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Josh Martin

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About Josh Martin

  • Birthday 09/05/1986

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  1. Then yes, I suppose Suspend the Rules was the appropriate tool. Well, it should be obvious because the motion should say so. If it is unclear, I suppose it can be determined by the chair, subject to appeal, or by a motion. Certainly one person’s objection is not sufficient to prevent the assembly from applying its rules. I am inclined to think a majority vote is sufficient, and hopefully the assembly has learned its lesson that such open-ended suspensions are a bad idea. I don’t think the Previous Question is the appropriate tool in the situation described, since the purpose of this motion is to bring one or more pending questions to an immediate vote, and it therefore has no meaningful application if there is no pending question. We are told, however, that the assembly suspended the rules specifically to allow this discussion. It doesn’t seem, however, that it is being used to extend debate. The OP seems to be discussing using the motion to permit discussion of a subject with no motion pending (and unwisely placing no time limits on the discussion).
  2. For starters, the election for President must be held, even if there are no nominees. Write-in votes are in order. In the event the assembly fails to complete the election for President (in which event it should postpone the election to an adjourned meeting, or to the next regular meeting if it is within a quarterly interval), what happens in the interim depends on whether the bylaws include a clause which provides that officers shall serve “until their successors are elected.” If so, the current President would continue to serve until the election can be completed. If not, there will be a vacancy in the office of President when the term ends, and the Vice President would become President. In these circumstances, however, I am inclined to think this would only last until the assembly can complete the election.
  3. There is no motion to “end suspension of the rules,” as it is not in order to simply move to suspend the rules. Rather, the incidental motion to Suspend the Rules specifies the specific purpose. After that purpose is completed, the suspension automatically ends. Suspend the Rules is discussed in Section 23 of RONR, 11th ed. I concur with Mr. Coronite that it is also not entirely clear whether suspending the rules was necessary in the first place, but as Mr Harrison suggests, perhaps the word “tabled” is being used incorrectly.
  4. Yes, if Group A no longer supports the document it adopted in December 2018, then it should use a motion to Rescind or to Amend Something Previously Adopted.
  5. Yes, I think that, at least as a parliamentary matter, Group A’s document is still valid and can be ratified by Group B if it wishes to do so. Yes, there does not seem to be any dispute on this point. The OP’s question was whether Group B may now ratify the document Group A adopted in December 2018 without amending it (assuming it wishes to do so), without requiring a further vote from Group A. Based on the facts provided, I see no reason why not, since it appears that the version of the document adopted in December 2018 is still valid so far as Group A is concerned. If Group B is not willing to adopt the document adopted by Group A without amendments, then further negotiations will be required.
  6. Yes. “A person presiding at a meeting who has no regular title or whose position is only temporary is addressed as "Mr. [or Madam] Chairman" by long-established usage. Several variations of this form—such as "chairperson" or "chair"—are now frequently encountered, however, and may be in use as the general practice in particular assemblies.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 23)
  7. Yes, that certainly is a problem. If it is expected that the board will wish to take ballot votes in the future, the board may wish to research methods (online voting, for instance) which would permit all members to cast a ballot vote. I don’t see an issue. Taking a ballot vote ensures members have a right to secrecy, but it does not force members to keep their own votes secret. There is no rule in RONR preventing a member from revealing how he voted on a ballot vote. Yes, I agree that is the appropriate course of action. There is no procedure in RONR for some members to vote by ballot and other members to vote by a different method. If the organization wishes to permit such votes, it should adopt its own rules on this matter. Alternatively, the board could find a method which would permit all members to vote by ballot, and adopt rules regarding that method if necessary.
  8. If you are presiding, you should not be the one to make the motion to approve the amendment. If you are not presiding, it’s not up to you to recognize or not recognize people. Additionally, yes, the presiding officer must recognize a motion made by a resident to amend the proposed bylaw amendment. Such amendments must be within the “scope of notice” to be in order. Since the OP suggests he would be recognizing people, he may be the presiding officer. If so, he should not speak in debate.
