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  2. Yes. Presidents are eligible as any other member to serve on a committee. Some organizations even specify that the President is an ex-officio member of all committees, with one or two standard exceptions.
  3. I have found myself in an odd position. I was nominated for and am running for President of my volunteer fire company. I currently serve on our Bylaws committee which is almost done with a large revision. If I win, I will have to appoint a new committee. This is an ad hoc committee that was appointed by the current president a little over a year ago. If elected I plan on leaving the committee in tact by reappointing all the current members if they are willing to serve. However as President will I be able to serve on a committee? I would normally think no, but as we are finishing up a large task, I would like to be a part of finishing the work I was a part of starting. Our bylaws say nothing on who can serve on committees, We have other officers that serve on various committees, although none of them have appointing authority. This being an ad hoc committee there are no written rules as to how many members can or must serve on it. I just want to avoid the appearance of impropriety or any actual impropriety.
  4. My problems here are these: 1. A defeated bylaw amendment can be reconsidered by a majority vote, even if it requires a 2/3 vote and previous notice. The fact that this does create a problem with absentee rights or the rights of an individual member, tells me that those things do not apply. 2. On its face, a motion "to suspend the rules and permit someone who did not vote on the prevailing side to move to reconsider the motion," does not "obstruct or thwart the will of the assembly." Therefor it does not meet the definition of being a dilatory motion. The assembly, by majority vote, is the ultimate authority on if the motion is dilatory. On the second point, I will concede that there are circumstances where the motion could be dilatory. I think I could say the same about any motion. I will also concede that there might be some other reason for rule the motion "to suspend the rules and permit someone who did not vote on the prevailing side to move to reconsider the motion" out of order in the general case, but not these two reasons.
  5. Building on another thread here, which has to do with my organization, we have a section in our bylaws that requires members to be current in all fines in order to serve in office. However we have no other mention of fines that I can find in the bylaws. They are not mentioned under discipline, where I would have expected to find them. There are a couple of places where it mentions charging members deposits for organizational property they are given, with those fines returned when they resign and return the property. However I see nothing where there is any mention of levying fines or authority granted to either the organization as a whole (membership) or any specific officers, boards or committees to levy fines. I suspect this is a remnant left over from a previous revision of the bylaws, but we don't have archival copies of very may previous versions. It is likely impossible to determine the will of the assembly when passing such a bylaw. I have only been a member for a few years but have never seen someone fined. I am of the opinion that we need to remove this requirement for office unless we decide to add some authority into the bylaws which I have mixed feelings about. From what I have read elsewhere without a bylaw saying we can fine members we can't do so. Since we do lust RONR as parliamentary authority is there any blanket authority to levy fines in there?
  6. While this might be the more time consuming method, I offer the suggestion that in order to fix this by way of amendment the Annual Meeting being a regularly scheduled and called meeting is where such amendment should take place. There may well be other regular meetings throughout the year but apparently amendments can only be voted on at one of them. At least that is my decidedly uneducated and novice opinion of this.
  7. There are several websites which provide for anonymous voting online. Also, online meeting programs such as zoom and Adobe connect have a polling feature which amounts to voting on motions and elections, and it is considered secret as far as the general membership is concerned but I have heard that the actual moderator or organizer or host might be able to see the individual votes. I do not know if that is true. Perhaps some others on here do know and will chime in. edited to add: the websites which provide for secret electronic voting are not free, but they are relatively inexpensive. ElectionBuddy Is one that comes to mind which I have used. The voting is done through what is supposedly secure emails. Each participant is emailed a ballot at the time of voting. A certain amount of time, often just a few minutes, is allowed for the member to vote by what amounts to return email. The votes are tabulated by the website and the individual votes are never seen by the members or organizers of the meeting. They receive only the vote totals Which are shared electronically for all members to see.
  8. Today
  9. While I initially agreed that only a two-thirds vote is required, I have since become persuaded that this is not correct in the instance of a motion to Reconsider made by a member on the non-prevailing side. True, the rules for Reconsider don't say that unanimous consent is required to suspend the rules and allow a member from the losing side to move it. But the rules do lay out what such a member may do to attempt to have the motion reconsidered, I think there is a strong implication that those are the only things they may do. I also recognize that the chair's ruling that a motion to Suspend the Rules by a member from the losing side is not in order could be appealed, and that it would only take a majority to overturn such a ruling. Since there obviously is a difference of opinion among some well-qualified parliamentarians, I would have to say that such an appeal would have to be allowed (i.e., there are at least two reasonable opinions), and the result respected at least for that particular instance. That's why I think it would be great if an official interpretation could be added to the RONR web site. (I'm confident that it will not be clarified in the 12th edition; else Mr. Honemann would not have said that he previously had not given it any though.)
  10. I believe that Renee P answered only Mr. Martin's first question. We are still awaiting the answer to his other question:
  11. The exact wording of the rule is "amendments to the bylaws may be made by the general membership at regular meetings." The mere "making" of a motion, whether that motion is an amendment to the bylaws or anything else, does not adopt the motion. If the bylaws said "The bylaws may be amended by the general membership at regular meetings," I would agree with your position. I identified a meaning which does not render the other absurd. I agree, however, that if it is in fact correct that it is impossible to identify a meaning that does not render the other absurd, this rule offers no guidance. Okay, but even if we accept it is correct that the two provisions cannot be reconciled, it is not appropriate to "simply pick one and ignore the other." Such a choice should still be based on the Principles of Interpretation. If none of the other principles are helpful in this regard, the fallback would seem to be that "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." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 588)
  12. In the situation Dr. Kapur and others are referring to, the motion in question required a 9/10 vote for adoption, and the motion was defeated. In such a case, the prevailing side is those who voted against the motion, which was a minority of the assembly which was slightly larger than 1/10.
