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  1. Once the motion is made (and seconded, if required), the motion is in the hands of the assembly, and the maker of the motion is no longer necessary for the deliberation and voting on the motion, unless that member is needed for quorum.
  2. My assembly has had a few instances where documents instating or amending policy, which are recommended by a committee, have been moved for adoption and contain errors that appear to be of the nature of copyedits—whether a missing word or punctuation, a misspelling, or of accidentally using policy terms no longer used by the assembly. Sometimes these needed edits seem insubstantial, for example, there are two consecutive “the”s, and one needs to be stricken. Sometimes the substantiality of the edit is not immediately clear, like the insertion of a comma or adding a conforming amendment to the recommendation. Other times, there is a single word accidentally omitted that has significant consequences to the interpretation of the language. My general understanding is that if the needed amendment is something as simple as a misspelling or a duplicate indefinite article, the secretary can just make the edit; but, anything else, including conforming amendments to make language consistent across documents, needs to be done (a) either by the assembly through the amendment process, or (b) the document has to be sent back to committee for that work to be done and then to be re-introduced to the assembly. Some of the assembly members are unhappy with this and would like a means by which they can adopt the amendment, in any of the above cases, with a proviso or general instruction such that both (a) and (b) above are obviated; for example, a motion “to adopt the recommended policy with the proviso that the language is updated to reflect current policy terms in use.” Would you recommend something like this? Only in some cases and not others?
  3. For some reason my most recent post appears with a long strike-out. This was not intended, and I am unable to edit out the strikeout.
  4. The question I read the OP making is: does an assembly need a formal trial to impose (even a relatively minor) penalty? p. 644 states that "formal disciplinary measures should generally be regarded as a drastic step reserved for serious situations (ll. 8-10). RONR states that conduct which "tend to injure the good nature of the organization, disturb its well-being, or hamper it in its work" is a serious office. At the same time, RONR goes on to say "It is usually in the best interests of the organization first to make every effort to obtain a satisfactory solution of the matter quietly and informally" (ibid, ll. 11-12). So, It still seems to be that if a formal solution is desired, the only remaining option is to initiate formal disciplinary measures, either by formal trial or by investigation of a Committee on Discipline, unless there are superseding rules to the contrary. But, if the assembly wishes to "obtain a satisfactory solution of the matter quietly and informally", then no, no formal proceedings are needed to impose a penalty. All of that said, it seems to me that any act that would make the assembly require a formal apology or suspend a member's rights (examples given in the original question) would seem to me serious enough to require a formal proceeding.
  5. My understanding is that unless there are special rules, bylaws, statutory laws, etc. that supersede the parliamentary authority, than the parliamentary authority provides the rules to follow. In this case, assuming RONR is a adopted parliamentary authority, that means Chapter 20 is necessary unless other rules have been adopted. I would guess that the type of situation you are describing is one reason RONR includes the final paragraph of that chapter, namely p. 669, ll. 32-36: "...having a Committee on Discipline has the advantages of not unduly inconveniencing the society, and of promoting the avoidance of scandal and the settlement of disciplinary problems without an actual trial" [emphasis added].
  6. I might also add that RONR gives to the presiding officer the prerogative of ruling on all questions of order, subject to appeal by the assembly. I have seen an instance where an assembly believes that RONR grants the parliamentarian some authority to rule on questions of order. But this is not the case. I say all of this this to underscore and extend what Mr. Martin stated: the Parliamentarian's role is only advisory; so, it would indeed be odd for the President, as presiding officer, to be his official advisor to himself.
  7. RONR states that "a particular practice may sometimes come to be followed as a matter of established custom so that it is practically treated as if it were prescribed by rule. If there is no contrary provision in the parliamentary authority or written rules of the organization, the established custom should be adhered to unless the assembly, by majority vote, agrees in a particular instance to do otherwise. However, if a customary practice is or becomes in conflict with the parliamentary authority or any written rule, and a Point of Order citing the conflict is raised at any time, the custom falls to the ground, and the conflicting provision in the parliamentary authority or written rule must thereafter be complied with." (RONR p. 19. ll. 1-15). It sounds to me that oath-taking as a requirement for assuming duties has been a customary practice treated practically as a rule. It sounds like the member would like to raise a Point of Order insisting on the oath, and the chair of the board should then rule on the Point of Order. It should be noted that this would not be a Point of Order citing a conflict but rather a Point of Order insisting on following customary practice which has been treated as a rule. As such, the custom does not fall to the ground by virtue of raising this particular Point of Order. However, given the logic provided by Mr. Katz, which I agree with, the chair would need to rule that the Point of Order is not well taken, citing a conflict between custom and the parliamentary authority. At that time, the custom as a whole would fall to the ground, and as such no one thereafter would be required to take an oath prior to assuming responsibilities office (this does not mean that no one ever takes an oath, only that it is is not required to assume responsibilities). If another member then insists that the oath should be taken prior to assuming responsibilities, that member (or anyone else who would agree) should move to amend the by-laws (2/3-vote required) to state that. [I'll need the heavy-hitters here to check me especially on this one:] If the chair is in doubt as to how to rule, the chair may submit the Point of Order to a vote of the board, through which the board may insist on the oath-taking for the person in question, or the board may in this case decide that the member does not need to take the oath prior to assuming duties, leaving the general customary practice alone until that point at which someone raises a Point of Order citing the conflict, or the custom is codified in the by-laws.
