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Suspend the rules


Guest Linda J
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Our bylaws state that we must vote on our budget and elect trustees and officers at our annual meeting. Notice must go out 30 days before the meeting. Anything else that we want to address should also be sent out in this notice. The bylaws also address special meetings of the membership. If members have anything else that they would like to address at the annual meeting (not specified when the notice went out), can they suspend the rules and ask to vote on a motion? Wouldn't the special meeting be the forum to address this new issue so that people who are not at the annual meeting can receive notice of vote?

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4 minutes ago, Guest Linda J said:

Our bylaws state that we must vote on our budget and elect trustees and officers at our annual meeting. Notice must go out 30 days before the meeting. Anything else that we want to address should also be sent out in this notice. The bylaws also address special meetings of the membership. If members have anything else that they would like to address at the annual meeting (not specified when the notice went out), can they suspend the rules and ask to vote on a motion? Wouldn't the special meeting be the forum to address this new issue so that people who are not at the annual meeting can receive notice of vote?

Generally speaking, the rule as you've described is intended to protect absentees. Therein, the rule can't be suspended. However, the assembly may take action on the business and later ratify those actions at a later properly noticed special meeting - if the situation warrants.

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16 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

If notice is required to vote on something, that rule is not suspendable.  RONR (11th ed.), pp. 263-264  

As to your second question, I think the obvious answer is, yes.

 

If members would like to voice their opinions on this topic at the annual meeting and they have not yet petitioned for a special meeting...can discussion be ruled out of order because others who are not present didn't receive notice of topic and would therefore not be privy to the discussion?

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3 minutes ago, Guest Linda J said:

If members would like to voice their opinions on this topic at the annual meeting and they have not yet petitioned for a special meeting...can discussion be ruled out of order because others who are not present didn't receive notice of topic and would therefore not be privy to the discussion?

There can be no discussion without a motion pending.  That would be the reason to rule any discussion out of order.

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50 minutes ago, Guest Linda J said:

Our bylaws state that we must vote on our budget and elect trustees and officers at our annual meeting. Notice must go out 30 days before the meeting. Anything else that we want to address should also be sent out in this notice. The bylaws also address special meetings of the membership. If members have anything else that they would like to address at the annual meeting (not specified when the notice went out), can they suspend the rules and ask to vote on a motion? Wouldn't the special meeting be the forum to address this new issue so that people who are not at the annual meeting can receive notice of vote?

You say that "Anything else that we want to address should also be sent out in this notice." Where do you find this rule stated?

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9 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

You say that "Anything else that we want to address should also be sent out in this notice." Where do you find this rule stated?

  1. Written notice of the annual meeting shall be mailed or emailed to all members at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the annual meeting, and shall include the date, time and location of the meeting, a list of nominations for Board of Trustees positions, the proposed annual budget and any other matters to be considered and voted upon.
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48 minutes ago, Guest Linda J said:
  1. Written notice of the annual meeting shall be mailed or emailed to all members at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the annual meeting, and shall include the date, time and location of the meeting, a list of nominations for Board of Trustees positions, the proposed annual budget and any other matters to be considered and voted upon.

Your interpretation seems reasonable so I'd stick with the previous responses.

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38 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I agree.

This provision seems so restrictive, however, that perhaps in this organization the power to do just about everything except adopt the annual budget and elect Trustees is vested solely in the Board of Trustees.

Unfortunately...because of new case law, the board is at a disadvantage when it matters most. Not looking forward to that 'special meeting'.

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5 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

There can be no discussion without a motion pending.  That would be the reason to rule any discussion out of order.

Under the circumstances, at your annual meeting, you might consider referring the business topic to Formal Committee Of The Whole. The motion to commit -depending on the situation - may be made as either an original main or a incidental main motion. This would permit the assembly - as a committee - to discuss the business without it directly pending.

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