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Gary Novosielski

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Posts posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. I don't understand the fight to not have to be reëlected as you described it.

    It seems to me, if I understand you correctly, that all five seats will be up for election. There are basically two ways to have the election: 

    • A group of three seats to be elected to three-year terms, and another group of two seats to be elected to two-year terms (or you could reverse the numbers) and essentially hold a different vote for the three-year terms and the two-year terms.  You might specify that all candidates for the board are automatically nominated for both offices.  Or let candidates choose to run for one, or the other, or both.  And then see how things shake out.  It might get confusing.
    • Or, hold the election for all five seats, and from those who get a majority, fill the seats in order of the highest vote count down, with the two-year seats being assigned last.  In any case, to be elected, a majority of the ballots cast are required to be elected to anything.  If an insufficient number are elected on first ballot, second and subsequent ballots are held as needed to fill the remaining seats..
  2. On 10/19/2021 at 6:13 PM, Guest Biily said:

    Yes we do conduct nominations/elections at our general membership and/or e-board meetings. We do also have a nominating committee. Nominations can be made from the floor at a general membership and/or e-board meeting.

    I understand why you have elections at general membership meetings, but who is elected at board meetings?

  3. On 10/19/2021 at 6:43 PM, Guest Anne said:

    My organization is going through a revamping of our bylaws. There’s a need to reposition several bylaws to fall under different headings. Is there a need to have a 2/3rds vote to do this? The parliamentarian has about four of these items to present. 

    Your bylaws probably contain an article describing the process for their own amendment.  That's what should be followed.

    If there is none, the default is a 2/3 vote with previous notice.  And one of the first changes should be to include an article describing the process for amendments.

  4. On 10/17/2021 at 8:14 AM, Guest Zev said:

    It seems to me that if the owner's association bylaws stipulate certain eligibility requirements and it is discovered that a board of directors member does not meet the qualifications then it stands to reason that they were never a legitimate board member in the first place.

    That may be true, but the problem is that the board members are elected by the membership, not by the board, so the body empowered to consider that question would be the membership, not the board.

    I'm assuming the rules in RONR apply.  I don't have first-hand experience with HOAs.

  5. On 10/17/2021 at 12:25 PM, Davidtx175 said:

    We have a situation where there are motions before our committee to both censure and sanction our Chairman.  Per our ruling Bylaws, the defendant in both actions is required advance notice, which was properly given, with a document outlining the cause for both, as well as an opportunity to defend himself of the charges.  The question has arisen as to how we set up the process for him to defend himself.  Do we give him a specific amount of time and vote on it as a body and is there allowed extensive debate before the vote?  

    We were thinking 5-10 minutes to state his defense then as debate has already been limited to 2 minutes per member with 3 for and 3 against, we extend that to these items.  

    Your thoughts?  

    The rules you are talking about relate to a trial committee as described in Chapter XX on discipline.

    Committees do not have the power to discipline their own members, let alone their chairman.  They can request that the body to whom they report take action, but they have no power to do it themselves.


  6. On 10/17/2021 at 1:58 PM, Guest exprinter said:

    My question;  A committee moves a recommendation to the Board and it is approved in committee.  When the motion is entered in the agenda for the board meeting it has been altered to add additional information - it is being called an implied amendment because the committee chair making the motion and the committee chair from which the additional informations is entered is present.  I do not see that RRO addresses "implied amendments".  Our governing documents say the committees are to recommend items to the board for approval.  It seems this is an improper motion.

    No, there are no "implied" amendments.  The committee chair has no power to alter the committees report.  The report is what was agreed to by a majority of the committee members.  Period.  Full stop.

  7. On 10/16/2021 at 4:37 AM, Guest Zev said:

    The answer may be different if this is a legislative body or if the organization has special rules regarding the introduction of similar or identical motions during the same session.

    Yes, that's why my signature says:

    👉 Unless otherwise indicated, responses are based upon the current edition of RONR as of the date of posting. The rules in your bylaws supersede those in RONR.  Corporations and elected public bodies may also be governed by rules in applicable statute, administrative code, or case law.

  8. If the rules in RONR apply, the total ballots cast is a count of all the ballots that have at least one vote for an executive board member.  The number needed to elect is the smallest whole number that is strictly greater than one half of the total ballots cast.  For example, if there are 75 ballots cast, one half this number is 37.5, so the number needed to elect is 38--a majority of ballots cast.

    Any candidate who does not get 38 votes or more is not elected.  

    If not enough candidates are elected on the first ballot to fill all seats, those who got a majority are declared elected, and a second ballot is held.  the number need to elect is recalculated for the second and subsequent ballots.  

    Rinse.  Repeat.

    For details, see RONR 45:37 and 46:33-35.

