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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. It seems to me that the question centers on "ensuring that no members wish to make further nomination". I may be reading a lot into this, but I wonder how I as a member could be called upon to make (or refrain from making) further nominations if I am not fully informed on what the existing nominations are." I agree with my colleagues who have pointed out that the assembly itself is the ultimate judge of interpretation. I would only add one additional quote from RONR that may (or may not) be relevant to this situation. It sounds like you do not use a nominating committee, as such, but it sounds like your bylaws do attempt to embody the idea that, upon learning the nominations made, the chair must then check for further nominations. It clearly says that this may be done while the election is pending, or earlier, which seems to allow for written (i.e., email) notice (at least for those who have agreed to receive notice by email.) But it does appear that the additional nominations are presumed to be made with full knowledge of who has already been nominated. It seems to me that in order to make a reasonable decision on whether to nominate someone, a member would need to know whether the list of nominees is sufficient to allow the election of a good candidate. So I would expect that if this were done by email, it would go beyond a simple reminder of a deadline, and rather contain a clear request for additional names, given the list as it stands at that point. But I stress again that I am not a member of your organization, and am unfamiliar with you customs and rules taken as a whole. Your assembly is the final judge of interpretations.
  2. I think that would take more than one amendment. The provision making a rule suspendible should, in my view, be included with the rule itself, not with a separate list. In that way, people looking up rules in the bylaws do not have to check two separate places for every rule they check. Good luck with your implementation. Check back with us as needed..
  3. That's a good question. I don't know of anything in RONR that speaks directly to the issue, except to say that the assembly decides all questions about the validity of any questionable ballots. This may be a situation where the question should be put to the assembly to decide. I think this is a question on which people can, in good faith, disagree, absent some rule or custom. Personally I tend to think the vote should not be counted. RONR provides that before the result is announced a member has the right to change his vote. A case could be made that by resigning, the ex-member effectively requested that his vote be changed to an abstention.
  4. Also, I'd be particularly suspicious of the board (and especially individual members of the board) changing anything or meddling in the operation of a membership meeting, which is not their meeting to meddle in. There could be rules in your bylaws that permit this, but based on what you've told us, there are board members who are not above doing things with no apparent authority.
  5. I saw a recent story regarding mail-in voting in public elections. Ballots of people who had died after mailing their ballots but before election day were removed, presumably in accordance with state law. Those intent on lobbying against absentee voting spread the story that x-hundred dead people had voted, and this was evidence of fraud. The truth was that the votes were legally cast, and the problem ballots were detected and removed. No fraud occurred.
  6. I hope we're not talking about a provision that says any rule in the bylaws can be suspended. You should carefully consider which specific rules you want to be able to suspend, spend a lot of time time considering how that could be abused by someone with bad intent, decide what the vote threshold should be, and include that provision in that specific rule. Rinse, repeat for other rules, if any. The Catch-22 with quorum is that even if it's suspendible, you can't take a vote to suspend it until you have already met it. I'd advise against allowing suspension. If you're afraid it's too high, lower it by amending the bylaws and then use that number.
  7. Well, in the example I suggested, that would not change anything, as long as the chairman was able to get out his question about further business. When the member jumped up and said "Mr. Chairman!", the chair would still say "For what purpose..." and we're back in the sequence. The hope is that Mr. B will first learn not to shout out motions, and ultimately learn that it is bad form to attempt to adjourn before other members have a fair shot at introducing new business under New Business.
  8. I'm assuming your bylaws require the signatures of 20 members to call a special meeting. Is that correct? I wonder why executive board members would not count toward a quorum, or even what quorum has to do with this rule at all. A quorum is what is needed to conduct business at a meeting, not to sign a document. If board members are also general members, then they can sign as members, and will count toward the total of 20.
  9. Ah, but there is something to prevent anyone from jumping up and shouting out a motion. It is the rule that a member must be recognized before making a motion. It might go something like this: Chair: Is there any further business before we adjourn? Mr. B: I move to adjourn! Mr. S: Second! Chair: (addressing Mr. B ) For what purpose does the member seek recognition? Mr. B: I move to adjourn! Chair: The member is not recognized; the chair is awaiting a response. Is there any further business before we adjourn? if no response: Chair: As there is no further business, the meeting is adjourned. or, alternatively: Chair: Nothing heard, Mr. B is recognized. Mr. B: I move to adjourn. Mr. S: Second! Chair: The question is on adjournment. Those in favor of adjourning say aye; those opposed no; the ayes have it and the meeting is adjourned.
