Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Gary Novosielski

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. 1 minute ago, Guest Pam Boyer said:

    Can a member or members call a meeting? There is a required annual meeting each year the club has a national event, the Pres, has chosen to cancel the annual member meeting because they do not plan on attending. Can the members attending call a meeting?

    In this instance they may not need to.  If the annual meeting date is determined in the bylaws, then it does not need to be called.  People can simply show up.

    The President has no authority to cancel the annual meeting, unless some strange provision in the bylaws grants that authority.  There is no need to cancel any meeting simply because the President does not plan on attending.  The Vice President, if any would preside in that case, but if for some reason the VP is unable or unwilling, the meeting is still held, and at the start of the meeting, the Secretary (or basically anyone) can call the meeting to order and preside over the election of a President-pro-tempore to preside of the remainder of the meeting.

  2. On 2/25/2021 at 10:22 AM, Rob Elsman said:

    I thought it was pretty clear that the bylaw gave the board the right to limit debate in the general membership assembly, but I could be wrong.

    Well, it doesn't say that, and since it was a paraphrase, it could well be that the misunderstanding took place on its way to this forum.

  3. 12 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

    What, exactly, would you prefer the rule to be? Should any adopted amendment, no matter how innocuous, mean that the maker of the motion may now speak against it? 

    Well, if the adopted amendment were such that it caused the mover no longer to agree with the motion (to an extent that would justify requesting leave to withdraw) then why not?

    I agree with Dan that the correct interpretation of the rule as currently written is that this is not permitted, but I have not seen a persuasive argument on why the rule is beneficial and should be protected.  Was it common practice at some point for people to make a motion disingenuously, and then argue against it? 

    In other words, what was broken that this rule fixes?


  4. 6 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

    Why would a Point of Order be appropriate? What rule was violated by not including the member's comments?

    Amend something previously adopted is the correct motion to amend approved minutes, as noted in FAQ #16.

    Yes it is.

    But a Point of Order might have been a better choice than merely voting No on the motion.  If a member believes that a motion is not in order because it violates the bylaws, a Point of Order raises the underlying question and addresses it directly, and it also gets the ruling and possible appeal into the minutes, without requiring the permission of the assembly.

  5. 6 minutes ago, Guest Dan said:

    Hello, I am a Robert's novice.  Our organization is struggling with the question of when does a member obtain the floor for purposes of making a motion.  We generally follow an agenda, although the agenda does not call out new business.  Generally the agenda lists a series of motions which are to be voted and contains a sections for various reports. The chair has taken the position that only motions appearing on the agenda are in order because the agenda does not provide for new business.  A few members disagree.  Any assistance would be appreciated.

    The chair is incorrect.

    First, why does New Business not appear on the agenda?  Is the agenda adopted by the assembly at the start of the meeting, or is it just plopped down by the chair, and that's it?  If the latter, it is not binding at all.  If the former, anyone can move to add New Business to the agenda.

    But even if there is no heading for New Business, it is not correct that this prevents people from making new motions.  When all the business on the agenda is disposed of, and before adjournment, a member may obtain the floor and make a motion as if under New Business.

  6. 1 hour ago, Guest Carol said:


    We are holding a telephone conference call (Board of Directors for a club) - we go into a closed / Executive Session - discuss the issues and take vote in closed session. We come out of closed session. What is the proper way to make a motion and list the votes that occurred while in closed session? (now that we are once again in open session)

    If you're planning to make the results of the votes public, why are you taking the votes in executive session?

  7. 8 hours ago, David M. said:

    I want to first acknowledge the recent updates to RONR that dictate how and when electronic meetings are considered to be in good order. In the absence of a specific amendment to the bylaws, can the long-standing use of electronic meetings, conducted in good faith, negate the need for all past business to be ratified?

    No.  No amount of wrongdoing can turn it into rightdoing.  Permitting electronic meetings will require a bylaws amendment (and presumably some rules of order to allow for the non-standard nature of those meetings.

    But since the meetings were not properly called, the business transacted at them is not subject to ratification.

    If actions were taken as a result of those meetings, the actions can be ratified, presuming these are actions that the assembly could have authorized in advance.

  8. On 2/16/2021 at 5:09 PM, Guest Brad Perot said:

    If I make a motion or second the motion do I still need to respond yes to the roll call vote?

    Making a motion does not affect your right to vote on it any way you want, or not vote on it if you don't.

  9. On 2/16/2021 at 10:15 PM, Angie N said:


    Can someone please help with amending a motion? Does a member have to be granted permission? An example: If member A makes a motion to donate $200 to org A and Member B wants to amend to donate the $200 to org B. I understand to amend he would need to "strike out" org A and "insert" org B.  The presiding officer said she needed permission from member A before he can amend. Is that correct? 

