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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. RONR advises that each office (in the order listed in the bylaws) be opened for nominations in turn. I don't think it would be a large problem to do it as you suggest, particularly if you're expecting few or no nominations from the floor, but then again it takes only a few seconds to say: "Are there any further nominations for President? [pause] If not... [pause] nominations are closed. Are there any further nominations for Vice president? [pause] ...", etc. It is more important that any desired nominations should be properly recognized than it is to adhere perfectly to procedure. As for the election, it will depend on your bylaws. If your bylaws specify that a ballot vote, without any exception for unopposed offices, then that is what is required, and the rule may not be suspended. The ballot must allow for write-in votes unless they are prohibited by the bylaws, which would be unusual. But if a ballot is not mandatory, and if only one candidate has been nominated for an office, the chair simply announces that the single nominee is elected by acclamation (without any vote). There are two basic ways to run nominations and elections You may take nominations for, say president, and then elect the president; then move on to the next office and repeat. Or, you may get all nominations made first, then close nominations, and run the election for all offices. Which method is used may be a matter of custom in your organization, or can be decided by the membership, or if there is no objection, by the method suggested by the chair.
  2. When you abstain, what you are abstaining from is voting. It does not count as a Yes, nor as a No, nor as a vote cast. It usually has no effect on the outcome. Abstentions should normally not be called for, not be counted and not be recorded. Some chairs will ask for the Ayes, the Noes, and "any abstentions". This is improper. A person who does not answer to any of the three has in fact abstained just as surely as someone who shouts I abstain! So a voice vote should call only for Ayes and Noes. Some members may complain that they were not given the opportunity to abstain, which for obvious reasons makes no sense. To abstain, one simply does not vote.
  3. Very true. RONR provides that the Nominating Committee should reconvene and fix the problem, but given all the other restrictions in the bylaws, this is probably impossible. Your bylaws seem to assume that nothing will ever go wrong anywhere. That assumption may have been unwarranted.
  4. Yes, it sounds like you need to adopt Special Rules of Order (see 2:22 for the procedure). Qualifications for office must be in the bylaws, but the procedure for conducting nominations and elections may be Special Rules of Order. SROs would supersede any conflicting rules in RONR, but they may not conflict with any specific provisions in the bylaws.
  5. Well, it sounds like you are the victim of your own overly restrictive bylaws. Be careful what you vote for. I haven't read your bylaws in their entirety, but I don't see anything in what you quoted that would prevent write-in candidates, which RONR does permit. At the meeting, someone should raise a point of order that the two names are not eligible for election and the chair would presumably rule the point well taken. If the ballots have already been printed, the chair should instruct the voters to cross out those names, and that any votes for them will be counted as illegal votes. There should be space on the ballot for write-in votes, but if not, the chair should instruct the voters where and how to indicate their preference for any person who, but for the lack of a nomination, would be eligible to hold office.
  6. You would list the 12 names on the ballot, along with 19 lines for write-in votes, with the instruction: Vote for up to 19. You can also reopen the floor to nominations prior to the election. Any person that receives a majority of the votes cast is elected, and any remaining unfilled seats would trigger a second (or more) ballot with fewer names and lines. Rinse, Repeat.
  7. It doesn't sound like you have the latest edition (12th) of RONR, but that language is essentially the same. Additionally it refers to a footnote, §1:13n3, which says: So it depends what rights were suspended by the disciplinary action. If was a suspension from the board only, then a case could be made that he retains the rights of membership. You'll need to check the precise language of that motion in the Board's minutes, and also check your bylaws to see what they have to say in this regard, if anything. For example, does the board have the authority to suspend his rights as a general member. or is that something only the full membership can do?
  8. No, the board cannot change a resolution that was adopted by a higher body, or act contrary to the language that was adopted. Not only can they not change the intent, they cannot move so much as a comma. As you say, the board's duty is to carry out the resolutions adopted by the Convention.
