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  1. Thx both. I've worked with both products in small meeting situations -- gotomeeting is probably the more robust of the two. I'll continue my exploration and repost if I find anything worth sharing.
  2. Many associations are now cancelling or postponing their annual meetings -- while others are trying online meeting software like gotomeeting or zoom. Those can work for small boards and committees -- but are they practical for a meeting with several hundred members or more? gotomeeting and zoom can handle basic agenda, giving reports, even making main motions. They break down with debate, amendments, and anything having to do with order of precedence. Assuming governing documents or state laws permit electronic meetings, is anyone familiar with any software that can accommodate those intricacies? Not looking for perfection, just a fighting chance.
  3. If I may be permitted a variation -- how about changing a motion "distributed" in advance to wording where notice is a requirement? Probably explained best with an example. Association prepares the call to meeting and mails it to all members fifteen days before. The agenda [distributed with the call to meeting] includes a proposed motion to waive monthly dues for members who become unemployed due to layoff. At the meeting, an opponent of the motion raises a point of order -- the dues are set forth in the Bylaws. Bylaw amendments require fifteen days written notice. Since the call was sent out fifteen days prior, a substitute motion is made to amend the bylaws to grant waivers for up to six months. If the bylaws required that written notice of a bylaw amendment include the exact wording of the proposed amendment, this might not be kosher. If the bylaws required only that the notice must provide the "substance" of the proposed amendment, this might be OK. But what if the bylaws are not so specific and simply require "prior notice of the amendment"? Is there any consensus whether the default mode for prior notice is "substantive" or "exact." And, if substantive -- what is the affect, if any, of the motion distributed in advance omitting any reference to the bylaws?
  4. The rule that unfinished business falls to the floor when there is a change in board composition does not apply to changes due to resignations, removals, or other appointments to fill vacancies. [pp. 488-89]. The rule only applies when directors have staggered terms. The purpose of staggered terms is to promote stability and continuity. I believe requiring unfinished business to be reintroduced anew frustrates both of those purposes. So please allow me to reiterate my request for an explanation -- is there some legitimate reason for this rule that I am failing to see?T
  5. So as long as we are here, I've often been troubled by the rule stated on pages 237 and 488-489 and a more basic question to me is whether the rule serves a valid purpose when there is a change to only part of the board. [As opposed to a full board turnover.] Since the authorship team is working on edition 12, perhaps this a good time to raise the subject for discussion. Requiring reintroduction of unfinished business when there is only a partial turnover frustrates existing board members and unnecessarily delays pending business. Many boards, especially local government boards, require two or three readings before action can be taken. A board that meets monthly necessarily must then wait three months before it can take action on matters that may already have been through their second-reading and may have already been the subject of public hearings. Imagine a city council deliberating changes to its "use of force" or "sexual harassment" policies having to explain to the public that there will be at least a 3-month delay because RONR requires they be reintroduced anew. As a practical matter, in my nearly 30 years of professional practice I have never yet had a client observe this rule -- some have special rules that override this provision [knowingly or not]-- more commonly they are simply unaware of the rule and press on. I have no problem with the rule when there is a full turnover -- that's clearly a new board. But I think the rule should be reexamined for partial turnovers. In the alternative, I would welcome a good explanation of the purpose it serves with only a partial turnover.
  6. Ok, a refinement.... If we assume such directors are 'appointed', are they appointed by the President or appointed by the Board? A significant factor since the power of removal lies with the power of appointment. RONR at p. 497 ll. 7-13 suggests that the President would have authority to remove only if the appointment was "by the President acting alone." But that section refers solely to committee appointments. Does the same principle apply to an executive board? [I am referring to a Board of Directors which is the "deliberative assembly" itself; not an appointed "executive committee" that is subject to the assembly.] While I recognize this may be an issue of bylaw interpretation, my interest here is in determining whether experienced parliamentarians who might be asked to opine would apply pp. 497 to an executive board or apply the section literally to committee appointments only. In another post one of our contributors suggested it does -- but I think the subject warrants some further discussion. Thx
  7. Somewhat related to another thread, but figured it should be a separate discussion. A Board consists of 7 directors "elected" by the members and 2 additional directors "appointed by the Board." Elsewhere in the bylaws [and policies] there are several sections where it makes a difference whether a director was "elected" or "appointed". The bylaws also provide that in case of a vacancy, a successor is "appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Board." One of the "elected" directors resigned. The president appointed a successor and the board confirmed. The question is whether this new director is an "appointed" director or an "elected" director. Logically, I would think that references to "appointed" vs "elected" directors refers to the normal way one becomes a director and the vacancy provision simply adds an element of confusion. Thus one "appointed" to fill a vacancy in an "elected" position is still sitting in an "elected" position. But, to put this into RONR-ese, since the process for filling a board vacancy is similar to the process in RONR for "appointing" a committee via "nominations by the Chair [p. 494] I have to wonder whether others would differ from my 'logical' approach and consider this new director "appointed" instead of "elected." I recognize this is a question of bylaws interpretation, and I have already advised the board they have the responsibility to do so, but I'm curious to know if others have encountered this situation.
