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George Mervosh

Even when there are no absentees - Part II

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Facts not in dispute: 

 

1) The bylaws state that regular meetings shall be held on the first Monday of each month.  The bylaws also require 30 days written notice for any proposed bylaw amendments.

 

2) Notice of a proposed bylaw amendment is sent to all members 25 days before the next regularly scheduled monthly meeting occurs.

 

All members of the society are present at the appointed time of the regular meeting and the meeting is called to order.  Immediately after the motion to amend the bylaws is made, Member A raises a point of order that the notice for the bylaw amendment was sent with less than the required 30 days notice.

 

Since the member is clearly correct at this point because the facts are not in dispute -

 

1) Can the rule regarding the 30 day notice requirement be suspended by a 2/3 vote?

 

2) If a 2/3 vote is proper and the member who showed up to raise the point of order leaves prior to the rules being suspended to permit consideration, can the amendment still be considered?  What if he leaves after the rules are suspended but before the amendment is taken up?

 

These two questions are not tied to the first two -

 

3) If the member waits to raise his point of order until after the assembly begins to consider the bylaw amendment or he participates in any way in its consideration prior to raising his point, should the point be well taken?

 

4) If so, what action should the presiding officer take?  If not, why not?

 

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1) Can the rule regarding the 30 day notice requirement be suspended by a 2/3 vote?

 

Yes

 

2) If a 2/3 vote is proper and the member who showed up to raise the point of order leaves prior to the rules being suspended to permit consideration, can the amendment still be considered?  What if he leaves after the rules are suspended but before the amendment is taken up?

 

It seems to me the most reasonable rule to apply would be that the rule may be suspended (and the amendment may then be considered) so long as there are no absentees at the time the motion to Suspend the Rules is made. If a member is present at that point, then he at least knows that such a motion has been made and he should stick around to deal with that if he wishes. On the other hand, if a member left before the motion to Suspend the Rules was made, then I think the member could credibly argue that he did not know that this rule could or would be suspended, and therefore that he did not know that the amendment to the bylaws might come before the assembly.

 

3) If the member waits to raise his point of order until after the assembly begins to consider the bylaw amendment or he participates in any way in its consideration prior to raising his point, should the point be well taken?

 

4) If so, what action should the presiding officer take?  If not, why not?

 

No, I don't think such a Point of Order would be timely after the chair states the question on the motion, assuming there are no absentees at that time. The member knows that the motion is being considered, and if he wishes to raise a Point of Order he must do this immediately.

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No, I don't think such a Point of Order would be timely after the chair states the question on the motion, assuming there are no absentees at that time. The member knows that the motion is being considered, and if he wishes to raise a Point of Order he must do this immediately.

 

Can you elaborate on the distinction between this and the previous case that would make this point of order timely only at the outset, while in the previous case you would allow raising a point of order right up to adoption?

 

I understand this case involves previous notice of an amendment, while the first involves proper notice of a meeting, but if both rules are suspendable, and for the same reason (protection of non-existent absentees), what gives rise to the difference in timeliness?

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Can you elaborate on the distinction between this and the previous case that would make this point of order timely only at the outset, while in the previous case you would allow raising a point of order right up to adoption?

 

Well, in the previous case I was wrong, so I'm not sure analyzing that response will be of any help here. :)

 

I understand this case involves previous notice of an amendment, while the first involves proper notice of a meeting, but if both rules are suspendable, and for the same reason (protection of non-existent absentees), what gives rise to the difference in timeliness?

 

Yes, but as Mr. Gerber explained in the previous thread, both rules are not suspendable, and upon further reflection I think this is right. If a meeting is not properly called, then the assembly is not really holding a meeting at all, and no amount of suspending the rules will change that.

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Yes

 

 

It seems to me the most reasonable rule to apply would be that the rule may be suspended (and the amendment may then be considered) so long as there are no absentees at the time the motion to Suspend the Rules is made. If a member is present at that point, then he at least knows that such a motion has been made and he should stick around to deal with that if he wishes. On the other hand, if a member left before the motion to Suspend the Rules was made, then I think the member could credibly argue that he did not know that this rule could or would be suspended, and therefore that he did not know that the amendment to the bylaws might come before the assembly.

 

 

No, I don't think such a Point of Order would be timely after the chair states the question on the motion, assuming there are no absentees at that time. The member knows that the motion is being considered, and if he wishes to raise a Point of Order he must do this immediately.

 

I agree with all of this.  I really can't articulate properly why I questioned the vote required, so I won't bother.  The book doesn't say exactly how to handle situations like this and I'm not suggesting it should.  It appears that using the rules available to us, and some common sense, the member's rights can be properly protected.

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Gee, George, all you need to do is read very carefully through meeting with all members present (and its predecessor thread referred to in post #1), and all will be quite clear.  :)

 

Yes, I see that.  From now on instead of typing a lot I'll just peruse Mr. Balch's posting history before asking questions since he seems to seal the deal in 1 post by agreeing with you (or not disagreeing with you) and adding his own thoughts.  :)  

 

(Oh, and I miss Trina's questions and participation)

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