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Gary Novosielski

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Posts posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. On 9/16/2020 at 8:45 AM, Guest Tina said:

    Does the VP automatically become the President of an association when the President steps down at the end of their term or is the position open to nominations?

    No, that only applies if the president leaves office before the end of their term, and the VP would only serve as president until that same end of term.

    When the terms end, it's time for an election.

  2. On 9/16/2020 at 10:25 AM, Josh Martin said:

    For starters, what exactly do your bylaws say regarding a quorum and regarding filling vacancies? If the bylaws are silent regarding filling vacancies, do the bylaws grant the board "full power and authority" to act for the club between meetings of the club's membership?

    I wish you better luck getting those answers than I had in the first reply.

  3. No the motion to approve the agenda does not get into the merits of motions or suggest subsidiary motions that might be offered when they become pending.  Those would not be germane to the question, which is:  which items should be on the agenda and which should not.

    Motions to (re)commit an agenda item, amend it, postpone it, etc., are only in order when the question actually becomes pending, not when the agenda is being considered.


  4. 2 minutes ago, Rob Elsman said:

    However you want to put it, the assembly cannot grant leave to withdraw a motion without the maker's consent.  If the maker of the motion is the maker of the request, he has given his consent.  If another member is the maker of the request, the maker of the motion subject to withdrawal must, in effect, supply the second by giving his consent.

    That is an interesting interpretation of 33:15.

    In the example cited, the maker would already have indicated his consent as the first step in the process.

    But presuming it would be in order for another member, out of the blue, to move that the maker be granted permission when he had never sought it, and were that seconded by a third member and adopted, I submit that there would be no need to consult the maker or gain his consent.   

    Being now endowed with permission to withdraw his motion he could simply elect not to do so.


  5. 1 hour ago, Rob Elsman said:

    No, sir.  If the maker of a motion requests leave to withdraw it, he has given the assembly permission.  If someone else makes the request, the maker must grant the request, in effect, supplying the second.  RONR (12th ed.) 33:13-15.

    If the maker requests leave to do anything, he is seeking permission, not granting it. 

    I believe that your reading of 33:15 is incorrect.  That applies in the case where the member has already requested leave to withdraw, the chair has already put the question as a unanimous consent request, objection has already been heard, and the chair has elected not to put the question on his own accord.  If another member then seeks leave for the original mover to withdraw the motion, the original mover is assumed to be in favor and so this motion does not require a second.  The original mover neither seconds nor grants anything at that point.


  6. 7 hours ago, Alicia Percell said:

    It says he can't speak against "his own motion" and if he changes his mind "while the motion he made is pending," then he should ask to withdraw.  However, if an amendment has been adopted in the meantime, particularly one which makes the result objectionable, is the pending motion still "the motion he made" or is the amended version now a different motion which would allow him to speak against it as it is no longer "his own motion?"

    It is still his own motion and would be so recorded in the minutes.  However, the adoption of a poison-pill amendment is just the sort of thing that might make him "change his mind".

  7. 38 minutes ago, Guest Frank said:

    HOA Annual Meeting Minutes.  Previously, the meeting minutes were approved at the following annual meeting by the members.   We will not be having an official meeting due to Covid-19.  Can the Board approve the minutes?

    Only if the Annual Meeting authorized them to do so.  RONR recommends against waiting a full year to approve minutes even in good times.  It recommends authorizing a committee or the board to do so.

  8. 43 minutes ago, Caryn Ann Harlos said:

     I don't know why if something is allowed it can't be rude.  That seems to make this a religion rather than a rule book.  Debating and then pulling up the ladder after you or attempting to, is rude.  If I have to explain that, well we are just different, and that is okay.

    I would agree if this ladder-pulling were actually possible.  However it is not possible without the concurrence of the members assembled by at least a two-to-one margin.  Those who feel there are still things that need saying can simply vote against ordering the Previous Question.

    Even so, should two-thirds of the members agree that this is a rude practice, they have only to adopt a Special Rule of Order, as I have seen in practice, that the Previous Question may only be moved immediately on gaining recognition, and is out of order once any reference is made to the merits of the motion.

    I would not necessarily support the adoption of such a rule, but it's an available course of action.

  9. 17 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

    I was hoping the 12th edition was going to expand Form and Example to include that other famous Al: "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!"

    My sources tell me that it was considered, but ultimately rejected on the grounds that we can't handle the truth.

  10. Language, especially English with its mongrel origins, does change through usage, and different changes occur at different rates. There are plenty of people who bristle and balk at even the slightest change. But there are others who are umbrageous that change happens not nearly fast enough to suit them. (I respectfully suggest that examples of both sorts can be found no farther away than this very forum.)

    I, for one, will make an effort to remain calm when I encounter the use of either "Madam Chairman" or the ungendered singular "they", in the fervent hope that it will all work out in the end.

  11. 11 hours ago, Guest Doc Bob said:

    A voting member who has 2 votes, votes in the affirmative and the motion passes by one vote. This is an electronic meeting on Zoom. The meeting is adjourned after the result is announced. The member then realizes he misunderstood the motion and wants to change his vote to the negative (thereby defeating the motion). Can he do this and what are the rules about it?



    If the rules in RONR apply, No, it is far too late to change one's vote once the result is announced, and certainly not after the meeting is adjourned.  Members have the personal responsibility to understand things they vote on, just as they do to read things they sign.

