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Larry J. Randle

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  1. Scenario: An elected deliberative assembly has no rules in its bylaws about the election of its Mayor and Deputy Mayor other than mirroring state law which requires the assembly to elect, by a majority vote, a Mayor and Deputy Mayor each year, for a one year term. The assembly consists of only seven members. The vote for the office of Mayor is distributed 3-2-2 for the three candidates running - nobody has a majority vote at this point. To suggest that the assembly continue to hold an election for the same three candidates over and over until one of them achieves a majority would be career suicide for the staff member who suggests this. Adopting a Special Rule of Order or suspending the rules is not in order because it would override higher state law which is not permitted. What is a reasonable solution to this situation? What if there were four candidates and the votes were distributed 2-2-2-1? How can we reasonably work toward ensuring that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected to their respective offices by majority vote when three or more run for each office? Thank you.
  2. My question is pretty much summed up in the title - should defeated main motions always be included in the meeting minutes or does it depend on what your bylaws might say on the matter, if they say anything? Or, might an assembly adopt a special rule of order about this? What if you have no rule - I can't seem to pinpoint what RONR 11 says on this matter.
  3. Great discussion string here and yes, that last comment about this being a legislative body that has publicly elected officials is right on the mark, that is exactly the context in which my original question was asked. They seem to always be thinking about getting re-elected when election time comes so I think that raises the importance and relevancy of the conundrum I posed.
  4. If a member of the assembly makes a motion to approve something that they do not support just so the matter makes it onto the floor and can be disposed of, if they do not request a recorded vote (as per our legislation), the minutes paint a picture in which the member actually supported their motion. The minutes then give the incorrect impression that the member in fact, wanted to the motion to be adopted. Is there a practical way to avoid this perception? Is it absolutely necessary to provide a positive motion or should a member simply put forward a negative motion if they believe that it serves a useful purpose? (RONR pp.104-105) I believe that a recorded vote might be sufficient, but members often forget to request one and the minutes look awkward when the member votes against the motion he or she put forward. I feel as if I'm missing just a bit of information here that might help me better understand.
  5. If the Bylaws don't specify how the voting process for election of officers of a Board must take place, then an adopted motion specifying how to proceed dictates the process. So, if that motion states that nominations shall be made by secret ballot, followed by a secret ballot election of officers, my question is may a member nominate themselves for an office? There is really no way to prevent them from doing so anyway, since the nomination is by secret ballot. Alternatively, if nominations are taken from the floor for example, may a member nominate themselves for an office or must it be done by another member? Thanks in advance for the great feedback and guidance I know I will receive.
  6. What worked very well for me was to take the on-line Parliamentary Procedures course through the University of Wisconsin. Once you pass the test you can apply for membership in the NAP. Doing that course really helped and it got me excited about learning more about Robert's Rules and parliamentary procedure generally. I followed through with training through the NAP and recently earned my RP credential - it just takes lots of reading and a determination to complete the training, if you even want or need to go that far. Best of luck.
  7. Scenario: A municipal Council of 7 members elected at large by the public for a four year term are required by state law to hold an "organizational" meeting every October to elect the Chair and Vice-Chair for the year. The state law and the Bylaws are both silent on the procedures to be followed for nominations and the election itself. If three of the seven members are nominated for Chair and vote taken results in a 3-2-2 split, several more elections are taken and the result remains 3-2-2 - no candidate has a majority. Even if a Special Rule of Order (RONR 11th p. 441) is adopted to drop the candidate with the lowest number of votes, this still obviously leaves an awkward situation. By adopting such a Special Rule of Order, the next vote would effectively and presumably elect the member who had the three votes due to the fact that the member(s) with the lowest number of votes (two in this case) would be dropped from the ballot. What is a recommended way to manage this slightly awkward circumstance? Thanks in advance.
  8. Is there a more thorough technical explanation in RONR 11th edition beyond what is on page 393 (20-22) as to why a mover should not speak against their own motion? If so, can you please tell me where to find it or provide me with some bullet points as to why this is so? Thank you.
  9. The bylaws of a city government state that a member may move to add a late item to the Council meeting agenda at the meeting and if supported by at least a 2/3 vote, it gets added. While this incidental main motion (I believe that is the category of this motion) is pending, a motion to postpone the matter to the next meeting was made and ultimately adopted by a majority vote. Was this procedure proper or should the vote have first been taken on the motion to add the late item? I recognize that postpone to a certain time is a ranked motion but it seems to have nullified the purpose of the other motion to add a late item.
  10. Excellent! Good advice, makes sense. Thank you Josh.
  11. Thank you both for chiming in here and helping me understand the differences here. Yes, what we call the "Council Procedures Bylaw" requires that all new matters for the agenda for the next Regular Council meeting be included on the agenda which is prepared and distributed 6 days in advance of the regularly scheduled meeting. As you have noted, this allows all Council members and the public to know exactly what will be considered at each meeting. I agree that this requirement does meet the strategy of providing for open, accountable government. The Bylaw also states that if there is an emergent issue that a Council member wants to have considered at a Regular Council meeting that is not on the agenda, with a 2/3 vote in support of considering that emergent issue, it can then be considered. If there is not a 2/3 vote supporting the addition of the late item, then that member can make a Notice of Motion to ensure it makes it onto the following Council meeting agenda. With these rules in the Bylaw, do you think it is still appropriate for the Chair to ask if there is any new business (or as he always, asks, " are there any additions to the agenda?") at each Regular Council meeting?
  12. I work for a municipal government with an assembly of 7 elected officials. The Procedure Bylaw covers off "Notice of Motion" by explaining how a member may provide "Notice" for the next regularly scheduled session. P. 360 lines 13-23 in RONR indicate after any unfinished business has been dealt with, it is acceptable for the Chair to ask whether there is any new business. This would seem to pretty much defeat the purpose of having a member provide a Notice of Motion for the next session other than reducing the vote to adopt such motion from 2/3 (without notice) to a majority vote (with notice). Am I understanding this correctly? Also, when the opportunity for new business is presented and a member makes a motion, is it a 2/3 vote that is required to adopt an original main motion because no notice was previously given? Thank you.
  13. The time for the next meeting of a current session may not be scheduled by which one of the following? 1) through a program adopted at the beginning of a convention; 2) by a motion adopted at the present meeting; 3) at the call of the chair if provision has been made; 4) by a specification in the privileged motion to adjourn. Thanks in advance for clarifying.
  14. Is a motion to adjourn at a future time: 1) a privileged motion 2) not debatable, or 3) not amendable? Which is the correct answer please?
  15. Q. #369: If a motion was adopted by: A. Unanimous consent, any member qualifies to move to reconsider it. B. Ballot, a member who voted with the prevailing side must be willing to waive secrecy of his ballot in order to move to reconsider. The answer key indicates that "B" is the only correct answer but my interpretation is that both of these answers are correct, though only one (B) is considered to be the correct answer. I really don't want this to mess me up when I'm writing the Part 2 exam. Thanks.
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