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Gary Novosielski

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Posts posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. 7 hours ago, Guest Sandy said:

    If a community group has been formed for the purpose of hosting an annual event, and the committee can no longer work cohesively, do 2 of the 4 voting members have the right to dissolve the group?  An informal vote has been taken, and it is a tie of 2 voting to dissolve and 2 voting to keep the group going and adopt new members. 


    Does your group have bylaws?

  2. 11 hours ago, Bruce Wolfe said:

    If a bunch of folks come forward to say, "Oh, there's an obvious/standard answer" and you all say the same thing then the question would be satisfied and I'll be on my way.

    Well, the problem is that there is an obvious and standard answer, but that is that the remarks of people made during the public hearing phase would not be included at all.  I'm sure we'd all say the same thing on that.  The standard won't apply, however, if you have a specific rule that supersedes it, which you apparently have.

    The clear meaning of that rule is that comments must be included in the minutes if supplied in writing and less than 151 words.

    It might help us if you said what the gist of the disagreement was behind the "bit of a dispute" over this.  Given some actual positions we might be in a position to help you differentiate between them.

  3. On 1/18/2020 at 6:46 PM, Weldon Merritt said:

    My apology if someone already posted this and I missed it, but I recently learned at the AIP West Coast Practicum that John Stackpole died last Sunday, January 12. As I understand, he had recently been disgnosed with pancreatic cancer.

    I know that Dr. Stackpole's contributions to this forum will be sorely missed.

    Very much so.

  4. 1 hour ago, Guest HOA said:

     A simple majority is [required] to pass a vote. When electing officers from a 3 person ballet is it simple the one with the most votes?  

    No, that would be called a "plurality" vote.  Under the rules of RONR, no one is elected with less than a majority, unless your bylaws say so.

    In order to achieve a majority, a candidate must have not merely the largest number of votes, but more votes than all the other candidates put together, i.e., a true majority (more than half) of the votes cast for that office.

    If none of the candidates have a majority, the results are announced so that all voters know the vote counts, and another ballot is held, with no names being dropped (unless they withdraw).  Nominations may be reopened between ballots if desired.  Eventually, it it hoped, voters will settle on a candidate before food and supplies run out.

  5. 1 hour ago, Guest Jhubblin said:

    Are there any guidelines in Robert's Rules of Order for conflicts of interest when serving on other boards?

    Our specific issue is a Charter School Board who wants to prohibit its members and their souses from serving on our PTA Board.

    References please.

    In general, people who are soused should avoid serving on boards until they sober up.😵

  6. On 1/16/2020 at 8:14 AM, anon said:

    I thought this was just a way of talking about the status of ballot elections as being complete or incomplete.

    Is the chair supposed to make a formal statement regarding closure of elections after announcement of final ballot results (i.e., re-balloting will not continue absent nominees or write-ins for unfilled positions)?

    If elections are incomplete as Dr. Kapur has indicated, is any further action required by the chair? Or are we just agreeing there will be no further action on elections at the annual meeting, having fulfilled the obligation (albeit rather poorly) to conduct a ballot vote to fill open board positions to the best of our abilities as required by the bylaws? And if we are agreeing to this, should the chair make a motion to close elections despite remaining vacancies due to a lack of volunteers willing to serve on the board?

    The obligation is not merely to conduct a ballot vote, it is to complete the election.  If it takes 158 ballots to do so, then that is the requisite number.  If elections are incomplete, then the action required of the chair is to take another ballot, or take some other action to complete the election, such as entertaining a motion to reopen nominations, or to set a time for an adjourned meeting at which balloting will continue.  There is no such thing as a motion to close elections.

    If there is a persistent insufficiency of volunteers to fill critical offices, it might be time for the society to seriously consider taking actions to dissolve the organization.

  7. 20 hours ago, Calion said:

    RONR P. 495 states that "The president cannot assume [the power to appoint committees] unless it is given to him by the bylaws…"

    Can this be changed by a special rule of order? I.E. can a special rule of order give the president the power to appoint committees as a general rule?

    No, it clearly says "the bylaws, or by action of the assembly in the individual case."

     Those are the only two options.  

  8. On 1/13/2020 at 9:49 PM, Joshua Katz said:

    I believe Mr. Elsman's position is that it takes a 2/3 vote to amend the minutes to include things that do not belong there. I don't think the timing matters.

    I agree the timing should not matter, but Mr. Elsman's position would seem to argue otherwise.  I don't think there's any doubt that during reading and approval of minutes, the assembly may decide what goes into the minutes by a majority vote.  Therefore, the same threshold should apply at any prior time. 

    Once approved, the minutes then fall into the category of something previously adopted, and the rules for amendment change.

  9. 8 hours ago, Rick Range said:

    Thank you for responding.

