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Trina

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  1. An adopted motion can be changed, or rescinded (to the extent that it has not been fully carried out). See RONR (11th ed.) pp. 305-310 for details on the motions to rescind or amend something previously adopted. These motions can be made by any member (whether or not that member was present at the meeting where the motion was adopted).
  2. OK, it makes sense that 'incomplete' and 'final' are opposites; although, since these are technical terms, I wasn't sure their everyday meanings prevailed. 'If an assembly wishes to adjourn when an election is incomplete, an adjourned meeting should be provided for.' (RONR 11th ed. p. 444 ll. 10-12). However, in the situation I described, the wish of the assembly was not to adjourn; rather, its wish was to provide (conditionally) for the possibility that the election might prove to be incomplete after the meeting was adjourned. I guess I'm hoping for a more convincing citation, if the conditional motion is indeed out of order...
  3. But, in this case, is the election considered incomplete after John is declared the winner? Later on the same page (ll. 23-24) it says that 'If he does decline, the election is incomplete' -- however, John doesn't decline until several days later, so why should the assembly consider the election to be incomplete while the meeting is still ongoing? In the situation I described, the members of the assembly are simply being cautious, and trying to provide for the future possibility of John declining the office to which he has been elected. Each member gets one vote per question. However, the assembly is voting on two different questions (I think). 1) Whom shall we elect as treasurer? 2) If our first choice refuses the office, whom shall we elect as treasurer?Those don't look identical. Is the conditional motion out of order because it is tying the hands of a future session (even if no future session is planned, or perhaps even possible under the rules of the society)??
  4. Or at least read FAQ #12, perhaps followed by FAQ #13, to see if your understanding of the motion to table is correct.
  5. There is no basic principle that makes 'retroactive' rules improper under RONR. It is possible, for example, to elect someone to a two-year term of office as Chief Dogcatcher in November, and then to amend the bylaws to remove that office entirely four months later. What happened to the CD's other 20 months of elected office? Poof... The same thing applies when changing rules or policies -- the new language takes effect upon adoption, even if that language reaches back in time in some way. If the retroactive effects appear unfair, it is up to the people crafting the motion to take that into account, and to modify the language, if desired, prior to adopting the motion. Now, if your bylaws happen to specify that the guidelines for participation for the awards program can only be changed at certain times, or with a certain amount of notice to the membership, the rule in the bylaws must be followed.
  6. You're suggesting that the organization's applicable rule may actually allow a person to be a committee member twice over (once ex-officio with restricted voting rights, and a second time as a regular member with full voting rights)? I guess that is possible (a possibility which had not occurred to me). I still don't see how a 'policy' (not part of the bylaws, and apparently not even findable in written form within the organization) could allow this kind of double membership, given that the bylaws (as Lorry Wagner described) specifically say that the Director will be an ex-officio member of the committee, with limited voting rights).
  7. Vote against the motion to refer the matter to committee. Get enough other members to vote against the motion. Also, note that if this was a special committee, the committee ceased to exist after giving its report. However, a new committee (even with exactly the same membership) could, of course, be formed to consider the matter again.
  8. I think the goal is to find solid ground (solid, in terms of rules being broken) on which to take a stand against the troublesome member. If enough members can agree on this particular solid ground, that's important in itself. Also, I don't think the Director could appoint himself (since he was already an ex-officio member of the committee at the time the appointment). Yes, he could appoint himself now (by volunteering), but he refuses to do so...
