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Does the very act of making a motion during an executive session cause the session to become open, and thus allow the motion to be recorded in the minutes?  Our chairman is of the opinion that any motion made during an executive session is to be recorded in the minutes. I am new at this, but thought that if the chairman wanted the motion to be recorded in the minutes, she would need to actually state that the executive session has ended prior to the motion being made.  Which is correct?  Thank you!      

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Your chairman is correct that 'any motion made during an executive session is to be recorded in the minutes', but that has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a meeting is in executive session or not. Minutes are taken at all meetings, regardless of whether they are held in executive session or not. Note though, that the minutes of an executive session are kept separate from the minutes of open session, and should be approved only in an executive session.

Edited to add:  Of course only motions that would normally be recorded in open session minutes are included in executive session minutes. Not all motions are included in minutes.

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I agree with Bruce Lages and would add or make clear that making s motion in executive session does not cause the executive session to end or to become "open".

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...so to make sure I am straight, motions made in executive sessions stay in the executive session minutes, and any motion that she wants recorded in the open minutes need to have been after she actually states that we are back in open session, correct?  Thanks again!

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Correct, except that leaving executive session isn't something that someone just "states." It requires an action of the body. It may, of course, be done by unanimous consent, but that is different than just "stating" it. If a majority of those present wish to remain in executive session, they have a right to do so.

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Greg, wouldn't it be at least half of the body wishing to stay in executive session be sufficient since it takes a majority to move out of executive session?

This is an honest question since RONR seems silent on how a body goes beck into an open session.

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7 hours ago, SaintCad said:

Greg, wouldn't it be at least half of the body wishing to stay in executive session be sufficient since it takes a majority to move out of executive session?

This is an honest question since RONR seems silent on how a body goes beck into an open session.

Yes, I think this is right.

If an assembly is meeting in executive session as a result of having adopted a motion to do so, adoption of a motion to go out of executive session will require a majority vote for its adoption.

There could, I suppose, be occasions in which a motion to go out of executive session will require more than a majority vote for its adoption (for example, if an assembly is meeting in executive session as a result of having adopted a motion to consider and vote on a particular resolution in executive session, and a motion is made to go out of executive session during the consideration of this resolution). 

Edited by Daniel H. Honemann
Added the last paragraph.

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Yes, and I think that is what I said - or at least, it is what i intended to say. My point was only that a majority rules. The presiding officer can't just make a declaration that an executive session is ended.

Although to Mr. Honemann's example, I'm a bit unclear myself about what should happen if an executive session is explicitly for the purpose of dealing with a particular item of business. As he states, a motion to leave executive session while that matter is pending would require more than a majority vote. But what about if that item has been dealt with? Would it be proper to take up anything else? And if not, why would a motion to end the executive session be necessary? RONR really says very little about Executive Sessions - just the bits on pages 95-96, and 229-230, plus some provisions related to disciplinary proceedings.

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12 hours ago, Greg Goodwiller said:

Yes, and I think that is what I said - or at least, it is what i intended to say. My point was only that a majority rules. The presiding officer can't just make a declaration that an executive session is ended.

Although to Mr. Honemann's example, I'm a bit unclear myself about what should happen if an executive session is explicitly for the purpose of dealing with a particular item of business. As he states, a motion to leave executive session while that matter is pending would require more than a majority vote. But what about if that item has been dealt with? Would it be proper to take up anything else? And if not, why would a motion to end the executive session be necessary? RONR really says very little about Executive Sessions - just the bits on pages 95-96, and 229-230, plus some provisions related to disciplinary proceedings.

Perhaps the reason why there is so little said in RONR concerning motions to go out of executive session is because so much depends upon exactly what motion or rule caused the assembly to be meeting in executive session in the first place.  :)

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On 8/17/2017 at 5:51 AM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Yes, I think this is right.

If an assembly is meeting in executive session as a result of having adopted a motion to do so, adoption of a motion to go out of executive session will require a majority vote for its adoption.

There could, I suppose, be occasions in which a motion to go out of executive session will require more than a majority vote for its adoption (for example, if an assembly is meeting in executive session as a result of having adopted a motion to consider and vote on a particular resolution in executive session, and a motion is made to go out of executive session during the consideration of this resolution). 

 

I think that once an assembly goes into executive session, it has completely  put the motion to go into executive session into effect.  A motion to go out of executive session is a new motion.  Usually both are adopted by unanimous consent.

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13 hours ago, J. J. said:

 

I think that once an assembly goes into executive session, it has completely  put the motion to go into executive session into effect. 

This is certainly the case if the motion which is adopted is a motion "that the open portion of this meeting be declared ended and that our guests be excused", as in the example on page 230, or simply a motion "to go into executive session."

However, as previously noted, in determining what kind of motion and what vote will be required in order to go from executive session into open session, much depends upon exactly what motion or rule caused the assembly to be meeting in executive session in the first place. 

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6 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

This is certainly the case if the motion which is adopted is a motion "that the open portion of this meeting be declared ended and that our guests be excused", as in the example on page 230, or simply a motion "to go into executive session."