  8. I was going to ask a question in a new thread, but since it relates to this discussion -- and in particular, Mr. Martin's comments quoted below, figured I would try here first. "RONR does not directly address the situation of the President making appointments with approval of the board (especially when none of these persons are actually in office yet). It could perhaps be argued that it is comparable to the procedure of nominations by the chair (which is the paragraph c discussed above), in which event removing a chairman would be accomplished by the board rescinding or amending the motion to approve the appointment. This requires a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership (of the board), or a majority vote with previous notice. None of the other procedures for appointing committees discussed in RONR seem to fit at all, since the President is not acting alone, and paragraphs a, b, and e do not involve the President or chairman. I concur with his reasoning -- the question is whether the same would apply to a nonprofit Board of Directors, which is essentially the "assembly", rather than a committee? The bylaws provide that in case of a vacancy, the President appoints a replacement "subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors." The President now wants to remove a director he named to fill a vacancy and believes he has unilateral authority to do so because it was his "appointment." The Board disagrees, saying it was their appointment and he simply "nominated" someone. The President responded that nominations are used when there are elections; this wasn't an election -- it was his appointment and they had no power to do anything other than accept or reject. [I.e., they could not open the floor to further nominations and "elect" someone else.] A lot of semantics going around with no authority, including RONR, clearly on point. But Mr. Martin's logic makes sense to me and I see no reason not to apply it to this circumstance as well as a committee. Is there any reason why we should consider a Board differently than a committee in this context?
  9. "The parliamentarian can and perhaps should affirm that motions which violate the bylaws are not in order, but I agree with D.H. that judging whether a particular motion does or does not conflict is beyond the scope of a non-member parliamentarian's duties. " However, the Parliamentarian would be within the scope of duties to explain, if necessary or helpful, RONR's rules of interpretation.
  10. I would like to comment on one of Mr. Martin's comments to my earlier comment..... "In my view, the words in question are a rather weak and technical point to hang this argument on. It seems to me that if the assembly orders that an adjourned meeting be held, it must be held, unless the assembly orders otherwise. If the meeting is held in the circumstances described, it seems to me it would start in New Business." ===== First, while I concede I raised a technical point, RONR consists of 669 pages of technical points. None of those who have disagreed with me have given an alternate explanation for the application of this technical point if not the meaning I put to it. More importantly -- and pardon me for injecting reality into this theoretical discussion -- but the question that was asked set the following premise: "suppose an adjourned meeting was set for Tuesday due to expectations it would be needed...." The facts also said there was no proviso. Since the privileged form of the motion to Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn is not a debatable motion, and there was no proviso, and no business was postponed or scheduled for the adjourned meeting then I must ask how did the assembly have "expectations it would be needed.." This tells me the subject was discussed -- which tells me it was not the privileged form of the motion. So now we have the apparent reality that members knew, and possibly debated, the reasons for setting an adjourned meeting before voting on the motion -- and those reasons no longer exist. You now have two options: 1) cancel the meeting because the assembly's purpose [i.e. what the assembly ordered] has been accomplished, but possibly inconveniencing a few members who drive through snow and sleet to get to the non-existent adjourned meeting; or 2) hold the meeting, possibly with only a few die hard schemers attending since you don't have to give notice, open with 'new business', and allow those few members to do whatever they please simply because no one thought earlier to reconsider the motion before adjourning. "Danger, Will Robinson!!! So, recognizing that this ambiguous situation has two lousy options, I am in favor of option (1). Why? Because option (1) only risks inconveniencing members who can raise their points of order and discipline the President at the next regular meeting if they want to. Option (2) could jeopardize the health, security, finances, and good will of the organization. But it would help our analysis if we knew facts we don't have before us. If she was doing her job right, the presiding officer either declared the meeting adjourned or declared the "meeting is adjourned until __date/time__" as is the form RONR specifies when an adjourned meeting has previously been set. [p. 86 ll.21-25] So whether we hold an adjourned meeting later, to me, is dependent not on the expectations of the assembly when the motion was adopted but on the expectations of the members as they walked out the door. If the Chair simply declared the meeting adjourned, and all business has been accomplished, I think most people [though perhaps not us parliamentarians] would assume the adjourned meeting canceled. If someone thinks otherwise and still wants that later meeting they can raise a point of order to correct the Chair's announcement.