  9. So, is volunteering the only process by which members end up on committees (with the exception of the ex-officio status of the Director)? You say "volunteering and/or appointing" -- is there also an appointment process that is part of your policies? If the Director doesn't actually have the authority to appoint committee members, then you could argue that his appointment (of himself) to the committee is null and void.Even if he did have the authority to appoint, I think it is improper to appoint someone to a committee a second time... In other words, the Director was already an ex-officio member of the committee, as per your written bylaws. Your bylaws apparently also specify that this particular ex-officio committee member (the Director) may not vote except in the case of a tie (ex-officio members have exactly the same rights as any other members according to RONR, but the specific language in your bylaws supersedes the rule in RONR). I don't see how it could be proper for the Director to appoint himself to the committee as a member with full voting rights, given the language in the bylaws. He certainly can't be a member twice over. You may want to take a look at the Principles of Bylaws Interpretation (RONR 11th ed. pp. 588-591) -- it seems to me that principles 3, 4, 5 may be potentially relevant. Thus, even if he had the power of appointment, a strong argument could be made that his appointment of himself (thus trying to do an end run around the bylaws) is null and void. A point of order could be raised that the appointment was improper in the first place. If the (current) chair rules against the point of order, an appeal from the ruling of the chair could be made, and then the assembly decides the question.Of course, your troublemaker could then follow your traditional volunteer route, and still put himself on the committee. As Mr. Martin suggested, you may want to change your rules so that it is actually possible to remove someone from a committee. The CAPTCHA code is universally acknowledged to be a pain in the you-know-what. If you care to join the forum as a member (a simple process, and no ads or sales pitches will ensue) you wouldn't have to negotiate the security check in the future (just FYI).
  10. How was the committee established and populated? Or, to put it another way, does the motion (or bylaw) establishing the committee actually say something like, "any member who wants to volunteer thereby becomes a member of the committee"? Your second paragraph suggests that the President has authority (or believes he has authority) to appoint committee members... does such authority actually come from your bylaws, or from the motion that established the committee? Do you have language (either bylaws, or in the motion establishing the committee) that makes the President an ex-officio member (since this sort of membership doesn't just happen automatically)?
  11. Amendment by substitution is certainly possible. However, 'an amendment must be germane to be in order. To be germane, an amendment must in some way involve the same question that is raised by the motion to which it is applied.' (RONR 11th ed. p. 136 ll. 6-9). In the instance you describe, it's hard to see how the germaneness standard would be met. However, we haven't seen the whole main motion. . .
  12. In this recent topic: http://robertsrules....ficer-declines/ there was description of an election, at which the winning candidate was not present to accept/decline election. One poster in the thread described the assembly making a provisional decision -- namely that if the winning candidate declined the office, the runner-up would take the office instead. I can imagine that an assembly that meets infrequently -- perhaps only once annually to elect officers and conduct other business -- might want to make such a decision. Is there a way to properly frame such a decision (i.e. a provisional election)? Suppose John and Mary are nominated for the position of treasurer. Mary is present, and is willing to serve. John is not at the meeting, and his intentions are unknown. John wins the majority of the votes, but cannot be immediately contacted. Can the assembly conduct a second 'just in case' election, with the provision that the outcome of the second election will take effect if and only if John does not accept the office of treasurer when notified? Suppose the assembly goes ahead and conducts such a second (conditional) election... Mary is the only nominee, and she receives the majority of the votes (with a few other votes being cast for various write-in candidates). The chair is directed to contact John, and notify him of his election. Three days later the chair finally tracks down John, and John declines the office. Is Mary now the treasurer?
  13. Trina

    President

    When suspending the rules, should the assembly decide details such as how long each member may speak, how often each member may speak, and whether the member is allowed to make a statement of opinion (as would be typical during debate) while asking his/her question?
  14. The library and the book store are two options. Recent editions of RONR are not available online, if that's what you are asking.'If one or more ballots are identifiable as cast by persons not entitled to vote, these ballots are excluded in determining the number of votes cast for purposes of computing the majority. If there is evidence than any unidentifiable ballots were cast by persons not entitled to vote, and if there is any possibility that such ballots might affect the result, the entire ballot vote is null and void...' Your organization wasn't really conducting a standard ballot vote -- I think that's why Dr. Stackpole said that "you could argue" that the above rules may apply...
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