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  1. It is the long-standing tradition in the conventions of an organization of which I am a member to not allow someone who speaking to a main motion a make a motion at the end of a speech during debate (such as a motion to amend or previous question). Our president asked me if I could find the rule on that, and I couldn't. My guess was that when you are recognized you can debate or make a motion but not both. I couldn't find anything that gave a clear answer. So, is our rule something that's in Robert's Rules or is it just a long standing custom of our organization?
  2. A motion to fix the time to which to adjourn is made when in the course of business it appears that there will not be an opportunity to introduce it as an incidental main motion. Later in the same meeting, business is completed earlier than anticipated and the motion to fix the time to which to adjourn is moved to be reconsidered. The question is can it be debated? Page 324 states: EFFECT OF ADOPTION OF THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER; RULES GOVERNING DEBATE ON THE RECONSIDERATION. The effect of the adoption of the motion to Reconsider is immediately to place before the assembly again the question on which the vote is to be reconsidered—in the exact position it occupied the moment before it was voted on originally. The "exact position" was the considering the motion to Fix the Time to which to Adjourn, made as a privileged motion, and therefore undebatable. p. 68 fn states that adjourn is a unique case in that it retains privileged status even when no question is pending. p. 308 l.16 states that Amend Something Previously Adopted is not in order if the if the question can be reached using Reconsider. My question is then is does the FTWA come back as privileged and therefore not debatable, or does it loose privilege when it is reconsidered as there is no pending question, or, is there no way for the group to discuss when they will meet again once a privileged motion FTWA has been used to set the next date?
  3. Can non voting members participate in a debate for a proposed By-Law change?
  4. Suppose that an assembly conducts a ballot vote for an election and no one is elected after the first round of balloting because no candidate receives a majority vote. Is debate automatically reopened?If not, is a motion to reopen debate in order? What vote is required?
  5. This is a question on whether a debate is called for. Organization of 1000 (hereafter Assembly) is looking to fill position of president. The elected officers (10 members of organization, selected by Assembly). Officers solicit nominations for Assembly Members to be on a committee to recommend the next President. A list of 10 members are selected by the Officers, who refer to this as the Nominating Slate. The Nominating Slate is put before the Assembly to be voted on for approval and an Assembly meeting. A Motion (in my opinion) is presented to the Moderator, who calls for a vote of Aye to approve the Slate, No to reject the Slate. However, no Debate is allowed among the members of the Assembly. Specifically, a member requested a period of debate, and was told, "there will be no debate" by the moderator. (There was no motion to suppress debate, nor are there by-laws that prevent debate that are known to the membership. In past meetings, debate has been allowed, but not acted upon.) Is this appropriate? Is there a clause somewhere to prevent debate, via something that looks like a motion, but is not a motion?
  6. After reading this thread, I have a question: Why is the motion, relating to entering or leaving Executive Session, debatable? I can sort of understand in a general sense why the motion to enter into Executive Session is debatable, within reason. For example, one member may think an issue is of a sensitive or controversial nature, while another member may not. But the motion to come out of Executive Session seems far more simple - either you want to end Executive Session or not. I know I am missing something here, but I don't know what it is so I am asking.
  7. Is there ordinarily debate after nominations are closed? Or does an election immediately follow the closing of nominations without debate? Our bylaws provide that we follow Robert's Rules when not inconsistent with the bylaws. For a particular election, the bylaws provide that candidates must submit their names in advance of the meeting (no nominations are allowed from the floor), and that each candidate is entitled to address the assembly for a specified period of time. The bylaws provide that the election is conducted by written ballot. However, the bylaws do not specify whether debate is allowed after the candidates have spoken. I have read Roberts Rules and I'm still in doubt about whether debate is allowed or expected after nominations are closed. Here are my questions, which are obviously related: 1. After the last candidate has spoken, do we proceed immediately to written balloting, without checking to see if debate is sought? 2. After the last candidate has spoken, if someone seeks to be recognized for purposes of debate, is it in order for the chair to do so? 3. After the last candidate has spoken, if the body wishes to proceed to balloting but some people wish to be recognized for debate, must the chair seek and process a motion to end debate?
  8. On page 381 line 35 -382 line 10 it is explained that a member can be entitled recognition over a member seeking to make a main motion if he or she states their intention. How would one phrase this? Would they simply a) rise and ask for recognition and then raise a point of order if not recognized, b ) prefix their attempt at recognition with (I rise) or c) State their intention as they rise and ask for recognition or d) another course of action?
  9. Is it possible for an organization to alter Robert's Rules? Specifically, I am referring to the rule regarding the length or number of speeches in a debate. Can provision be made to allow for a member to speak more than twice on a particular question on the same day? (Section 4, page 43, line 5)
  10. Two questions: 1. If an ADOPTED agenda includes a generic topic under New Business like "Lobby Decorating," can multiple motions germane to "Lobby Decorating" be offered under that agenda item before the body proceeds to the next item of business (say, "Landscaping")? For example, let's say a motion concerning wallpaper is made and disposed of under Lobby Decorating, can a member then rise following that vote and make a motion concerning carpeting? Or, are no further motions in order beyond that first motion because the next item of business (Landscaping) is up next? 2. I serve on a small board of fewer than 12 members. When it comes discussing business items on an adopted agenda, we customarily prefer to make a motion and require a second at the outset. But, we understand that RONR 11 ed. Procedure In Small Boards permits informal discussion when no motion is pending. This procedure also says that "motions need not be seconded" (p. 488 l. 1), which in our experience makes it very difficult for our group (even small) to distill and agree when a motion has been made "perfectly clear" (p. 488, l. 9), especially for the presiding officer and secretary. Is there any guidance on how to balance the procedures for small boards with the rest of the Rules? Can we allow informal discussion to precede a properly made motion, and how enforceable is that? Does having an approved agenda help control any of this?
  11. Dear colleagues, When a member of a body demands that something be put "on the record," I have always assumed that this request lies within the power of the assembly to grant or deny. In other words, the members must vote on whether the statement should be included in the minutes or not. However, I can't find any citation for this in RONR. A difficult board member, prone to making such statements, is asking "where it says that?" Can anyone point me in the right direction, either to specific guidance on this point, or to general guidance about the rights of members and the rights of the body with regard to the content of the minutes/record? With thanks in advance, Ann
  12. I recently came across the following test question 25. The subsidiary motion for the Previous Question can be applied to an undebatable motion if a member wanted to a. stop an amendment.b. not allow members to ask questions.c. delete a question asked by a member that is recorded in the minutes of the previous meeting.d. make a motion to allow the assembly to debate it. The correct answer was marked C. Is that really correct? I remember reading in RONR that the previous question can be applied to fix time to which to ajourn to prevent the making of the motion and I can't even remember reading anything that pertained to C.
  13. If you are apart of a organization that is has an annual meeting to discuss proposals to amend their bylaws/constitution, is there a proper order in which the discussion is conducted? Such as, if there are only 3 people who are allowed to speak "For" a proposal and 3 people allowed to speak "Against" a proposal, does it matter in what order these people speak? For example, 1 person for, followed by 1 person against, followed by 1 for, followed by 1 against, followed by 1 for, followed by 1 against? As opposed to all 3 that are for a proposal speaking 3 times in a row followed by all 3 that speak against 3 times in a row? Would that cause an unfair debate? Thank You!
  14. Guest