  11. 1) I agree with your conclusion -- and note that your suggested uses are consistent with the usual meaning of the word 'proviso' -- i.e., putting a condition or qualification in a contract or agreement so that the specified action will happen only when that condition or qualification is satisfied. But note also that this common meaning is different than the sense the word is used by RONR. In your examples, the proviso is actually a part of the main motion and the substantive matter and proviso would ordinarily be voted on together. In RONR, the proviso is a separate element -- purely an artifice that allows you to adopt a bylaw amendment without the language of the proviso becoming a part of the bylaws itself.. 2) I believe there was a parliamentary opinion several years ago that addressed this issue. I think it was an AIP opinion, not NAP, but I am unable to locate it at the moment. If I recall correctly, the adjourned meeting is not held. This is because an adjourned meeting takes up its work "at the point where it [the first meeting] was interrupted in the order of business or in the consideration of the question that was postponed to the adjourned meeting." [RONR 11th, p 94 ll. 11-14]. If the current meeting adjourns with all business having been completed there is no interrupted business to take up; similarly there is no postponed business. 3) I see no reason, logically, why a proviso cannot be used for such a purpose and I have seen it used that way many times. But RONR is a little unclear. "The incidental motion to create a proviso, like the corresponding subsidiary motion to create a proviso by amending a motion's enacting words... "[RONR 11th, p 398 ll. 27-31; emphasis added.] This equating the incidental form to its corresponding subsidiary motion suggests that the purpose of a proviso is simply to put condition's on a motion's "enacting" provisions -- i.e., how and when it becomes effective. But as you note, fn. 7 on tinted page 23, states that a proviso can be made as a main motion, as an amendment to enacting words, or as an incidental motion. [Again, my emphasis.] This indicates that a proviso can can be used for purposes other than determining the conditions for enactment.
  12. While I concur that Mr. Gerber's comment pretty much sums it up, allow me to add one additional factor. While hearsay is generally not permitted in judicial proceedings, depending upon the jurisdiction there are dozens of exceptions to the general rule where hearsay IS permitted. It would be expecting far too much for reg'lar folk untrained in those hair-splittings to try to figure out what those exceptions are, whether they apply, and whether there is an exception to the exceptions. I would also note that RoNR is not alone; disciplinary procedures in many other non-judicial contexts also permit hearsay. E.g., labor union hearings. Best to keep our lives simple and just remember 1) hearsay, while permitted, must still be evaluated for credibility; 2) it is best if the hearsay amplifies other evidence, and is not the only evidence
  13. Just noticed I never replied to these two responses. Sorry about that....I actually checked the official interpretations before posting. Somehow I managed to overlook it! thanks for pointing it out politely.
  14. A question of semantics....Under RONR 11, a motion is before the assembly only after it has been moved, seconded, and stated by the chair. The minutes should include all main motions "made or taken up" and not withdrawn. X rises, makes a motion, and the chair immediately rules the motion out of order. There is no second; there is no appeal of the ruling. Should the motion go into the minutes? I.e., Does the phrase "motions made" refer solely to the first step of someone "making" the motion or has a motion been "made" only after it has been seconded and stated by the chair. Since "make" and "made" are tenses of the same verb, it would seem that a motion immediately ruled out of order should still be included in the minutes. However, by that logic, motions made but not seconded should also be included in the minutes and, as a simple matter of practice, I know of no one who does that. Comments?
  15. Let's cut to the chase: the members of an imaginary board make a unanimous decision outside a properly noticed meeting. Regardless of whether it is later ratified [or not] does a record need to be made that the action was taken -- even if for no other purpose than to use as evidence in some later disciplinary action or a court suit to have them reimburse the association for their spendthrift ways? If the answer is yes, then what form does that record take? And if we don't call it minutes, what do we call it?
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