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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. So far as RONR is concerned, the only duty of the Vice President is to serve as presiding officer in the President’s absence and to become President in the event of a vacancy. As a result, if the Vice President “steps in” for the President, there is no need for anyone to “step in” for the Vice President, because the Vice President doesn’t have anything to do anyway. In the event that the President and Vice President are both absent, the assembly elects a Chairman Pro Tempore to serve as presiding officer for the duration of the meeting. If the Recording Secretary is absent, the assembly elects a Secretary Pro Tempore to serve for the duration of the meeting. If any other officer is absent, then so far as RONR is concerned, the assembly makes do without, as RONR does not assign critical meeting functions to any other officers. If your other officers perform critical duties during meetings, then the organization may need to adopt its own rules regarding what happens in their absence.
  2. Setting aside the matter of the law at issue and looking solely at RONR (and setting aside that RONR says that comments should not be recorded at all), it seems to me that this would certainly be recorded in the body of the minutes, and not in the opening or closing paragraphs. Beyond that, it seems to me that it is at the assembly’s discretion. My experience is that assemblies generally record their minutes in chronological order, but nothing in RONR appears to strictly require this. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 468-473 for more information on the content of the minutes.
  3. Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Maybe, depending on the duties. When it is possible, I think a majority vote would generally be sufficient. It is also possible to elect one person to two or more offices, so that is another option. Finally, it should be noted that, depending on the society’s rules, the current officers might continue serving. Short of amending the bylaws to eliminate the position, there is no way to avoid completing the election altogether, although there are ways to delay completing the election and to deal with the possible vacancy in the interim. It depends. Depending on what the duties are, I am not certain all of the duties can be reassigned.
  4. A person whose rights are under suspension is still a member. A person is only removed from membership entirely if they are expelled. Yes, and that is precisely what I am saying. This person is a member, but is not in good standing.
  5. She can be a member, she just can’t be a member in good standing. A suspension does not remove someone from membership in the society, it just deprives them of some (or all) of the rights of membership for the duration of the suspension. So she can indeed pay her dues, and is in fact required to do so if she wishes to not have her membership terminated completely. It does seem that there is not really much benefit in doing this in the present circumstances, but it’s her money. As to what to do with her check, cash it like any other check.
  6. I would recommend something like the following. The relevant section of the minutes for the meeting on Day 1 would read: Mr. X moved, and Mr. Y seconded, "to paint the barn red.” The motion was adopted by a vote of 13 in the affirmative and 1 in the negative. The relevant section of the minutes for the meeting on Day 2 would read: The adopted motion “to paint the barn red” was reconsidered. After debate and amendment, the motion “to paint the barn red by May 1st” was adopted.
  7. All that RONR provides on the subject of “conflict of interest” is as follows: “No member should vote on a question in which he has a direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members of the organization. For example, if a motion proposes that the organization enter into a contract with a commercial firm of which a member of the organization is an officer and from which contract he would derive personal pecuniary profit, the member should abstain from voting on the motion. However, no member can be compelled to refrain from voting in such circumstances.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 407) Nonetheless, the school board and/or the PTA are free to adopt their own rules on this matter in their bylaws if they wish to do so.
  8. Josh Martin

    Agenda

    Neither. Unless your rules provide otherwise, the assembly itself approves the agenda, at the meeting. An agenda provided in advance is for information only and is not binding on the assembly.
  9. Members are free to ask questions of any candidate at the time of the election, whether or not the candidate was nominated from the floor. Requests for Information are in order.
  10. A lawyer would be one person (although by no means the only person) who might be consulted for advice on such matters. A professional parliamentarian would be another possibility. If the society is a subordinate chapter of a larger state or national organization, consulting the parent organization would also be advisable. Another possibility which comes to mind is to consult with members of similar societies. Ultimately, the society itself will determine the meaning of its own bylaws, but seeking advice from a third party may be beneficial. In the long run, the rule in question should be amended so that it is clear.
  11. Yes to both questions, assuming the resignation has been accepted. “In case of the resignation or death of the president, the vice-president (if there is only one) or the first vice-president (if there are more than one) automatically becomes president for the unexpired term, unless the bylaws expressly provide otherwise for filling a vacancy in the office of president.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 458, emphasis in original)
  12. As has been previously noted, if positions are unfilled, balloting continues as many times as is necessary until the election is completed. This is the case regardless of whether the reason for the inability to fill the position is due to heated competition (as in the original post) or due to a distinct lack of interest in the position. Neither the chair nor the assembly may declare the election “closed.” An election is not closed until the position is filled. What the assembly can do is to postpone the election to an adjourned meeting or to the next regular meeting. This requires a majority vote. The chair cannot make this decision on his own.
  13. Yes. Recorded in amended wording. No, the motion is not yet enacted. The motion, as amended, is currently in the hands of the committee. Yes, the motion to Commit (or Refer) is “a thing.” It is discussed in RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 168-179. No to both questions. The motion to Lay on the Table is used to set aside a motion temporarily in order to take up some other urgent business. Withdrawing a motion (a request which may be made only by the motion maker) is used to make it as if the motion had never been made. Based on the facts presented, it appears the intent was to send the motion back to committee, and the motion to Commit was the proper tool for this. You did not “goof.” It is correct that the vote was not completed on the original motion, but that is as it should be, since the motion was referred to committee. The motion (as amended) will be considered when the committee reports on it.
  14. Not necessarily, although this certainly could be done. A majority vote is sufficient. No. Yes, I think this is the correct course of action.
  15. First, I would try offering to buy one of the commissioners a nice dinner and some drinks in exchange for sticking around for a little bit longer. Failing that, since the bylaws say simply that special meetings “may be called” and do not say by who, it seems to me that this phrase is open to a great deal of interpretation (which should probably be fixed in the future, but might be beneficial in the current situation). Arguably, a member could call a special meeting himself and send the notice himself. This may be difficult as a practical matter, however, as members may not have contact information for all members of the society. I would also note that the process I described above could be condensed a bit - the notice of the elections could be included in the call of the meeting (noting that these elections are conditional on the resignations being accepted) and the process could therefore be completed in one meeting instead of two. No, I meant it would be called as provided in the bylaws. Without seeing actual wording in the bylaws, I did not take the OP at his word that it was correct that no one but the commissioners can call a meeting - and indeed, it seems the bylaws say no such thing. I agree that RONR only authorizes the membership to call a special meeting for formal disciplinary proceedings, and that other special meetings can only be called as provided in the bylaws. Apparently, however, the bylaws provide that special meetings “may be called” and specify the amount of notice required, but they do not specify who has the authority to call a special meeting. To interpret it as meaning that no one can call a special meeting would render the provision meaningless, and RONR notes in its Principles of Interpretation that rules should not be interpreted in such a way that they are rendered meaningless. I don’t know that it necessarily means that anyone can call a special meeting, although I think that is one reasonable interpretation. Clearly if special meetings may be called, then some person (or persons) have the authority to call a special meeting, but beyond that is a matter of interpretation. Do the bylaws specifically provide that the commissioners call the annual meeting, or is it just customary, as with special meetings? Also, when was the last annual meeting?
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