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Josh Martin

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About Josh Martin

  • Birthday 09/05/1986

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    Minneapolis, MN
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    reading, writing, video games, parliamentary procedure

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  1. Under the rules in RONR, if the Appeal is in reference to a pending motion, then if the motion to Lay on the Table is adopted, it is not possible to lay the appeal alone on the table. The main motion could be laid on the table, in which event the appeal (which “adheres” to the main motion) is laid on the table with it. If the appeal does not relate to a pending motion, it may be laid on the table alone. In either case, it should be noted that the purpose of the motion to Lay on the Table in RONR is to temporarily set aside a motion in order to take up some other urgent business, and the motion is then generally taken from the table after that business is disposed of. It is not proper to use the motion to Lay on the Table to kill a motion. No, as explained above, this is not an appropriate parliamentary maneuver under the rules in RONR, for several reasons. As has been noted above, the procedure described is not proper under the rules of RONR. The US House of Representatives, however, does not use Robert’s Rules of Order as its parliamentary authority. Instead, it uses Jefferson’s Manual, plus many pages of special rules of order and a few centuries of precedents. I am not an expert on the rules of the US House of Representatives, but it would not surprise me if the maneuver in question is in order under the House’s rules. Generally, the US House’s rules tends to give greater authority to the majority than RONR does, particularly in regards to limiting debate and otherwise swiftly disposing of motions. Whether our Congress is “without ethical order” due to the manner in which they conduct business is a discussion which is beyond the scope of RONR and this forum.
  2. I agree with this to the extent that the applicant did not automatically become a member at the moment the amendment was adopted. It seems to me, however, that the motion adopted by the board in this matter no longer has continuing force and effect, and that the applicant is free to submit a new application under the rules as they now exist (and has apparently done so). I would add that it likely would have been prudent for the society to adopt a proviso to address this situation, but this apparently was not done.
  3. Even although the bylaws have been amended so that the board’s approval is no longer required?
  4. The latter, unless there are other rules on this subject I am not aware of. As you say, changes in the bylaws take effect immediately. So the motion which was adopted by the board to deny this person a 2019 membership no longer counts for anything.
  5. Everything that happens in executive session is confidential, including the motion and vote, except information the board has chosen to disclose. The board may choose to disclose certain information if it wishes, but it is not required to do so.
  6. I think I mean the chartered organization, since that appears to be the body which is more directly connected to the committee at issue. Committees generally are not authorized to adopt their own rules. Even if this committee is authorized to adopt its own rules, it seems rather difficult for the committee to make this decision if it isn’t even clear how the committee makes decisions. Olay, so you’re all subordinates of the COR. This really doesn’t sound like a deliberative assembly to me. It sounds like these people all work for the COR and do things, sometimes collectively, sometimes individually. Sometimes they discuss things and vote if they feel like it. Perhaps it could be run as more of a deliberative assembly, but that certainly doesn’t sound like that’s what it is now. Under Robert’s Rules, business may only be conducted at a properly called meeting with a quorum present. Business may not be conducted outside of a meeting unless so authorized by the organization’s rules. As you suggest, getting together and deliberating about things is at the heart of what makes something a deliberative assembly. The rules could also authorize the officers to take certain actions on their own. The organization could adopt rules of order, and then also adopt other rules for these other situations. Even if Rules of Order are not adopted, I still think that other rules should be adopted. What sorts of decisions can be made by the Chair and Treasurer acting alone? What sorts of decisions must be made by the committee as a whole? If the committee can make decisions outside of a meeting, how is this done? I agree that “long and complicated, or unnecessarily restrictive” rules are not desirable, but I don’t think having no rules at all is a good plan either. It sounds like your only rule right now is “We all do whatever we want until we get fired.”
