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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. The first time I read it I thought it meant that the person who actually filled the vacancy had to be a member of the executive committee. I also thought that very weird, but it wouldn't be the weirdest bylaw we ever saw. Of course depending on the structure of the organization, that might create a cascading torrent of vacancies, so I'm not sure what it means any more. If it's about decision making, it's even stranger, since decisions get made by the body as a whole, not by individual members.
  2. Okay, if I did in fact say "always" or "never" then I overstated. But I have seen this question come up in zoning boards and adjustment boards before, where some inexperienced member moves "to deny" an application, and when the motion is voted down, everyone is left scratching their heads trying to figure out where they are now. I know of one case where a motion to deny was voted down, the board adjourned, and the matter ended up in court with the property owner's lawyer arguing that the non-denial-denial was in fact a tacit or even explicit approval. Mercifully, I can't remember how it ended.
  3. It sounded the same to me. The board seemed in this case, presumably by some rule, to require the consent of the assembly in order to implement this proposal, and so it was not a motion to "reaffirm" but rather to affirm in the first place. Something along the lines of a motion to Ratify.
  4. Yes, individual membership removals (if the appointment was made by a body and not an individual) are in the nature of amending something previously adopted. Boy, I wish there were a shorthand way of saying "a two-thirds vote or majority of the entire membership without notice or a majority vote with notice" That comes up way too often.
  5. In fact the citation does not mention boards at all. It refers to "reaffirming" action taken by the assembly itself.
  6. I agree that the language on pp. 99-100 is more nuanced, and certainly gives a far more thorough and illustrative explanation of all the pitfalls of improperly framed and worded main motions. But I can't find anything in there that would seem to contradict what either of us said in our response to this specific question.
  7. Subsequent instructions to a committee require only a majority vote without notice. [RONR p. 169, l. 21-26] Also, a committee may be discharged by a majority vote without notice (normally this takes the same as Rescind) if it has failed to report in the prescribed time, or while the assembly is considering a partial report of the committee. [RONR p. 301, l. 9-15]
  8. I figured. On the whole it's refreshing to see someone dedicated to getting it right, as you obviously are, and taking RONR as seriously as you obviously do. We shouldn't let the struggle over the details obscure the big picture.
  9. No. When any motion fails, the effect is the same as if it had never been made. Obviously this motion should have been ruled out of order, since the same thing happens whether it is approved or not. That is why only affirmative motions are in order. In other words, the only proper main motion would be to approve a request. The way you deny it is to vote No on the motion to approve.
  10. Not according to RONR. In fact not even a unanimous vote of the committee would be enough to remove a member. All the committee can do is, by majority vote, request the appointing body to make adjustments in the committee's composition. The committee itself does not have a voice in who its members are.
  11. Well he is one of the authors. How much authority is too much?
  12. I understand the reasoning. But while §38, on the Renewal of Motions, exempts a motion that has been withdrawn by its maker from the restrictions on renewabilty, it does not mention motions that died for lack of a second. The reason given in the case of a withdrawal is that the assembly was never asked to decide the question. But in the case of a motion not seconded, the assembly did effectively make a decision. It decided, by its silence (unanimous dissent?) that the motion was not only unworthy of adoption, it was unworthy even of discussion. The case could therefore be made that the assembly should be protected from having to make this decision again on essentially the same question, which is the basic principle of nonrenewabilty. I think it would be reasonable to require that the motion be changed enough to present a substantially different question before it is offered again. Still, a wise chair might pause briefly before ruling a renewal of this kind out of order, just to see if someone takes the opportunity to second it this time. I don't think it's crystal clear either way on this one, nor is either way a real problem, frankly, but I think it would be nice if RONR mentioned this case explicitly. On the other hand, this tends to be fairly self-limiting. A motion dying for lack of a second often results in a maker dying of embarrassment, and probably unlikely to renew the exact same motion for that reason.
  13. Not by RONR, but the assembly or other valid authority could instruct them to.
  14. Does the "supersede and repeal" language occur in the actual motion adopted, and in the minutes? Or is it an informational notation included on the printed copies of the bylaws? Do the minutes record the new version of the bylaws in its entirety, as a complete revision (substitute) for the old bylaws, or do they contain only the amendments adopted, which are then woven into the printed version to arrive at the new document? If the latter, then the true and correct version could be reconstructed from the minutes.
  15. I wasn't expressing my personal feelings, I was expressing RONR's rules. [§39] Unless you can predict the future, you don't know that it will be defeated. And even if you did know, there is no provision in RONR to allow clairvoyant chairs to revoke the basic rights of membership, such as the right to introduce motions. Whether a motion is dilatory has no relationship to the likelihood of it's being adopted. Even if it could be mathematically proven that the probability of adopting a motion was zero point squat, this proves nothing. No motion offered in good faith can be considered dilatory, even if it takes a little time to dispose of, or is only favored by a minority of a third or less. There are ample safeguards provided in the motion for the Previous Question and several others, should the assembly not wish to debate the motion. But it is the assembly's decision, and not the chair's. (emphasis in the original)
  16. They are approved as "minutes" because that's what they are. They will officially record that a quorum was not present at the meeting, for one thing. They will also record when the meeting commenced, adjourned, and what (little) took place at it. But it was a meeting, and it did take place, so its minutes are minutes.
  17. You'll need to ask Dan that. For me, all I have to see is all that additional work that has to be done, and I'm ready to say "Nope, not gonna happen."
  18. Nobody said your bylaws made sense. But the time to notice that they didn't was when you adopted them.
  19. If you're unwilling to accept Mr. Honemann's assurance that web sites weren't intended to be considered publishing for the purposes of determining whether the extra inclusions in the minutes are required, then why are you willing to accept those requirements in the first place? No one is disputing the fact that for some purposes (copyright, for one) web sites are legally considered publishing. But for the purpose mentioned in RONR, the considerations could be (and are now confirmed to have been) different. But hey, if you have adopted the Duck Principle as your parliamentary authority, you should go with that instead of RONR.
  20. Would holding his coat be considered helpful?
  21. Yes, "Daniel H. " to be precise. Perhaps the middile inital will be the tipping point that convinces this group of skeptics?
  22. But you would be arguing on mighty thin ice. That section applies to officers of the society, not chairmen of committees, and the principle doesn't transfer well. Page 168 is the place to look for the methods of appointing chairmen, and everything there appears to assume that the chairman will be selected, in one way or another, from among the members of the committee. If the intent were otherwise, then language parallel to that on page 431 would surely have been included on page 168. Instead, what we see is this: Now it is true that the passage does not add "from among its own number," but to assume otherwise is to suggest that the committee has a power that the body that appointed it does not have, viz. to name a chairman who is not "one of them". That's a tough sell, in my view.
  23. Perhaps if you forward to them Dan Honemman's answer and then point to the name "Dan Honemann" on the cover of RONR they will regard his position as more persuasive. Or perhaps they are just very hard to convince, in which case, good luck with them.
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