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Bruce Lages

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  1. Yes, a motion to hold a vote by ballot is in order and made be made up until the time that voting actually begins. It doesn't matter what method of voting you have used on previous motions, unless a specific method of voting is specified in your bylaws or by a special rule of order. What is not in order, most likely, is a motion to hold a voice vote, since that is the default method of voting as defined in RONR. If your bylaws specify a particular method of voting (most often that would be by ballot) then a motion to vote by another method would not be in order. I think that if the assembly voted to hold a voice vote on a particular question - regardless of the validity of such a motion - and that question had not yet be voted on, then a motion to vote by ballot may not be in order unless 1) the motion to hold a voice vote is reconsidered, or 2) the motion to hold a ballot vote is adopted by a 2/3 vote. If a member was not present when the voice vote motion was adopted, he could move to vote by ballot, but it would have to be adopted by a 2/3/ vote. Edited to add: Under 2) above, the motion could also be adopted by an affirmative vote of a majority of the entire membership.
  2. I see it was asked once before by Mr. Brown but I haven't seen an answer - how many board members are there, and how many are usually in attendance at board meetings?
  3. A defeated motion can be brought up again ('renewed' in RONR language) at the next session, which for most organizations is the next meeting. And at every subsequent meeting if it continues to be voted down. The motion to reconsider can only be made by someone who voted on the prevailing side, as you have been told, but in most cases it must be made at the same meeting at which the motion it references was made. That option, therefore, is no longer available to you.
  4. No - there is nothing out of order about fixing an adjournment time. The very high ranking of the motions to adjourn and to fix the time to which to adjourn reflects the right of the assembly to end a meeting at whatever time they choose to do so.
  5. If you are holding a special meeting for this topic, then under the rules in RONR this is the only topic that can be considered at the special meeting if that is what the notice of this special meeting stated. No minutes, no other business unless it was listed in the notice of meeting. At a regular meeting, unfinished business would come after officer and committee reports in the standard order of business. Any information the chair can provide that helps the assembly function effectively is always worthwhile.
  6. Good question - I don't see where RONR addresses this, so I'm hesitant to state an answer. I'm leaning towards the opinion that a set adjournment time might take precedence over a speaker having the floor.
  7. If at this meeting there is a motion made and adopted to adjourn at 4:30, then yes, when 4:30 comes, you will declare that because the time set for adjournment has come, the meeting is adjourned. If you think this will cause a major problem for the assembly, you should discuss beforehand with some willing members setting a later time if possible. Alternatively, if the members really do not want to adjourn as time winds down, a motion made earlier to set a time for adjournment can be amended, using the motion to amend something previously adopted to change the time for adjournment. It will require a 2/3 vote to amend a previously set time for adjournment. In addition, if it is possible for your organization, an adjourned meeting can be established using the motion to fix the time to which to adjourn. An adjourned meeting will be a continuation of this contentious meeting, set for some agreeable date and time in the near future, and will begin with whatever business was pending when the first meeting was adjourned. This motion takes precedence over any other motion and can be made right up until you actually declare the first meeting adjourned. But perhaps the first thing to try is, if a motion to adjourn at a specific time is made, you as chair can make sure the assembly understands what that will mean for cutting off any business pending at that time. Maybe they will decide they don't want to set an adjournment time if they understand the consequences.
  8. Bruce Lages

    Budget Approval

    You said the board approved this second budget to go the membership for a vote. If the membership also approves it, why would it be expected to go back to the board for yet another approval?
  9. If the chair on his own called this special meeting, listing the item or items of business to be considered, then yes, the board is 'forced' to consider only those items of business. In general, whatever party calls for a special meeting must indicate the business to be considered at that meeting, and that is the only business that can be taken up. It would be very highly unlikely that the standard order of business would ever apply at a special meeting. If an organization needed to do so, I think it would be an indication that they might need to schedule their regular meetings more frequently. See RONR, p.91-93 for detailed information on the whys and hows of a special meeting.
  10. Bruce Lages

    How to nominate/elect new board

    If you follow the rules in RONR for electing officers, it should really not come to the slate being rejected. From what you say, you have three positions to fill and three or four candidates. Unless you have rules to the contrary, nominations may be opened at the general membership assembly for any additional nominations, and then you hold an election. If three candidates receive a majority of the votes cast, they are elected. If less than three receive a majority, you would still have one or more positions open, and additional rounds of balloting should be held to fill the remaining position(s). Nominations may be re-opened between balloting rounds if desired. It seems to me that the apparent contradiction between the statements referred to by Mr. Katz could possibly reflect a difference between election of new board members when terms expire vs specifically filling vacancies occurring at other times. Providing for the board itself to fill vacancies appears to be a common situation. If this is the case, it could even be that the third position mentioned by Guest Sarah - the board member who is moving away - should be filled by the board itself if this member's term is not expiring, rather than election by the general assembly.
  11. Bruce Lages

    Minutes - corrections

    Before they are presented for possible correction and approval at a meeting, the draft minutes are under the control of the secretary. Whether the member's submitted correction is incorporated into the draft minutes is entirely up to the secretary's discretion. If the correction is not included, any member can offer the same correction at the meeting, and the membership, by either unanimous consent or a majority vote if necessary, will decide whether to incorporate it into the minutes before approval. Note also that the minutes can also be amended after approval using the motion to amend something previously adopted. You could say that corrections to the minutes can't necessarily be 'done' by proxy, but they can certainly be 'offered' by proxy.
  12. Bruce Lages

    Committees of a club

    Not on their own initiative, they don't, Even if the committee was created with power, i.e., was given the authority to spend funds for the dinner, to contract with a venue, etc., it would not have the authority to overrule a decision of the membership unless it was expressly given that authority. If a change of date is favored by the committee, they should report back to the assembly which created the committee and recommend the change of date.
  13. Bruce Lages

    Multiple Ballots/Multiple Candidates

    I agree, and would add that more specific language to clearly reflect the intent of the organization is also warranted. I can see a reasonable interpretation that "the candidate receiving the lowest vote total will be dropped from the subsequent ballot" is not equivalent to RONR's statement of "making the dropped nominee ineligible for election so as to render illegal any subsequent votes cast for that nominee." If the goal of the organization is the latter, they should say so explicitly. I would also note that it is not clear from the original post that prohibiting write-in votes on subsequent ballots is in fact a bylaw provision of this organization. There is a presumably exact quote from the bylaws, but then only a non-quoted statement that write-in votes are provided for on the first ballot.
  14. Nothing in RONR gives the chairperson alone the authority to decide who may or may not attend board meetings. RONR does say that attending meetings is a fundamental right of membership, but that applies specifically to members of whatever assembly is meeting. For example, general members have an absolute right to attend general membership meetings, but no such right to attend board meetings unless that person is a member of the board. The right to determine whether non-members may attend a board meeting rests with the board itself, by a majority vote. Note though that even invited non-members may be excluded from the remainder of a meeting by the chair alone if they become disruptive to the meeting. It is also possible that your organization may have its own rules as to attendance by non-members. Any such rules would most likely override the rules in RONR.
  15. Bruce Lages

    Settled amendments

    A defeated motion can be made again at the next session, which for most organizations, would be the next meeting. There is no limit in RONR for how many times a defeated motion can be renewed (made again) at succeeding sessions.