  9. On 10/15/2021 at 7:28 PM, Guest Josh P said:

    Can a new "action item" be placed on a current agenda during the current meeting. (Also, does it need to appear as a discussion item first?)

    For example, if there were a list of "slogans" that were to be voted on in the current meeting, and those slogans were placed on the agenda in advance of the meeting, can new slogans be added to the "actionable items" listed for the current  agenda during the course of that current meeting. 

    The term action item does not appear anywhere in RONR. Neither does the term discussion item.  

    The term action appears 310 times, and what's clear is that actions are the result of motions.  Making a decision is an action.  Decisions are made by adopting (or rejecting) motions.  And all those are recorded in the minutes.  If the rules in RONR apply, any decision is the result of a motion. There are shortcuts such as Unanimous Consent, but if a decision was reached, it was done by some variant of a motion, and belongs in the minutes.  

    But in your example, if a motion is made to adopt a slogan, once the question is pending, the normal rules for Amendment of a motion apply, which would allow you to consider other choices than the ones anticipated in the agenda, unless you have some special rules restricting the scope of agenda items in ways not anticipated by RONR.

  10. On 10/15/2021 at 10:53 PM, Guest full meeting not Special said:

    This is to be full meeting.  Chair is not calling meeting to try and block on amendments he doesn’t like.  There is much to handle and this is killing us.  

    Well, you cannot schedule a Regular Meeting prior to the next regular meeting.  You ask whether the board can decide to hold it. But how can the board decide to do anything if not at a meeting?  It cannot decide to hold this meeting unless it is already in a meeting.  Your bylaws may permit the Chair to call such a meeting independent of the board, but that's moot in this case, since he won't do so.

    So that's why @Joshua Katz asked what your bylaws say about a Special Meeting.  Perhaps there is a method listed there that allows the board members, or a certain number of board members to call a Special Meeting.  By definition, a Special Meeting is not a "full" meeting if I understand what you mean by that term.  The only business that may be considered in a special meeting is what has been clearly described in the call of the meeting.  There is no restriction on what can be included, but nothing else may be considered.  Special meetings typically do not approve minutes, and do not follow the standard order of business--in particular, there is no New Business.  So if that's what you mean by "full" it is not full.  But it can certainly consider whatever this important matter is--assuming there is a way to call special meetings at all, and that would have to be in your bylaws.

  11. If nobody wants the group to stay intact enough to volunteer to be president, maybe they don't want it as much as you think.

    In any case, there is no way around the terms of office as set down in your bylaws, except by amending your bylaws.  But check the exact language for the terms of your officers.  Does it say a fixed time of years, or is that followed by "and until their successors are elected".   Similarly, check to see when elections must be held.

    If nobody will accept leadership positions, it may be time to pull up stakes and fold up the tent.

  12. On 10/15/2021 at 10:48 AM, MCV said:

    Thanks for the feedback. There are various reasons why the no confidence in the process/procedures is the preferred way to go. The academic senate of which I am a part doesn’t set policy on workplace safety. It might be possible to target individuals, but it is unclear (due to a lack of administrative transparency) who is ultimately responsible for what we have seen take place on campus. By expressing our opinion regarding the process (with a detailed explanation of the way it has failed) we leave it to those responsible to fix the problems listed.


    Well, if the Parliamentarian is intent on giving you a hard time about "no confidence" votes, and since RONR does not mention them, what you definitely can do is to move a "sense of the Senate" resolution, which is really the same thing but doesn't have the baggage of a "confidence" vote.

    You could simply move that it is the sense of the Senate that the workplace safety policies are deficient in the following ways.....

    And if you want to get fancy, you can dress it up as a Resolution, with a preamble such as Whereas this is bad; and, Whereas that is bad; and, Whereas people could die, Therefore, be it Resolved by the Academic Senate that what ought to be done is.....

    See RONR 12th ed. 10:13 et. seq.

  13. Do you mean apply an amendment?   If so:

    A motion that has been recommended by a committee is reported back to the committee's parent body for possible action.

    At that point, the parent body may amend the motion however it wishes, may adopt the motion in as recommended by the committee, or as amended, or may reject the motion entirely.  It could also take other actions, such as postponing action, or even referring it to a different committee if appropriate.

    In other words, committees report recommendations to the group that referred the matter to the committee.  The parent body is free to accept, reject, ignore, or amend the recommendation.

  14. The Council can certainly vote to Rescind (also known as Repeal or Annul ) the ordinance.  It's not necessary to establish that there was incorrect testimony, it's simply that a legislative body that passes an ordinance has the right to rescind it.

    See §35 for the rules on this motion, presuming the rules in RONR apply.   The motion usually requires either

    • a 2/3 vote, or
    • a majority vote if previous notice of the intent to make this motion was given, or
    • a vote of a majority of the entire membership of the council,

    any one of which will suffice.   In a meeting where the entire Council is present, the third form will often be the easiest to satisfy.