  9. Yes. During meetings of the Membership, you can vote along with the rest. During such meetings, the board is not in session and board members are no different than anyone else.
  10. Refer to RONR (12th ed.) 47:14-19, Suggestions for Inexperienced Presiding Officers. I'll quote :14 here:
  11. If the chair will not call a meeting "when necessary", any two members of the committee may do so. It's going to be difficult to get support for removing the chair if members who would have been supportive have already resigned. I'm not a fan of resigning as an effective problem-solving strategy. And as @J. J. noted, all you can do is draft a report of the problem to the parent body and ask for action on their part. If they try to tell you to solve it yourself, remind them that your power is limited, per RONR
  12. No, having a committee meet during a board meeting which is in session is a little too squirrely for RONR to deal with. As @Josh Martin pointed out, you could have a meeting before the board meeting convenes. If the need for input from a committee is discovered during a board meeting, another (only slightly less squirrely) method might be to recess the board meeting at the call of the chair, have the committee chair call the committee to order (possibly in another room), take the vote, move to rise and report, call the board meeting back to order, and have a committee member report on what the result of the committee meeting was. (There is no assumption that other board members were paying any attention during the recess). I'm sort of hoping that others will declare this method too nonsensical to be considered, and I certainly would not recommend it as a common way to do business but if there's a now-or-never reason why it has to be done now, it technically would not violate any rule I'm familiar with.
  13. It's clear that someone has plans to use this language change to get away with something. The best language to use is the language in RONR recommending how it should be adopted: ...replacing the word Society with something more appropriate if need be. And the best reason for using that language is that it is likely that after over a century of experience, this language is less likely to cause trouble than something some rando might make up on his own. To those who believe that Robert's Rules may prove to be too restrictive, note that the <society> is free to adopt any bylaws provisions or special rules of order to remedy that restriction, but this way they are required to do it with their eyes open, using specific language, rather than depending on how some member might choose to interpret RONR on any given day.
  14. Yes it would be considered valid. What is not correct is the concept that a tie needs to be broken. A tie is not a deadlock condition, it is a number less than a majority, and therefore is a rejection of the motion.
  15. Mine is a few feet farther than ams length, so I'm not getting out of the recliner.
  16. No, an item to reconsider a vote cannot simply be made or added by the chair. A member who voted on the prevailing side (in this case someone who voted Yes) may move to Reconsider (§37) a vote on a motion that passed, at that same meeting. If there are no such voters willing to make that motion, or if it is voted down, a motion can be made by anyone to Rescind, or Amend Something Previously Adopted (§35), which can be done at a future meeting, as long as the motion has not already been carried out.
  17. You don't seem to have identified where you got that passage from. It's not from RONR. And it's bad advice.
  18. No, I read the question and answered it. The question was do I need to ask three times.
  19. Even if that's true, it appears that the Members can amend that change out of existence, and can't be countermanded.
  20. No, the "three times" thing is nonsense, but I've heard it before. Where it comes from I have no idea. I suppose it's possible that it's in your bylaws, but it's certainly not anywhere in RONR. Yes, you can ask once, and after a reasonable pause for replies, move on. "Hearing none, nominations for Secretary are closed." But if anyone then says "Hey that was too fast I wanted to nom..." just acknowledge them and allow them to make a nomination. Voting to (re)open nominations takes a majority vote, and voting to close them takes a 2/3 vote, if it comes to that. You say you are running the nomination process of that meeting, which I take to mean that you are not the normal presiding officer. Is there a reason why the normal presiding officer is not performing that duty?
  21. Non-members of the board, if invited, are only permitted to observe, unless specifically allowed by a majority vote to address the board. They may not, however, participate during debate (discussion?) except under a Suspension of the Rules, by a 2/3 vote. And of course they may not vote under any circumstances.
  22. But 10:54 explicitly allows ratification of: If the call of the meeting did not specify any business to be conducted but was otherwise properly called, would this not permit business improperly conducted to be later ratified?
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