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  1. Francis 'Democratic Rules of Order' is a Canadian authority. I use the word 'authority' very loosely -- I've been working professionally for thirty years and have never heard of an organization that uses it. [At least not in the U.S.] I have a copy of the 7th edition [2003]. Approximately 28 pp of text, another 30 of FAQ. It is overly simplified, as one can imagine, but can be a useful book for small organizations that work mostly by consensus but still want some degree of guidance. I would think it virtually useless for large groups, particularly those with complex agendas, factions, and
  2. HOWEVER....both the change in meeting date and the actions taken on Nov 14 can be ratified at the next properly held meeting. RONR (12th ed.) 10:54-55, 23:9.
  3. For what it's worth, I think this is being made more complicated than it needs to be. The vote required is "a 3/4 vote of the active membership in attendance. There are two elements: 1) the proportion that must concur, here 3/4; and 2) the set of members to which the proportion applies [44:7]. A "3/4 vote" is syntactically equivalent to RONR's unqualified "two-thirds vote" [44:3]. That is, 3/4 "of the votes cast by persons entitled to vote", excluding blanks or abstentions...[ibid.] The "persons entitled to vote" are the active members present. The modifier 'active' merely refines that se
  4. Under the 12th edition, the basic rule for a quorum in a convention hasn't changed -- it is the number of delegates registered as attending [40:2(3)]. However, with Zoom and similar software you frequently must register in advance to get the link. Not all who "register" actually show up. My first thought is that the quorum should be based upon the number of delegates present when the convention is called to order. While that would omit stragglers who registered in advance but login in a few minutes late, they can be added during a supplemental report. Anyone have any different conc
  5. Responding solely to Mr. Eslman's comment about my earlier assertion -- I apologize for the ambiguous response. He is correct that calling a special meeting must first be authorized in the bylaws [unless in connection with a disciplinary matter.] When I said it was an assembly's right "unless the bylaws say otherwise" my "otherwise" was intended to refer to circumstances where "the designation in the bylaws of those who can call such meetings does not include the assembly." [See fn. p. 661] For example, it is common for Bylaws to say something like "Special meetings may be called by the Pre
  6. I respectfully disagree in part....every assembly has the right to call for a special meeting unless the bylaws provide otherwise. [RONR 11th ed. p.92 ll. 11-12]. The method for doing so is adopting a motion to schedule such a meeting. A motion to postpone a subject to a special meeting is essentially combining a motion to schedule the meeting and then a motion to postpone to it. This can be done with two successive motions by majority vote -- or can be done via a motion to suspend the rules to entertain the combined motion.[p. 262 ll. 9-17] Thus, to answer the original question, it takes e
  7. It is beyond the scope of this forum, but if your congregation is incorporated you should also check with an attorney familiar with the nonprofit code of your state. Many, such as California, have provisions that keep directors in office until their successors are elected.
  8. "If thus accused, he has the right to due process—that is, to be informed of the charge and given time to prepare his defense, to appear and defend himself, and to be fairly treated." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 656) Allowing the hearing panel to consider the letters when they have not previously been shown to the charged party is hardly "fair" treatment. If the letters contain evidence that the charged party may be able to rebut, she is being denied the opportunity to defend herself. If they do not consist of evidence and simply argue that some disciplinary action be taken, showing them to th
  9. Just to clarify....you do not record what was said; but it should be noted in the minutes that public comments were received and perhaps how many spoke.
  10. I generally concur with the previous answer, but disagree it should be specified in the rules. That may be too generous or too restrictive for the motion under consideration. What is reasonable for a simple yes/no vote is different than a question with more than two options which is different than an election using ranked voting etc. I think it best left to the presiding officer's reasonable judgment for the circumstances -- if that proves not to be working, you can then adopt an appropriate rule or rules but they will be one based upon actual experience.
  11. This is a good example of why it is important to understand the difference between abstention and recusal and to use the correct term. Many people mistakenly use the terms synonymously. Recusal is a foreign concept to RONR; it is a legal principle -- thus, beyond the scope of this forum. For purposes of RONR there are two issues. 1) What is the vote required? 2) How many members are present? Depending upon the state, the type of board, and the circumstances sometimes a recusal is equivalent to an abstention. If that is the case, the result is pretty much as the responses above i
  12. Echoing the responses above, it makes no practical difference whether your Board president recuses herself or simply abstains. It requires a majority vote to adopt so in either case if it is a tie vote the motion fails. That ends the matter for Robert's Rules. However, since you sign yourself "frustrated public servant", it appears you may be part of a public body. There are often different rules for public bodies -- those are legal principles beyond the scope of this forum -- but generally speaking to abstain simply means you refrain from voting; you may have already debated, voted on a
  13. I can't provide authority, but I was once given an anecdotal explanation by a British colleague...he was much more precise and used something akin to Chaucer's prose; I am paraphrasing. At the north end of the floor of the House of Commons, just in front of the Speaker's chair, sits the Clerk's table. There were/are several functions that Clerk performs, but one of them is calling up each item of business in its turn and helping the Speaker keep track of the pending business. In the early days of Parliament, if you -- the King, Clergy, or MP -- wanted to introduce a bill [or other pro
  14. "Can a member pose a question to a colleague and then, when the question has been answered, continue with a speech? Or does a member lose the floor after posing a question?" While I generally agree with the responses to your other questions, I disagree on this point. No...the member may not make a speech. The prior answers would be correct if the member with a question was assigned the floor. But a member recognized for a Request for Information is not assigned the floor. The original speaker still has the floor -- that is why the time for the question and answer is deduc
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