Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

No Motions to Not Do Something


Small DogClub
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a question about how a motion should be made (if at all) when the member making the motion thinks that the act in question should not be done.

I understand the concept that motions shouldn't be made in the negative -- that one should not make a motion that, if carried, would result in doing nothing, maintaining the status quo. E.g., "I move that we not sign the contract with Mr. X." Because there will be no vote to actually do a thing. If the motion carries, nothing is done, and if the motion fails, nothing is done. I got that.

But what happens if the board member whose responsibility it is to bring the decision before the board (this will be a motion at a board meeting for an issue that the board has decision-making authority for) believes that we shouldn't do the thing in question, but our policy says that it's a board decision, so he has to bring it before the board?

The board member can't make a motion to not do the thing. Neither can he move it as a positive motion (that we do the thing in question) but then speak against it. (I understand he would be allowed to vote against it, but may not speak against it.)

I can think of some possible approaches:

1. He speaks with some other board member ahead of time and gets that person to make the motion, so that he can speak against it.

2. He speaks with all the other board members ahead of time to get their buy-in, makes the motion to do the thing, and the motion dies for lack of a second, or is voted down.

3. Under the relaxed rules for small boards (which ours is), he brings the question up for discussion, says that he is against doing the thing in question (and why), then waits to see if anyone cares to make a motion to do it.

4. He presents it as a "report" with the report concluding with a recommendation that we not do the thing, and the board can then adopt (or approve?) the report and its recommendation.

5. Something else that I haven't thought of?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand why the board member must bring the matter before the board in the first place if he believes it is not in the best interest of the organization. However, accepting for now your premise that he somehow must do so, all four of your suggested approaches seem fine to me. The most common and most straightforward method, of course, is for someone to make the motion and for it to then get voted down.

 

My fifth suggestion would be to simply do nothing. Don't make any motion at all. That gets back to my question about why it is that the board member must bring it up at all if he thinks it is a bad idea.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Small DogClub said:

[. . .]

But what happens if the board member whose responsibility it is to bring the decision before the board (this will be a motion at a board meeting for an issue that the board has decision-making authority for) believes that we shouldn't do the thing in question, but our policy says that it's a board decision, so he has to bring it before the board?

[. . .]

4. He presents it as a "report" with the report concluding with a recommendation that we not do the thing, and the board can then adopt (or approve?) the report and its recommendation.

 

#4 suits me fine.

Let the other (supportive) board members lift the burden from the shoulders of the (negative) board member.

He's taken the issue to the right body. Let the body do whatever it is going to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you folks for your input. I'll give this info to the board member in question.

Richard Brown, this board member needs to respond to another party (a non-member with whom we do business) on a decision that is not the individual board member's to make. He needs to get back to the other party with "I took this matter to the board, and the board decided....."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Small DogClub said:

Thank you folks for your input. I'll give this info to the board member in question.

Richard Brown, this board member needs to respond to another party (a non-member with whom we do business) on a decision that is not the individual board member's to make. He needs to get back to the other party with "I took this matter to the board, and the board decided....."

Does the non-member favor the action?    The way many politicians would answer is:  I am happy to know your views, and will take them into account should this matter actually reach the floor for decision. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL! That would be another way to handle the matter!

It ended up being unnecessary to have the board make any decision, because the matter was resolved shortly before the board meeting last night with an alternative solution that was acceptable to all parties and was also completely within the individual board member's authority to do. So everyone's happy, which is the best outcome.

Nevertheless, this has been educational for me, and I appreciate everyone's insight. I'm a rank newbie to RONR, and I have so much to learn as I gavel my way through meetings this year. (Although having read RONRIB in full, and having started slogging through the Right Book itself, I think I'm now at the stage where I know just enough to be dangerous.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re.:

On 1/12/2017 at 7:55 AM, Small DogClub said:

the member making the motion thinks that the act in question should not be done.

-- and --

On 1/12/2017 at 7:55 AM, Small DogClub said:

this will be a motion at a board meeting for an issue that the board has decision-making authority for

... it seems to me as if the most sensible, simple, and straightforward way to go is to declare the board's position on the question (p. 27, lines 19 - 21): "-Resolved, that whereas  the board considers this a bad idea, semicolon, therefore, as capitulated, the board is resolved that this is a bad idea-" (semicolon ad nauseam).

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...