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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. No. There is no need to leave the chair. The presiding officer, in the event that there is but one nominee for an office should declare the person elected by acclamation. If, however, the bylaws required a ballot vote for elections, and do not provide an exception for uncontested elections, then a ballot vote must be held, even if there is but a single name on it. As with all ballots, a line should be provided for write-ins. This rule cannot be suspended even by a unanimous vote.
  2. Well, they are considering adopting their own rule on this matter, at least affecting one member. What is the difference between two consecutive speeches and one long speech?
  3. On second thought I think so too.
  4. There can only be one presiding officer. The Board has no business presiding over anything. They are not even in session at such a time.
  5. There is already a rule that the chair speaks first and last in debate, in the specific case of a motion to Appeal from the Decision of the Chair. I can't think of a benefit in the general case, however. Since members are permitted to speak twice on a given question, forcing the chair to speak last would seem to impose a limit of a single speech. And if the chair is permitted to speak before that, and also last, is it mandatory to speak last even if the chair has nothing further to add? I'm puzzled about what problem this rule is intended to solve. I'm assuming that you are dealing here with a small board operating under Small Board Rules, otherwise the chair should not be speaking in debate at all, on motions other than Appeals. Be aware that boards may adopt their own special rules of order only to the extent that they do not conflict with applicable rules of the society itself.
  6. Well, does your code of ethics not include any guidance on the penalties for violating it? RONR has no specific recommendations with respect to codes of ethics, but Chapter XX contains a detailed procedure for handling discipline in a variety of cases. It's a little much to quote here. I would note that one person's "nasty and unacceptable" is often another person's "airing of valid concerns".
  7. The job of the Parliamentarian is to give advice to the president. Only the president's ruling and reasons for it need to go into the minutes.
  8. I'm not clear what the question is. You are free to hold the meeting and decide what to do next. I don't see why you would be dead in the water.
  9. There is no such thing as an "interim" officer in RONR. Once a vacancy is filled, by whatever method your bylaws prescribe, the person newly serving *is* the new officer, and serves for the unexpired remainder of the original term. They would have the same rights as anyone would in that office.
  10. If a committee is reporting recommendations that would require a motion to implement, it should draft them as such, and move them at the conclusion of the report. But the chair assumed a motion, which under the circumstances was reasonable. No harm--no foul. The chair should not vote and should remain impartial in assemblies larger than about a dozen members, but she does retain the same rights as other members, including the right to do inadvisable things. But even in a large assembly, the chair can and should feel free to vote whenever her one vote would make a difference, or in any ballot vote, so there's really no penalty for doing things the way they should be done. Merely having a voting card does not force her to use it. If her one vote would not affect the outcome, she loses nothing by retaining the appearance of impartiality. Since you're talking about collecting and counting votes, that sounds like a ballot vote, so the chair can vote without any problem. The parliamentarian normally has no duties in connection with collecting motions or counting votes. Written resolutions are usually submitted to the secretary or the chair. Votes are counted by tellers normally appointed by the chair.
  11. At a general membership meeting, all officers are part of "the floor", with the possible exception of the presiding officer. They are free to make and second motions as they see fit, presuming that they are actually members of the society. That's usually true, but exceptions do exist.
  12. Online voting is prohibited by RONR, unless you have a bylaws provision to allow it. If you do, then you should also have rules on how things are handled. But I think it's reasonable to consider a person who does not vote as having abstained. The concept of a quorum online is always a problem, since RONR defines it as the number of members present in the room. It sounds like you need a special rule of order rule in the bylaws to sort out how a quorum is determined online.
  13. RONR has no rule on this, but common sense would indicate that the books should be returned once they are no longer needed by the audit team, presuming that it was necessary to remove them in order to do an audit in the first place. That's not always the case.
  14. Now you're talkin'. What don't you like?
  15. Is this just an offhand accusation, or has anything formal been done or contemplated? Are there rules in your bylaws regarding disciplinary procedures, or are you proceeding according to RONR Chapter XX?
  16. It seems to me that once adopted at a general meeting, the budget can only be modified at a general meeting, using the motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted, which requires: Boards generally have no power to overrule something explicitly adopted by the membership.
  17. Any member, Yes. But it is rare, yet possible, that in some organizations, the President may not actually be a member.
  18. The question is whether members present and voting means the same thing as voting members present. In this context, it appears that the phrase "voting members" may be intended to refer to a type of member the way some organizations might use "members in good standing", rather than meaning a member who has actually cast a vote on a given question. I think the phrase must be interpreted by the organization itself. One important question might be, does the organization have any other kind of members, apart from "voting members"? If so then I'd lean toward the first interpretation--if not, then the latter one.
  19. No, that's not suspendible. In general, rules in the constitution or bylaws are not suspendible. That's where you put rules that you don't want suspended. The only rules in the C&B that may be suspended are those that are clearly in the nature of rules of order--i.e., rules that pertain to the orderly conduct of business within the context of a meeting--as well as rules that explicitly provide for their own suspension. Rules regarding the structure of the organization, qualification for office, and when meetings must be held are not rules of order.
  20. That language is certainly there, but It appears to be more general than the rule that two officers--presiding and recording-are the minimum required for a meeting. That's why I think the latter, as the more specific rule, should prevail. In my view, offices are not people; officers are. A person can hold two offices, but cannot be two officers. So I would argue that by adopting RONR, the organization has prohibited one officer from performing those two specific functions simultaneously at a given meeting of an assembly.
  21. It would be quite unusual for a bylaws amendment to be adopted in secret by the Executive board. Without reading your entire bylaws, I would assume with virtual certainty that only the general membership at a meeting of the general membership may amend the bylaws. The board has only such powers as are granted to them by the bylaws. It would make no sense to allow the board to grant themselves unlimited power and lifetime terms of office with no way to prevent it. And RONR has no such rule as "three meetings". Do your bylaws have such a rule? Even if they do, it apparently does not apply to amending the bylaws. And if they don't, you should stop doing so.
  22. That's the way I read it, but others have disagreed.
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