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Nathan Zook

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Everything posted by Nathan Zook

  1. My example is a quote from the form which I have observed the Speaker of the House use. It's entirely unrelated to bodies using RONR, particularly since "laying upon the table" means something very, very different.
  2. If find the form that is used in the US House to be...interesting. "It-appears-the-ayes-have-it-The-ayes-have-it.-Without-objection-the-motion-to-reconsider-is-laid-upon-the-table." It's the sort of thing that makes one wish to run for congress solely for the joy of playing merry havoc with the thing...
  3. There is an unfortunate tendency to attempt to use rules to settle or prevent disputes within organizations. RONR already states that it is the duty of each member to cheerfully support the implementation of decisions by the body until they can obtain the vote to reverse the decision. If a committee, or the president is defying the body, adding another rule is not likely to fix the problem. A body can discharge a committee from duties if necessary, or even dissolve the committee (subject to limitations of the bylaws.) Individual members, including the president, can be brought up on disciplinary charges. Such matters are often painful to contemplate or execute, but by bringing the dispute to the direct attention of the body, they bring the issue to a definite close.
  4. As I take it, the order of events is as follows: 1) The board adopts a rule permitting email voting. 2) A motion has been made, and "discussions" relating to it, have occurred. 3) The voting opened. 4) Some votes have been cast. 5) Email sent prior to the opening of balloting arrived. (This can generally be verified by checking the headers of the email which has been received.) 6) At some point, the balloting will close. This conundrum is inherent to attempting to conduct business via email. The lack of physical presence, and of immediate voting, means that situations of this sort are the norm. Moreover, email voting is fundamentally different than any of the forms of voting contemplated by RONR. If anything, it is closest to the "lightboard" voting common in the US congress and many state legislatures. 1) I can think of no meaningful way to stop email between members while a vote is ongoing. Any rule supposing to do so is really attempting to legislate the impossible. 2) Ongoing discussions, by their very nature, have the ability to change people's minds. I personally have seen a vote flip from unanimously for to unanimously against when a person who had been offline weighed in during an email vote. 3) The natural solution seems to be to allow members to change their vote at any time prior to the close of polling. I must stress that nothing in RONR requires that this be the practice. Note that if this IS the rule, there remains the problem that email is by design not an immediate form of communication. In general, it is immediate enough to be effective, in my view. 4) If a body follows my suggestion to allow votes to be changed, then I strongly recommend that polling be held open for a set time, and not just until everyone has voted. That way, any late-arriving information has a clearly delimited time for arrival and effect. Note that I am implying that emails are being sent to all members, and not solely to the chairman. From the standpoint of the security of the vote, I do not see any other way to handle voting. For the purposes of smoothing the process, I would recommend that members make a practice of explicitly abstaining. Again, there is no way to make an effective rule requiring them to do so.
  5. My point is that the word was chosen more than a century ago. This a historical question. Of course, some of the folks here are history buffs as well, so the complete answer may be forthcoming.
  6. That's more question for a linguist...
  7. In an earlier life, two professional organizations in my field had a tradition of holding a joint week-long annual convention. My understanding is that the business meetings were held on different days during that week. This would be acceptable.
  8. That reminds me of a post from the earlier days of Usenet, talking about the nature of debate, "It has been said that academic politics is so nasty because the stakes are so low. Welcome to the new low." Certainly, a society may do as it pleases. But a couple of excited people may be able to convince a society to take a course of action which is dangerous for the society. Few people outside IT understand the fundamental problem that anonymous-internet-secure is impossible, and that any decision will, at best, be making tradeoffs.
  9. While addressing this section, you might want to think long & hard about there being an office for and ex-president at all. Suppose a president were removed with cause, but retained membership in an organization. There might well be a great deal of acrimony. The ex-president would then be in a position to cause a great deal of trouble. The in-between option would seem to me to be: "Be informed of all meetings of the Executive Committee, and, subject to the will of the committee, be permitted to speak and make motions and to speak in debate." The "subject to the will of the committee" then permits the committee to adopt a motion to exclude the ex-p by majority vote should that become necessary. But that's just one thought.
  10. The start of the post addresses public elections & their machines which won't matter for many assemblies. When he gets into voting over the internet, however, it DOES apply. Anonymity, secure, internet--pick at most two.
  11. Also, keep in mind... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkH2r-sNjQs
  12. As I said, this transcript is more for edification than for questions. This class of behavior is not new, it's just that it is in practice impossible to correct an abusive chair in an online meeting. The process of seeking recognition itself is difficult, when it comes to points of order. He did "rule" that the point was too late. What was too late was his acknowledgement of the point of order--I did raise it before he moved to the vote. And yes, he went to the vote on the rules without any debate.
