Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Multiple Questions...


Guest Danny

Recommended Posts

My grandparents live in a mobile home park where all of the properties are individually owned. They have a home owners association in the park that is supposed to gather dues to keep the park clean, perform maintenance, etc. Recently they've had some difficulty with their board members and my questions pertain to this:

1. The board of directors went into executive session and made a decision to allow homeowners to pay for their own garbage pick-up. This was because there are multiple people who are handicapped and have trouble getting to the dumpster. A few of the members of the park, not of the board, want the dumpster. The dumpster was offered to them, at their own expense, and the 18$ normally charged to other members was subtracted. This passed and in their CCR's it says that any decision made by the board is final and legal. Now, however, they are being told that they need APPROVED minutes from the board of director's meeting; however, they haven't held a meeting since then and even if they did, there are only four board members now (the President resigned due to harassment). In the meantime, other members have begun taking the 18$ out of their dues. One of the board members, the treasurer, is threatening (verbally) members that the board is going to take legal action if they do not pay the 18$ and a 10$ late fee. My question is this: Do the meeting's minutes have to be approved before members can legally take the 18$ out of their dues, OR can they go off the board's decision and continue to pay for their own garbage?

2. They are currently electing (by secret ballot) new members of the board. The VP and Treasurer sent out ballots and demanded that people sign the envelope. However, not everyone has received a ballot AND it's supposed to be secret. My question is this: Is it legal for them to require you to sign your ballot or envelope when it is a SECRET ballot?

3. Also, in regards to question #1...is it possible to approve minutes outside of a meeting? OR what is required to approve the minutes, if necessary, so that these people can finally have their own garbage?

Any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. This is causing undue amounts of stress on my grandparents and the other members of the park. There is harassment at every corner and no one seems to know the RIGHT way to go about doing things, let alone a civil way.

Thanks again,

Daniel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Multiple answers...

1) Without trying to sort out who owes how much to whom... it is NOT necessary that minutes be "approved" for decisions reported in the minutes to be final. The decisions became "final" and in force when they were adopted. So whatever the board decided is final, presuming it had the authority to make the decision in the first place.

2. Envelope: yes (so the tellers can verify that only members are voting. Ballot: no, otherwise it wouldn't be secret. See RONR p. 424 for details.

3. Needed? A meeting. But, as noted, it is NOT necessary to approve the minutes to put the decisions in place.

To learn the "right way", get copies of this book for your board (and your grandparents)

RONRIB:

"Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief", Updated Second Edition (Da Capo Press, Perseus Books Group, 2011). It is a splendid summary of all the rules you will really need in all but the most exceptional situations. And only $7.50! You can read it in an evening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) The minutes are merely a record of what actions were taken and even if the minutes were never approved the actions would still be valid. So if the Board validly did say that the members can deduct the $18 from their dues they can do so. However, since the Treasurer is threatening legal action against the members who deducted the 18 bucks I would recommend they contact a lawyer who can advise them as to the best course of action.

2) Do the bylaws specifically authorize the use of absentee ballots? If not, you can't use them (RONR p. 423). If the bylaws do authorize the use of absentee ballots it is quite common to have the outer envelope signed (though the ballot is not signed). See RONR pp. 424-428 for details.

3) The minutes must be approved at a meeting of the body for which the minutes were taken (though the Board could have authorized a committee to approve their minutes but that ship has sailed now).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where specifically does it say that we do not need to have approved minutes for decisions reported in the minutes?

I don't think that RONR specifically says that. However, by the definition of "minutes" on p. 468 ll. 14-16 it is pretty obvious that they are just a record. If people still insist that the minutes must be approved first ask them to show you something that supports their position. Better yet ask them if all of the books on World War II were to disappear would that mean that WWII didn't happen (the books report history but they don't make it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where specifically does it say that we do not need to have approved minutes for decisions reported in the minutes?

The book (near as I can tell) doesn't say that in so many words. But it isn't your job to "demonstrate" a negative assertion; it is the job of the person asserting it is required to produce the written (and adopted) rule that says so.

He/she sure won't find such a rule in RONR.

"Show me!", or "What is your evidence?" is a useful phrase to use in many many contexts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Previous correct replies notwithstanding, the only thing I can find that might help bolster your position is on pages 48 & 49. On p. 48 ll. 18-26, you will find the description of the chair's announcement of the result of a vote. In particular, item 3 at ll. 25-26 leaves little doubt that what was decided on by the adoption of a motion will, in fact, happen.

P. 49 ll. 15-20 offers two examples of what the chair might say in this regard, and it seems clear that the decision is effective immediately, with the understanding that the Secretary will not be waiting for the minutes to be approved at the next meeting before carrying out his instructions; in the second example, the question is now postponed to the next meeting - no need to wait for approval of the minutes next month to actually enforce that. The decision is final, the execution of the action adopted by the assembly will take place as soon as is required to satisfy a} the will of the assembly, or b} the current parliamentary situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...