  10. There's not going to be a cite because if the rules in RONR apply, the only members sitting "up there with him" would be the recording secretary and possibly a parliamentarian. I'm assuming this is a membership meeting, not a board meeting. If it were a board meeting, homeowners could not move or second anything. If it's a membership meeting, other members of the board (presuming they are members of the association) would sit with and vote as homeowners. If your bylaws or special rules don't agree with RONR, then you follow your own rules.
  11. Then clip and print Mr. Honemann's reply. If you check, you'll see he's one of RONR's authors. :
  12. Well, assuming the agenda is approved by the assembly at the start of the meeting, then RONR says that adding an item to it would be a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted, which would require a 2/3 vote. If you do have such a policy, it's merely redundant. But you're still correct. It is usual for an agenda to contain a heading for New Business which has no individual items listed, as there is no way to know what they will be. So by moving new business, you are not actually adding anything to the agenda. In the cases where an agenda contains no such heading, new business is in order when other items on the agenda have been disposed of, unless your rules specifically say that it is not. What is even more usual is to have no agenda at all, but merely follow the Standard Order of Business (see §41): It might be good to dig up this "Policy" and see what it really says.
  13. If the rules in RONR apply, there is no need for any of those requirements. So if there is such a rule in your organization, it must be something in your bylaws or special rules of order. But I have seen many cases where someone claimed that some rule was in effect when there was no evidence of any kind that this was true.
  14. The role of the parliamentarian is to advise the presiding officer. The parliamentarian does not make rulings, the chair does. The chair also responds to parliamentary inquiries. I can't immediately think of a situation where having the parliamentarian address the assembly would be the most advisable course of action.
  15. Well, there's a direct contradiction about who votes for officers and when. The first paragraph says they're elected by the community at the annual meeting. The second says they're elected by the board at a board meeting, and that only board members are eligible to become officers. That needs to be cleaned up.
  16. No, it's a terrible idea.
  17. No, you can only do it by amending your bylaws. That may not have been the best choice of where to put that rule, but that's where you are now. In the future, consider putting rules like this in Standing Rules, which allows them to be suspended more easily.
  18. It's not clear in what order these things occurred. When was the annual meeting? When did the bylaws amendment pass? WHen did the member seek to change status? Of course RONR will not have anything about your bylaws, except to say that only your society can interpret them. But it's clear that a bylaws rule cannot go into effect before it's passed. If the rule was not in effect at the time the change was requested, then the rule can't be cited as applicable. And the exact wording of the amendment will determine what the rule really means. After all, someone who requests a change today has certainly done so before 5pm of the next annual meeting. Why would it be denied?
  19. Actually, that form makes sense in virtually all cases.
  20. The motion to Reconsider not having been made at the February meeting, it is too late now. The motion to Rescind might be in order, (see RONR §35). But as you note, it is not possible to rescind any actions that have already been carried out.
  21. This is a very common misconception, but a misconception nonetheless. The mover of a motion has no more control over it than any other member once it is placed before the assembly for consideration. Indeed, the mover cannot even withdraw the motion without the permission of the assembly.
  22. Well, in the order in which I read them, Josh's last message came before Rene P's reply, which I took to be an answer to it. In any case I await an answer to the details surrounding the relaxation.
  23. A bylaws amendment is more than just the motion to do so. It is a motion that has been duly adopted. If the motion can't be adopted at a regular meeting then the bylaws can't be amended at a regular meeting. I agree. If possible. Yes, but here we have not one provision with two possible interpretations, but two distinct provisions with conflicting meanings. In this case, either interpretation conflicts with and renders absurd the other. We cannot identify a meaning that does not render the other absurd, so this rule of interpretation offers no guidance on which must be taken as true. Well, if not the best than perhaps the least worst. Given the degree to which the two provisions disagree, I think it might make just as much sense for the assembly to simply pick one and ignore the other, possibly raise a point of order that the other is being violated, appeal the resulting ruling if necessary.
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