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Gary Novosielski

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Posts posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. I feel pretty safe in saying that an action that was improper at a certain time under the bylaws then in effect would remain improper even if the bylaws were subsequently amended to permit such actions going forward.

    And vice versa.  Actions permitted by the bylaws at the time they are taken do not become retroactively improper as the result of a bylaws amendment, notwithstanding an ex post facto backdated effective time.

    A point of order, to be found well-taken, would be judged against the bylaws in effect at the time of the alleged breach.


  2. 13 hours ago, Sidd M said:

    My question is: As the chairperson, if I cancel the meeting, is it final, in that the members cannot convene a meeting by petition (or some other means)? I'm not sure if Robert's Rules of Order specifies some protocol that can allow the chair's cancellation of a meeting to be overturned.

    Unless you can come up with a rule allowing you to do so, a meeting can't be canceled unilaterally by the chair or other individual.

    There would be no need to "overturn" anything.  Members could just show up at the appropriate time and place and hold the meeting--appointing, if necessary, a chair pro-tem to preside, should you, (or a vice-chair if any) fail to attend.

  3. 15 minutes ago, Guest Daniel M. Levy said:

    Thanks for quick replies.  It will have been only 2 months, so no problem there.  Concern was that neither the person making the motion nor the one seconding it will be members at the time it gets voted on. Present members would still like to "officially credit" them.

    Once a motion has been moved, seconded, and placed before the assembly, it ceases to "belong" to the mover (or seconder).  It belongs then to the assembly as a whole, and cannot even be withdrawn by the original mover without the permission of the assembly.

    So, no worries, you can take it from the table at the next meeting.

  4. 3 minutes ago, Koleen said:

    Hi there - thank you for all the responses. This standing committee *does not* have the authority to act on behalf of the Board or organization - only the EC does. I hope this clarifies. 

    That would suggest the use of the motion to Rescind the resolution or motion that created the committee in the first place.   See RONR (12th ed.) §35.

  5. On 11/11/2020 at 10:36 PM, Shmuel Gerber said:

    I don't understand why there are so many opinions being bandied about on this. Isn't the passage that Mr. Martin quoted explicit about what the procedure is according to RONR?

    With the exception of my most recent post, all the other opinions were bandied about prior to Mr. Martin's apt citation.  My opinion, if anything, supported Mr Martin's and I bandied it about because the OP seemed unwilling to take Yes for an answer.  Even if undesirably bandied, I don't think it can fairly be called very many.

    And In my own defense, I must point out that I was left unsupervised.  😜

  6. On 11/12/2020 at 1:04 AM, Guest Linda said:

    At our Board meeting, the VP read a statement she wanted in the minutes thanking the resigning Treasurer and criticizing Club members for the way they had attacked and bullied her. She read the statement; there was no discussion.  The President would like a note entered into the minutes that the statement was the VP's personal opinion, that it was divisive and sharp in tone and may not reflect the opinion of the Board.  Would the addition of the President's note be appropriate?

    As Mr. Kapur has noted, neither statement should be included.  Have these minutes been up for approval yet?  If not, should they happen to show up in the draft minutes, then when Reading and Approval of Minutes is pending, a correction should be offered striking both statements.  Since the board did not approve of their inclusion, they don't belong in there. 

    I do not believe that it would be proper, even if a majority favored them, to allow them to remain, since the minutes are a record of what happened, not what should have happened.  The statements could be offered at this meeting by a motion, but that motion, in my view, should be voted down.  

    But it's foolish to predict the fate of a bad idea that has majority support.

  7. 6 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

    Or, as the late Kim Goldsworthy might want us to say in regard to this topic, a main motion is a motion whose introduction would bring business before the assembly if it took place and does bring business before the assembly if it does take place. 🙂

    I suggest a new section in the tinted pages outlining the characteristics of parliamentary situations that do not occur. 

    The good news is that motions whose introduction does not take place do not require a second and can't possibly interrupt a speaker.  There's two columns saved right there.

  8. On 11/17/2020 at 9:07 PM, NotSure said:

    The property manager chimed in at the end of the meeting, after the election was over, and said since I did not have my name on a ballot, I was not elected. She aid that in order to be elected I had to write my name on a ballot and turn it in, which to me makes no sense. Then she told the chair to tell me I was no longer a board member. It was actually quite humiliating.

    Edit: This was after she told the chair earlier that nominating myself was "legal" and it qualified me to be elected.

    I've heard more horror stories about property managers making up rules to the point where I would have to be shown the rule in writing before I believed anything of the sort.

  9. 17 minutes ago, Guest Mez said:

    At the AGM last night a number of resolutions were put to the meeting.  At the meeting a number of resolutions were declared to have failed.  The next day the draft minutes showed all resolutions has having passed.  It may be that there was a mistake in counting the votes held by proxies but can the outcome of voting be changed?

