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Is there a email procedure for making a Motion, 2nd it & then discussion it then Voting on it?


Guest Jerry C Anderson

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Guest Jerry C Anderson

I am the new Chairman and we are having difficulty getting a quorum for the Executive Committee (EC).  Therefore, we are in the process of developing an email procedure where an email notice is used to call for a meeting to get a Motion, 2nd, then Discussion then taking a vote.  Here is what I am proposing, and am asking for your input:

 

I as Chairman will send out an email asking for the Executive Committee to convene via email.

I will propose an Agenda with an issue identified as New Business.

- only that issue will be addressed and none other while that agenda item is discussed.

- the discussion will be restricted to it alone.

- all replies have to be to Reply All

- I will set an end date and time for this agenda item

I will explain the issue that is being brought forward as best as I can in my email.  if not clear then the clarification will happen either in one of two ways:

- Someone will ask a question and I will respond to all.

- Or it may come out in the discussion

Then someone from the EC will make a Motion.

Then I will acknowledger the Motion to the email group.

Then someone will Second the Motion.

Then after I have received the Second, I will acknowledge the Second and Open the Discussion on the Motion.

Then the Discussion can begin.

At the end of the time limit I will send out an email that now a vote is requested.

 

Does anyone have a similar type process that meets the Roberts Rules of Order?

 

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I am the new Chairman and we are having difficulty getting a quorum for the Executive Committee (EC).  Therefore, we are in the process of developing an email procedure where an email notice is used to call for a meeting to get a Motion, 2nd, then Discussion then taking a vote.  Here is what I am proposing, and am asking for your input:

 

I as Chairman will send out an email asking for the Executive Committee to convene via email.

I will propose an Agenda with an issue identified as New Business.

- only that issue will be addressed and none other while that agenda item is discussed.

- the discussion will be restricted to it alone.

- all replies have to be to Reply All

- I will set an end date and time for this agenda item

I will explain the issue that is being brought forward as best as I can in my email.  if not clear then the clarification will happen either in one of two ways:

- Someone will ask a question and I will respond to all.

- Or it may come out in the discussion

Then someone from the EC will make a Motion.

Then I will acknowledger the Motion to the email group.

Then someone will Second the Motion.

Then after I have received the Second, I will acknowledge the Second and Open the Discussion on the Motion.

Then the Discussion can begin.

At the end of the time limit I will send out an email that now a vote is requested.

 

Does anyone have a similar type process that meets the Roberts Rules of Order?

 

No attempt to conduct a meeting by e-mail will be in compliance with the rules in Robert's Rules of Order.

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As noted in response #2, it isn't proper at all  --  until you change your bylaws to authorize e-mail "meetings".

 

While you are going through that process, contact me (via this board's internal mail system - you will have to become a member first, but that is no biggie) and I can probably help you out.

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As noted in response #2, it isn't proper at all  --  until you change your bylaws to authorize e-mail "meetings".

 

 

Even if the bylaws are amended to authorize them, it's still worth noting they won't be a true deliberative assembly, as defined in RONR:

 

"A group that attempts to conduct the deliberative process in writing—such as by postal mail, electronic mail (e-mail), or facsimile transmission (fax)—does not constitute a deliberative assembly. When making decisions by such means, many situations unprecedented in parliamentary law will arise, and many of its rules and customs will not be applicable (see also pp. 97–99)."  RONR (11th ed.), p. 1fn

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There are software packages available, however, that seem to alleviate the problems RONR identifies with conducting electronic meetings. I don't have a great deal of experience with the various packages, but I know IBM's Sametime software allows all people to hear and to speak, it also has a feature where the participants can raise a virtual hand so the chair would know that they wanted to speak. An appropriate statement in the bylaws would still be needed, but software like this is much more closely aligned to RONR than what e-mail is.

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And a lot more expensive, too.

 

No, not really. I'm thinking it is less than $200 per year. It might not make sense if everyone lives close together and meet infrequently, but for groups that live some distance apart, the money saved on travel expenses would more than cover the annual fee.

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E-mail isn't actually free, it is just that it is usually packaged with some service that you're already paying for. And when you take into account that e-mail doesn't meet the requirements, it really doesn't matter because even if you were being paid to use it, it wouldn't work.

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