary majority, when no previous notice has been given, from rescinding or changing something previously adopted at an earlier session.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Tom Coronite said:

Do you have an interesting opinion?  :-)

 

Not really, but I should say that I do not think that the fact that the motion to join the XYZ association was adopted by the board (which, I understand, had authority to do so) makes any difference in determining the vote now required to adopt a motion to terminate that membership.

I do think that some additional facts might be helpful. For example, does membership in the XYZ association require that something be done from time to time on a continuing basis (payment of dues, for example)? If so, has the satisfaction or performance of any such continuing obligation been regarded as something that the church has already committed itself to do as a result of having adopted the motion to join, or have one or more additional motions requiring satisfaction of any such obligation been made and adopted?  I suspect that the latter may be the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no required actions to continue membership. But what you have suspected is the case; we do, time to time, adopt a motion to support the organization financially.

I had not considered that as having a bearing on the situation, but that makes sense that it would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Tom Coronite said:

There are no required actions to continue membership. But what you have suspected is the case; we do, time to time, adopt a motion to support the organization financially.

I had not considered that as having a bearing on the situation, but that makes sense that it would.

Well, if joining this organization doesn't entail any continuing obligations at all, I don't see why a motion to terminate membership should require anything more than a majority vote. 

But why not give previous notice anyway. Whatcha got to lose?  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. But in church meetings, so often things are driven by emotions and spur of the moment decisions, rather than planning. I suppose other groups, too.  :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
17 hours ago, Tom Coronite said:

Would you say the same if the motion to terminate membership was not 2 years later? perhaps, the next day?

Yes, if "joining" is complete by the next day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is one of those cases where wording is everything.  The motion to join is executed as soon as they become a member whereas if the motion were "To be a member/associate/??? of XXX organization." then it is ongoing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, SaintCad said:

I think this is one of those cases where wording is everything.  The motion to join is executed as soon as they become a member whereas if the motion were "To be a member/associate/??? of XXX organization." then it is ongoing.

Well, if you think that this is a case where wording is everything, I suggest you look again at the way in which main motions are to be phrased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, if you think that this is a case where wording is everything, I suggest you look again at the way in which main motions are to be phrased.

Why?  Do you disagree with me or just manufacturing something to be contrary about?  And if I'm wrong and you have a point to make with regards to RONR why not come out and cite the page and lines rather than this mysterious "I am Dan and make ambiguous allusions to rules so that I look like I know more than everyone else."

As for the OP it doesn't really matter how things should be done in Danland, What matters is the actual motion that was passed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, you're right, I'm just being a little fussy about that use of the word "to", and the need to begin main motions of this nature with the words "I move that ..." (instead of with "I move to ..."), just as resolutions are to begin with "Resolved, That ...", (not with "Resolved, To ...").* And I really hadn't intended to mention any of this until prompted by your assertion that, in these cases, "wording is everything".  :)

But, if a member, after being recognized by the chair, says "I move to join the ..." or "I move to be a member of the ...", I suppose the assembly will be able to figure out what he means.

----------------------------------

* In this connection, see RONR (11th ed.), page 33, lines 4-14, and pages 104-110.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, when I first offered this question, my thought was the wording is, indeed, crucial. If we'd decided to join the association, my thinking was that we had done that. The action was over and done with, so to leave the association would require only a majority vote. if we'd decided to be a member of the association (or something similar), that implied ongoing membership, so the higher threshold or notice applied.

But the brief discussion about membership requirements and continued actions got me thinking that there would be the indication of the will of the assembly, rather than in the  wording of the original motion. I do think both aspects are helpful, but the former more so.

As we continue to make voluntary donations to the association, and we participate in its activities, I have a sense that membership is ongoing and desired by the church, so the threshold to rescind or amend would need to be met.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×