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abstaining from a vote


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On page 407 in the 11th edition under abstaining from voting, line 23, 24, the phrase "direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members" (italics mine), what is the intent of the "not common" phrase?  This is the scenario: a number of board members were present at an event at the club where  poor decision making caused a possible unsafe moment.  No rules were broken, no injuries or property damage occurred but this group is not liked   Even though the infraction seems minor, the BOD is entertaining suspension and expulsion as discipline.  It appears power shift is what is truly on their mind.  They are not allowing any of them to participate in discussion or voting, citing conflict of interest.  My feeling is that because the issue is common to other members, the entire BOD should be discussing the possible discipline.  Can you offer guidance?

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32 minutes ago, Guest John said:

They are not allowing any of them to participate in discussion or voting, citing conflict of interest.

See page 407.

>> However, no member can be compelled to refrain from voting in such circumstances.

***

Q. is your board compelling someone to refrain from voting?

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3 hours ago, Guest John said:

On page 407 in the 11th edition under abstaining from voting, line 23, 24, the phrase "direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members" (italics mine), what is the intent of the "not common" phrase?  This is the scenario: a number of board members were present at an event at the club where  poor decision making caused a possible unsafe moment.  No rules were broken, no injuries or property damage occurred but this group is not liked   Even though the infraction seems minor, the BOD is entertaining suspension and expulsion as discipline.  It appears power shift is what is truly on their mind.  They are not allowing any of them to participate in discussion or voting, citing conflict of interest.  My feeling is that because the issue is common to other members, the entire BOD should be discussing the possible discipline.  Can you offer guidance?

 

2 hours ago, Guest said:

It did not help.  Line 5 and 6 on page 408 did not sit well with them.   Any other suggestions?

Whether it sits well with them or not, it describes what was intended by the "not common to other members" phrase, and one of the examples pretty much exactly describes your situation.

I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it, however, as the ultimate judge of whether a member has a "direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members," to the extent that he should refrain from voting, is the member himself. As Mr. Goldsworthy correctly notes, a member cannot be compelled to abstain. Unless there are higher-level rules in the organization's rules or applicable law on this subject, all members of the board have the right to speak in debate and vote, and whether these members should speak in debate and vote is up to them.

Another question to look into is whether your bylaws grant the board the authority to discipline its own members. RONR reserves such power for the general membership.

 

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10 hours ago, Guest John said:

On page 407 in the 11th edition under abstaining from voting, line 23, 24, the phrase "direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members" (italics mine), what is the intent of the "not common" phrase?  This is the scenario: a number of board members were present at an event at the club where  poor decision making caused a possible unsafe moment.  No rules were broken, no injuries or property damage occurred but this group is not liked   Even though the infraction seems minor, the BOD is entertaining suspension and expulsion as discipline.  It appears power shift is what is truly on their mind.  They are not allowing any of them to participate in discussion or voting, citing conflict of interest.  My feeling is that because the issue is common to other members, the entire BOD should be discussing the possible discipline.  Can you offer guidance?

If the rules in RONR apply, it is unlikely that the Board could order any discipline, much less expulsion, of any member.  It could perhaps (if a majority agreed) recommend that the membership consider disciplinary action, but it can't take it on its own, without some local bylaws authorization.  In any case, the board cannot prevent its own members from voting. 

How is this "not allowing" accomplished?  Physical threats, or what?

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