    Limiting Discussion

    A topic for upcoming discussion is very controversial and divisive. Unfortunately, a prolonged discussion of this one topic will throw off the entire agenda. Still the issue is of such importance that not allowing everyone a chance to be heard will increase the divisiveness. The speaker of the House is initiating the limiting of discussion. The amount of time to be allowed and the number of people that will be allowed to speak is just a small fraction of what would normally be expected to respond to this issue. The Speakers decision is based on RRONR 11th Edition 43. Rules of Governing Debate. Is there a mechanism to override this decision and allow everyone to be heard? Thank you.
  15. Our standing committee consists of 5 members. It's task is to plan two annual competitions for the organization. It meets on a set schedule. Most of the meeting is spent on details such as selecting judges, prizes, venue, and making any changes to the program content. We do use an agenda and follow RONR. We have a budget and submit an information report to the organization. Occasionally, we need approval for major changes and submit a recommendation for action. From my POV, the committee functions well and within RONR parameters. My understanding of committee meetings, such as this, is that there is less formality, e.g., Discussion for information can take place without a motion on the floor.Motions do not require a second.Acceptance by acclamation is okay.Minutes are more like memorandums.Chairman debates and votes. Please correct or concur Thank you for your time and opinion
  16. Following up on discussion thread of OP Rev Ed, http://robertsrules.forumflash.com/index.php?/topic/21593-interruption-to-debate-time/ I was going to follow up on Mr Honemann's post #6, which says that RONR says what Nancy N., in post #5, expresses as her preference, that the timekeeper should stop the clock (arguably on direction of the chair, or his own spunky initiative). Since I myself don't see where the rules say so, though I'm glad to learn that they do, I was going to then ask where the book says so, or which lines to read between. To my regret, the irrepressably irrepressable OP, The Edness One, requested that the thread be closed, and it was. So I'm asking, please.
  17. I have a question per page 295 ll. 11-12 ('If the speaker consents to the interruption, the time consumed will be taken out of his allowed time.') Why is it that if the speaker consents that it is taken out of his time? This seems to all the potential for abuse. For example, if I wanted to ask another member a question, I would likely try to be as brief as possible, However, if someone did not get along with the member then he/she could take as long as possible to ask the question in order to limit the other member's speaking time. To me, it seems more fair and practical to not take the question out of the member's time.
  18. Guest

