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Reuben L. Lillie

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  1. I understand what you're saying. I'm not looking for a polemic. My qualms are not merely theoretical. The contents of pages 124 and 125 are not the primary issue. Page 93 is. It doesn't matter how long the motion has existed, it's in the current language. We who are privy to parliamentary procedure can insist that actions are invalid until ratified. But since there is nothing insisting that ratification be dealt with in a timely manner, only at "a" regular meeting, then there is also little to prevent it from becoming an afterthought in practice. Members are susceptible to the abuse of special meetings to take time-sensitive action outside the call of the meeting such that otherwise invalid (i.e., unratified) actions are only left to be ratified, censured, or worse ignored well after such actions may be carried out after the fact, at "a" regular meeting rather than as a special order of business at the next regular meeting at the latest. RONR is so particular about so many things that are much more innocuous, but not this? All I'm asking is for consistency. It is a loophole. And I've discussed it at length with a district director and state president of NAP.
  2. Procedurally, it makes no sense to leave ratification open ended. Communicating risk is important, but it is insufficient. If ratification is required, then it should be spelled out in procedure. Otherwise, the loophole remains. Although unratified action may remain "invalid," it often remains acted upon nonetheless.
  3. It's a nice idea, but it leaves too much to chance (that the motion would be raised). RONR should be more explicit in recommending that ratification be made the order of business for another special meeting called for that purpose or else "the next regular meeting at the latest" (not just "a" meeting at some less defined point in the future of the organization).
  4. Almost. Again, I'm not advocating for imposing a "statute of limitations." I was merely using the phrase rhetorically and for illustrative purposes. If you find it distracting, then please ignore it. Sorry for any confusion on that point. Clarifying the consequences as you suggest doesn't quite accomplish what I believe needs to happen either. What I'm advocating for is being more explicit about best practice in keeping with the rest of RONR, namely, that the motion to ratify should be made a special order of business at the next regular meeting at the latest (if not at another special meeting properly called for that purpose). I'm further advocating that the motions to postpone either indefinitely or definitely and the motion to lay on the table not be applicable to the motion to ratify, at least insofar as a motion to ratify should not be allowed to fall to the ground. That is, the motion to ratify could still be postponed definitely or laid on the table, but not in such a way that ratification could fall to the ground. The motion to reconsider doesn't make sense either for the same reason that the motion to amend doesn't--the opposite of the motion to ratify is the motion to censure (although the motion to censure has other applications). Business should not be allowed to go unratified. The possibility for abuse or neglect exists with the current language, and RONR should account for it.
  5. Yes. I understand. I suppose I'm more concerned about a more thorough treatment (especially what I believe to be distinguishing standard descriptive characteristics from other main motions) than a different location in the text.
  6. Sure. I'm talking about organizations or members who falsely presume such actions to be valid or else who neglect to ratify (and therefore validate) actions in a timely manner.
  7. Of course. My question was more rhetorical than inquiry. Sorry if I was unclear on that. My chief concern is for organizations which either (a) misunderstand the motion to ratify as compulsory or else (b) those members who abuse special meetings to conduct business in the absence of certain members under the pretence that it is somehow "valid until censured" (a de facto ratification, or ratification by silent acquiescence or ignorance) rather than being more forthright and judicious about needing to ratify it formally.
  8. For consistency and explanatory purposes, it seems like at it would be better for the motions to ratify or censure to be explained under the chapter on incendental motions rather than so cursorily at the end of the chapter on the main motion. In the very least, it seems as though the motions to ratify or censure are different enough from the motion to adopt (e.g., recommendations about action to be taken v. not-yet-validated actions perhaps already taken) that the motions should fall under separate subheadings. I raised more specific questions about the motion to ratify in an earlier post. But it also seems like the motions to ratify or censure deserve a more thorough treatment, if not with form and examples then at least with standard descritpive characteristics. I believe the motion to ratify (as opposed to the motion to censure) should not be allowed to be laid on the table such that it could ever fall to the ground. Actions requiring ratification should not go unratified. They should either be ratified or censured. I also believe the synonym to "approve" for the motion to ratify should be omitted. Otherwise the motion to "approve" (i.e., ratify) could become a conflicting term with the practice of approving minutes, which is not done by a motion. Worse, an organization could become mistaken that approving minutes which might include action in need of ratification, say from a previously held special meeting since the last regular meeting, is somehow tantamount to ratifying such actions. Which is bad.
  9. I'm concerned that RONR 11 has a potentially dangerous loophole with respect to ratifying action taken at a special meeting. From p. 93: "If, at a special meeting, action is taken relating to business not mentioned in the call, that action, to become valid, must be ratified (see pp. 124-25) by the organization at a regular meeting (or at another special meeting properly called for that purpose)." By stipulating "a" regular meeting rather than "the next regular meeting at the latest" (or at least specifying that ratification should take place at subsequent special meeting called specifically for that purpose if not as a special order of business at the next regular meeting at the latest, allowing for it to be postponed definitely but disallowing it to be laid on the table such that ratification could ever fall to the ground), what is to keep a majority at a special meeting from abusing the rights of absentees? That actions "must" be ratified seems insufficient, creating an indefinite timeline. Is there no statute of limitations on the motion to ratify (as opposed to the motion to censure)? Or can an organization go on acting as though business conducted outside the scope of a special meeting is valid so long as it is 'eventually' ratified? I'm concerned that organizations which fail to ratify such actions in a timely manner may have several invalidated (i.e., not-yet-validated) actions indefinitely. Avoidance seems permissible by the current language of RONR. And such prolonged neglect seems to violate the rights of absentees.
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