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Chip

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  1. My organization's convention is coming up. We have a proposed bylaws revision on the agenda, and it takes place after elections are held. For most elections this won't matter, but the new bylaws replace one position on the Executive Committee with a different position (replaces a specific role with an "at-large" position). Is my understanding correct that it would be appropriate to "postpone to a certain time" this specific election (until after the bylaws revision is complete), and that would be a general order that would require a majority vote? Or is there a better way to do this?
  2. The portion of the proposed bylaws that I included is not the only part of the bylaws that exist that will govern elections. The only portion I included was the part I thought was relevant to the specific question that I mentioned in the first post - the part that specifically relates to the terms of officers.
  3. I'm working on a bylaws revision. One of the items regards the terms of officers. What has traditionally happened is that at the annual convention, the elections for officers are held. The new officers do not take office immediately, but instead take office at the adjournment of that annual convention. Technically, this means that there is a "lame duck" period, but it's usually just for an hour or two. It also means the presiding officer does not change midway through the convention. I am trying to incorporate that custom into the bylaws. What I've tentatively written is this: C. Officers shall be elected at the annual convention and shall take office at the adjournment of that convention. The term of office for all officers shall be from the adjournment of the annual convention at which officers are elected until the adjournment of the following annual convention or until their successors are selected. Elections for officers shall follow the procedure for single-member elections as specified in the Convention Rules. D. Any officer who has been elected or appointed to fill a vacancy for the remainder of a term shall take office immediately, and shall hold that position until the adjournment of the following annual convention or until the officer’s successor is selected. The "or until their successors are selected" is there so that vacancies don't cause a mess (based on RONR's suggestion). I use "selected" because there's both an option for appointing an officer to fill the remainder of a term and an option for a new election to be held. This language makes sense to me, but I could see someone suggesting (perhaps if they strongly dislike one of the current officers) that because the successors have been selected in the middle of the annual convention, that they should take office immediately, despite the other provision regarding the term starting at the adjournment of the annual convention. Am I reading too much into this, or is this a legitimate concern? Is the wording I've proposed adequate?
  4. Chip

