Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
Guest Kim Anez

Changing a Vote Already Taken

Recommended Posts

Guest Kim Anez

I recently joined an executive board. It is contentious, disorganized, and the presiding officer thinks it is her board under her authority. She blocks and obstructs progress, gossips, ignores the members, and is very snotty. I wish I hadn't joined but I am a member and feel terrible for the rest of our members. I refuse to quit and insist on making some sort of progress.

At our last General Membership Meeting on Oct. 11, a motion passed for Executive Board Members to attend a one-day Executive Board Training. The vote was unanimous with many general members voting, although the (presiding) President voted against it. (Despite having no voting powers.)

Now the President is calling for a Special Meeting on Oct. 25, we assume for executive board only but it seems to be a secret (so far). The belief is that she wants to prevent this training from happening.

She was under the impression at the last meeting that we have membership meetings quarterly and executive board meetings monthly, unless it is a membership meeting. She didn't want to give her (negative) reasons for something in front of the members, and said she would wait until the executive board meeting. Sadly, she didn't know that all of our meetings are membership meetings.

I see several issues with this and am looking for any others you may see. In addition, I am looking for rules to help me stop this sort of thing from happening (now and in the future). In other words, I want to block the blockers. :(

  1. The Executive Board cannot countermand the Membership's vote. (Or does this only apply to a "convention?"
  2. She voted illegally at the last meeting.
  3. Only somebody who voted in favor of the motion can move to reconsider.
  4. Only items published (and approved) in an agenda may be considered at any meeting.
  5. I am not sure we have the authority to conduct executive board-only meetings.

Thanks for your assistance. I really need your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim,

Get your hands on "Robert's Rules of Order In Brief," and give it a read. That might be where you want to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She was under the impression at the last meeting that we have membership meetings quarterly and executive board meetings monthly, unless it is a membership meeting. She didn't want to give her (negative) reasons for something in front of the members, and said she would wait until the executive board meeting. Sadly, she didn't know that all of our meetings are membership meetings.

If all of your meetings are membership meetings, then how can you have an executive board? That would mean that the executive board never meets!

I see several issues with this and am looking for any others you may see. In addition, I am looking for rules to help me stop this sort of thing from happening (now and in the future). In other words, I want to block the blockers. :(

  1. The Executive Board cannot countermand the Membership's vote. (Or does this only apply to a "convention?"
  2. She voted illegally at the last meeting.
  3. Only somebody who voted in favor of the motion can move to reconsider.
  4. Only items published (and approved) in an agenda may be considered at any meeting.
  5. I am not sure we have the authority to conduct executive board-only meetings.

Thanks for your assistance. I really need your help.

1. That is usually true, unless the bylaws specifically grant the executive board exclusive power. But if they never meet, they can never exercise it.

2. Immaterial. Her vote did not make a difference in the outcome. And no timely point of order was raised.

3. The motion to Reconsider is no longer in order anyway, so who may or may not move it is moot. A motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted is in order, and anyone may move it.

4. Not according to RONR, which is what this forum covers.

5. Then the executive board can never meet, and arguably therefore does not exist. They certainly do not exist (are not in session) during membership meetings, so if there are not executive-board-only meetings, then how can there be an executive board?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Nancy N.

Rob, I think it clear that Guest Kim Anez wants to know what Robert's Rules says about the issues raised (numbered and others).

1. Generally true. But (as always) (or almost always) look to the bylaws for rules that will apply. And as long as you're near a computer, look at Official Interpretations 2006-12 and -13 (at http://www.robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_12 and ... 13).

2. Contrary to a common misunderstanding, if the president is a member, she has all the membership rights that every member has (although she generally refrains from exercising them, to preserve the appearance of impartiality ... yes, and I see that this is itself an issue here). That is, unless your organization's bylaws say something else, specifically. Do they really say she has no voting powers?

3. Generally true -- but since "Reconsider" is a specific motion with a few peculiar characteristics, and it's not applicable here.

4. No. See FAQ #14 (at www.robertsrules.com/faq.html#14). And note that an agenda can include the class of "new business" for pot luck.

5. Actually, you really ought to. There's really no point to having a board if it can't do things for the organization, and board meetings are where the board gets its stuff done. (Note that at membership meetings, the board is not itself in session, and has no part in the proceedings!)