    Debate Questions

    Our organization is facing what is going to be a very volatile meeting: our president and two of her friends appointed themselves the bylaws committee and have written an entirely new set of bylaws that they wish our club to adopt. The Board of Directors voted unanimously to not accept these new bylaws (the president did not vote), but according to our current bylaws, all bylaws revisions must go before the general membership for a vote. The motion to accept any bylaws changes must pass by a 2/3 vote. Here is the problem, at our board meeting last night, the president announced that she will run the meeting according to HER rules, and not RRoO. I pointed out that our bylaws state that we are governed by RRoO. She stated that she is going to limit each member to only asking questions, and that they must either email them to her in advance or write them down prior to the meeting. I told her that she cannot do this (some of our members do not even have email). Am I correct? Also, she said that, other than asking a question, no one will be recognized from the floor - so she is attempting to stop anyone from voicing an opinion or actually debating the issue. Again, she cannot do this, correct? She said that she will allow each member to speak for only one minute - I told her that according to RRoO, each member can speak twice, for 10 minutes, unless a motion is made and passed by the majority limiting the time. Am I right? Also, with her "question and answer session," are the members of the bylaws committee (the opposing side) then bound by the same rules as the rest of the general membership and allowed to speak only twice and for a limited time? Finally, I told her that if she plans to speak regarding the motion or participate in the debate in any way, she must recuse herself as chair and allow the vice-president to run the meeting. I also told her that if she does recuse herself to speak (and then she has the same limits regarding length of time and can take the floor only the same number of times as the general membership is allowed), she cannot resume her chair until AFTER the vote is taken and the results read. Again, am I correct? Thank you kindly.
  19. My organization is about to have elections. How to we determine who speaks first between a challenger and an incumbent?
  20. The town I live in states that they adhere to Robert's rules. The city attorney told me to consult Robert's Rules of Order. The procedure for a citizen(me) to speak before the Mayor and council is to request to be on the agenda at least 72 hrs before any regular scheduled mayor/council meeting and give a 1 sentence description of the topic. My topic being that the local municipal judge appointed by the local mayor is being investigated by the State Attorney General's office as evidenced by a press release from the attorney general's website stating such. I gave such description , and was listed on the agenda. The Mayor in this instance is the Chair. It came my turn to speak and the Chair stated, "you have 3 minutes to speak on the topic that I listed." I spoke for about 10 seconds from a prepared statement quoting the State Attorney General and the Mayor/Chair said, " I have heard enough out of you. I am shutting you down right now." I stopped speaking for a second and then started speaking again. The Mayor shouted back," I am not going to listen to you talk about our municipal judge that way, you are done." I asked about my 3 minutes to speak and that every other citizen that spoke before me got their 3 minutes to speak. He stated that he could cut off anyone he wanted whenever he wanted. I guess my question is this---based on the information before you, is this person "out of order"? Can he do exactly what he says he can do? and exactly as he did?
  21. I know that nominations can be debated, but I need to know if that also means that members can ask direct questions of the candidates during the debate.
  22. Guest

    Rescind vs Reconsider

    How would you explain the difference between rescind and reconisder? With a general understanding, how would you debate on each? I don't see the difference in the way you would debate reconsider/rescind, particularly in an FFA demo. Is it debated the same way? An example would be awesome, but any clarification is appreciated. Thanks!
  23. Guest

    Rescind vs Reconsider

    How would you explain the difference between rescind and reconisder? With a general understanding, how would you debate on each? I don't see the difference in the way you would debate rescind or reconisder, especially in an FFA demonstration. Any clarification is appreciated. Thanks!
  24. Guest

    Elections and Debate

    In the election of officers, is the assembly entitled to debate in the same way as in a main motion. In other words, isn't an election the question of who shall we elect as president or secretary or whatever office? (A citation to Robert's Rules would be helpful.) So, the converse, if an election isn't a question before the assembly, how is the issue of discussion fairly handled? The issue revolves around rule-making to limit the time and the people who may speak for candidates. If an overall time-limit for a candidate is set at, say, 10 minutes and only that candidate can choose who speaks (whether or not the candidate or the speakers chosen are eligible to vote or members of the assembly), isn't that a limitation on the assembly to discuss the candidates for the office? And if it is a limitation, does it not require a 2/3 vote to gain approval either as part of a set of rules or as a motion?
  25. At the preceding meeting, a main motion being debated was properly postponed to the current meeting. It is taken up at the proper time in the meeting. With regard to debate, is the "clock" regarding the number of times a member may speak on the motion reset, or should a tally have been kept from the previous meeting as to the number of times each member has already spoken on the motion?
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