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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. The role of the parliamentarian is to advise the presiding officer. The parliamentarian does not make rulings, the chair does. The chair also responds to parliamentary inquiries. I can't immediately think of a situation where having the parliamentarian address the assembly would be the most advisable course of action.
  2. Well, there's a direct contradiction about who votes for officers and when. The first paragraph says they're elected by the community at the annual meeting. The second says they're elected by the board at a board meeting, and that only board members are eligible to become officers. That needs to be cleaned up.
  3. No, it's a terrible idea.
  4. No, you can only do it by amending your bylaws. That may not have been the best choice of where to put that rule, but that's where you are now. In the future, consider putting rules like this in Standing Rules, which allows them to be suspended more easily.
  5. It's not clear in what order these things occurred. When was the annual meeting? When did the bylaws amendment pass? WHen did the member seek to change status? Of course RONR will not have anything about your bylaws, except to say that only your society can interpret them. But it's clear that a bylaws rule cannot go into effect before it's passed. If the rule was not in effect at the time the change was requested, then the rule can't be cited as applicable. And the exact wording of the amendment will determine what the rule really means. After all, someone who requests a change today has certainly done so before 5pm of the next annual meeting. Why would it be denied?
  6. Actually, that form makes sense in virtually all cases.
  7. The motion to Reconsider not having been made at the February meeting, it is too late now. The motion to Rescind might be in order, (see RONR §35). But as you note, it is not possible to rescind any actions that have already been carried out.
  8. This is a very common misconception, but a misconception nonetheless. The mover of a motion has no more control over it than any other member once it is placed before the assembly for consideration. Indeed, the mover cannot even withdraw the motion without the permission of the assembly.
  9. Well, in the order in which I read them, Josh's last message came before Rene P's reply, which I took to be an answer to it. In any case I await an answer to the details surrounding the relaxation.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. What method? Do they just say: The rules in RONR shall be relaxed?
  13. But the rule on who may move to Reconsider does not protect a minority of a particular size. It protects the majority, which prevailed.
  14. Regarding point 1, the bylaws apparently say an amendment may be made. Not that a motion may be made subject to successfully navigating a multi-step process involving the board. I don't think just making a motion satisfies that. It also says that amendments can be made at any regular meeting at which a quorum is present, which does not require waiting for an annual meeting. I don't see any way to read them as being in harmony with each other. Both are coherent rules, both of which I have come across, albeit in different bylaws, not two sections of the same document, since they describe two very different processes. I understand the desire to harmonize the two provisions, at least long enough to enable passing an amendment to bring some sense to the bylaws, but it's a real stretch.
  15. That's a pretty stark contradiction. Ironically, it can only be solved by amending the bylaws. Good luck trying to figure out how. Since they're your bylaws, only your society can properly interpret them. Of course, on careful reading the entirety of those sections it's possible the ambiguity would be explained. For example, there might be two different methods of amending the bylaws, either of which can be used. But again, I'm not a member, so my opinion on this doesn't count.
  16. No, but with proper notice they can vote to amend the bylaws to relax the qualifications.
  17. The process for amending your bylaws is probably set forth in the bylaws themselves. Apparently it requires a vote of the membership at the annual meeting, among other possible requirements. The Board can't override the bylaws, and has only those powers granted to it by the bylaws.
  18. I am not a lawyer, and one should be consulted before relying on a fast reading of that article. I did a fast read and noticed that it does not apply if there is a prohibition against electronic meetings in the bylaws. If RONR is your parliamentary authority, a case could be made that this is a prohibition. That's why you need a legal expert. It may be that this provision has been tested in court.
  19. If we can count on your paraphrasing of the bylaws, when he stood for election he was not a director of another association. The devil, however, is in the details, i.e., the exact wording of your bylaws rule. One thing is fairly sure: losing candidates are never elected, since they could not possibly have had a majority of the vote.
  20. There's no long list. It's just a matter of the sheer volume of motions (bills) that come before congress. The rules concerning the motion to Lay on the Table and the routine disposal of a possible motion to Reconsider are designed to support the assumption that when something is passed, (or killed) it will stay passed (or dead) and not soon be revisited.
  21. So do I. I am not implying that that language is relevant to this question, just a side note that it may prove to be a problem in another context.
  22. No, it's not correct. A Board of Directors would typically not have the power to set the rules for elections. Those are matters that are defined in the bylaws. So unless the Board has the power to amend the bylaws, they have no such authority. I can't speak for others, but I'd be surprised to hear people advocating any knowing and willing violation of the bylaws.
  23. I think the answers to these question will depend on the precise wording in your bylaws regarding the terms of office for your board menbers--specifically looking for phrases that a term ends after a specific time, "or until their successors are elected". Terms of office are not defined in RONR, although the methods of describing them in the bylaws is discussed.
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