  7. I was afraid that this would be the response. These are questions that your organization will need to answer for itself. It would therefore seem prudent for the superior organization to, at a minimum, adopt rules clarifying this matter. If the members are simply subordinates of the chair, and “voting” is done merely to poll members for their opinions and to make them feel like they have a say, then these groups are not a deliberative assembly or anything resembling a deliberative assembly. As a consequence, it would not be prudent for the organization to adopt Robert’s Rules of Order, or other rules of parliamentary procedure for the conduct of business in the committee, since such rules are incompatible with the manner in which the committees are operated. To the extent that the chair chooses to solicit opinions from his committee members, he could use whatever rules are suitable to his purposes. On the other hand, if these are real committees in the parliamentary sense, in which each member of the committee has equal say in the decisions of the committee (as expressed by the member’s vote), then it would be beneficial for the superior organization to adopt rules of order for the conduct of the committee’s business. Generally, this is done by the adoption of a recognized parliamentary manual, such as Robert’s Rules of Order. It should be noted that this is the manner in which committees operate under Robert’s Rules of Order, for whatever that is worth in this society. Finally, it should be noted that, if the chairman is authorized to appoint and remove members of the committee (which we are told is often, but not always, the case), then the chairman will certainly exert a great deal of influence over the committee’s business, even if the committee is operated under the procedures in RONR, since the chairman ultimately would have the ability to remove members who disagree with him.
  8. I am confused now. You said you received a response which said “Each committee member has a job, assigned by the committee chair (who is selected by the Chartered Organization). The committee chair is vested with the authority by the CO to run the unit according to the policies of the BSA and the CO. The Committee Chair delegates responsibilities to the committee members according to the positions they hold. The body of the meeting consists of the committee, under the direction of the chair, reporting on what they have accomplished on their responsibilities the previous month.” This description suggests that the chairman is in charge and tells the other members of the committee what to do. You said that you “think this is mostly right.” Now you are saying that actually, the committee does make the decisions, it just generally does so by unanimous consent, but the committee could vote if there was disagreement. That is line with a committee in the parliamentary sense, and such a committee should indeed use Robert’s Rules of Order (or some other rules of order) to conduct its business. Committees often operate informally, and RONR discusses a number of modifications for committees and small boards, discussed in RONR, 11th ed., pg. 487-488. I have made my best attempt at trying to reconcile these conflicting descriptions. You tell me which one is right. -The “committee” is run by the chairman as he sees fit. Some committee chairmen choose to seek the input of their committee members on occasion. Ultimately, however, the chairman is in charge. -The committee is run by its members. The committee generally operates by unanimous consent, and the committee members grant a great deal of deference to the chairman’s opinions. Ultimately, however, the committee members (or at least enough of them to constitute a majority vote) is in charge.
  9. If this description of how the committees operate is correct, then it seems to me that these committees are not deliberative assemblies or anything resembling them. Indeed, it seems to me they are not committees in the parliamentary sense, as those operate more like deliberative assemblies. This seems to operate more like a supervisor and his subordinates. As a consequence, I am inclined to agree that these committees have no need for Robert’s Rules of Order, or other rules of order, since such rules are used for the conduct of business in deliberative assemblies (or at least something resembling a deliberative assembly).
  10. No, that would defeat the point. “After a motion has been made, another member who wishes it to be considered says, "I second the motion," or, "I second it," or even, "Second!"—without obtaining the floor, and in small assemblies without rising.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 35) “The requirement of a second is for the chair's guidance as to whether he should state the question on the motion, thus placing it before the assembly. Its purpose is to prevent time from being consumed by the assembly's having to dispose of a motion that only one person wants to see introduced.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 36)
  11. Could you clarify exactly what is meant by “These monthly attendance sheets are used to see who is eligable to vote”? What exactly do your rules say on this matter? I was under the impression that the issue regarding the sign-in sheets was that the society has a rule requiring members to attend a certain number of meetings in order to be eligible to vote, and therefore it was members’ eligibility to vote at future meetings which was in question.
  12. If “only the quarterly meetings are meetings where votes and actions can be taken,” then only the quarterly meetings are meetings in the parliamentary sense. As a result, no minutes should be taken for the “discussion meetings.”
  13. The minutes could be amended to remove the material that doesn’t belong there - that is, pretty much anything other than actions taken by the board. It seems some of the material in question is actions by the board, however, and not much can be done about that
  14. It would be helpful if more information could be provided regarding what is meant by this. It is correct that, if the ballots in question are not of sufficient number to affect the result, then the election result could not be overturned on this basis.
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