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  1. I was being partially facetious with saying neither, but also considering that If it only applied to one than it didn't apply to the other but which was which could be up to interpretation. Neither was a bit much of an exaggeration. These are all things being considered, this is why I asked here. in the last two years we have had 3 attempts at changing various provisions in the officer requirements all but one of which failed. The one that passed was introduced by the committee to fix some problems just before last years election and we were able to get it passed. Mostly because of the absence of some of our more troublesome members. However that revision while it fixed a couple of earlier problems, created a new problem which we are trying to fix in this revision. As for the suspension part, we definitely need to work on that a bit more, but I think that will be the easy part. I have been a member almost 4 years and have never heard before being on this committee anyone seriously talk about suspending the rules. I would like to think so, but I can tell you based on current and past officers and elections, I doubt anything that is clear will remain so for very long.
  2. Unambiguous or not, I had never considered that interpretation of the unanimous requirement, so thanks for giving me more food for thought. I looked up the section on the requirements for the officers in question and may have found some more ambiguity. I remember from past threads the difference between a requirement to serve and a requirement to be elected. However out bylaws for all 7 of these positions say "in order to be eligible for the position of" which seems to me could be interpreted to be either both election and service or neither, or one or the other. Now I don't mind if our current president has to squirm a bit in making a ruling, but as I plan on running against him, I don't relish this task all that much. Here I thought I was asking such a simple question.
  3. Thanks for the quick reply. I did find my copy of the bylaws so I can post the article in question. I think that the situation may not be as bad as I thought due to a provision I forgot was in there. However there may be some other questions. So the good news as I see it is that we are restricted to two specific times that we can suspend the rules and those require unanimous consent. So no matter of the wording about which rules or how many of them are actually suspended by this section, it seems to me this is a very rare occurrence at best. As for the in case of emergency, which is not defined or explained, I can see someone suggesting that a lack of candidates is an emergency. I would dispute that because an emergency is generally unforeseen and knowing we passed a By-Law that most member can't meet seems to be something we foresaw. Now the new problem I saw is the phrase "vote to the members" which I think should be vote of the members. We have found some other similar strange word choices during the revision process, so I assume this to be another one of them that we will need to correct. As for the officer requirements, the officers in question have little to no function in the meeting, apart from collectively being a board that makes a report. Their main function is the supervision of members outside of the meeting. So anything to do with how they are elected and serve seems to me to extend well beyond the meeting.
  4. Sorry in advance for the paraphrasing, I don't have one of the proposed amendments that I am mentioning in this question. Our existing bylaws have a section that allow for the rules to be suspended, and require that the suspension is over as soon as the immediate business is transacted. However this section brings up two questions. First I have heard that a rule can only be suspended if it provides for it's own suspension, but is a section that allows for the bylaws to be suspended sufficient? Second does invoking this section actually suspend the entirety of the bylaws since it is a catch all and not included in any specific rule? I think that could potentially be a disaster waiting to happen. Now as we are about to wrap up our revision process, the committee has proposed changing the catch all section to say that any section or part of the bylaws may be suspended, thus presumably protecting the rest of the rules for however brief a time this is invoked. I wonder if this again is too broad since it is an independent article and not part of any specific rule. Lastly, and I think I have found this answer already. The whole reason this section was brought up is because the committee envisions needing to suspend a rule that is not a rule of order and extends primarily outside of the meeting, the eligibility requirements for officers. This is because we changed those last year, made them stricter and have now realized they did not leave us with very many qualified candidates. I am trying to make a good presentation to the committee that these rules can't be suspended so need to be carefully studied and revised if needed as part of our larger revision proposal.
  5. As with many organizations we have missed several meetings due to social distancing orders by our state. Our Bylaws are silent on this. We have just announced that we will resume having meetings in July. Two of the missing meetings were our nomination meeting (May) and our annual meeting (June) where we hold elections. Our officers serve until their replacements are elected so at least that black hole has been avoided. I have heard that the President plans on holding a regular meeting, nothing fancy. I asked the person who told me this what would make a meeting fancy and was told that would be nominations. Informally there have been two ideas put forth in discussions among members, one that we start the July meeting as if nothing happened except missing elections and hold nominations in July then Elections in August. The other idea was that we start with the first missing meeting that would have been march. That would then postpone elections until December. I am not sure who if anyone has the authority to decide these issues. We also have another issue in that for some reason our bylaws have different voting rules for our annual meeting than other meetings. Since the bylaws say the annual meeting is in June, and due to the pandemic we can't hold it before August, which set of voting rules would apply?
  6. I still consider myself very much a student, sometimes with only enough knowledge of parliamentary procedure to be dangerous. This is one reason why I joined the forum and have asked a few questions. My first introduction was in a social / charitable organization that met quarterly. The year before there had been a fairly complete revision of the bylaws. At the annual meeting a new president was elected from the membership. At the next quarterly meeting that new president submitted 5 proposed bylaws changes. There was some objection on the authority of the president to revise the bylaws. It was one member’s opinion that since they were revised last year they were clearly perfect and should not be revised or amended until the next required revision in ten years. This debate was tiring but got me hooked. It ended up with the president relinquishing the chair and then getting recognized as a member by the vice president and making his proposals as a member. This all ended up with the postponing of all five proposals until the next quarterly meeting and the board of directors calling in an outside arbitrator to preside over the next meeting, multiple people standing and debating what was on various pages of various different books all claiming to be Robert's Rules. That is what made me go and buy my first copy of RONR. Fast forward a few years, I was a member of a union at work, and realized that our union rarely followed it's won bylaws and that some of those bylaws were somewhat out of date. The president appointed me parliamentarian, but I think he thought that would shut me up. I ended up chairing a bylaws revision committee in the union and things went smoothly until that union disbanded a few years later. Looking back on it now, I realize what a poor choice I was for the position. I have since been in a few other organizations, now I am the president of the board of directors for my condominium association and a member of a local town committee for a political party. Through those bodies I have been involved with amending or revising bylaws and other related documents, namely political resolutions and Standard Operating Procedures in a volunteer fire department which referenced different sections of the bylaws depending on the subject. I even got to try my hand at researching and writing an ethics policy once although that proved to be quite a handful. I don't think I ever would have been involved in any of this had I not be to that first contentious society meeting.
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