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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. I would point out that neither unanimous consent nor an actual unanimous vote imply that all members are present, since both require merely 100% of those present and voting. It is correct that neither would protect the rights of absent members. (I think we can agree that basic rights of individual members are not imperiled here.) But, with the understanding that the basic purpose of previous notice is is to protect absentees, when there are no absentees, who is being protected, and from whom?
  2. If you never accepted the resignation, she has the right to withdraw it.
  3. If it's serious enough to remove them from executive session, you might be better advised to remove them from office completely, assuming you can. Removing someone only from executive session would be problematic. If not being allowed in executive session would interfere with their ability to perform the duties of a board member, or with your ability to obtain a quorum in executive session, you might regret that choice. Make sure you're punishing the offender, and not yourselves. But ultimately it's up to you (and your bylaws).
  4. Yes, you just need to be straightened out. When you say "vacant" I assume you don't mean there's nobody currently in the office, but only that (so far) there have been no nominations for the successor to that office. But nominations from the floor are allowed, according to RONR, whether or not there have been any formal nominations by a nominating committee, or mail, or whatever other methods you may use in your society. Even if your bylaws provide that the nominating committee reports a month prior to the election, or that written nominations have to be in by a certain date, it's perfectly proper to call for additional last-minute nominations from the floor just prior to the election. No motion is required, nor is one in order, since it would merely confirm what already exists. Furthermore, it's not even required that someone be nominated in order to be elected. Even in the complete absence of any nominations of any kind, you can still hold an election by handing out blank pieces of paper and having people write a name on them. And even if you have ballots with the names of nominees printed on them, voters may vote for someone else by writing in the name of their choice. Voting is a basic right of membership, and you will find that trying to interfere with it by prohibiting people from voting for their preferred choices is going to be frowned upon by RONR in no uncertain terms. Unless your bylaws specifically prohibit write-in votes, they are always allowed.
  5. If you voted to postpone indefinitely, it's dead; gone; kaput; joined the Choir Invisible; pushin' up the daisies. It is an ex-motion. Now if you want to revisit this issue, it will require a new motion, and what you do with it has virtually nothing to do with what happened to the old one. Whatever happens to this new motion will depend on what normally happens to new motions of this type, by rule or custom. RONR, by default, would say that a new main motion would only go to a committee if your EC decides to send it there. Do you have standing rules that say motions of this type have to go to that subcommittee first? If not, you (the EC) are free to handle it however you think best.
  6. For an ordinary resolution, as opposed to a bylaws amendment, previous notice normally is not required. But when it is: Previous notice can be given at the preceding meeting by announcing your intent to bring a motion to adopt RONR at the next meeting. If you intend to offer this as a bylaws amendment (recommended), that should be stated at the time. Previous notice can also be included in the "call" of the meeting at which you intend to move this resolution. The "call" is the official notice of the time and place of the meeting distributed a reasonable time in advance (by mail or as otherwise provided in the bylaws) to all members, usually by the secretary. Not all societies issue a call for regular meetings if the date, time, and place of each meeting is established in the bylaws or by a standing rule, such as "third Thursday of each month". It is required to call regular meetings when at each meeting the assembly decides the time or place for the next one. It is also necessary to call all special meetings. The call of a meeting typically does not include the full agenda of the meeting. But if your organization customarily distributes a draft agenda in advance of the meeting, including the time and place of the meeting, then this could be sufficient to provide previous notice of any items of business described, at least briefly, in the agenda. If this is merely an agenda that will be passed out at the beginning of, rather than well in advance of, the next meeting, then it would not be sufficient. The basic purpose of a previous notice requirement is to give members sufficient advance knowledge that a particular topic may be discussed or acted upon at a future meeting, if this knowledge might influence their decision on whether to attend. If you have no better definition currently in existence, let that be your guide.
  7. Yes, I agree. I stated that I didn't see how it was reasonable to expect someone to comply with a confidentiality requirement that had never been invoked. Someone who honestly relies on the lack of executive session as permission to reveal the content should not, in my view, be disciplined. The body has a certain responsibility to clearly delineate what matters are confidential. (In classified government briefings, a verbal announcement is made at the beginning and end of each session specifying the level of secrecy attaching to the information to be, or just, provided.) The idea is to help people who actually wish to comply with the rules to do so. But it is certainly possible that a circumstance could exist in which, for example, it would be clear to any reasonable person that revealing a certain fact could cause irreparable harm to the society. While this might suggest the use of executive session, something like this could occur completely outside of a meeting context. The society itself remains the sole judge, on a case-by-case basis, of what is and is not grounds for discipline, presuming proper procedures and safeguards are observed.