    Exact Bylaw wording is:

    Terms of Office: Term Limits is 3

    Secretary - 2 year term

    OFFICERS:     (SERVE 2 YEAR TERM)                                                  Term Ends         Term

    PRESIDENT:                              Rick Range                                           12/21                  1st

    VICE PRESIDENT:                    Jeremy Cripe                                        12/20                  1st   

    SECRETARY:        3/1/19      * Deloise King   [D.Mueller 2/15/19    12/20                  2nd 


    Your bylaws contain the names of the officers?   That makes no sense.

  10. On 1/10/2020 at 2:38 PM, anon said:

    I agree with the above conclusion.

    In thinking about MR. Atul Kapur's four possible outcomes, and in consideration results at my association's special meeting for budget ratification, I think there may be a problem with lack of a motion to ratify the budget. You can't assess voting outcomes without a motion of some kind.

    As you have indicated, the state says a meeting must be held to ratify the budget and this is synonymous with a requirement for a motion to be made to vote on budget ratification.

    The chair simply asked if there was a motion to reject the budget, and there was none. It would be incorrect to conclude the budget is therefore automatically ratified based solely on the state's position that failure of a majority of the entire association to reject the budget automatically results in passage of the budget whether or not a quorum exists.

    No motion. No vote. No budget ratification. Am I understanding you correctly?

    You are understanding me correctly, I believe.

    I disagree with Mr. Kapur as regards the quorum requirement.  Since the statute states that a vote to ratify or reject the budget can occur even in the absence of a quorum, it is my belief that this implies that the motion to ratify may be made even in the absence of a quorum.

  11. 3 hours ago, Guest Kathryn said:

    If a vote requires two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote, and there are 17 eligible voters present, 2/3 of 17 is 11.33.  If the vote passes 11-4, has the two-thirds requirement been met?

    No.  11 is not greater than or equal to 11.33...  Twelve votes would be required.

    It would meet the requirement if the threshold were the standard 2/3 vote as defined in RONR, which is: 2/3 of those present and voting (not merely eligible to vote, but actually voting).  In that case it would suffice, since 11 is at least twice as much as 4.

  12. 16 minutes ago, Guest Elizabeth said:

    We have a new president for our HOA Board.   She was holding the title of Treasurer but ran for president and wonn the election for a president.

    She takes office in January (today) according to our Bylaws. A new treasure was found to replace her that board voted on tonight but the VP is objecting to this and saying she (the newly elected president ) can hold 2 positions 


    Could somebody please advise where in Roberts Rules of Order that a board member hold 2 positions at the same time


    Thank you so much as this is one big mess !!


    Holding two positions at once does not violate any rule in RONR, however it might conflict with the rules in your bylaws, so you'll need to check there.  One problem that can occur is that, depending on how your quorum requirements are stated in the bylaws, having fewer members on the board might create problems.

    Remember, if one person holds two offices, they are still only one person, and count as one member for quorum counting, and one vote for vote counting.

  13. On 1/5/2020 at 8:26 PM, Guest Guest Nana said:

    Dang, not what we wanted to hear. This new president is creating much division within our community by claiming the use of "Executive Power" and changing committees to be more favorable to his positions. Thank you for your assistance. 


    There's a lot of that going around.  By the way, RONR recommends strongly that the nominating committee should not be appointed by the president, nor should the president be a member of it.  This is not a rule, but a recommendation that organizations adopt such a rule in their bylaws.


  14. On 1/8/2020 at 12:07 AM, Guest John Stevenson said:

    Background - Our board president has resigned and the resignation has been accepted by the board.  Our constitution & bylaws state that either the immediate past president or president elect can assume the vacated position.  The board consulted with the immediate past president and president elect and unanimously voted to have the immediate past president assume the title of board president.

    Question - our constitution & bylaws have no language regarding what, if any, role a president who resigns should have on the executive council.  It's the opinion of some members that the president who resigned should retain his position on the executive council as immediate past president.  It's the opinion of other members that the president who resigned no longer has any position on the board or executive council.

    Absent any specific language in our constitution & bylaws, does RONR offer any guidance as to whether a president who resigns mid-term should retain a position on the executive council as immediate past president or should vacate all positions on the executive council.

    I hope I'm being clear.  If not, I'll be glad to elaborate.  I appreciate any guidance you're willing to share.

    You are being clear, but I'm afraid your rules are not clearly thought out.

    Once the president's resignation was accepted, he became the immediate past president.  Your unanimous vote to place the immediate past president in the role of president then restored him back to the office of president.  I doubt that was the intent of the rule, but unless the rule is much more explicit than your paraphrase of it, that's what it appears to mean.

    If your bylaws do not specify that the role of immediate past president depends upon the method of departure from the presidency, then there is no difference if the president died, resigned, was expelled, or moved to King of Prussia, PA.  Therefore we are left with the dictionary definitions of "immediate past president" which is the person who was most recently president. It seems clear that this was the person who recently resigned.

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