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Benjamin Geiger

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Everything posted by Benjamin Geiger

  1. Do you have the time before each ceremony to ask each person in question which honorific they would prefer?
  2. Have you been touched by His Noodly Appendage? (EDIT: something something relevant signature something.)
  3. It should be noted that, as far as I'm aware, members were unaware of other members' votes until after the meeting had ended, or otherwise they'd be able to rectify the issue immediately. I guess it'd be more akin to a signed ballot.
  4. Isn't this literally the entire raison d'etre for the motion to Reconsider And Enter On The Minutes?
  5. It's time now for further adventures of The State Level Chapter Of The Major National Political Party (Not That One, The Other One). Keep in mind that I am not a voting member of this particular organization, though I am a member of one of the county-level subordinate entities, so take all of this with grain of salt (or whatever quantity of salt you feel necessary). A couple of days ago, there was a vote to amend the bylaws of this organization to modify the voting system. Currently we use a "weighted vote" system, where each county chapter has two elected delegates to the state organization, and the number of votes those "state committeepersons" get are determined by the number of voters registered to our political party in that county. There has been a push over the last several years to move to a one-person-one-vote system, where instead of having the number of votes determined by the population, instead the number of committeepersons are determined by the population. [Full disclosure: I am firmly in favor of this motion, so refer to the statement regarding salt above.] This amendment passed by the skin of its teeth, 695-322 (or 68.34% in favor, with 2/3 needed). However, there are at least two committeepersons who claim to have voted (and have screenshots* of the vote software) but whose votes do not appear in the final tabulation published after the meeting. Given the weights of their votes, had their votes been included the motion would have failed. The questions: 1. What can be done now? Given paragraph 45:55, I know it's unlikely that there's much that can be done by those who opposed the motion, but I'd like to keep my friends who are members informed. 2. What should have been done at the time? Is there any parliamentary method to require the Chair or Secretary to read the votes as received in time to raise an objection or confirm the vote? Or at least to confirm that abstentions are intentional? * The screenshots in question may be ambiguous; they say "Vote Received: no", which may mean "we received your vote of 'no'" or "we did not receive your vote". I haven't received confirmation, though I'm fairly confident it's the former.
  6. TL;DR: What can we do when the chair simply refuses to acknowledge that certain motions have been made, if there's no equivalent of standing up and simply shouting for a vote? Today I witnessed some of the most nauseating examples of abuse of parliamentary practice I've ever seen. Some background: there were two meetings today, for the Central Committee and the State Executive Committee of a state-level chapter of a major political party. I was asked by a member of both to observe; I'm not a member of either committee, so these don't directly involve me. Zoom meetings have been effectively shoehorned in via emergency declaration; there's language in our bylaws that can be seen as allowing for that. A problem is that there are no special rules of order to handle these meetings, so the party has been effectively winging it, with each county and each committee taking up its own customs. For these particular meetings, the members were expected to use the text chat within Zoom to request the floor, and specify why they wanted it (make a motion, speak in debate, etc.). This explicitly included points of order and points of privilege. The problem is that the chair and his subordinates maintained a queue of actions, and would pick and choose which requests for the floor he would grant based on (among other things) whether he supported the desired action. For instance, he skipped over several people who sought the floor for debate and several who sought to amend the motion on the floor in order to choose a motion for the Previous Question (which failed). Through a bit of subterfuge a single point of order was heard, was summarily shot down (on blatantly incorrect grounds, I might add), and none of the several people attempting to Appeal (including the person who initially made the Point of Order) were ever called on. I know that in a traditional setting, one could simply stand and shout the appeal over the chair, but in this situation the chair maintained control over the mute functionality and the chat functionality, preventing any dissent from being acted on. What can we do? Removing the chair is effectively impossible, as it requires a 2/3 vote of the entire membership.
  7. Would it be better to call the meeting to order and have the members stand at ease (or request unanimous consent for Recess) until Ms. T can arrive?
  8. Likewise. I received my first copy from Amazon on the 1st but it arrived damaged (based on the damage, it appears that the pages were creased when they attempted to shove RONRIB into the same envelope carelessly). My replacement arrived today and so far I have no complaints. Actually, one "complaint": it's bigger than the 10th and 11th editions, which means I'll probably need to rearrange a couple things in my bag to make it fit. Oh well, c'est la vie.
  9. I mean, if the singular 'they' is good enough for the Bard... (A Comedy of Errors, Act IV, Scene 3) And here's a short lecture on the subject that I find rather entertaining and informative.
