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  2. Guest

    Number of board members

    The OP suggested a floating number of board members, which some of us do not think is a dandy idea, and I suggested a floating number of committees. The workload of the board varies from time to time so it seems obvious that something needs to be done. I was under the impression that the floating committees would operate without specific instructions but with general instructions instead, and for this reason would need to conform to the same requirements as standing committees as mentioned on page 578. Perhaps I am overthinking this entire situation. If there is an easier way of accomplishing this objective believe me I am all for it.
  3. According to the by-laws of an organization I am in, our nominating committee must have a minimum of 8 members. It turns out they only had 7 this year. They presented a slate to the board, which was passed as we didn't realize the committee didn't have enough members. Given the fact that they didn't meet the membership size needed by the by-laws, is their slate invalid? If so, what is the correct procedure to take from here? Do we rescind the motion?
  4. Huh? I think you two are talking past each other. Or maybe I don't follow what you are saying to each other. I agree with Gary Novosielski that ad hoc (special) committees can be created without specific authorization in the bylaws. It is standing committees, not special committees, that cannot be created without bylaws authorization if the bylaws name any standing committees. Special (ad hoc) committees can be created by the society unless prohibited by the bylaws.
  5. Guest

    Number of board members

    RONR 11th edition page 578. Yes, you are absolutely correct. I was thinking of ad hoc committees that acted as standing committees with authority as in the case mentioned on page 578, but failed to mention this fact. My apologies.
  6. Yesterday
  7. Why would that need to be placed in the bylaws? Can't any assembly create ad hoc committees?
  8. The “metric system so as our membership grows” is rather simple to implement. The policy could say something like “there shall be one member at large for every X members of the society or major fraction thereof.” The part about “if the board has a huge task they can add members at large for a reasonable reason” is problematic - any way that I can think to write it would leave a lot to interpretation as to whether the reason is “reasonable” enough. Personally, I agree with my colleagues that less flexibility in this matter is desirable (not more), and that instead of amending the policy, the bylaws should be amended to provide a fixed number of board members, so that the size of the board may be changed only by amending the bylaws. If the board requires the assistance of additional persons, it may appoint committees. Well, it appears that the organization adopted a range of board members in its bylaws (5-30), to grant it the flexibility to adjust the number of board members as needed. The specific number of board members is specified in the policy, and it is currently seven (four officers and three members at large). The membership may change the number of board members by amending the policy, so long as the number of board members is within the range in the bylaws. Apparently at least some members of the society feel that even more flexibility is desirable, and wish to amend the policy so that, in the future, the size of the board could change without the membership even needing to amend the policy. Some ideas include amending the policy to provide that the number of members at large is based upon the number of members in the society, and/or to amend the bylaws to permit the board to increase the number of board members, but only for a “reasonable reason.” The advice requested, presumably, is regarding the wording for such amendments.
  9. I endorse Guest Zev's idea, and would add that it would make for a healthy governance structure because ideas would then come to the board fully-baked.
  10. Guest

