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  1. Can someone verify my understanding that the following applies to this situation, as a board is a type of assembly? RONR, 11th ed., states that a member may first attempt raising a point of order, which sounds like was was already done. A member may, after a ruling by the chair, then appeal the decision of the chair, throwing the question of order to the board. If the chair repeatedly ignores a point of order (that is not dilatory) repeatedly, the member can then ask if the point or order is well taken. The same can be then done if the chair ignores an appeal properly made and seconded (pp. 650-651) "If the chair fails to act in accordance with the [board's] decision on an appeal...or otherwise culpably fails to perform the duties of the chair properly at a meeting,..." a member may move to "Suspend the Rules so as to take away from [the chair] the authority to preside during all or part of a session" (p. 651 l. 17-18; p.652, ll. 5-7). This requires 2/3-vote. This motion, if adopted, can remain in effect for only one session, though, and so it must be renewed at each meeting the effect is desired. Beyond this action, the officer may be removed from office, as has been suggested. See pp. 650ff for more. *This all assumes your parliamentary authority is RONR. Your bylaws would supersede RONR, if there is a conflict.
  2. "Discussion of any subject is permitted only with reference to a pending motion...For a member to begin to discuss a matter while no question is pending, without promptly leading to a motion, implies an unusual circumstance and requires permission from the assembly, in addition to obtaining the floor. In larger assemblies, this rule requires firm enforcement. In smaller meetings, it may sometimes be relaxed with constructive effect if the members are not accustomed to working under the standard rule. Unless the assembly has specifically authorized [it], such a discussion can be entered only at the sufferance of the chair or until a point of order is made, and in the latter case, the chair must immediately require that a motion be offered or the discussion cease" (RONR, 11th ed., p. 34, ll. 7-32).
  3. Setemu

    Endorsement of committee work?

    So, if I understand the parliamentary situation correctly, the assembly cannot really make a motion to "endorse" the work, because according to RONR "So long as the question is in the hands of the committee, the assembly cannot consider another motion involving practically the same question" (p. 311, ll. 3-5), which I think is what jstackpro was getting at. Nonetheless, a motion to further instruct the committee regarding its charges can effectively work around this in circumstances where the motion is explicitly further instructions and not, by contrast, a motion for the assembly to take action on its own regarding the question that is, in effect, still in committee. Am I close?
  4. Setemu

    Endorsement of committee work?

    This is a standing committee with powers to make recommendations on membership policies. The principles in a way are, maybe, the committee setting its own instructions regarding the general direction of the policies it will be developing for recommendation. Because the overhaul is significant, and this is the first and foundational step to the revision of the policy, committee members want to make sure the assembly agrees with the general direction they are heading, so that they don't get to the formal recommendation of the policies only to have the assembly reject some or all of the set of policies are grounded on one of these principles. While there is no guarantee the assembly will or will not reject any of the recommendations, the committee is attempting to "get it right" at critical stages before sending it out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.
  5. Does anyone have any experience with, opinions about, or recommendations on the following example of a practice: Committee X is charged with making recommendations on policies regarding membership. Rather than hold a hearing or otherwise solicit the opinion of assembly members, the reporting member asks, on behalf of the committee, for the assembly to endorse its work so far, by vote. For example, let's say the committee came up with four principles around which they would like to develop their membership policy. The reporting member, at the end of the report, says, "I move, on behalf of the membership committee, that the assembly endorse the proposed for principles around which the new membership policy will be created." This example motion seems to have no parliamentary effect (it strikes me as similar in this way to the motion "to adopt the committee's recommendations", which doesn't necessarily authorize action (p. 515, ll. 13-16)) and might better be replaced with some form of a motion to instruct the committee in a certain way regarding its creation of a membership policy. For example, "I move, on behalf of the membership committee, that the membership committee be instructed to create the new membership policy in accordance with the recommended four principles," or something like that.
  6. Setemu