    Absolutely not.

  10. If the rules in RONR apply, it is not correct to say that the person with the highest number (or the five highest numbers) of votes is elected.

    It is necessary to get a majority vote to be elected.  I.e., more than half of the number of ballots that have any director votes.  First you count all the ballots that have at least one director vote (count ballots, not votes).  Take the lowest number that's greater than half of that, and that's your "Needed to elect" value.

  11. 14 hours ago, Guest Phil R. said:

    Our organization is performing a mail ballot election for an executive committee. We have 12 members on the ballot and need to fill 5 positions.

    Our election committee decided to require that the voters must pick at least 5 names from the list of 12 candidates or the vote will be considered null and voided.

    In other words can the guidelines for for this election stipulate that if you vote for more than 5, or less than 5, the ballot will be considered null and voided?

    The election committee has no such power.  Voters have the right to abstain, partially or totally. Only the bylaws could change that rule, not some out-of-control committee with delusions of grandeur.

  12. 2 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:


    Ahhh,  I think I know what happened. Guest puzzling made a comment which had some incorrect information in it. Both Dan Honemann and I responded to it. I quoted from it but Mr. Honemann did not. Guest puzzling then asked that his post be deleted. Apparently it got deleted, so my comment responding to it seems to be out of place in the thread now because guest Puzzling’s comment has been deleted. That’s a problem with deleting comments.

    That would account for it.

  13. 12 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

    Um, vote of 6 yes, 4 no is not a two thirds vote. 

    The preferred term in RONR is “majority (or two-thirds) of the ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP”, not “of the membership). That is to avoid confusion as the term “of the membership“ can be used to refer to a vote of the membership as opposed to a vote of, say, the board. Also, RONR does not use the fraction “2/3”, but rather uses the term “two-thirds”. 

    I again urge you to read and study very carefully section 44 of RONR and especially 44:3 - 44:10. Pay particular attention to the word usage and the order in which words are used, such as “a two-thirds vote of” and “a vote of two-thirds of”. They do not mean the same thing. It is a subtle but very important difference in wording

    I don't see where this quoted material came from.

    It does not appear to be part of this thread.  Bug, perhaps?  I have a vague impression that I've seen something like it before.

  14. On 2/10/2021 at 11:27 AM, Guest Shawna said:

    [H]ow can you approve the minutes for a meeting at which you were not present. You would not be able to know for sure if the minutes were accurately recorded. 

    One obvious example would be if the minutes incorrectly recorded that you made a motion at that meeting.  You would certainly know that this was inaccurate, and you should certainly offer a correction..  In any case RONR explicitly states that any current member can participate fully in the approval process.

  15. 3 hours ago, Guest NFAE said:

     I serve on a public/elected Town Council. The meetings are governed by Robert's Rules (with no overriding by-laws or rules that I can identify). Also, I'm new to the body.

    The Mayor thinks she cannot make motions or second motions in the meeting. I showed her the pertinent section of RRoO, but when she asked our city executive they said, 'No, the Mayor can't make motions."

    I think this is wrong, but before I charge in to discuss this with the Mayor and executive in Public Session, I want to make sure the angels of right are on my side.

    If there are no overriding by-laws or rules, then where is it stated that RONR is the parliamentary authority?

    I find it almost unthinkable that the Council would have no bylaws.  Does it have a policy manual?  The bylaws are often included in that manual. And there must be state laws that establish the existence of municipal councils and give at least an overview of their operations.

  16. 5 minutes ago, Guest Carole Davis said:

    When our HOA voted to have our meetings run according to Robert's Rules can the board arbitrarily decide to use the rules they make up without a vote from the members 

    No.  If the rules in RONR apply, the board cannot make up rules that conflict with the will of the general membership or its bylaws.  Furthermore, the membership has the right to instruct the board and further restrict its operations.

    The board has only such powers as are granted by the bylaws. It cannot make up powers. 

  17. On 2/10/2021 at 6:13 AM, Guest Puzzling said:

    No, the kindle edition does have page numbers, sadly I do not think they are the same as the hardcopy version. (Just tap in the lower left corner) 

    The kindle page number of the first page of chapter V "the main motion" is 148, can someone check the hardcopy version?

    Hmm, you're right.  I had learned long ago not to trust these page numbers, as they seemed to vary with the font size, but they seem more durable now.

    In any case I doubt they match the printed book, unless the preface begins on page 24.

  • Create New...