    Number of board members

    I would keep the board at a fixed number and indicate in the bylaws that the board may create any number of ad hoc committees to help the board in its various tasks. As the workload increases, the board can increase the number of committees. When it diminishes, the board can dissolve the committees it no longer needs.
  11. Or if you wish to stick with what you have (not, per JK, a good idea) your policy could be amended using the motion to amend something previously adopted - see page 305 for appropriate details. But do get rid of the "range" for the number of board members, for sure.
  12. I'm not sure what exactly you're asking us to advise about, but in my view the ideal size of a board bears little or no relation to the numbers of members. Also, I think something has gone wrong in your governance structure if your board has huge tasks requiring more board members. My advice would be to decide what size board can effectively govern the organization, and then put that number in your bylaws and stop allowing the size of the board to vary.
  13. The organization I’m a member of currently has a by law that states the board should have 5-30 members. The policy states the board will consist of the officers outline in the by laws ( which are The president president elect secretary and treasurer ) and three members at large. We would like to change the policy because our membership numbers have changed. We would like to come up with a policy that gives us some wiggle room to operate in. Example be to have a metric system so as our membership grows we don’t have to change the policy each year or if the board has a huge task they can add members at large for a reasonable reason. Please note we are large membership organization with a nominating committee and feel we need a policy that give guidelines so the board or nominating committee can t not just add members to board at their will year to year please advise
  14. Welcome to the ever exciting world of condominia where essentially random people are thrust together with nothing whatsoever in common, except the roof. The roof leaks. But the folks living on the first floor don''t care about that, either!
  15. Thank you kindly. In this particular case, it pertains to a condo association board meeting. We have an antagonistic resident who often speaks with profanity, in a bullyish manner, and is usually more of a problem than part of the solution.
  16. Agreed. Interesting story: at a New England town meeting, a committee put forward a proposal (which I opposed vigorously, and ultimately defeated in my elected capacity). The first speaker in debate proceeded to call the committee names, make allegations about committee members arranging favorable deals for their children (unrelated to the matter at hand) and so on. There was only one microphone, and the chair couldn't hear if you didn't use a mic. I walked around to the other side of the microphone and raised a point of order, at which point, right into the microphone, he threatened to punch me for "sneaking up behind him." I made sure the First Selectman (my campaign partner, who was also Chief of Police) had heard him and left it at that.
  17. Agreed, but it's challenging on a voice vote. It's also challenging on division when the alternates are mixed in and sometimes have the wrong badges (i.e. are seated but still have alternate badges).
  18. Only members of the body which is meeting have any rights. So at a Board meeting only Board members have any rights (unless your rules say otherwise of course). Assuming these people are Board members the default speaking time is twice per question per day with 10 minute speeches (your rules may say otherwise). If a member is using profanity the Chair or another member can call him or her to order. As for "bullying their point of view" that is a very subjective thing. A member can strenuously advocate for their position from one meeting to another while following the rules and proper decorum and that wouldn't necessarily be "bullying."
  19. Absent a superior rule to the contrary, people who are not members of the body which is meeting, in this case the board, have no right to speak whatsoever except by permission of the board. The board can generally set whatever limits and conditions it desires on such comments. That is sometimes handled by the adoption of a rule regarding comments by non-members and other times is handled on a case-by-case basis. Non-members can be permitted to speak with a majority vote or by unanimous consent. such requests are often handled by the chair without objection. Non-members may be granted the right to participate in debate by suspending the rules which requires a two-thirds vote. Note some state laws require that certain bodies, such as homeowner associations, permit people who are members of the association, but not of the board, and an opportunity to address the board at board meetings. Edited to add: non-members who violate the rules or cause a disturbance may be ejected upon order of the chair, but a member may object to the removal and require a vote. In such a case, the guest can be ejected by a majority vote.
  20. What are Robert's Rules of Order as to allowing discussion or questions from the audience during a board meeting? How long can someone speak? If they are using profanity or bullying their point of view, does it have to be allowed?
  21. Thank you all for your help. I will make sure to look out for future amendments and rescinsions. On the document I made of the standing rules, I have numbered each of them in the order that they were adopted and then on the next line right below each rule it says, “Adopted on D Month, YYYY.” This way, people can find the minutes of the meeting that day if they want to read them. We have never amended or rescinded a standing rule, as we do not have many of them; but, if we did, I think I would treat the document similarly to the Bylaws document. If we rescinded one, I would delete it and increase the number of each rule below it by one. If one was amended, I would not change the order—keeping them in the order they were adopted—and, under it, change it to “Adopted on [dates], and amended on [date(s)].” Also, I do not give titles to the standing rules, except for one which was given a title/name with it when it was moved.
  22. I think the main thing is to keep alternate delegates separate from the voting members to prevent illegal votes by illegal voters.
  23. Define "major." 😉 The conventions I've attended did not, in my view, have a good system for dealing with alternates - they had different colored badges, but sat with state delegations. But it was also very easy, under the rules, for an alternate to become a delegate, and then they'd have the wrong badge. I've been parliamentarian for state conventions, though, that handled it better - they had better rules, and it's easier with a smaller group. The largest I worked had a section of the room for alternates, and had a credentials desk for badge swapping when an alternate stepped into a delegate position.
  24. If convention attendees all had similar badges and sat together presiding officers may have a hard time distinguishing delegates from alternates during voting. Perhaps there is a way of controlling such a thing and I would not mind hearing from someone that has attended one of the major party's conventions to reveal how they dealt with this.
  25. Interesting question. I had typed something about that then deleted it. When I did it, I included the date of adoption of any rule still in effect, and noted the dates of amendment, but did not include a "history of amendments" - i.e. I didn't show what each amendment did, because I figured if anyone was curious, they could go look at those minutes (I can't guarantee how easy those minutes are to read, but if I could figure it, presumably so could they). I also did not include any rescinded rules, although arguably I could have included them, struck them out, and indicated the date of rescission. Maybe I should have, but at a certain point, I think, it becomes a question of the intended audience, and with my audience, I felt it would increase confusion. Plus, the organization did a lot of making rules and then rescinding them, so the document would have become unwieldy. And, in all honesty, I was a volunteer, and there were monthly meetings, often with dozens of motions with continuing effect...
  26. In your experience with this type of thing, do you feel it necessary or perhaps prudent to include as a title to each standing rule the date on which such rule was adopted and the dates in which the rule was amended, so that members may examine the minutes of those meetings if needed?
  27. I agree. That is my interpretation, too. I think it is describing a custom more than creating a rule. At most, I think maybe it is a "should" rule rather than a "must" rule.
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