    A member providing information

    Sounds good ... thanks to everyone for their help!
  5. Chip

    A member providing information

    I'm definitely not looking to have people using "Point of Information" to interject stuff when they are not next in line to have the floor - that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. One of my concerns though, is that I know that normally in debate, people on opposing sides alternate - one person speaks for a motion, the next person speaks against the motion, the next person speaks for the motion, etc. If someone really doesn't want to speak either for or against it but instead wants to simply provide relevant information, does it make sense for the chair to simply treat that person as being "neutral" during the debate? Would it be appropriate, for example, for a person to say "Mr. Chair, Rob Roberts, Delegate from Somewhere; I rise to speak to provide information on this motion" (instead of "I rise to speak in favor of / in opposition to this motion")?
  6. I know that the "Point of Information" is now a "Request for Information" so that people do not simply use the motion to dump information into a debate (which I think is a good thing). I know that this motion has been misused in some assemblies I've been a part of in the past. My question is about what a member should do if they think they have valuable information to contribute that may assist others in considering the current motion, but they have personally not taken a position for or against the current motion. A long-time member may have historical information that other members may not be aware of, and may want to share this. My understanding regarding debate is that normally, a member is supposed to speak for or against a motion, and not simply provide historical context that the members may find helpful. Is it acceptable for a member to just "dump historical information" during debate without taking a position on the motion? It would seem to me that it would be out of order. If that is, in fact, out of order, is there another way that a member can provide historical context related to a motion in front of the assembly?
  7. If a Bylaw or Rule specifies that a deadline for a certain action or notification is "one month" or "two months" (or more) in advance, should that be interpreted on the same date of the month two months prior (or, if that date does not exist, the last date of the month two months prior)? For example, "two months prior to June 15" would mean April 15, and "three months prior to May 31" would mean February 28 or 29. Would that be considered the correct interpretation? I ask because I have heard that sometimes a "month" can refer to "30 days" or even "four weeks" (in the case of a lunar month), and I don't remember seeing anything in RONR regarding that specific information.
  8. If an organization has this scenario: (1) The existing Constitution/Bylaws provision regarding notice for Constitution/Bylaw amendments are a bit inconsistent and perhaps open to differing interpretations; (2) The Constitution & Bylaws Committee proposes a complete revision of the Bylaws (replacing both the existing Constitution & Bylaws with one new document, a set of Bylaws), which is then adopted by the assembly; (3) The new Bylaws specify that a one-month notice will be given to members regarding proposed Bylaw amendments, and all proposed Bylaw amendments must be submitted to the Bylaws Committee (for discussion/modification/etc.) one month prior to that deadline for the notice; After the revision is complete, are amendments to the Bylaws at the convention in order if they meet the old Constitution & Bylaws requirements for notice, but not the new requirement? FYI, the relevant provision in the current Constitution re: the amendments and notice states: "... such amendment be made available in writing to convention delegates with enough time to consider the amendment. Publication in the newsletter at least a week before the convention shall always constitute sufficient notice." No newsletter exists right now, so that doesn't help the situation. I don't know what people would consider "enough time to consider the amendment" (one of several reasons the Bylaws are being revised).
  9. After you posted this, I went back and re-read the RONR section on consideration by paragraph. I think that somehow I misunderstood how it works (maybe I read something outside of RONR that was wrong). I'd thought that each section was voted on individually, and hadn't realized that it was only amendments that are voted on during the paragraph-by-paragraph consideration. Is the main purpose of consideration by paragraph so that people don't get overwhelmed with an enormous amount of language to deal with? Or is it more about limits on debate? Or both, or something else?
  10. If an assembly is considering a revision to the bylaws, and we are considering it by paragraph, is it acceptable/appropriate to ask for unanimous consent on some sections that are simple and likely uncontroversial? (e.g. the name of the group, the clause re: parliamentary authority, etc.) I don't think it should be used for anything complex, and I also don't think it should be used if there is ANY debate at all on the issue (other than the initial person from the committee speaking in favor of the section). But for the simple and basic things, it could help us save some time. I ask the question because obviously bylaws are of critical importance, and I don't want to appear to be rushing through anything.
  11. If there is a non-member who is attending a meeting of an organization as a guest, and they notice an error regarding parliamentary procedure, are they allowed to make a point of order, or get someone to make one on their behalf, and then they speak about the matter to the chair? If a guest at a meeting is not actually a parliamentarian and not officially serving in that role, but the guest is the most well-versed on parliamentary procedure, can the chair utilize that person for assistance with parliamentary procedure issues?
  12. That's what I had thought originally but I wasn't sure - thank you.
  13. In my organization, I want to create a rule that states that for any Division of the Assembly motions, and for any votes that must be counted, the members will hold up voting cards instead of standing. Would this be a Special Rule of Order or a Standing Rule? I know that it's a slight deviation from the way that RONR specifies how the process works, but it doesn't actually affect any member's rights as far as I can see.
  14. Chip

    A constitution & bylaws merger

    That will definitely make things a bit easier, thank you. I'll have some homework to do in order to figure out what gets proposed when. Thanks for the tip. I would think that these two parts cannot be divided and a motion for Division of the Question would be out of order, since completing the first part by itself would effectively dissolve the organization. No governing documents would exist if the first part was done separately. At least that's my interpretation.
  15. Chip

    A constitution & bylaws merger

    I think the plan then will be to introduce several Special Rules of Order proposals early on, so that the meeting can be held under those rules once they are in effect. I'll split them into groups of related rules at a bare minimum so that hopefully, division will be less of a concern for folks (and if it gets divided anyway, then we'll go with that). One more question re: the bylaws ... my understanding is that a Bylaw revision is not subject to Division, but it can (and probably should) be subject to consideration by paragraph. When this is done for a bylaw revision, does it absolutely have to be separate consideration at every single level of the document, or can some items be grouped together? For example, if I have a section that says "The duties for this committee are:" and then has multiple sub-parts that list those duties, can the header and the entire list be considered as one "paragraph" for consideration, or does each sub-part have to be considered on its own?
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