    No way.

    Were the minutes corrected I hope?

  10. If your bylaws require a ballot vote, then a ballot vote must be held.

    Nominations, whether from a committee, or from the floor, are part of the same election, and the ballot vote requirement remains in effect. 

    The bylaws may not mention nominations from the floor, but RONR does, so it is far from made up on the spot.  If RONR is your parliamentary authority then its rules are your rules, unless superseded by your bylaws or special rules of order.


  11. On 11/14/2020 at 9:13 PM, Guest roo said:

    I am president of a small club.  The secretary often voices her opinion during the meeting and it is irritating some of the members.  I have gently and privately told her that she and I should not be voicing our opinions during the meeting.  Not working.  Would I be correct to say ALL officers should not be editorializing during the meeting?  I am hoping this would have some weight.

    Unless you are chairing the meeting (and sometimes not even then), there is no reason that she or you should not be expressing your opinion during debate on a motion.  As long as she properly seeks recognition, is recognized, observes proper decorum during debate, and does not exceed the time limit, or limit on the number of speeches on a given subject, it's all good.

    If not, then since you've tried to address this privately, if she's just doing outbursts during a meeting, you can raise a point of order that she is speaking while not having the floor.

  12. On 11/15/2020 at 10:40 AM, Aidan said:

    I am on a small board for a social club.  We have once a month meetings.  At our last meeting the treasure made changes to the budget.  It was accepted.  Since then she has sent out an mail asking for a change to the budget to be accepted by email.  Is this legal to do since there is nothing in our by-laws stating we can vote by email?

    Thank you.

    No, it's not allowed unless your bylaws authorize it.

  13. On 11/12/2020 at 3:13 PM, Guest Leigh said:

    President resigned, nominating committee is nominating current treasurer to become new president.  Does treasurer have to be vacated first for this person to accept nomination for president

    When a president resigns, what is ordinarily required is a nomination to fill the resulting vacancy in the office of vice president.  Vacancies in the office of president usually do not occur, because of this automatic succession of the VP.  

    Do your bylaws have rules on replacing the president in particular, or do you not have a vice president?

  14. 4 minutes ago, Guest drjulieguillory@gmail.com said:

    Please define "good financial standing." In our organization, members cannot vote if their dues are not up to date. What if they owe for a defunct check, never submitted receipts, etc?

    RONR doesn't require anything like "good financial standing" so it's not defined there.

    If the term appears in your rules, it should be defined in your rules.  If not, it's time to consider adding that definition.

    I presume that someone who has not submitted receipts for reimbursement has not yet been reimbursed, so that does not seem like good grounds for removing voting rights, but perhaps that's just me.  RONR does say that failure to pay dues does not remove rights, unless so provided in the bylaws, which presumably yours do.


  15. 2 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

    I think I agree, but my issue is what is included in 48:3's one-off inclusion of specific additional information. What counts as specific additional information?

    Any specific information that is additional--beyond what is required to be in the minutes, and  not otherwise prohibited.

    Again, I don't see 48:3 as overruling anything.  It's just a catch-all, that says, Hey, we covered what to include, and what not to include. Now it's up to you to decide what else to put in your minutes, as long a you have majority agreement--the same criterion used for corrections. 

    It prevents people from arguing that the listing of some specific items prohibits all others of the same class. 

  16. On 11/13/2020 at 12:57 AM, Atul Kapur said:

    because RONR (12th ed.) 41:10 does consider it and is clear that a motion to approve minutes is not necessary but it is not out of order.

    Yes, the motion would not be out of order, but I believe a vote would be.

  17. Clearly a change from should not to must never be included is a strengthening of the rule, from a should rule to a must rule.

    The next section says that the assembly may include other information if it cares to. This is hardly a rule at all, since an assembly may already do as it pleases by majority vote, unless otherwise prohibited.  If anything, 48.3 is not a restriction, but an assurance that there is no restriction. 

    The distinction could not be more clear.

    I interpret 48:3 to apply to material other than the secretary's opinion, which is clearly prohibited in the section above it.  Unlike 48:3, 48:2 does not refer to information that can be included at will.  It refers to something that must never be included.

    I suppose 48:2 could be suspended, by a 2/3 vote, but I do not believe there could be a good reason to do so.  By definition, the personal opinion of one person has not been adopted by a majority vote.  If it were, it would be the assembly's opinion, and not the secretary's.  So for me, never means never.

  18. It makes no sense to put Approval of Minutes on an election ballot.  Reading and Approval of Minutes is a separate item of business and the rules for considering it do not include a ballot vote, or for that matter any vote on approval at all. 

    The only way to object to approval of the minutes is to offer a correction that fixes whatever the problem is.  When all corrections are disposed of, the minutes stand approved.

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