  8. I had read that, but I think I misread this critical line in SDC 6, which I believe now clears up my remaining confusion: "Thus, a motion to Rescind can be amend, for example, by substituting for it a motion to amend what is proposed to be rescinded." Thank you all for pointing me in the right direction. I seem to be finding myself in situations lately that require me to draw from the finer and, perhaps, more rarely drawn upon points of procedure, and I am not yet at the level where those are close to being mastered.
  9. Thank you Mr. Brown. I had read those sections but unfortunately they did not bring any additional clarity. Let me see if I can provide an example: Last meeting, an assembly adopts a paragraph motion about the planning of events, which includes the motion "that all events must be done in pastel colors." At the next meeting, Member A says that the events committee was out to purchase paint and was unable to confidently ascertain what counts for a pastel color, so Member A member moves "to amend the motion 'that all events must be done in pastel colors' by adding the words 'produced by The Pastel Paint Company' after the word 'colors'"? At this point, what is considered the main motion, the motion "all events must be done in pastel colors" or the motion "to amend the motion 'that all events must be done in pastel colors' by adding the words 'produced by The Pastel Paint Company' after the word 'colors'"? If I understand what you are saying above, the latter of the two is considered the main motion, and if it is referred to committee, the committee can consider any amendment to to motion referred (p. 176, ll. 20-24). Yet in this case, the motion referred would be an amendment to the original multi-paragraph motion brought back before the assembly, and so I understand that the committee can only consider amendments to that amendment, which I take to mean the committee can only consider amending the motion "'that all events must be done in pastel colors' by adding the words 'produced by The Pastel Paint Company' after the word 'colors", and it is not free to consider amending other parts of the multi-paragraph motion regarding the planning of events, even if the question regarding pastel colors might best be addressed by also amending other parts of the multi-paragraph motion.
  10. Colleagues-- A motion is made to amend something previously adopted. A rationale is provided for the amendment, pointing to a general problematic issue in the previously adopted motion, and the amendment is moved and seconded. During debate, a motion is made to refer the question to a standing committee whose charges include making recommendations on the subject of the motion to be amended. 1) Is the motion to amend something previously adopted considered a main motion (I ask, because the motion to amend is typically a subsidiary motion)? Is the main motion the question being brought back before the assembly in order to amend or is it the amendment itself? 2) Am I correct that any secondary motion to commit in this case must be to commit the amendment itself (see below for comparison)? 3) If the intent of the motion to commit is not to commit the exact amendment but to refer the general issue the amendment seeks to address for the sake of reporting on recommended motions, is that motion to commit considered a separate main motion, or can it still be considered secondary to the main motion to ASPA (in other words, again, is the main question the original motion or the amendment itself)? 3) If the amendment itself is referred, then is it also correct that, given the committee's duties include considering the general issue the amendment seeks to address, the committee can both a) amend the referred amendment under as stated under the principle of freedom of action after referral and also b) recommend a second, alternative motion to address the general issue at hand? Thank you in advance for your help.
  11. I see that now after rereading the RONR section on executive boards. Thank you!
  12. I think that the OI Mr. Brown referenced (http://www.robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_13) would indicate that even a board given full power and authority to do something in the by-laws (in that OI, the powers the board is given would seem to be standard ones written in by-laws), their actions can nonetheless be countermanded.
  13. This OI is quite germane and helpful. It not only gives guidance on my original question in this post but also helps me clear up some confusion regarding what it means for the assembly's oversight of a committee when a committee is appointed "with power". Thank you. I guess this is a reason why a committee might want hold a hearing, or make a report on color choice before purchasing paint, if the committee thinks there might be any disagreement with the assembly over the colors 😉 . It does seem like 2/3-vote would be most appropriate, and I guess it would be up to the assembly to decide whether they want to waste the money on tossing out the mixed paint colors when they consider the ASPA/Rescind motion.
  14. If a committee is charged (but not given "full power") to take particular actions on behalf of the assembly, and the committee acts on that charge within the proper scope of that charge, but the assembly disagrees with a particular action already taken in accordance with that charge, can the assembly countermand the action? If not, are there any other options available aside from further instructions or amending the charges for the future?
  15. Hello, friends-- First, thank you all for the help you've provided me in the past; it has been indispensable to helping me fulfill the duties of parliamentarian for my society. I have what I think is a very quick, non-urgent question. I have looked through RONR 11th and can't seem to find a direct answer to this: If the procedure for the appointment of chairs of standing committees is not established in the by-laws (or anywhere else for that matter), and the committee chair's seat vacates after the initial appointment of a chair (for example, when the committee chair's term is up), is the assumed procedure: A) The empty seat remains a chair's seat per se, and the assembly appoints the committee chair specifically, The assembly appoints someone to the committee to fill what becomes non-specific seat, and the committee itself then appoints the new chair, C) The assembly appoints someone to what becomes a non-specific seat and then appoints the new chair from that committee, or D) Something else (if so, what?) Thank you in advance!
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