Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Recommended Posts

Our organization would like to invite non-members to join our organization's Bylaws Committee to consider a Revision. However, even though our bylaws give the chair the power of committee appointment, the rules (RONR p. 492-493, ll 26-2) say the names of non-members must be submitted for approval to the membership assembly.

 

The bylaws do not specifically authorize the chair to appoint non-members. Am I correct in my reading of the rules in concluding this is the only way to proceed in order to involve non-members in the committee's work?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings:

 

Here is what RONR 11 p. 174 line 31, p. 175 line 4 says:

 

"NAMING MEMBERS TO A SPECIAL COMMITTEE. A standing or special committee may include, or even have as its chairman, one or more persons who are not members of the assembly or the society; but if the chair appoints the committee, the names of all such nonmembers being appointed must be submitted to the assembly for approval, unless the bylaws or the motion to appoint the committee specifically authorizes the presiding officer to appoint nonmembers (see also pp. 492-93, 495-96)."

 

RONR 11 p. 492 lines 26-30:

 

"It is possible for persons who are not members of the assembly or the society to be appointed to committees -- even to the position of committee chairman -- but control over each such appointment is reserved to the assembly in the individual case."

 

RONR 11. p 496 lines 1-8:

 

"When the chair appoints a committee, no vote is taken on the appointees, except any who are not members of the assembly in cases where there is no prior authorization for the chair to appoint non-assembly members to the committee -- either in the bylaws or in a motion directing the appointment of the particular committee (see also pp. 174-75)."

 

And finally, RONR 11 p. 579 lines 18-24:

 

"If the president is to appoint committees and it is desired that he have standing authority to appoint non-assembly members to positions on the committees without submitting these persons' names to the assembly for approval, this section should contain a provision to that effect (see pp. 174-75, 492-93, 496)."

 

If your organization has adopted Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition as its parliamentary authority then follow these requirements. Whether they are actually permitted would depend on consulting your bylaws to determine if there are any restrictions on the appointment of non-members, if so then those would supersede the ones mentioned above. Otherwise according to RONR the whole idea is a good thing if they are qualified and interested and the current membership enjoys their participation.

 

Best regards,

Randyl Kent Plampin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreeing with Mr. Plampin, I'd add that at anytime, the committee may invite non-members to express their views and solicit their input.

 

"When a committee is to make substantive recommendations or decisions on an important matter, it should give members of the society an opportunity to appear before it and present their views on the subject at a time scheduled by the committee. Such a meeting is usually called a hearing. During actual deliberations of the committee, only committee members have the right to be present."  RONR (11th ed.), p. 501

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Edgar

Am I correct in my reading of the rules in concluding this is the only way to proceed in order to involve non-members in the committee's work?

No.

As Mr. Mervosh suggests, the committee is free to invite non-members to its meetings. And though the text cited by Mr. Mervosh refers to members of the organization who are not members of the committee, the committee can invite persons who are not even members of the organization (for example, an expert on a particular subject).

Link to post
Share on other sites

No.

As Mr. Mervosh suggests, the committee is free to invite non-members to its meetings. And though the text cited by Mr. Mervosh refers to members of the organization who are not members of the committee, the committee can invite persons who are not even members of the organization (for example, an expert on a particular subject).

We want non-member community stakeholders to participate fully in our deliberations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We want non-member community stakeholders to participate fully in our deliberations.

 

If by this you mean to have non-association people be members (with full voting rights, &c.) of your committee, then yes, you will have to get association approval for their participation, as described on p. 174, 492, and 496.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If by this you mean to have non-association people be members (with full voting rights, &c.) of your committee, then yes, you will have to get association approval for their participation, as described on p. 174, 492, and 496.

Yes. That's right. As inconvenient as they may be in our particular circumstances (i.e. the committee starts it's work well before the next regular meeting of the assembly), the Rules appear to be clear concerning the appointment of non-members.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And just to be clear, the committee is free to invite any non-members in for "consultation" or whatever; any such invitees just cannot make motions (although they could ask a member to make one), vote (no way around that), debate (without 2/3 permission, p. 263), nor do they have a right to attend the committee meetings.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Edgar

I think participating "fully" includes the right to vote.

 

Well, I'm not sure that participating fully in deliberations does.

 

But if Bill K wants these people to have the right to vote he's free to pursue the process of making them members. I'm just not convinced that when it comes to something as fundamental as a revision to a society's bylaws, you'd want non-members to have a vote in the process (even if it's only a vote on a recommendation).