  8. Oh, a signed statement. Well, why didn't you say so? But if the bylaws are not specific, RONR definitely is. A majority is required to elect. With or without this gentleman's signed statement you have no winner. By the way, did you know that, by an odd twist in the history of lexicography, the word "gullible" does not actually appear in any dictionary? Strange but true--go have a look. /signed/
  9. I'm presuming there was an invisible smiley-face there. In fact, that's exactly the reason why you're not allowed to exit a voting booth with any evidence of how you voted. If you could prove how you voted, you could sell your vote. But nobody's going to pay you for a vote you can't substantiate. Saying, "C'mon, I disclosed how I voted" would probably not do the trick. If this guy is so trustworthy, surely they could get unanimous consent to just let him pick the winner. 'cause that's essentially what he'd be doing. Anyway, I haven't seen a rule in RONR that gives any credence to the "disclosure" of a ballot vote, so I'm sticking with the "no election" opinion.
  10. What clear and convincing evidence does he offer that proves he actually voted as he claims he did?
  11. If an affirmative motion is defeated, it means the status quo ante continues to exist unchanged. For that reason, a motion to leave things as (or where) they are should not be entertained by the chair, as the same objective could be achieved by not moving (in the parliamentary sense) anything at all. Such a motion is not truly an affirmative motion, as it attempts to define what the society will not do rather than what it will do. Trying to dress up the wording to make it sound affirmative doesn't make it any less frivolous.
  12. Yes, they are attempting to raise the mythical Point of Personal Outrage, which yields to the Motion to Recoil from Something Previously Adopted, and takes precedence over the Call for the Tedious Question.
  13. Since nobody got a majority, it looks like you'll have to try again anyhow, so the ineligible voter's vote won't matter. (Presuming you don't have some bylaw that allows a plurality to win.) I'd be concerned about the ineligible voter's claim anyway. How could he have proved to you how he voted? If it was a ballot vote, that's presumably not possible, as there is no evidence of how anyone voted. If voters could routinely cast a secret vote, and then act to remove one vote from any candidate they chose, that would be a strong motivation for panky of the hankiest variety.
  14. From your lips to Honemann's ears.
  15. Well, if they're 100% in agreement, they certainly have enough votes to amend the bylaws, but there may be notice requirements that can't be suspended even by unanimous consent.
  16. Shouldn't that be "or"? Yes, I know it isn't, but shouldn't it be? As I read this, in order for a rule in RONR not to govern, it would have to be inconsistent with both they bylaws AND any special rules of order, not merely either one.
  17. Overturn? Nnnnnno. But sometimes a president (who normally might not vote) can cast a vote that changes the outcome. Of course the count would already have to be within one vote of a tie for that to happen. But that's not "overturning" a vote, that's just voting.
  18. Of course any nominee may withdraw. The reason that only the lowest vote getter is mentioned is that only in the case of the lowest vote getter would it even be suggested that his name be removed from the ballot. Certainly nobody would suggest removing someone else and leaving the lowest vote getter. RONR just makes it clear that nobody gets removed. In the process of withdrawing, a nominee may also "throw" his support to another candidate, but of course the voters need not abide by this. They may even continue to vote for a candidate who has withdrawn, and possibly even elect him to office. If he then declines, they can't compel him to serve. They can, however, continue to vote for him in the new election. Eventually all elections end, just as all planes eventually land. As the air traffic controllers are fond of saying, "We've never left one up there yet."
  19. You can ask it another ten times, but the answer is you can't do anything, because you are not the chair, and you have given no indication that your bylaws require you to run the election, which I would be willing to make a (small) wager they do not. Therefore, doing so would be improper. The only appropriate officer to preside over the election is your presiding officer. The fact that the current president is nominated has nothing to do with it. After you give your report, she should open the floor to additional nominations, and if there are none, should declare the nominee elected by acclamation, for each office being considered.
  20. They absolutely need to have "someone" recording the meeting. The question is whether to amend that by adding the word "else".
  21. You can have a motion, or you can have unanimous consent, as long as it made clear that the executive session has ended at a certain point. Participants in the meeting need to know for certain whether they are in executive session or not.
  22. Because RONR does not allow electronic or other absentee voting (except as authorized in your bylaws), it won't have any details on the process, such as what constitutes a quorum or being "present" for the purposes of a quorum. If you've included an authorization for e-mail voting in your bylaws without considering those questions, you're going to have to figure it out for yourselves, somehow.
  23. The problem with saying "affiliates shall behave" in a certain way is that it requires continual verification, probably including a set if regulations implementing a monitoring and reporting process to ensure that the behavior was actually occurring, wasn't being avoided under suspension of the rules, and such. Saying "affiliates shall adopt a provision in their bylaws" requires only verifying that the provision has been included. After that, the regular procedures in RONR and elsewhere provide all the necessary structure for seeing that the rule is followed. It's the same advantage a society gains by adopting a parliamentary authority in the first place, rather than adopting all of their own rules at the start of every meeting. I also interpret it to mean that the normal amendment process is to be followed, but the outcome of that process must be that the provision ends up in the bylaws. Failure to secure the required vote to amend the bylaws would put the affiliate in jeopardy of disaffiliation, or failure to gain affiliation in the first place, as it would amount to rejecting the conditions of affiliation.
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