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Gary Novosielski

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Posts posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. 12 hours ago, Guest loreen said:

    members of the committee including the alternates were elected by the membership

    That's quite common, and the recommendation of RONR.  But the general rule is that the right to remove belongs to those with the right to appoint.  So it's unlikely that the chairman/president would have the authority to remove or replace committee members, unless there's some rule of yours that we don't know about.

    The members of the committee by majority vote could adopt a motion requesting the general membership to replace a member.  Or the membership could decide to do so on its own if it got wind of the situation and was concerned enough to take action.




  2. 2 hours ago, Guest Loreen said:

    If a nominating committee member has attended no meetings, can the chair simply replace her with an alternate or do we need the member to resign?

    In the typical case, the nominating committee is appointed by and reports to the general membership, not the board, and especially not the president, who, RONR suggests, should have nothing to do with that committee.

    So it depends on whether you do things that way, or some other way. The questions asked by Mr. Brown are good ones.

  3. 1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

    And I would agree. 

    Well, if it came down to it, so would I.  Bordering on dilatory isn't the same as crossing the line. 

    Besides, I can't read his mind to see that he's in favor, but objecting just to play with the process. Someone says "Objection", I say "Objection is heard."  But if I knew, somehow, that he really favored the request, I'd reserve the right to roll my eyes. 

    Inconspicuously, to preserve the appearance of impartiality. 😎

  4. 1 hour ago, Guest Susie said:

    The minutes say “motion rescinded” when if fact the motion was withdrawn. It never went to a vote, but the word  was used by the motion- maker. 

    The city manager says the minutes cant be changed. They have not been approved yet.  What’s up with a DRAFT for approval cant be changed, even if the person used the word “recind ”?


    The city manager is obviously incorrect.  Can't be changed?? The whole point of reading and approving the minutes is to make sure they are correct--and if incorrect, to correct them.

    When the minutes are pending, offer a correction to strike "rescinded" and insert "withdrawn".   That's what was actually done, even if it was called something else at the time.

  5. 14 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

    A motion to Discharge a Committee can be adopted by

    a) a 2/3 vote, or

    b) a majority vote if notice has been given, or

    c) a vote of the majority of the entire membership.

    This third option is more common in smaller bodies, such as a Council. For example, if your Council has 9 members, then any vote with 5 or more affirmative votes would adopt a motion to Discharge a Committee, whether notice was given or not.

    Good catch; thank you.

    I was thinking of one of the other two special cases where a majority is sufficient even without notice: 



    (a) if the committee fails to report within a prescribed time as instructed, and

    (b) while the assembly is considering any partial report of the committee.


    In any case, it appears that a Discharge motion rather than one to Rescind should be on the agenda for next time.

  6. 18 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

    You didn't finish the sentence. Someone can be in favour of a question, yet opposed to its adoption by unanimous consent.

    It's not necessarily about the what (adoption) but rather the how (process). 

    They may feel that some debate is warranted. They may know that there are some who disagree with the motion but are going to acquiesce to its adoption and they may wish that those people have a chance to speak.

    One is either opposed or in favor.  If you're opposed and choose not to acquiesce, then object.  Otherwise, don't.  Preoccupation with process at this fine granularity borders on the dilatory, in my view.

    Our hypothetical member, Mr. H, would be presumptuous to believe that "these people" are incapable of objecting for themselves, should they feel the need of a chance to speak, or that he knows what they need better than they do. or that if he objected for them, they would not acquiesce after all, but rather engage in debate.  They might well wonder why he objected, then had nothing to say in debate.

    It seems to me that Mr. H. is overthinking it.  Or perhaps it's really his own voice he's interested in hearing. 🙄

  7. 6 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

    If a member makes a request for unanimous consent in good faith, and therefore believes that all members of the assembly either support the motion or at least are not so strongly opposed to it that they will object, I would suggest that even though one member has objected, it will generally still be “clear that more than one member wishes to take up the motion,” unless the member is very misguided about the assembly’s feelings on the matter.`

    Thanks for the detail.

    I was considering rather, the case where the member makes the request in bad faith, counting on the fact that someone will object. 

    When a unanimous consent request is made, a single objection halts the process. The chair would have no way of knowing whether two, three, or all other members also object.

    Admittedly this is a bit of a strange parliamentary bird, but if the chair is free to require a second, I'm happy.

  8. 2 hours ago, Guest Doug said:

    I see, thank you for your feedback.

    We do not have a section for New Business, we only receive a list of items to be considered. So the first question to Council is for modifications to the agenda (additions etc.). Then an ask for approval of agenda.

    The item in question was originally introduced as part of a Comprehensive Improvement Plan comprised of many items and asking for approval. In March it was first moved that this particular item be defunded before the plan was moved for approval.

    If is confusing because the Councilman pushing this item also brought it to committee where it was tabled and still sits. 


    Oh, that's a different matter.  If the matter is in committee, it can't be considered by the full council until the committee has reported, or until it has been Discharged.  So neither a motion to Rescind, nor one to renew the funding, would be in order.

    You might want a motion to Discharge the committee from further consideration of the matter.  This would take a 2/3 vote, unless the committee had passed its deadline for reporting, in which case it would take a majority.  Then the matter would once again be in the hands of the full council.

  9. 41 minutes ago, Guest Mike said:

    Does an amendment to change the dollar amount of a motion (a type of substitution) if passed then require a vote on the main motion for the content of the motion apart from the dollar amount?

    eg: motion to donate $500 to the Girl Guides, seconded. Then with amendment, seconded to donate $750 to the Girl Guides.


    Amendments, if agreed to by a majority vote, change the language of the motion under consideration, but do not adopt the motion.