  9. Make a motion “That the votes on the bylaw amendment relating to X be recounted, with the recount witnessed by the assembly.” A majority vote is required. As Dr. Stackpole notes, if you can muster a 2/3 vote, you could also suspend the rules in order to change how the tellers are appointed. Note that there are time limits related to ordering a recount. “A recount may be ordered by the voting body, by a majority vote, at the same session at which the voting result was announced, or at the next regular session if that session is held within a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90). A recount may also be ordered at a special session properly called for that purpose, if held within a quarterly time interval of the session at which the voting result was announced and before the next regular session.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 419) No. The purpose and effect of a call for a Division of the Assembly is to require a rising vote after an inconclusive voice vote has been taken. It has no application when a ballot vote has been taken.
  10. A new ballot is required, unless the bylaws provide another method. The board is not in “limbo.” Provided that the board can obtain a quorum, the board can continue to meet and conduct business. The range is not an issue at the present time, as the society has currently failed to elect any directors. As a result, the board is below the minimum for the range, and it would therefore seem that repeated balloting is required in any event. The range may become an issue in subsequent ballots.
  11. I think it might be reasonably argued that a motion which suggests that all of the current board members are not functioning effectively or managing the affairs of the society in a transparent or fair manner and requests that they take steps to change this or else to resign, is similar enough to a motion of censure that the President should not preside (assuming that the President is a board member). ”Whenever a motion is made that refers only to the presiding officer in a capacity not shared in common with other members, or that commends or censures him with others, he should turn the chair over to the vice-president or appropriate temporary occupant (see below) during the assembly's consideration of that motion, just as he would in a case where he wishes to take part in debate (see also pp. 394–95).” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 451) In the event that the President refuses to relinquish the chair, however, I concur with Mr. Mervosh that the next step would be a motion to suspend the rules to remove the President from the chair and elect a Chairman Pro Tempore. Presumably the intent of the motion is to serve as a threat to get the board members to voluntarily “commit” or to resign. If the motion is not successful in accomplishing either objective, then disciplinary procedures may well be the next step.
  12. I believe the chairman is correct that this rule may be suspended, although since the rule already permits the assembly to let staff members speak, and it would require a 2/3 vote by the assembly to suspend the rule, I don’t know what the point of this would be. Am I missing something? This view is incorrect. A rule in the bylaws may be suspended if the rule in question is in the nature of a rule of order or if the rule specifically provides for its own suspension. I concur with Mr. Katz that this rule appears to be both. This is a reasonable argument, but it is not at all clear to me that the rule in question is intended to prevent the assembly from suspending it, especially since the rule specifically permits the assembly to invite staff members to speak. No, that is not how the motion to Suspend the Rules works (except when suspending convention standing rules by a majority vote, but that’s not what we’re dealing with). A motion to Suspend the Rules does not specify the rule(s) to be suspended, but instead specifies what it is the member wishes to accomplish. Well, the effect of suspending the rule will be determined by the exact wording of the motion to Suspend the Rules. “In making the incidental motion to Suspend the Rules, the particular rule or rules to be suspended are not mentioned; but the motion must state its specific purpose, and its adoption permits nothing else to be done under the suspension. Such a motion, for instance, may be "to suspend the rules and take up the report of the Building Committee," or "to suspend the rules and agree to [that is, to adopt without debate or amendment] the resolution ..."” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 262) I suspect that the rule as it has traditionally been applied is that it is necessary to make a motion to permit a staff member to speak every time it is desired to let a staff member speak, and the desire of some members is to adopt a motion which (for example) permits all staff members (or certain staff members) to speak whenever they are properly recognized by the chairman, for the duration of the meeting. Yes. Yes.
  13. No. The President must relinquish the chair if he wishes to speak in debate. If he refuses to do so, the rules may be suspended to remove him from the chair. There is a slight flaw in this plan. When the office of President is vacant, the Vice President automatically becomes President, unless the bylaws specifically provide otherwise. So he might have to run for Vice President, and perhaps the members should elect someone else if they are fed up with this behavior.
  14. Yes. If a discussion is all that is wanted, the people who called the special meeting should apologize for wasting everyone’s time and save the discussion for the next regular meeting. It may well be that there is an urgent need to purchase a lawnmower, but it is highly doubtful that there is an urgent need to merely talk about doing so.
  15. I assume what is meant is that the committee would continue in this manner until a candidate has a majority, which is more than half. A “plurality” simply means that a candidate has more votes than any other candidate, which could very easily occur on the first round. I don’t know what an “absolute plurality” is. Terminology issues aside, I see no reason why the committee cannot use the process described, if it wishes to do so.
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