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Rob Elsman

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  1. The facts the original poster is providing have to do with seats on an executive board. As is quite common in many organizations, the terms of this executive board's members are staggered to prevent a sudden drain of experience that would occur if the terms of all the members expired at the same time and the members were not re-elected to another term. The question is a good one. Can a sitting member of the board run for another seat that is staggered without having to first resign the seat he now holds? I answer in the affirmative. In the case where he wins another seat with a staggered term, he effectively resigns from his original seat to take up his seat with the staggered term. On the one hand, he need not first resign his original seat to run for another seat with a staggered term; on the other hand, he does not acquire two seats on the board (with two votes) on account of his having won the election while holding his original seat--an example of the "one man, one vote" fundamental principle of parliamentary law. Only when the bylaws expressly provide for something else would this not be true.
  2. Without something other being expressly defined in the bylaws, I would take it that one-member-one-seat is the general intent.
  3. The current member need not resign to run for another seat staggered the way you describe. If your member wins, he effectively has resigned his current seat. What you have at that point is a vacancy to be filled in the way your group's bylaws prescribe.
  4. In my state, we have open carry. You can walk down the street without a license with your guns and holster, just like Matt Dillon.
  5. Voting is limited to members who are actually (that is, physically) present at the meeting at the time the vote is taken. If this member's vote affected the result, the vote is null and void and constitutes what is called a "continuing breach", because the violation of the rule involves a fundamental principle of parliamentary law. Assuming the member's vote did, in fact, affect the result, any member of the board may raise a Point of Order at a quorate meeting of the board, as long as doing so would make any difference. Any two members of the society who are aware of these actions of the board may initiate a disciplinary proceeding at a general membership meeting—perhaps, to convict and punish some or all of the members of the board, as the facts and the harm done may warrant.
  6. If by "Y/N vote" you mean what is commonly referred to as an "up or down vote", you should be aware that a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted is debatable and amendable. Nothing found in RONR (11th ed.) authorizes an executive board to require its parent assembly to handle the revision of the bylaws with the use of such an "up or down vote". That's like the cart pulling the horse. Or, putting it another way, it's insubordination by the board, an offence for which the members of the executive board can be punished by means of a disciplinary procedure.
  7. One of the few motions that is in order at the assigned hour at which to adjourn is a motion to set aside the Orders of the Day. See RONR, (11th ed.), pp. 222, 223.
  8. In conventions, it is not uncommon for the program or agenda to include a day and hour at which to adjourn. This should be considered a special order assigned to a certain hour. This is principally because the society has contracted for the use of the convention hall for a fixed period of time, at which it is to be vacated. In these cases, when the assigned hour has arrived, the chair should interrupt the pending business to announce that the hour to adjourn has arrived. After handling any of the few motions that are in order at this point, he may make any necessary announcements and proceed to the closing ceremonies or declare the convention adjourned.
  9. § is usually used to designate one section. §§ is used to designated multiple sections.
  10. With a degree of fear in my heart, I humbly disagree with Mr. Gerber (who, it is my understanding, will be listed as one of the authors of the upcoming 12th edition. Congratulations!) that a motion to Recess for a longer period of time than the period of time scheduled in an adopted agenda would not be a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted or, otherwise, not in order because it would conflict with a main motion previously adopted. Perhaps, I'm being a stick-in-the-mud, but, however much one tries to put striped pajamas on a horse, a zebra is not the result. My problem with this whole discussion (will someone get my soapbox?) is my sneaking suspicion that this "body", and all assemblies that meet at least as often as quarterly, should not use an agenda at all; instead, they should follow either the standard order of business or a special order of business adopted as a special rule of order. On this forum, we continually encounter frequently-meeting assemblies that persist in the bad practice of adopting an agenda, especially misused as a way to suppress members who want to introduce new business that is not included. How can I make this misuse go away? Nothing in RONR prohibits the transaction of other business after the agenda items have been disposed, even in assemblies that properly should adopt an agenda. The proper way to suppress the introduction of further business is adoption of a motion to Adjourn. In those assemblies that are bound by the general rule to follow the standard order of business or another established order of business, a motion to adopt an agenda is not in order, unless the rules that interfere have first been suspended for this purpose by a two-thirds vote. That may come as a shocker to many groups that persistently misuse the motion and to many poorly-trained presiding officers who habitually admit the motion when the rules have not been suspended for the purpose. How more can I encourage frequently-meeting assemblies to conform? The standard order of business is quite useful for almost all ordinary societies. It is easy to use. It is quite flexible. Why on earth, except for poor training and habit, would societies create continual discord and disunity over agendas that shouldn't even exist? Please, please, read what RONR has to say on the subject, and help your group get rid of these troublesome agendas.
  11. Certainly, I agree with Mr. Mervosh that Division of the Question is the proper motion to use if the text is easily divisible without more than the most simple and obvious editing. It often happens, however, that this kind of division of the text is not possible, in which case, much the same thing can be accomplished by moving to Amend the main motion, one time or more, by striking out the objectionable paragraphs. Each motion to Amend will be debatable and amendable. The adoption of the primary amendment will have much the same effect as the rejection of a corresponding part of the divided main motion.
  12. I have become ever more convinced that my previous opinion is the correct one.
  13. I motion, Lay on the Table, is used to quickly lay aside motions in order to deal with a matter requiring urgent consideration. Given the facts presented, the motion would be misused and would not be in order.
  14. Provided the text of the motion is divisible within the rules, a motion to Divide the Question is also a possibility.
  15. Putting the question on a motion regularly forces a single vote on the motion, even if the motion contains multiple "controversial aspects". The ordinary way of obtaining a separate vote on any "controversial aspect" of a motion is to move to Amend the motion by striking out the offending words or paragraphs or by striking out the offending words or paragraphs and adding new words or paragraphs. Personally, I see nothing in the quotation provided that authorizes the Executive Board to interfere with the general rules pertaining to amendments. The scope of the quotation seems to me to be limited to the characteristic of debate. Debate and amendment are two different characteristics of any motion, as is evidenced by Standard Characteristics 5 and 6, RONR (11th Ed.), p. 80.
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