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Board Not Following Robert's Rules

Guest David S

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After reading through the Forum, I realized that I had to read the rules before asking for further assistance. I have a few questions that I cannot seem to pull out of the RROO In Brief, or the 11th ed.

1. In a recent issue debate, the Vice President presented her position on the issue while putting up pictures of the two board members on opposing sides of the issue thus making the vote a choice of board members instead of the issue. Is this a violation of the rules of debate?

2. A board member in the same debate used the tax returns of a non profit to attempt to smear it's president and thus tainted the issue. The issue debated was policy decision which had no relation to the tax returns or financial interests of the non profit or the group. Is this a violation of the rules of debate?

3. The board and its President did not follow Robert's Rules in the debate of an issue and purposefully ignored the objections of two of the members. They are now being forced to have an attack of conscience. Unfortunately, given the last debate, there is little hope of a fair new debate on the issue as the fix was in on the last one. Rather than bringing the issue up again as described in RROO, is there a method to compel the board to allow the membership of the organization (not the board) to decide an issue? If so, how?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

David Stein, MD

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1. Members have the right to speak but not necessarily to use visual aids. This would up to your rules or a matter of unanimous consent. Singling out members may be a breach of decorum.

2. Members do not have the right to read from papers without permission of the assembly. Also, debate must be germane to the quesiton at hand.

3. Yes, unless the bylaws say the matter is under the exclusive control of the board, the general membership may rescind or amend any decision of the board (unless it impossible to undo). Do your bylaws permit special meetings of the general membership?

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