    It's quite possible that a person will vote for an amendment yet vote against final approval of the motion.  For example, suppose a motion is made to paint the clubhouse red.   Now suppose that you don't believe the clubhouse needs painting, and that you think that if it is painted, red would be the worst color.  Someone (maybe even you) could move to amend the motion by striking the word red and inserting the word white.

    If the amendment is agreed to, the motion changes to a motion to paint the clubhouse white

    When debate and other motions including other amendments are done, and the motion comes up for a final vote, you may still vote No because you don't want any painting done, but at least if the motion passes, you won't have to look at a red clubhouse.



  10. 4 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

    Well, the rule does say, pretty clearly, that by unanimous consent, the committee can consent to having its deliberations disclosed.    " No one can make allusion in the assembly to what has occurred during the deliberations of the committee, however, unless it is by report of the committee or by unanimous consent" .  Emphasis added.  I can envision situations where, say, a nominating committee does not go into its rationale in its report, but authorizes the chairman or reporting member to provide the rationale for a particular nomination if requested by a member of the assembly.  Nominating committee reports usually just provide a list of the nominees.

    I think it would make more sense for the committee to put whatever information it wanted to convey into the report.  And I don't think the committee could authorize the reporting member to provide additional info except by unanimous consent.  They could include it the report by a majority.

    Would it be limited to information on only one nomination?  Can this unanimous consent request be qualified that tightly?  And only if someone knew, or guessed, that the reporting member might provide info on deliberations if it were requested?  Someone familiar with RONR's rules probably would never ask.

    You may be right as the rules apply, but it strikes me as kinda janky.

  11. 3 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

    I'll bet there might be an argument:  The fact that the committee didn't select the sitting president was most certainly "alluded to" as having occurred in the committee by virtue of the content of the report.  So it would seen a proper rhetorical question to ask "Why not?"  Whether an answer goes much beyond "Well, we didn't think he/she was the best person for the job" is up to whoever responds to the question.

    That rule appears to say that if the committee wanted their reasoning to be known, they would have put it into the report.  I don't see how, having chosen not to include it, they could thereafter go into any detail without alluding to their deliberations.

  12. 9 hours ago, Guest Gregg said:

    Are there formal rules for a board of directors vote at an actual meeting versus the board voting via e-mail where members often travel, i.e, does e-mail voting require 100% approval/disapproval?

    E-mail voting is prohibited under the rules in RONR, except as provided in your bylaws.  If your state has rules that require organizations such as yours to allow voting by e-mail, then you would allow it.  If the state law leaves it up to your bylaws, then you'd need to amend them to include appropriate language authorizing the process, and presumably setting forth an appropriate threshold (such as 100% if you like) that would apply to such votes.

  13. 5 hours ago, Guest Austin Roth said:

    The Student Union I represent held a referendum back in 1991 to create a levy that students would pay over the term of 30 years for a new student centre building. The 30 year loan will be paid off in year 28 but the student centre is taking on a new capital project that is associated with the building that will take 2 years to complete. The cost of this new project is being lumped into the 30 year loan with a refinancing from my university.  Our Union has been asked if we could extend the levy past the 30 year term even though the loan will have been paid off. 

    Within Roberts Rules, do I need to hold a new referendum to continue this levy or can my board vote to extend the levy past the 30 year term since the loan will now not be paid off?

    Thank you, 

    If the original question was adopted by a referendum of the entire Student Union membership, the board would not have authority to override or amend it, presuming the rules in RONR apply.

  14. 5 hours ago, Pastor Tim said:

    It's been a few weeks since I posted this.  But...

    With the proposed amendments to the Constitution, including some we will leave to the Secretary to make (in accordance with RONR), would it be correct to say that an amendment (for example) to change the size of the Board of Directors would fall outside the permission given to the Secretary to make "technical and conforming changes" and have to come to the full body for approval?

    Waaaaaay outside!

  15. 2 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

    I generally concur with Mr. Novosielski, although I would also note that there are some circumstances in which the chair may declare a meeting adjourned on his own initiative. The most common of these is when the assembly has completed its entire order of business and no member seeks the floor to introduce new business. Is this the situation in your board, or are members moving to adjourn when there is still business remaining?

    That's true, as well as situations where danger threatens, but the question was about a member making a motion to adjourn.

    If this is merely being done at the normal ending time when its clear to all that the meeting has run its course, then it's a relatively harmless custom, but if members believe they can unilaterally shut down a meeting at will, that's a Bad Thing.  At best, it's a bad habit.

  16. No, it's not right, and no it's not good.  A majority vote is required to adjourn a meeting.  Raise a point of order.  Tradition (what parliametarians call custom) falls to the ground in the face of a rule on paper--paper such as the pages of RONR.

  17. 33 minutes ago, Guest Patti said:

    We restarted a committee. We are using the bylaws that were previously used when the committee was active; the committee was deactivated years ago.

    bylaws say in order to vote on a motion, a member must attend 3 consecutive meetings and vote at the 3rd meeting. this is our second meeting. can anyone vote on a motion?

    Apparently not.  Did this seem like a good idea at the time?

  18. Well, if the amendments offered are unfortunate, one would expect them to be voted down.  If they violate the law, the chair should declare them out of order.  

    I'm surprised that you have "no" bylaws.  Who did this "deeming"?  Are you saying that your entire bylaws was deemed illegal?  I can understand certain provisions being troublesome, but every word?

  19. Simply dropping a name from the ballot does not necessarily disqualify that person from receiving legal votes, unless the rule explicitly says they are ineligible.

    So, write-in votes for someone eligible to serve are counted for that person, whether formerly on the ballot or not.

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