  13. A bylaws amendment is more than just the motion to do so. It is a motion that has been duly adopted. If the motion can't be adopted at a regular meeting then the bylaws can't be amended at a regular meeting. I agree. If possible. Yes, but here we have not one provision with two possible interpretations, but two distinct provisions with conflicting meanings. In this case, either interpretation conflicts with and renders absurd the other. We cannot identify a meaning that does not render the other absurd, so this rule of interpretation offers no guidance on which must be taken as true. Well, if not the best than perhaps the least worst. Given the degree to which the two provisions disagree, I think it might make just as much sense for the assembly to simply pick one and ignore the other, possibly raise a point of order that the other is being violated, appeal the resulting ruling if necessary.
  14. No such link exists. The only electronic version of the 11th edition is on CD-ROM. Get the Physical Book: https://robertsrules.com/book.html Get the CD-ROM: https://robertsrules.com/pdfs/Am-Legal-Robert-Rules-Order-Form-RRA-2019.pdf
  15. On the contrary, those protected by the rule on who may move to Reconsider are not the minority who voted against the main motion, but the majority who prevailed and are then protected against the dilatory use of Reconsider by the minority who did not prevail. So in this case the rule does not protect any minority. I would also question whether the rule protects "the entire assembly" as Mr. Honemann suggests. I don't think it can be said to protect that portion of the assembly whom it prevents from moving to Reconsider. It protects only those who would be opposed to reconsideration, i.e., those who voted on the prevailing side.
  16. Thank you very much for all your help! Do you happen to know where online or point me to a link, where the pdf version of the 11th edition in full can be downloaded possibly?
  17. For the record, I am still of the opinion that a "motion to suspend the rules and to reconsider and enter on the minutes" may be made by a member who did not vote on the prevailing side as a single combined motion and that its adoption would require a two-thirds vote. I further do not believe that the mere making of such a motion is automatically dilatory. Also, as someone (I believe J.J.) pointed out, the question of whether a motion is dilatory can be decided by a majority vote. Edited to add: There are numerous instances where RONR says that certain motions require unanimous consent. This is not one of them.
  18. I certainly agree with that. But I wasn't asking about renewal of the motion to Reconsider. I was asking about renewing the original motion at the same session (whether or not Reconsider was attempted first).
  19. You could say the same about any motion. We cannot tell if it dilatory until tested. The chair has to make that determination. In this specific case, the chair rules the motion to suspend the rules to permit a member voting on the losing side to move reconsider. The chair rules it out of order. The chair's decision is appealed and overturned. The motion will be considered by the assembly and could not be considered dilatory. You could pretty much say that about any motion.
  20. What method? Do they just say: The rules in RONR shall be relaxed?
  21. That argument assumes the conclusion. If it didn't receive a 2/3 vote, then it was dilatory and the the assembly's time was not protected. There is no reasonable grounds for the presiding officer to make that assumption at the time the person on the losing side attempts to make the motion. So Mr. Honemann's position takes effect before your counter-argument can be tested.
  22. However a motion can only be dilatory "if it seeks to obstruct or thwart the will of the assembly as clearly indicated by the existing parliamentary situation (p. 342, ll. 12-14)." This, assuming it gets a 2/3 vote, does not obstruct or thwart the will of the assembly. In fact, it expresses the will of the assembly in this case.
  23. Generally an organization has no qualifications whatsoever for the appointment of a Chairman Pro Tempore, but I agree that if for some reason the organization has such qualifications, such rules are in the nature of rules of order and could be suspended by a 2/3 vote. I expect the question, however, was regarding the permanent chairman of the organization, either the President or whatever title this organization uses.
  24. Yes, I agree, and as I have noted, I believe the chair should have stated the question on the motion to adjourn without a second, for multiple reasons. It appears, however, that the chair instead declared the motion to adjourn dead for lack of a second. It's not clear what happened next, but I assume that eventually everyone left. This means that, for all intents and purposes, the meeting was adjourned. The OP's question is whether some notation regarding all of this needs to be made in the minutes of the next board meeting, and I think the answer is "No." As Mr. Mervosh has also pointed out, the entire situation could have been avoided in the first place if the member with the "conflict" had simply remained in the room, unless there is something in the organization's bylaws or applicable law which required him to leave.
  25. An amendment is a motion. I don't see the problem. "If a bylaw is ambiguous, it must be interpreted, if possible, in harmony with the other bylaws." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 588) "When a provision of the bylaws is susceptible to two meanings, one of which conflicts with or renders absurd another bylaw provision, and the other meaning does not, the latter must be taken as the true meaning." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 589) Both of these rules suggest to me that if an interpretation which allows the provisions to be read in harmony with each other is possible, then that interpretation should be used, even if the interpretation may be "a real stretch." Finally, some interpretation of the rules in question must be arrived at until the bylaws can be amended, since the society needs to know what the rules for amendment are in order to amend the bylaws. This interpretation seems to me to be the best interim solution.
  26. Do your bylaws authorize voting by this method? Please elaborate on this statement. What in your rules makes you think that the rules provide for using "a more relaxed version of" RONR and what exactly does that mean?
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