Link to post
Share on other sites

"NAMING MEMBERS TO A SPECIAL COMMITTEE. A standing or special committee may include, or even have as its chairman, one or more persons who are not members of the assembly or the society; but if the chair appoints the committee, the names of all such nonmembers being appointed must be submitted to the assembly for approval, unless the bylaws or the motion to appoint the committee specifically authorizes the presiding officer to appoint nonmembers (see also pp. 492-93, 495-96)."

 

Just to be clear: a motion passed by the Board establishing the special committee, and authorizing non-members to participate (and to vote), would obviate the need for approval by the membership?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to be clear: a motion passed by the Board establishing the special committee, and authorizing non-members to participate (and to vote), would obviate the need for approval by the membership?

 

I don't see why not. Additionally, even if the board didn't specify that, when RONR says nonmembers must be "submitted to the assembly for approval," the "assembly" is the assembly which establishes the committee. So the board could authorize the appointments - it wouldn't have to go to the membership. I'd also note that if the board is establishing the committee, it is a committee of the board, and therefore, anyone who is not a member of the board is a "nonmember" for the purposes of this rule.

 

I apologize for any confusion. I think we assumed that the committee would be established by the membership.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Edgar

I think we assumed that the committee would be established by the membership.

 

Perhaps because of this statement in the initial post:

 

Our organization would like to invite non-members to join our organization's Bylaws Committee . . . 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see why not. Additionally, even if the board didn't specify that, when RONR says nonmembers must be "submitted to the assembly for approval," the "assembly" is the assembly which establishes the committee. So the board could authorize the appointments - it wouldn't have to go to the membership. I'd also note that if the board is establishing the committee, it is a committee of the board, and therefore, anyone who is not a member of the board is a "nonmember" for the purposes of this rule.

 

I apologize for any confusion. I think we assumed that the committee would be established by the membership.

 

  • Board has power of committee appointment (standing and special)
  • Board exercises its power to appoint a new standing bylaw committee (previously non-existent)
  • For good and sufficient reason, the board wishes to appoint non-members of organization to bylaw committee
  1. Am I to conclude from your post, the bylaw committee then becomes a committee of the board and not the larger assembly?
  2. Would it make any difference, with respect to the application of the rules, to establish the committee by amendment to the bylaws (which the board also has the power to do)?
Link to post
Share on other sites

[*]Am I to conclude from your post, the bylaw committee then becomes a committee of the board and not the larger assembly?

Bill K, Why would it not be a committee of the board from the get-go, rather than becoming one somehow or why?

[*]Would it make any difference, with respect to the application of the rules, to establish the committee by amendment to the bylaws (which the board also has the power to do)?

The technical answer to this question is, huh?

And Bill, let me say this. You've gotten hundreds of hours of help here. Please pay some back. Log on, read a question, dip into your RONR- 11th or RONR-IB, and answer it a few times. I don't want to feel ripped off and I'm confident you don't want us regular posters on the world's premier parliamentary Internet forum to feel ripped off. You sure know enough by now to help other people. Feel free to start yesterday.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

  • Board has power of committee appointment (standing and special)
  • Board exercises its power to appoint a new standing bylaw committee (previously non-existent)
  • For good and sufficient reason, the board wishes to appoint non-members of organization to bylaw committee
  1. Am I to conclude from your post, the bylaw committee then becomes a committee of the board and not the larger assembly?
  2. Would it make any difference, with respect to the application of the rules, to establish the committee by amendment to the bylaws (which the board also has the power to do)?

 

This has become quite complicated. Under RONR, additional standing committees are (usually) not established except through the bylaws and each body establishes its own special committees. Your rules appear to provide otherwise.

 

If your bylaws already specify certain standing committees, then further standing committees cannot be established except by amending the bylaws, unless the bylaws provide otherwise. If the board is authorized to establish and appoint a standing committee of the organization, then it is free to do so and you can ignore what I said in Post #13. And no, it wouldn't make any difference whether the board amended the bylaws to establish the committee or established it by authorization from the bylaws.

 

Based on this new information, I think we're back to the idea that under the bylaws as they are currently written, the membership must authorize the appointment of non-members. Since the board apparently has the power to amend the bylaws, however, the board could fix that problem.

Edited by Josh Martin
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...