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Guest Jane Pettigrew

As a board member I suggested a number of items that concerned both old and new business for our upcoming board meeting. Only a few of the items have been placed on the draft agenda by our president. In addition the agenda has time limits set opposite each discussion items. This has never been done before. Does the president alone control the agenda items. Does he alone control the length of time each item can be discussed?

If my issues were not put on the agenda can I bring them up in the meeting?

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As a board member I suggested a number of items that concerned both old and new business for our upcoming board meeting. Only a few of the items have been placed on the draft agenda by our president. In addition the agenda has time limits set opposite each discussion items. This has never been done before. Does the president alone control the agenda items. Does he alone control the length of time each item can be discussed?

If my issues were not put on the agenda can I bring them up in the meeting?

See FAQ #14.

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No, the president does not control the agenda nor the time. At the beginning of the meeting, propose amendments to the agenda as to topics and times. Unless you have a rule giving the president control of the agenda, he has no such power.

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As a board member I suggested a number of items that concerned both old and new business for our upcoming board meeting. Only a few of the items have been placed on the draft agenda by our president. In addition the agenda has time limits set opposite each discussion items. This has never been done before. Does the president alone control the agenda items. Does he alone control the length of time each item can be discussed?

If my issues were not put on the agenda can I bring them up in the meeting?

No.

No.

Yes (provided they are otherwise in order).

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I agree that the Agenda does not become the official Agenda until becomes approved. But, otherwise the issues could come up under New Business.

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Guest Andy

As a board member who do I send something I want to put on the agenda? The president or the secretary?

Since it is common for the president to prepare a proposed agenda, is it correct for the president to ask that all requests to put items on the agenda be addressed to the president?

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As a board member who do I send something I want to put on the agenda? The president or the secretary?

Since it is common for the president to prepare a proposed agenda, is it correct for the president to ask that all requests to put items on the agenda be addressed to the president?

You can move to amend the agenda when it is being considered by the assembly... or after it has been adopted.

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As a board member who do I send something I want to put on the agenda? The president or the secretary?

Since it is common for the president to prepare a proposed agenda, is it correct for the president to ask that all requests to put items on the agenda be addressed to the president?

I suppose it is okay for the president to ask, but you are under no obligation to do so. When the agenda is put up for consideration, you can move to amend it.

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Guest Andy

Thanks Tim and Gary for your quick responses. There's still a key issue to be clarified. Since a secretary is responsible for notification of the board meetings as well as recording of the minutes, it would seem only logical that the secretary should also be the recipient of any proposed agenda(s).

The basic question remains as to who is the proper reciepient for a proposed agenda, the secretary or the president?

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Thanks Tim and Gary for your quick responses. There's still a key issue to be clarified. Since a secretary is responsible for notification of the board meetings as well as recording of the minutes, it would seem only logical that the secretary should also be the recipient of any proposed agenda(s).

The basic question remains as to who is the proper reciepient for a proposed agenda, the secretary or the president?

You don't need an agenda, so it's not the responsibility of anyone to receive proposed agendas or additions to them.

However, it is the duty of the secretary to prepare an order of business for the use of the presiding officer. This entails listing all matters that are due to come up.

Remember, that any member can make any valid motion under the heading of New Business, so there's no need to place an item on an agenda or adopt an agenda.

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Andy, you now have cogently presented the arguments for both sides. But look, it's a non-issue. It doesn't matter as long as the presiding officer and the secretary are working together. And if they aren't, this is the least of your concerns.

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Guest Edgar

The basic question remains as to who is the proper recipient for a proposed agenda, the secretary or the president?

Take the belt-and-suspenders approach and send a copy to both.

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Guest Andy

Hi Gary,

You stated, "It doesn't matter as long as the presiding officer and the secretary are working together". Unfortunately they have a clear difference of opinion which can best be resloved by a definitive answer from RONR. Of course the belt-and-suspender approach will work, but that still doesn't put the issue to rest.

To re-state the issue: If a board member wants to put an item on the agenda it should be addressed to (A) The secretary, (B) To the president, © To both secretary and the president, (D) To the secretary w/copy to the president, (E) To the president w/copy to the secretary or (F) Any of the above.

A clear and definitive answer from RONR will help. Thanks.

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Absent some rule in the bylaws governing the agenda the answer is:

G) Offer an amendment to the agenda when its approval is pending at the start of the meeting, or

H) Introduce the item during New Business or at the point on the agenda where it would properly fall.

If the President or Secretary (or any other Board) objects to this demand that they show you some rule saying that it can't be done (they won't find it in RONR). FAQ #14 is still a good place to reference as well.

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Hi Gary,

You stated, "It doesn't matter as long as the presiding officer and the secretary are working together". Unfortunately they have a clear difference of opinion which can best be resloved by a definitive answer from RONR. Of course the belt-and-suspender approach will work, but that still doesn't put the issue to rest.

To re-state the issue: If a board member wants to put an item on the agenda it should be addressed to (A) The secretary, ( B) To the president, © To both secretary and the president, (D) To the secretary w/copy to the president, (E) To the president w/copy to the secretary or (F) Any of the above.

A clear and definitive answer from RONR will help. Thanks.

Gary should simply have said "It doesn't matter." Read FAQ #14 again.

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Guest Edgar

If a board member wants to put an item on the agenda it should be addressed to A: The secretary, B: To the president, C: To both secretary and the president, D: To the secretary w/copy to the president, E: To the president w/copy to the secretary or F: Any of the above.