  10. I concur with Mr. Mervosh. Personally, I'd err on the side of avoiding pronouns whenever possible, falling back to the singular 'they' if needed.
  11. There is a link to a PDF outlining changes at the bottom of this page. Look for "Download a PDF of all significant changes".
  12. Standing rules are described on page 18 of the 11th edition.
  13. Can confirm: The numbers are visible in Chrome on Windows, but not in Chrome on Android. EDIT: The numbers are visible in Chrome on Android on my tablet but not on my phone, so it likely has to do with the screen size rather than the browser.
  14. Option 1: The items on the agenda become "unfinished business" for the next regularly scheduled meeting*. See pages 358ff, RONR 11e, for more on unfinished business. Option 2: If you want to have more time to discuss the current topics, use Fix The Time To Which To Adjourn to create an "adjourned meeting". For instance: "Madam Chair, I move that when this meeting adjourns, it adjourn to meet at 8 PM on Friday, September 4th." See pages 242ff (ibid.) for more on Fix The Time To Which To Adjourn and pages 93ff (ibid.) for more on adjourned meetings. * If the two meetings are not separated by more than a quarterly time interval. (See page 90, ibid.)
  15. Assuming your bylaws don't say anything different, the agenda doesn't become official until it's adopted by a majority vote at the meeting. It can be amended just like anything else that goes before the assembly (move to Amend, majority to pass).
  16. I interpreted your earlier statement as meaning that there's a distinction between the HOA (homeowners are members) and the board (where the three board members are members). Mr. Brown is saying that if there's a meeting of the board, but there are members of the HOA (that are not members of the board) present, then seating the board members on a dais would be wise. In a meeting of the HOA, where the members of the board are just members, then they wouldn't be seated on a dais.
  17. I think you're conflating "the person running the meeting" with "the person running the organization". While the two can be (and often are) the same person, that is not necessarily the case. The expectation of impartiality applies to the person who is running the meeting, not necessarily to the person running the organization. For instance, the person running the organization can step down from running the meeting and appoint a chairman pro tempore in order to participate in debate. Also, board members don't hold any special status during normal meetings; they're just members. If the other board members are members of the HOA (as it sounds), then there is nothing stopping them from voting.
  18. Well, unless they're deer ranchers, I doubt they'd have any at all... đŸ˜‰
  19. Or, as the mnemonic goes: "you count heads, not hats."
  20. As the kids say today, "well, yes, but actually no." Theoretically, the presiding officer is still a member of the assembly (assuming they were one to begin with), which gives them the right to make motions. However, the presiding officer has an obligation of impartiality. This means that they are expected to waive their rights to make motions, participate in debate, or vote (except by ballot or when their vote would affect the outcome). There are two notable exceptions: 1. Under small board rules and in committees, the presiding officer is able to participate fully, without waiving their rights. 2. In other forms of meeting, the presiding officer is permitted to step down for the duration of the consideration of a question, with the vice president (if one exists and is willing) or an appointed chair pro tempore taking the reins. In that circumstance, the new presiding officer is the one with the obligation of impartiality.
  21. Actually, that does prompt a question: If a meeting is scheduled in a location where not all members are permitted to attend, is the meeting still considered valid? I was interpreting the OP's question as being, in part: if due to distancing requirements the meeting is held in a room too small to hold the entirety of the membership (but large enough to hold a quorum), a faction could take advantage of that fact and arrange to occupy a majority of the seats in order to exclude an opposing faction. Would that meeting still be valid? Alternately: If the meeting is held in Canada, members in the United States would be unable to attend as the border between the two countries is closed due to COVID-19. If the meeting is held in a place with restricted access, a faction could ensure that supporters would have access while opponents would be turned away. Would those circumstances prevent those meetings from being considered valid?
  22. First: Do your bylaws have a provision that allows for electronic meetings? If not, then the question is moot. Assuming that your bylaws do allow for electronic meetings: there are anonymous poll sites available. I searched for "online secret ballot" on the Google-machine and found several that seem as though they would suffice. (I would link to some but I don't want to give the appearance of endorsement, and I'm not sure if it's permitted anyway.)
  23. I was under the impression that "reclaiming my time" is a peculiarity of the rules of the US House of Representatives, not something found in RONR.
  24. Agreed, but this still leaves open the question of how an incidental main motion to Postpone Indefinitely (or Postpone to a Certain Time) would work. If it weren't for the condition that the incidental main motions share the same names as the subsidiary motions, I could see how Amend Something Previously Adopted could be the incidental main motion variant of Amend, and Rescind Something Previously Adopted could be the incidental main motion variant of Postpone Indefinitely, et cetera.
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