-- 5 (a). Kim, if your point is that the board meetings should be open to all the membership, I'm afraid RONR disagrees with you. That's entirely up to each society. (RONR's 10th Edition, of 2000, said that boards do customarily meet in executive session; it looks to me as if the 11th Edition, published last month, leaves this tidbit out, probably so as to disturb my sleep.)

Also.

6. The behavior described in Kim's first paragraph should be tolerated from no one, especially from the officer whose job it is to preserve order and decorum. See OI 2006-2, "SUSPEND THE RULES TO REMOVE PRESIDENT" (at www.robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_2 ). (And read well the illustrative Oklahoma Script, if you can find it, or if someone like Chris drops in with the link as he sometimes does.)

And if necessary, go to FAQ #20, "How can we get rid of officers we don't like before their term is up?"

7. Special meetings -- for the membership or even the board -- can only be held if they are provided for in the bylaws, which must say who can call them and how much time must be allowed for the notice. The notice must say what business will be transacted at the special meeting, and only that business is allowed. The notice must be sent to all members (if a special meeting of the board, that means to all board members).

I commend your intention to block the blockers. I emphatically suggest that you get a copy of RONr-In Brief and read it, AT ONCE. (Do not, do not, put this off. I tell people to read it, the first time, right there in the book shop, do not sit down until you do. No TV breaks.)

Finally, as Sturgeon said, ask the next question. (It'll be Rob's turn. :-) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Nancy N.

Okay ... the Oklahoma Script is at www.parlipro.org/pdf/suspendrules.pdf .

(Man! Rod oughtta charge for it.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... although the (presiding) President voted against it. (Despite having no voting powers.)

Why does she not have "voting powers?"

Sadly, she didn't know that all of our meetings are membership meetings.

It would seem by your own account that you only hold membership meetings quarterly, so the other (eight monthly) meetings are Executive Board meetings. So why do you say all your meetings are membership meetings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Nancy N.
I will just point out that the 11th edition has slightly revised the proper methodology to follow in the scenario depicted at www.parlipro.org/pdf/suspendrules.pdf ; see pp. 650-53.

Thank you for the heads-up. I had noticed the change, but I didn't realize when I recommended the script that the change had rendered the script somewhat discrepant. Great Steaming Cobnuts, my dismemberment is resplendent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kim Anez

Our President is an ex-officio member and by our bylaws say she has no voting power. I did a bit more research - from our Constitution:

Section 6. The executive board shall be the governing body of the local union except when meetings of the local union are in session. All matters affecting the policies, aims and means of accomplishing the purposes of the local not specifically provided for in this constitution or by action of the membership at a regular or special meeting shall be decided by the executive board. The board shall meet at the call of the president or of a majority of the members of the board. A report on all actions taken by the executive board shall be made to the membership at the next following meeting. A majority of the members of the executive board shall be required for a quorum.

All regular meetings are membership meetings. However, 3/4 of our meetings are held off-site and but the bulk of the membership is in another building and we only meet in this building four times per year. Thus far (in four meetings), I haven't seen members attend except when we hold meetings in this building. They never travel off-site (so far).

Thanks for the help, advice, tips, links, etc. I really appreciate it.

I have asked for clarification for item three; here is the agenda proposed for this special meeting:

CALL TO ORDER-

ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS-

1). Appropriate use of state email

2.) Oath of office we all took.

3) Presenting motions.

What are presenting motions? Does that mean they have motions in mind to present but we can't know the topic? :( Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

I have asked for clarification for item three; here is the agenda proposed for this special meeting:

CALL TO ORDER-

ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS-

1). Appropriate use of state email

2.) Oath of office we all took.

3) Presenting motions.

What are presenting motions? Does that mean they have motions in mind to present but we can't know the topic? :( Kim

The call to a special meeting MUST include the purpose of the meeting (clearly stating the topics that will be dealt with; although it is not necessary to announce the exact text of motions ahead of time). Matters other than those announced in the call may not properly be brought up at the special meeting.

Your items 1) and 2) are vaguely described, but they at least give some idea of the issues that will be brought up at the meeting. 'Presenting motions', on the other hand, is so vague as to be utterly uninformative, and does not satisfy the requirements for proper notice of anything, in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...