    Subcommittee Membership Bylaw

    My understanding form discussions elsewhere on this board is that subcommittees are essentially committees of committees, and as such the same rules apply for subcommittees as committees unless otherwise specified. So, am I correct that the assumed method of appointment, given only the above language (perhaps with some tweaking to your point) and no bylaw language regarding appointments, would be the same as for committees: "by unanimous consent or by majority vote at the time the committee is appointed" (p. 492, ll. 13-17)? If the bylaws have language regarding the method of committee appointments, yet no explicit language regarding the method of appointment in subcommittees, would your interpretation be that that is also the method to appoint subcommittees?
  7. RONR states "Subcommittees must consist of members of the committee, except when otherwise authorized by the society in cases where the committee is appointed to take action that requires the assistance of others" (p. 497, ll. 16-19). If an assembly changed their bylaws regarding subcommittee membership to only read "Subcommittees may consist of assembly members who are not on the committee," does that eliminate the requirement that nonmembers of the parent committee must be authorized? It seems to me that the second clause of the RONR statement above might still be in effect, and the amended bylaw can be read to merely affirm what RONR states: that subcommittees may consist of members not of the parent committee.....[if they are authorized by the assembly].
  8. Does the chair make this declaration and order, and is it considered a ruling; or, does the assembly vote on it? If it is the assembly, is it a majority vote? Majority in negative vote?
  9. 1) I understand that, as such, the assembly may countermand the actions, if it so chooses. Is it only the assembly that can take action or can the parent committee also take action regarding actions of its subcommittee exceeding its authority? 2) Am I correct that a committee cannot authorize its subcommittee to make recommendations or to carry out actions it itself is not authorized by the assembly to make or cary out, unless the assembly authorizes those additional charges? 3) The parliamentarian is responsible for "call[ing] the attention of the chair to any error in the proceedings that may affect the substantive rights of any member or may otherwise do harm" (p. 466., ll. 15-17). I've always thought of this responsibility being contained within the proceedings of assembly meetings itself. Do any of the issues under discussion here fall under this duty of the parliamentarian? Thank you for answering these additional questions. I'd like to make sure I have provisional answers prepared on these, and have some sense of what kinds of follow up questions I might ask, before I start formally answering questions from assembly members.
  10. I wondered if that would be the case, but then why is there a rule prohibiting non-members of the parent committee from being on its subcommittee? Is there any significant parliamentary effect that follows from the appointment of non-members to the committee, especially considering they typically only give recommendations, or is the rule there to "merely" to ensure consistency with all the other rules regarding committee membership vis-a-vis the parent body (committees must be comprised of members of the assembly, so subcommittees must be comprised of members of the parent committee)? Edited to add: I need to amend my answer to Mr. Martin above in light of new information. This subcommittee is a standing subcommittee, and from what I have been able to gather, it has been acting autonomously (carrying out activities not authorized by the assembly and not reporting to its parent committee).
  11. No. I had thought it was, but I was confusing the recommendation for action with an action. The parent committee is a standing committee charged with drafting policy recommendations on a specific array of subjects, and its subcommittee was charged with drafting a recommendation on one specific policy. That subcommittee policy draft was recommended to the parent committee, the parent committee recommended it to the assembly, and the assembly adopted it---all with non-members of the parent committee on the subcommittee.
  12. Here are the textual reference points I am working with: - "The motion to ratify...is used to confirm or make valid an action already taken that cannot be valid until approved by the assembly" (p. 124, ll. 24-27), and it can be applied in instances where "action [is] taken by...subordinate bodies in excess of their instructions or authority..." (p. 124, ll. 34-35). - "Subcommittees must consist of members of the committee, except when otherwise authorized by the society in cases where the committee is appointed to take action that requires the assistance of others” (p. 497, ll. 16-19).
  13. A standing committee may make a recommendation to the assembly of its own initiative (p. 514). Situation: standing committee (A) is charged with making policy recommendations to the assembly regarding subject X. There are no assembly rules regarding automatic referral on any subject. An assembly member, who is not a member of committee (A), contacts the chair (or any) member of this committee with a suggestion for a policy amendment on subject x, in the hopes the committee will recommend the amendment to the assembly. The chair of the committee (or other committee member) brings the item before the committee on behalf of the assembly member. The amendment is adopted for the committee report and a motion to amend is recommended in the report to the assembly. Questions: 1) Is committee (A) obligated to consider the issue brought by the assembly member, given the issue is in the purview of the committee's charges? (my guess: no) 2) May committee (A) consider an issue brought to the attention of one it's members it by an individual assembly member, if one or more committee members wishes to do so? (my guess: yes). On the one hand this seems to circumvent the majority requirement to commit an item to committee, but on the other hand this is a standing committee charged with considering issues on the subject. 3) If committee (A) member hears a comment during Good of the Order regarding a concern with policy in question--a policy under the purview of committee (A)--is it allowable for that committee (A) member to then bring up the issue for consideration and possibly recommendation in committee (A)'s next meeting without any discussion with the member who brought up the concern during Good of the Order? (my guess: yes) 4) Do any of these answers change if the committee is given standing powers to act on behalf of the assembly on matters pertaining to the policy in question?
  14. Setemu

    Uses of Committee of the Whole

    I don't know much about that history or about the House rules, but a quick peek at the US House's Office of the Clerk led me to this description of the Committee of the Whole: "The House resolves itself into a new Committee of the Whole for the consideration of a bill" (emphasis added). That description is consistent with the NP article you referred me to, JJ, which uses as an example a pending potential action of the assembly that is referred to Committee of the Whole. That's a point I hadn't thought of, although in such a case is seems to me the question of whether to consider a question informally, as one of the devices described on p. 530, isn't a question at all any more given informal consideration is always already allowed in a small board (a motion to consider a question informally wouldn't make sense in a small board...would it?). If I understand your second point, then, if a small assembly wished to have what we have been calling a "subject-only" discussion, which they could not do by informal consideration (which requires a pending main motion), they would move into committee of the whole to have the subject-only discussion. Generally speaking, although RONR states that each of the devices on p. 530 is "best suited" for a particular size of assembly, nothing in RONR precludes any assembly of any size from using any or all of those three devices in a given meeting. Right? There is that, indeed, and I agree it is an important fact to consider if an assembly, including mine, wishes to use Good of the Order for such purposes. I understand your reasoning, Mr. Martin, and I will keep it in mind when I encounter this situation again. Also, let me say again I very much I appreciate the time you and others have provided in helping me think through this. I am a novice at this, and I am also deeply interested the logic and intent behind the rules, specifically and generally, so I can learn to best interpret the text in cases where the text's guidance is not explicit, and this conversation has helped me understand some of nuances of the text that were not readily apparent to me (maybe an official opinion is in order--pun intended--as an easy reference for us newbies?). First round is on me if I ever make an NAP conference and bump into any of you all. :-)