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Everything posted by paulmcclintock

  1. "When members vote by raising their hands, is it necessary that they raise their right hand? Is there a procedural reason, or is it just tradition?" As Dan has pointed out, RONR 11th edition and RONR In Brief specify the right hand ("“raise the right hand”"). Consistency is important so voters aren't (so) confused, but consistency doesn't answer why RONR specifies "right" instead of "left." The first edition (1876) of Robert's Rules also specified the right hand: "those in favor of its adoption will hold up the right hand; those opposed will manifest it by the same sign." Cushings Manual als
  2. I too have interpreted the RONR rule to mean an organization can't relieve a member of the obligation for paying dues. I have seen a group adopt a motion to have the organization pay the dues for the person, though, which effectively does the same thing. And in one organization, which needed no dues one year, they voted to have the organization pay the dues for all members. It was easier than amending the bylaws to make the dues zero for that year. There are resonable arguments against this approach, and there may be legal issues if they are a nonprofit or 501©(3) or similar organization, bu
  3. As RONR In Brief puts it, "It is possible either to take nominations for all offices before electing any, or to take nominations for the first office, conduct the election for that office, and then repeat this procedure for each of the offices to be filled by election." (See RONR In Brief 2nd ed, p. 79. See RONR 11th ed, p. 435, ll. 27-34.) Suppose the chair plans on the first approach (nominations for all offices before electing any), but a member wishes to follow the second approach. Is this done by the demand of one member, or by majority vote? Can this interrupt? Is there a time limit? M
  4. Official interpretation 2006-7 says unseconded motions are to be recorded in minutes, and cites RONRIB saying all motions moved but not withdrawn are to go in the minutes. Shall the minutes record verbatim a motion made with vulgarities or obscenities and thus ruled not in order (RONR 10th ed, p. 333, l. 4-8)?
  5. No. Per RONR officer reports give recommendations, and the actual motion to implement any such recommendation should come from the floor. In contrast, a motion from a committee of two or more is to be moved by the reporting member. Typically, reports, whether from an officer or a committee, are not voted on to be accepted at all. Only specific recommendations. The typical treasurer's report is not voted on to be accepted at all, but only the audit report of the annual treasurer's report. Regarding the treasurer's report, there may be other concerns stemming from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that ma
  6. First, ensure the chair's term is really up. If the bylaws say the term is for some period of time "and until his/her successor is elected" or "or until..." or something similar, then the person still holds the office even though an election wasn't held at the prescribed time. Second, if the chairman's office becomes vacant, then the vice president becomes president. Third, if at any meeting there is no chairman present, the vice chairman (vice president) chairs the meeting. If that can't happen, then the secretary calls the meeting to order and presides over the election of a chairman pro t
  7. Yes, you follow both the bylaws and the "policy and procedures," which are supplemental rules in two categories based on the nature of the rule and the votes required to adopt/amend/repeal/suspend them, and called in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) either Special Rules of Order (procedural) or Standing Rules (policy). If there is a conflict, bylaws supersede special rules of order, which supersede your parliamentary authority (e.g., RONR).
  8. RONR doesn't specifically address cancelling or rescheduling a meeting, but the general principle in RONR is that the body or person with the power to act has the power to rescind the action. (This is seen in RONR's discussion of appointments to committees: when by the president alone, the president can remove them, but when by the assembly, only the assembly can remove a person from the committee.) This principle would seem to apply to some degree to calling meetings. In May 2006 the board called a meeting for the third Tuesday of each month. The board can rescind any of those calls, and i
  9. Yes. See RONR, p. 354, l. 15-17. Although this provision uses the word "question" rather than "subject," lines 30-34 shows that in this context of orders of the day that the terms seem to be interchangeable. And lines 15-17 fall under the introducing lines 5-6 which uses "item of business." The introduction to the section says "An order of the day...is a particular subject, question, or item of business that is set in advance...." (p. 353, l. 6-8).
  10. Ah, page 346 confirms this: "Normally - unless an order of the day was made as a part of an agenda for a session - no motion is necessary at the time the order comes up, since the introduction of the question has been accomplished previously...." Thanks!