    It should be noted that rescinding the Ordinance will not mean that the ordinance never existed.  It will have existed from the time it was passed until the time it was rescinded.

  15. I think that if you organization is responsible for putting such policies in place, then a vote of no confidence does not really accomplish anything.  In particular it does not change any policies.

    It seems to me that it would be more productive to move the adoption of a policy that you believe should be in place, or to move the creation of a committee to study the policies in which you have little confidence, with instructions to report back improvements to current policies or establishment of new ones, that would improve workplace safety.

    Here is a relevant FAQ from this web site's FAQ page:



    7.   What is a vote of no confidence?

    The term “vote of no confidence” is not used or defined anywhere in RONR, and there is no mention of any motion for such a vote. However, this does not mean that an assembly cannot adopt a motion, if it wishes, expressing either its confidence or lack of confidence in any of its officers or subordinate boards or committees. Any such motion would simply be a main motion, and would have no effect other than to express the assembly’s views concerning the matter. A vote of “no confidence” does not—as it would in the British Parliament—remove an officer from office.




  16. On 10/14/2021 at 12:02 PM, Guest Michael said:

    Can a North Carolina elected School Board member vote Present on a motion, instead of Nay or Aye?

    Answering "Present" is essentially the same as abstaining.  It does not count as either a Aye or Nay; in fact it is not considered a vote cast at all.

    If the rules in RONR apply, any member has the right to abstain on a vote.

  17. On 10/11/2021 at 11:08 PM, Guest sec-li said:

    2 of the 3 nominees put forward are of great commitment and character to the group, the 3rd is someone who the majority feels is overwhelmingly under-qualified and not fit to serve.

    Well, that is why elections are held.  Those who are not fit to serve would, presumably, receive fewer than a majority of the votes cast, which is the number necessary to elect.

  18. No, someone can't just say that debate is limited.  And a Parliamentarian worthy of the title should know that.

    Do you have any rules in place that say your debate is normally limited?  If not, RONR provides a ten-minute limit per speech, and a maximum of two speeches on a single question--the second only after everyone has spoken once who wishes to.

    A change to the rule would be done by a motion to Limit or Extend Limits of Debate [RONR §15] which requires a two-thirds vote.

  19. On 10/6/2021 at 2:02 PM, Guest Harv said:

    Our members elect the Board as a group.    "At the first meeting after the general election, the old Board and the newly elected BoarTd shall meet to transfer responsibilities.  The new Board shall elect from its members, upon a proper motion, the following:

    President and Chair                Vice President                  Secretary              Treasurer                   Librarian                    Equipment Manager"

    Does using "upon a proper motion" mean that there needs to be a second for each nomination?  If it does, and there is no second then the nomination fails.  Is that correct?

    • The term "upon a proper motion" has no meaning at all.  Anything a board decides must be by a "proper" motion.
    • Seconds are not required for nominations.
    • Once the election is completed the "newly elected board" is referred to as "The board".  The old board is a group of individuals who are former members of the board.  So I would interpret the joint meeting requirement as a meeting of The board, to which the members of the former board are invited as guests.  If there are any motions to be made or votes to be held, only members of The board should be moving things or voting on them.
  20. On 10/6/2021 at 12:42 PM, Atul Kapur said:

    I have seen the term "casting vote" defined in statute as the chair having a second vote in the case of a tie. Your use of the term suggests that such a statute applies to your organization.

    This is a very different approach than RONR's, which Mr. Katz has stated above.

    Oh jeez.

  21. On 10/6/2021 at 12:11 PM, Guest Lily said:

    Hello everyone,

    Question on the duties of the Chair in regards to voting:

    What is the difference in the following: The Chair shall have a deliberate and casting vote.

    Does this mean the Chair can have a deliberate vote on a matter or is the Chair only allowed to cast their vote in a tie.

    That makes no sense to me at all.  Anyone?

  22. On 10/6/2021 at 10:50 AM, Guest Carrie said:

    PTA President term ended June 30th. PTA was dormant due to Covid restrictions and was not able to create a nominating committee or run elections as stated in Bylaws which take place in March of every year. Bylaws state "Officers shall assume their official duties following the close of the fiscal year and shall serve for a term (2) two year/s or until their successors are elected. The bylaws also state "A vacancy occurring in the office of president shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the vice president."  Question. Does the President continue until an election takes place or does the Vice President take over?  Bylaws seem to be conflicting.  In the bylaws it does state that Roberts Rules of Order supersede the bylaws when there is conflict.

    I've seen plenty of  PTA bylaws, and I think you've got that supersede thing backwards.

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