  13. For those who are not familiar with how these things go down, I'm posting what just happened when we move to the question of adopting the rules. The chairman was speaking in video. The comments should be reasonably self-explanatory. What happened was not a surprise. This is why I do not agree that such events can be considered deliberative assemblies. My point of order was not acknowledged until after the vote was opened. Then, he stated, "If the motion fails, then we will have debate." There is no parliamentary question here. I'm simply wanting to ensure that the assembled luminaries have seen what some of us are up against.. Nathan Zook27 minutes ago How do we debate the proposed rules? thomas watson26 minutes ago second Nathan Zook26 minutes ago Snohomish county: point of order: debate ! Alexis Wallace25 minutes ago floor debate Marcello Mancini25 minutes ago Second - Marcello Mancini 8 - 25 - 296 John Berg25 minutes ago POINT OF ORDER: Debate needed. Hannah Joy25 minutes ago huge delay! Andrea Sehmel25 minutes ago I second Alexis’ floor debate Natalie Zook25 minutes ago Snohomish county: point of order! Debate. Mark Naulty25 minutes ago Point of order is appropriate John Berg25 minutes ago POINT OF ORDER: Debate needed. Edward Norton25 minutes ago Snohomish County. Point of Order! Debate Sami Jensen25 minutes ago Why would you be asked to input on the rules and suggestions, when your emals are not acknowledged? Andrea Sehmel24 minutes ago Retract all votes under Point of Order is resolved Debbie Knutsen24 minutes ago Do people know they need to vote, submit and CONFIRM? Nathan Zook24 minutes ago Snohomish county: Appeal ruling of the chair Andrea Sehmel24 minutes ago This is what happened in Thurston 5 weeks ago. Natalie Zook24 minutes ago Debate comes first. Everyone knows this. John Berg23 minutes ago I APPEAL THE DECISION OF THE CHAIR: Rules are debatable before vote. Sami Jensen23 minutes ago debate first!! Joseph Murphy23 minutes ago Who cares if its what happened somewhere else. If you have a problem with it vote no. Easy to do. Martin Metz23 minutes ago The process to move to an action is being presented to preclude use of rules of order. May need to slow down those technological procedures. John Berg22 minutes ago I APPEAL THE DECISION OF THE CHAIR: Rules are debatable before vote. Nathan Zook22 minutes ago My point of order was raised before the voting was opened. C Davis22 minutes ago Isn’t a motion debatable, before the call of the question? Stephanie Gleason22 minutes ago We need more time to discuss these. I don’t believe the chair should be fast to call for votes Jessie Westcott21 minutes ago vote to reject the rules if you want the debate. everybody is doing the best they can under very unusual circumstances… William M Johnson21 minutes ago I agree just vote no if you disagree Joseph Murphy21 minutes ago Then vote no if you want it to get turned down. How hard is that to do. Mark Naulty21 minutes ago Caleb, it doesn’t matter if the Rules look great, we still are beholden to Robert’s Rules of Order which requires debate on this motion. Sami Jensen
  14. Uggh. Not my night. Sorry.
  15. That's what I get for cowboying. Sorry. I'll check more carefully next time.
  16. IPP is a Bad Idea. You appear to be dangerously close to experiencing one of the reasons why. While we're on the subject of modifying your bylaws, I also feel compelled to point out that I perceive some problems with this paragraph. 1) "They shall hold office for two years and until their successors are selected." The recommended language is "They shall hold office for two years or until their successors are selected." The use of "and" would appear to exclude removal for cause, absent other language in your bylaws. 2) If a vacancy in the office of the President occurs after a year, more-or-less, and assuming the Vice President fills the vacancy, can they then be elected to two terms as President? If so, this would appear to contradict "two consecutive 2 year terms only." If not, this would appear to violate "two consecutive 2 year terms only." 3) If a person becomes President, and is re-elected, may he then immediately run for Vice President? What if the newly-elected President resigns at the next meeting of the board? If he then becomes the President, can he run for reelection? I believe the solution to the class if issues mentioned in 3 above are handled if a President who has been term-limited cannot serve as President or Vice-President for the entirety of the following term. The issues in 2 above are handled by explicitly handling the case of partial terms.
  17. As the responses indicate, the precise language in the bylaws is at issue. Both as it relates to the composition (does it say that there are five members?), and to the staggering. Absent the full relevant language, we are being a bit speculative. If the bylaws state that there are five members on the board, that there are four officers, and that there is one board member at large (either by saying one, our by using singular language exclusively), then no person may hold two offices by the Pigeonhole Principle. If the bylaws state that two members shall be elected in even years, and three in odd, then it has stated that there are five members. If they state that certain offices, including the at large member, are elected in certain years, then we have a lack of clarity. Although, if the President and Vice President are elected in the same year, I would argue that it is absurd for the President to run for Vice President as well. Members should probably be made aware that if a sitting member is elected to a different position, that the vacancy is created AFTER the election, which might (depending again on the bylaws) mean that the board will fill the new vacancy.
  18. I always raise a point of order when they don't call for the "nays".
  19. Just to be crystal clear, the custom of "friendly" amendments is no where to be found in RONR. Before the question is stated, it can be modified by the maker. (And if this happens, it requires a new second.) I've rarely seen societies that try to do this not run into problems when it turns out that an amendment is not friendly to the maker.