  11. If during a committee report a motion is made and while pending postponed to the next meeting (to be a general order), at the next meeting the chair does not ask for someone to make the motion; the chair simply states it. And if under new business someone moves "that at the next meeting we consider the motion to buy a flag" and it is adopted, the motion to "buy a flag" need not be "made" at the next meeting; the chair would simply state it. There is a difference between giving notice, which is the act of one member, and adopting an agenda with a general order with the text of the motion spelle
  12. An agenda is pending adoption, and member X moves to amend by adding a motion to buy a flag to General Orders, which is adopted, and the amended agenda is adopted. When the motion on the flag is pending, can X ask permission to withdraw it? The motion X made, to amend the pending agenda, was already adopted. Is X considered the maker of the flag motion, or is the assembly by virtue of adopting the agenda with it listed? Assume that the full wording of the motion was in the agenda so no motion was made when general orders were reached in the agenda; i.e., the chair simply stated the flag moti
  13. As mentioned already, if you remove RONR as your parliamentary authority without naming another book, you are bound to follow the common law for parliamentary procedure. The trouble with that is that it is ill defined, and your organization is likely to spend much more time haggling over what the proper procedure is. Indeed, that is the very reason that the original Robert's Rules of Order was written: at meetings in San Francisco Major Henry Robert found there were different opinions as to what the proper procedure was, and "confusion and misunderstanding had reached a point where issues of
  14. Thanks for reminding me of the rules for roll calls for attendance on p. 349. Quite helpful.
  15. Suppose a group wants to adopt a rule that the minutes should contain a list of all members in attendance. Assume they don't want to encumber their bylaws with such a rule. Would the rule be a standing rule (administrative), or a special rule of order (procedural)? Could they later at a particular meeting agree to omit the list from a particular set of minutes? If so, by what vote requirement (two-thirds, to suspend the "rule of order")?
  16. Page 574: 2) Permissible primary and secondary amendment of the motion to amend the bylaws is usually limited by the extent of change for which notice was given, as explained below [p. 576 ff]. In formal settings, a member stands when speaking in debate, and sits when done which should be after at most ten minutes. This yields the floor, and the chair asks if there is further debate. If no one else seeks the floor, the member can rise to speak a second time in debate, or if he has spoken twice already he may ask to suspend the rules so he can speak again. If speaking at any time and ten mi
  17. Regarding amending a pending motion to amend the bylaws that requires previous notice, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) does allow such amendments so long as they are within the "scope" of the status quo and the proposed amendment. The classic example is, suppose dues are currently $50 per bylaws, and a proposed amendment with notice would strike out $50 and insert $70. It would be within scope and allowed to amend by striking out $70 from the pending amendment and inserting $60 (or any other amount between $50 and $70), but not an amount lower than $50 or greater than $70. This
  18. The motion probably can't be denied on such a basis. The name is probably in the bylaws, and to change it probably takes amending the bylaws, following a procedure for amending the bylaws spelled out in the bylaws. It can likely be done at any time by following those procedures. You might also want to read about the Amend Something Previously Adopted motion in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised.
  19. Can "object to consideration of a question" interrupt the making of the motion it objects to? Suppose someone is making a motion in the form of a resolution and is reading the Whereas clauses which contain inflammatory claims. Can another member interrupt with "object to consideration" before the motion is fully made, seconded and stated? Does a motion which dies due adopting Object To Consideration get recorded in the minutes? If so, is there a procedure (apart from bylaws or special rules of order) whereby the minutes could omit such a motion? It seems that if a motion is so problematic tha
  20. RONR p. 414 does use "voice and vote" in discussing proxies: "In a stock corporation, on the other hand, where the ownership is transferable, the voice and vote of the member also is transferable, by use of a proxy." But RONR does not define what "voice" includes. Also see a similar discussion at this thread: http://robertsrules.forumflash.com/index.php?/topic/8298-voice-but-no-vote Although "have voice but not vote" style provisions can be readily found via an internet search, a clearer provision example is: "The [Club] Leader shall have the right to make and debate motions at County Committ
  21. RONR p. 381 prohibits the maker of a motion from speaking against it in debate. 1. Can the maker of a main motion move to postpone it indefinitely? Or would that be considered speaking against it? (He may have exhausted his rights in debate and wants to move PI to debate more, not to defeat his main motion.) 2. Can a proponent of a main motion move postpone indefinitely to extend debating and then speak for the main motion? Or would that be prohibited as implicitly speaking against his own motion to PI?
  22. Thanks all for your replies. They confirm my uneasy feeling that the current rules in RONR allow repeating germane points in debate for dilatory purposes. Sadly, in my opinion. So it seems a strong minority of more than one third at a convention can prevent a special rule of order being adopted reducing the debate limit to something less than 10 minutes, and then each member of the faction can speak in debate twice for ten minutes on a motion to "filibuster" to effectively keep it from coming to a vote. The weak majority (more than half, but less than two-thirds) is powerless to limit debat
  23. I find RONR prohibits dilatory motions, but not explicitly dilatory debate. That debate must be germane helps to keep it from being dilatory (delaying), but at a large convention one could conceive of a large number of members effecting a quasi-filibuster by using their full ten minutes for debate by repeating germane points. Is there a rule in RONR that could serve as a basis for disallowing repeating germane points in debate for dilatory purposes?
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