However, as previously noted, in determining what kind of motion and what vote will be required in order to go from executive session into open session, much depends upon exactly what motion or rule caused the assembly to be meeting in executive session in the first place. 

A special rule of order is a different matter, at least potentially.

I am, however, at a loss to see how a motion to go into executive session could be constructed to require more that a majority vote to come out of executive session, unless the rules were suspended.  I could see a motion "That the assembly go into executive session and remain their until adjournment," but it might require a 2/3 vote. 

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1 hour ago, J. J. said:

I am, however, at a loss to see how a motion to go into executive session could be constructed to require more that a majority vote to come out of executive session, unless the rules were suspended.  I could see a motion "That the assembly go into executive session and remain their until adjournment," but it might require a 2/3 vote. 

What rule must be suspended in order for an assembly to agree to go into and remain in executive session until adjournment?

 

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3 hours ago, J. J. said:

am, however, at a loss to see how a motion to go into executive session could be constructed to require more that a majority vote to come out of executive session

JJ, that's not what Dan was talking about.

When he said, on Thursday, at 5:51 PM (my time; a little later in Philly and, as tiresomely usual, slightly higher in Canada) (and boy those time-stamps come in handy.  Oh, and I love Big Brother now too) this:

On 8/17/2017 at 5:51 AM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

There could, I suppose, be occasions in which a motion to go out of executive session will require more than a majority vote for its adoption (for example, if an assembly is meeting in executive session as a result of having adopted a motion to consider and vote on a particular resolution in executive session, and a motion is made to go out of executive session during the consideration of this resolution). 

-- I think he was clearly referring to the fact that leaving executive session, like entering it, entails using a main motion, which is prohibited when the base resolution is pending.  Hence the need for a 2/3 vote to, um, do something slick.*

__________

* Please remind me to look up that choice bit in Nero Wolfe, so I can cite it perfectly.

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

What rule must be suspended in order for an assembly to agree to go into and remain in executive session until adjournment?

 

Well, if the motion "to go into executive session for the rest of the meeting" is adopted, it would have to be rescinded in order to come out of executive session.  That was only thing I could see as an example. 

I'm trying to find an example that would need a 2/3 vote to leave executive session.

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19 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Well, if the motion "to go into executive session for the rest of the meeting" is adopted, it would have to be rescinded in order to come out of executive session.  That was only thing I could see as an example. 

I'm trying to find an example that would need a 2/3 vote to leave executive session.

Well, you just provided us with one where more than a majority vote will be required.

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47 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, you just provided us with one where more than a majority vote will be required.

Well, I can't come up with a motion to go out of executive session that would required a 2/3 vote.

If there were a special rule that said, "All meetings shall be held in executive session," I could see a 2/3 needed to go into open session, but I think that would be a motion to suspend the rules. 

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If the motion to enter executive session included conditions, and those conditions have not yet been met, then the motion to exit executive session is a main motion which conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force (since questions of privilege are main motions). As a result, the motion to exit executive session requires a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice. For instance, the assembly may have adopted a motion "to hold the meeting in executive session until the pending main motion is disposed of."

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1 hour ago, Josh Martin said:

If the motion to enter executive session included conditions, and those conditions have not yet been met, then the motion to exit executive session is a main motion which conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force (since questions of privilege are main motions). As a result, the motion to exit executive session requires a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice. For instance, the assembly may have adopted a motion "to hold the meeting executive session until the pending main motion is disposed of."

I (Dan Honemann, posting from my office and hence disguised as Scorpion) agree.

Under the circumstances described, a motion to go out of executive session can simply be treated as a motion to rescind the unexecuted part of the order previously adopted, even although not framed as such.

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On 8/19/2017 at 4:34 PM, Guest Nancy N. said:

leaving executive session, like entering it, entails using a main motion, which is prohibited when the base resolution is pending.  Hence the need for a 2/3 vote to, um, do something slick.*

 

15 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

questions of privilege

 

14 hours ago, Scorpion said:

a motion to go out of executive session can simply be treated as a motion to rescind the unexecuted part of the order previously adopted,

OK, I got that wrong:  overlooking that, while the base motion is pending, a motion to leave executive session is an interrupting question of privilege.

Edited by Gary c Tesser
fixing punctuation

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8 minutes ago, Gary c Tesser said:

OK, I got that wrong, overlooking that, while the base motion is pending, a motion to leave executive session is an interrupting question of privilege.

While the vote required to leave may be different than entering, it needs to be treated as the motion to enter it would, or, if not, how would you ever get to it in the middle of dealing with a pending main motion?

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2 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

While the vote required to leave may be different than entering, it needs to be treated as the motion to enter it would, or, if not, how would you ever get to it in the middle of dealing with a pending main motion?

That's what I'm tangling mylesf in knots about.

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4 minutes ago, Gary c Tesser said:

That's what I'm tangling mylesf in knots about.

I think you can untangle yourlesf.

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3 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

OK, I got that wrong, overlooking that, while the base motion is pending, a motion to leave executive session is an interrupting question of privilege.

Yes, it is, and it is also a main motion. Questions of privilege are special in this regard. See RONR, 11th ed., pg. 225.

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