G: None of the above.

As noted on FAQ #14, the agenda doesn't become THE AGENDA until it's adopted at the meeting. So whatever you send to whomever you send it has no official status. In other words, it doesn't matter who you send it to before the meeting.

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Hi Gary,

You stated, "It doesn't matter as long as the presiding officer and the secretary are working together". Unfortunately they have a clear difference of opinion which can best be resloved by a definitive answer from RONR. Of course the belt-and-suspender approach will work, but that still doesn't put the issue to rest.

To re-state the issue: If a board member wants to put an item on the agenda it should be addressed to (A) The secretary, (B) To the president, © To both secretary and the president, (D) To the secretary w/copy to the president, (E) To the president w/copy to the secretary or (F) Any of the above.

A clear and definitive answer from RONR will help. Thanks.

Send it to me. I have as much obligation to put your amendment on a proposed agenda as anyone else does. ;)

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Guest Andy

Hi Tom,

I sincerely appreciate your response.

Unfortunately I only have the 10th edition and FAQ #14 [pp. 119-20] leaves room for several potential interpretations. Is there an on-line version? If not, would you kindly quote the reference you cited from the 11th edition [pp. 372-73].

Thanks.

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You really should pick up a copy of the 11th edition, especially since your interlocutors want their uncertainty to be resolved by an RONR cite. However, here are the most relevant quotes:

1. "In some organizations, it is customary to send each member, in advance of a meeting, an order of business or agenda, with some indication of the matters to be considered under each heading. . . . Unless a precirculated agenda is formally adopted at the session to which it applies, it is not binding as to detail or order of consideration . . . ." RONR (11th ed.), p. 372, ll. 24-32.

2. "In cases in which an agenda is adopted, usually this is done at the outset of a session and the agenda is intended to cover the entire session. At a session having no prescribed or adopted order of business, such an agenda is followed as a guide by the chair pending its formal adoption and can be adopted by majority vote. . . . " RONR (11th ed.), p. 372, ll. 11-16.

3. "When the adoption of a proposed agenda is pending, it is subject to amendment by majority vote." RONR (11th ed.), p. 373, ll. 1-3.

So -- if in your organization the president and/ or the secretary has been preparing the "agenda," which has then been followed at board meetings without first being submitted to the board for a vote adopting it, show them quote 1 (or cite it in a point of order raised at the onset of the meeting to the effect that the agenda must be voted on by the board for it to have any binding effect).

When the adoption of the agenda proposed by the president (and/or the secretary?) has been moved, obtain the floor and offer an amendment to the agenda that puts the item you wish to add onto it. If the president (or anyone else) claims you cannot do that, cite quote # 3. To get your item on the agenda will require a majority vote in favor of the amendment adding it to the agenda. Thereafter, the agenda itself (as amended) will have to be adopted by a majority vote.

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Guest Andy

Thanks for the relevant quotes. I will soon pick up the new revised 11th edition. We have a slightly dysfunctional board and there are turf protection issues that crop up from time to time. We do not have a parliamentarian and rely on RONR to resolve any issues that come up. Most of our members have copies of the RONR 10th edition.

The duties of the two officers in our by-laws are stated as follows:

President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Members, the Congress of Delegates and the Board [board of directors]. The President shall see that orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out, shall sign all contracts and other documents on behalf of the Association [Homeowners association].

Secretary: The Secretary shall record the votes and keep the minutes of all meetings and proceedings of the Board and Congress of Delegates, shall cause notice of all meetings to be given, keep appropriate current records showing the Members of the Association together with their addresses and shall perform such other duties as required by the Board.

It is perfectly clear to all of us that the president can prepare the agenda and cannot set the agenda, which is presented at the opening of the board meeting for adoption by majority vote.

However, both the president and the secretary insist that any proposed agenda must be addressed to them only and to no one else. Both are familiar with FAQ #14 [RONR 10th edition pp. 119-20] which does not address their issue.

Given the duties specified in our by-laws, I would greatly appreciate your opinion on this issue.

Thanks.

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Thanks for the relevant quotes. I will soon pick up the new revised 11th edition. We have a slightly dysfunctional board and there are turf protection issues that crop up from time to time. We do not have a parliamentarian and rely on RONR to resolve any issues that come up. Most of our members have copies of the RONR 10th edition.

The duties of the two officers in our by-laws are stated as follows:

President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Members, the Congress of Delegates and the Board [board of directors]. The President shall see that orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out, shall sign all contracts and other documents on behalf of the Association [Homeowners association].

Secretary: The Secretary shall record the votes and keep the minutes of all meetings and proceedings of the Board and Congress of Delegates, shall cause notice of all meetings to be given, keep appropriate current records showing the Members of the Association together with their addresses and shall perform such other duties as required by the Board.

It is perfectly clear to all of us that the president can prepare the agenda and cannot set the agenda, which is presented at the opening of the board meeting for adoption by majority vote.

However, both the president and the secretary insist that any proposed agenda must be addressed to them only and to no one else. Both are familiar with FAQ #14 [RONR 10th edition pp. 119-20] which does not address their issue.

Given the duties specified in our by-laws, I would greatly appreciate your opinion on this issue.

Thanks.

As far as I can tell, you've gotten all the opinions you need on this.

What do you want to hear?

If they claim that RONR, per se, specifically supports their claims, they are wrong.

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