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Joshua Katz

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About Joshua Katz

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    RP, Formerly Godelfan

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  1. Joshua Katz

    Executive Order from the Chair

    Unless your bylaws provide otherwise, the chair has no such right.
  2. Joshua Katz

    membership dispute

    I agree that it makes no sense to think that those who join in August are immediately members, but no one can join in September or October without waiting. I could see there being one or two points during the year when new members are accepted, but accepting them immediately at any time except during a 3 month period doesn't seem like a viable interpretation on this bylaw. My previous comment was not on the merits, just on how to appeal.
  3. Joshua Katz

    tie in elections of hoa directors

    Not really, I just wanted to make a crack on lawyers while I still can. Your points here are well taken. At the same time, I've seen too many organizations (okay, a few organizations too many times) ignore all the cautions you mention and simply flip a coin. Yes, there are some some statements in PL endorsing that - but no organization adopts PL as its parliamentary authority, they adopt RONR, and I think you'll agree that the cautions in your final paragraph, therefore, apply - and are ignored too often. Perhaps that's one reason for a parliamentarian to suggest such a provision in the bylaws - to keep the organization from violating its rules by doing it anyway. So, on a more serious note, I have no objection to organizations doing this within the rules. I do worry about how it is explained, and about how vigorously a parliamentarian should suggest it. As we all well know, a tie is often an opportunity for a dark-horse candidate to emerge on the next ballot. So from a philosophical standpoint, I agree with the quotes from PL you provide, which say that continued balloting is preferable. We should all be conscious of the ways our words can be misunderstood. Who among us has not carefully explained the coin toss procedure you suggest, only to hear later "the parliamentarian said we should just flip a coin and get it done with?" For me, much comes down to the specific words used and how it is explained.
  4. Joshua Katz

    tie in elections of hoa directors

    I agree. Apparently telling people to use chance to resolve an impasse is lawyers' work, not parliamentarians'.
  5. Joshua Katz

    membership dispute

    I disagree (although it is one of those occasions). The ruling of the chair stands until overruled by a majority, so prior to the deciding of an appeal, the OP is not a member, in accordance with the chair's ruling, and cannot move to appeal - and certainly shouldn't be interrupting the meeting.
  6. Joshua Katz

    Executive Order from the Chair

    The challenge for me is that it doesn't say "originally" or something like that, but rather "currently." Currently doesn't mean in the past. Also, what's the point of this line being in the bylaws in the first place? It is the case that, for instance, the US Constitution contains transitional rules and provisos which no longer do anything, but I don't think bylaws should.
  7. Joshua Katz

    National Bylaws vs. Chapter Bylaws

    It seems to me that we're reading the facts differently, and therefore coming to different conclusions.
  8. Joshua Katz

    tie in elections of hoa directors

    I'm only a 3L, so I haven't learned about this yet.
  9. Joshua Katz

    Executive Order from the Chair

    This is a poorly written bylaw and should be amended when possible. For now, it is ambiguous and only the organization can interpret it. What is clear, though, is that the chair cannot set the dues. However, I would stand by my previous remark that there's no real remedy if the chair didn't change them, but rather kept them the same (presumably, the same as is written in the bylaws). The chair was wrong, but it is now too late to raise a point of order. The issue can be brought up again at the next meeting, though, and the board should not let the chair get away with dictatorial behavior at that time.
  10. Joshua Katz

    Executive Order from the Chair

    I assume this means that the bylaws say there are dues, but do not set the rate, and the board may set the rate. Does the board have this authority exclusively, though? What are the exact words used to give the board this authority? The board should stop letting the chair push it around. The chair may not defer an in-order motion to a later discussion, and may not simply declare a matter within the board's competence off-limits. Since the chair can't make an executive order on dues, I would suggest that the dues were improperly set. However, since they remain unchanged, and that is probably (correct me if I am wrong) what would happen if the board took no action, it doesn't seem to me that there is any remedy, other than to try again.
  11. Joshua Katz

    Executive Order from the Chair

    I see a few issues. First, I'm not sure what is meant by "a discussion on the topic of next years dues." The way to have such a discussion is to introduce a motion on the topic, and to then debate that motion. If the body wanted a free-wheeling discussion, there are ways to do that, too, but a chair should, in fact, stop a fruitless discussion that does not appear to be approaching a resolution. But what the chair cannot do (and I'm not sure if the chair did in this case) is prevent an in-order motion from being made and debated simply because the chair doesn't like it. If that was done, a point of order should have been raised. Since the meeting is over, it is too late to raise one now, but you can do it next time. Nor can the chair "decide the outcome of the topic," if by that you mean decide whether a motion is adopted or not. That's what the assembly is there to do. If the matter is within the purview of the board, the chair cannot make an "executive decision" on it unless the bylaws authorize him to do so. Unlike the previous issues, if the chair purports to have set the dues, that may be a continuing breach and subject to a point of order at the next regular meeting, or a special meeting if the matter is included in the call of the meeting. Finally, whether it can be challenged at a general or a board meeting depends on what powers the bylaws give the board. If the board has the exclusive power to set dues, then it seems to me it can only be challenged at a board meeting. If the general membership has that power, even if the board can set them subject to being changed by the membership, then it seems to me that the chair's effort to decide something he is not empowered to decide can be challenged via a point of order at a membership meeting. It would have been better, though, to raise a point of order at the time (assuming you are a board member).
  12. It's a matter of bylaw interpretation, but based on what you've said here, it would appear that an officer can be the chair of an ad hoc committee, since the ad hoc committee is not mentioned in the bylaws. But, again, much comes down to the specific words - and if there is any ambiguity, only your organization can decide how to interpret them.
  13. Joshua Katz

    National Bylaws vs. Chapter Bylaws

    Here's how I understand the facts: the national organization, presumably via a provision in its bylaws, has the power to amend local bylaws. The national organization decides to, for instance, change "red" to "blue" in the local bylaws. Now your local chapter, rather than making the change, has been voting on it first. Under those facts, voting on the change makes no sense. What would you do if the vote failed? Presumably, make the change anyway. So you should do away with the practice. But wait, the local bylaws say that the local chapter can change them, not the national organization. Well, assuming what you've told us (and I've inferred) about the national organization is correct, then the local bylaws are simply incorrect - or, more precisely, contrary to an applicable provision in the national bylaws clearly intended to govern local organizations. To the extent those contradict, the national bylaws govern, and you should still do away with the vote. But that's assuming that, in fact, the national bylaws give that authority to the national organization. What, exactly, do they say about amending local bylaws?
  14. Joshua Katz

    Board member resignation

    Why? When the management company tells a board member she can't vote, the proper response is to ignore them, not to present them with evidence. If the company persists, a terse reminder that the board has the power to fire the company should be sufficient.
  15. Joshua Katz

    Board member resignation

    Why do we get so many questions about situations where organizations are taking orders from their employees? The manager works for you (not you personally, but the board) not the other way around. The board should not let her push it around.
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