  20. First, as stated, the definition of member is in the bylaws. The Roman mention mentioned above functioned as if the clans were the members, and the vote of the clan was determined by the members of the clan. I have seen this type of rule in religious communities. These bylaws have been typically drawn up based upon practical matters of wanting to avoid pocket voting by children living at home and the like. The question of how the vote of the household is determined is then often implied by the doctrine of the community. As usual, this works find until there is a serious dispute. And, absent a serious dispute, it is typically impossible to convince the community to make a formal declaration in the bylaws about what is to be done. To me there are three options: 1) Define voting members as individuals subject to some restriction. Note that I am specifying "voting" members. There are doctrinal implications to being a member of some religious societies, and there is no requirement that all members be permitted to vote. (In particular "members" might be younger than eighteen, and there might be legal implications if they voted on certain business matters.) 2) Define voting members as households, and specify in the bylaws what member of a household speaks and votes for the household. (Or perhaps allow all members to speak, but one to vote.) 3) Define voting as by household, and specify that the vote is shared by the members of the household. Again, you might want to think carefully about allowing, for instance, minor children to claim a share of the vote of the household. This creates fractional votes, and the tellers will need to be prepared with spreadsheet software to handle it. Note that I exclude the Roman model. The immediate problem is that a two-member household might well split--and then what? Is that an abstention? This creates weird dynamics in the case where a two-thirds vote is required to pass a motion. As for what your current bylaws mean, we would need to see the exact wording to offer our views, but in the end, the society will have to interpret them (or amend them) itself.
  21. No body of law can completely address all related matters perfectly. That is, after all, why we have RONR, and not just the original RRO. It has been my concern that the calling of a meeting in defiance of the civil authorities constitutes an imposition on the members (namely, the hazarding of arrest and fine) in order to participate in the meetings of the society beyond what is permitted by RONR. The response has been that RONR has specifically carved problems this sort as not being part of parliamentary law. The remedies then become the usual ones when the chairman or an assembly engages in deeply problematic behavior not in violation of RONR.
  22. In two places, RONR (11th ed) pgs 111 & 343, specifies that motions which violate the law as to procedure are immediately out of order and void. This spring associations are encountering social distancing and stay at home orders from governors. In Washington state, these orders come with the threat of a $5000 fine. Setting aside the question of the constitutionality of the orders as a matter of a different body of Law, I'm wondering about the propriety of meetings being called when attendance at the meeting implies hazarding the threat of arrest and a $5000 fine. Surely, an assembly can only obligate its members through its bylaws or constitution. It seems to me that in the case where meeting itself is an act of civil disobedience, absent prior mention in the bylaws, only the unanimous consent of the membership can permit such a meeting.
  23. On the original subject... The founder's discomfort stems primarily from his high ethical standards, not from any particular requirement in law (parliamentary or otherwise). The provisions of the bylaws which I expect to be contested will center around adding members & political endorsements (it is a political society). Also, we have an election coming at the end of the month, and the focus of the membership needs to be on that, not hammering out the details of a new organization. Also, I believe that it is the intention of the founder to include the proposed bylaws in a email to the interested parties before the meeting. I certainly will advise that. As to the substantive responses... Putting a provision in the bylaws for automatic expiration does not make their amendment easier--it merely forces the society to dissolve should no amendment be approved. As for my two specific queries, it appears that the idea of lowering the bar for amending bylaws for a specific purpose does not pose any particular problem. It also appears that there is no objection to dispensing with the formality of the first organizational meeting (RRO 11 p554), given the nature of the call.
  24. Welp, I guess I found out which part of the internet this is. And, for clarification purposes, I'm male. So, if I stick around for a bit, I can figure out how to make all of my topics "hot" by learning people's pet peeves? As for me, my peeve is people referencing a versioned document without referencing the version...
  25. A friend of mine has a vision of creating a new organzation. He called a meeting to gauge interest, and believes that enough exists. As it happens, there is a need both for somewhat extensive bylaws (and these will be hotly debated), and near-immediate action. Furthermore, he is nervous about holding funds for the prospective organization, let alone using them for definite action. I've read through the sections on mass meetings & organizing a society, as well as the general provisions regarding the bylaws. I'm going to be walking through the detailed explanation of the sections again, as I've not needed to avail myself of that in over a decade. His idea was to enact "temporary bylaws" in the upcoming meeting (10 days) and temporary officers so that bank accounts & etc could be established & that the permanent bylaws be adopted at the next meeting. I double checked, and of course there is no reference to "temporary bylaws". Moreover, RRO XI is explicit that it takes at least two meetings to organize a society, and that until the society is formally organized, no action can be taken on its behalf. The notice of the meeting, which he sent out three days ago, includes the following: "The Organizational Meeting of X has been set for Monday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Y address. We will send out the agenda prior to that meeting, but the main purposes are to put in place what we need to start to operate our organization, and there will be announcement on a special guest who will speak on Z." It would appear to me that the situation could be treated as if the initial meeting of the organization has already taken place. Thoughts? My original idea was to use the skelton bylaws from RRO, and strip them down to the bare minimum, with a provision that the entire thing be up for revision at the next meeting by majority vote of those paid, present, and voting, and adopt them at the next meeting. Does this seem advisable?
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