    Additionally, if the rules in RONR apply, the member does not get 2 votes!

  12. 12 minutes ago, Guest Al Dunbar said:

    As I understand it, any amendment seeking to reverse the meaning of the original motion is, for that reason, considered out of order. If this is properly ruled on by the chair, there would not be an opportunity for anyone to speak either for or against.

    That's incorrect.  See: RONR (12th Ed.) 10:56      


    A motion to ratify can be amended by substituting a motion of censure, and vice versa....


  13. 4 hours ago, Guest Dartward said:

    This new motion has been previously ruled as out of order, opposes charter and past organizational practice. 

    Agreeing with @J. J., a motion that conflicts with the charter can and should be ruled out of order, but it would not be proper to rule a motion out of order on the basis that it conflicts with past organizational practice, which RONR calls custom.  

    The primary way that custom is changed is to adopt a motion that conflicts with it.  Adopted rules take precedence over custom.

  14. RONR has no requirements that proposed amendments be numbered, nor that they be signed.

    RONR recommends that any detailed motion be presented in written form so that it can be properly stated and, if passed, correctly recorded in the minutes.  The minutes provide the permanent record of what was done.

    With respect to numbering, if several amendments are proposed, it is possible that they will interact in such a way that logic will dictate the order in which they should be considered, rather than simply the order in which they are received.  See RONR (12th ed.) 57:2 ff.

  15. 18 hours ago, Guest Miss said:

    I live in a Coop and our Bylaws do not allow for Members to be elected onto the Board if they are in arrears.  At a recent meeting, 2 Members were elected and they were both in arrears.  One was removed the next day and the other, despite it being the exact same situation, was not.  It was brought to the Boards attention and they are choosing to ignore the rules.  What does this do to the validity of the votes that happen in the future?  And who can a person go to if their Board is not following their Bylaws?

    I mourn the demise of the diaeresis in English.  There is a fairly large difference between living in a coöp, and living in a coop. 🙂

  16. 47 minutes ago, Carolyn McAleese said:

    our Club elects a 4 person Executive Board. we are in the middle of the 2 year term. 2 Executive Board members have resigned. (VP & Secretary). Are we still able to hold meetings & conduct business with only 2 Executive Board members? our by-laws do not currently address this. 

    If the bylaws are silent, then the quorum for a meeting is a majority of the members (not vacant seats).  So if you have only two members left, both of them must attend a meeting to achieve a quorum.

    But you should not allow these seats to remain vacant.  Do your bylaws provide that the board can fill these vacancies, or at least giving the board general authority over the business of the club between membership meetings?  If so, the two remaining members can appoint people to fill these for the remaining year of the term, so long as both agree.

    But be careful to see that you don't appoint two people at once unless they are both waiting in the hall. If you appoint one new member you still have a quorum, but if you appoint two, you lost your quorum, until one more shows up.

  17. 7 hours ago, Guest Richard said:

    Is it okay to have only 'yes' and 'no' in the ballot without showing 'abstention'?

    Presuming this is a ballot to decide an issue, and not an election, then the answer is Yes.  Not only is it okay to not show abstentions, it would be incorrect to collect or count them.  As others have pointed out, there are multiple ways to abstain, the simplest one being simply not to vote.  Or, to conceal the fact that you abstained, to turn in a blank ballot.

    If this is a ballot to elect candidates to office, then Yes and No choices are improper.  The choices should be names of nominated candidates, along with sufficient lines to write in the names of other eligible persons.  Or simply blank paper on which the voters can write the names.

  18. 9 hours ago, Gustavo Lobo said:

    Under the one lot owner one vote, can a lot owner who owns two or more lots, make a motion and seconded his/her own motion as he owns more than one lot?  thank you

    Is that actually your rule?  One lot owner one vote?  A lot owner who owns two lots is not two lot owners.  He is still one owner.

    If the rule was: One lot, one vote, the answer might be different.

  19. 3 hours ago, Debbie Bramer said:

    It was stated that any motion that the board makes and carries, is considered to be approved until  it goes to the General Membership for ratification. 

    That would depend on the exact language of the rule on ratification.  That's a custom rule of yours, not one in RONR.  But even if it were true for ordinary main motions, I do not believe it would apply to bylaws amendments, unless of course your bylaws say it does.

    The passive-voiced "it was stated" makes me suspicious that this may not be true at all.  The strangest things are often stated which, when compared with the actual black-and-white rules, turn out not to be the case.  People state all sorts of things.

    As far as continuing in office, your bylaws are again the place to look.  If the terms of office contain a phrase "until their successors are elected" or similar, than they can stay in office.  However, if it just says "a term of x years" without any conditionals, then they're out, and no motion to extend their term would be in order.  Of course if they're all out, no motion of any kind would be in order. 

    If you have vacancy-filling provisions in your bylaws, you can use them to appoint people to serve until the election can be held, but if the whole board is out of office, the general membership will have to meet to hold the actual election.

  20. 4 hours ago, Guesting said:

    If a body may or must  "ratify" some document, decision, or action, to give it validity, does it also have the power to amend it, or may it only ratify or not ratify what is presented to it?

    I don't see how you can amend an action already taken, a decision already made, or a document already completed.  You can refuse to ratify them, but as they have already occurred, that's your only alternative.

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