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Executing passed motions


Guest mjhmjh
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After a motion has been properly moved, seconded, and passed, who executes it? Should a motion always specify a party responsible for execution?

I ask because the sample dialogue in RONR In Brief includes motions like "I move that the Tennis League establish a division open to juniors and seniors enrolled in city and suburban country high schools." Clearly, the division won't establish itself.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Unless your other rules make the responsibility clear, the motion should have some provision for execution. Normally, this would be worked out by amendment if the mover does not include it. You could also amend the motion later, after adoption, to specify who has responsibility.

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2 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Unless your other rules make the responsibility clear, the motion should have some provision for execution. Normally, this would be worked out by amendment if the mover does not include it. You could also amend the motion later, after adoption, to specify who has responsibility.

Would it be wise to state in the by-laws that the president is responsible for figuring out how to execute any motion lacking a provision for execution?

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4 hours ago, Guest mjhmjh said:

After a motion has been properly moved, seconded, and passed,

who executes it?

There won't be one generic answer.

The "who" factor will depend on the "what" factor.

***

Some rules are there as preventative measures. Whoever does not comply, is punished.

Some rules are there as pro-active measures. Whoever does it first, may continue, because the member is in compliance with the rule; and no one has the right to prevent a member from obeying a rule of the organization.

Some rules fall into the domain of certain officers or certain committees, by the nature of their existing duties.

Some rules demand that a customized body (a committee -- "ad hoc") be created to execute the order, to keep everyone out from meddling.

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To my mind, Robert's Rules neglects this critical point.  The only place it is addressed, as far as I can tell, is at the top of p. 121 (of RONR 11th Ed*), in scandalously small print, with the story having begun on p. 120:  a proposal ("motion," in Portuguese) is made that the organization make a donation; the organization elects ("decides," "chooses") to make the donation; and the chair, in announcing that the motion is adopted, says, The Treasurer will cut a check and the Secretary will write a cover letter forwarding it.

I just noticed, since we're dealing with who does what, that "forwarding" the check means that the division of responsibility is clearly delineated: the Treasurer cuts the check and hands it over to the Secretary, who takes it from there. 

(This stands out in my own mind from when the Lunarians had a power-hungry, self-aggrandizing man who, when he was the Treasurer, would, in circumstances like these, dutifully write the check; write his own grandiloquent cover letter (on Society letterhead:  as the treasurer, he had arrogated to himself the job of contracting to get our club stationery -- after all, was his rationale, that's part of his responsibility, since he is the one who pays for it; consequently all the produced stationery was delivered to his home, and further consequently, whenever the Secretary needed official club stationery, he had to beg Stuart for it), since of course you can't just put a check naked into an envelope, and who knows when Bill might get around to doing his part of the job. As a result, our correspondent was often confused to receive two items of correspondence: a check promptly, from our Treasurer, with a glowing transplendent letter covering the matter, and, around the same time, a somewhat superfluous letter, by itself, from our secretary.)

Somewhere in the middle, I think, is the case a few years ago, when a parliamentary group met at a nearby university, with the space provided for free.  At one point, to express our appreciation, our group voted to donate a copy of RONR to the university's library, and when the motion was adopted, we simply moved on to the next item of business.  I had the feeling that something was being left out, but couldn't put my finger on it.  At a meeting few months later, one of the officers reported that the book had been duly delivered.  I was confused, but too confused to ask, how and by whom, and by what procedure?

I guessed (and still do, although maybe now I'll find out soon) that the administration of the society was so well-coordinated and congenial that they just got the job done, without blinking, the formalities being superfluous when, as is rare, cooperation was the way they always did things; or, perhaps, this being a parliamentary organization, there was an established standing committee whose job it was to put into effect such decisions as this.  I really should find out.  If it's on my RP test, I'll never live it down.

_________

*I'll hazard Rev Ed is Ed #8 or 9, unless we factor in the Kings of England

Edited by Gary c Tesser
tinker
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12 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Seems to me it's primarily the job of the president to see that the orders of the society are executed unless the bylaws or the adopted motion provide otherwise.

And your RONR citation for this is where (mindful that the bottom of p.456 is nowhere specific enough)?

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19 hours ago, Godelfan said:

It seems to me that it is properly neglected.  RONR is intended to be the rules for a deliberative body, not an executory body.

Uh huh.  And the first hundred pages, with nary a rule in view, doesn't count.  Most of fundamental Section 56, almost completely descriptive,  doesn't count.  Last four words on p. 299 are just rules. &c &c.

I put it to you that RONR is -- perhaps sub rosa -- is not purely a rule book, but a work designed to help organizations get their work done; structured on the rules based on which we get things done, but not nearly only.  (Otherwise, to be consistent, you should complain that those instructions to the Treasurer and Secretary are a waste of space, and duly eliminated, so as to reduce the page-count of the next edition?)

I'm not saying it should be lit up in neon, I'm just saying it's so fundamental to the whole process that it shouldn't be relegated to fine print, and the point made only incidentally regarding something else.

Come to think of it (and I just now am, so it demands some more thought), there are places in the book where it says, sometimes explicitly -- in contrast to the instructions the chair gives on p. 121, ~"OK, motion adopted, what's next is..."~ .  Which doesn't give much space for getting the job done.

 

as it has been for what, forty years, I guess since you Godelfan were maybe only a little kid

Edited by Gary c Tesser
went on some more
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15 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Seems to me it's primarily the job of the president to see that the orders of the society are executed unless the bylaws or the adopted motion provide otherwise.

2 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

And your RONR citation for this is where (mindful that the bottom of p.456 is nowhere specific enough)?

That's why I said, "It seems to me. . . ."    It's outside of a meeting context, so RONR does not get into  what the administrative duties of the president are, but rather leaves that up to each society to decide for itself.  But, I think i can safely say that it's pretty universal that the president is normally the chief executive officer of most societies regardless of whether the bylaws explicitly say so.   Who do you think it normally is?   The oldest director on the board of directors?  The youngest?  The director living closest to the clubhouse?  :)

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I am basing my comment on the remark in the book (which I don't have in front of me) about the roles of officers.  It remarks that a purely deliberative assembly would have no need for officer reports, since it would do nothing outside of its meetings.  It makes sense to me that the procedure for going from decision to action would be so different from place to place as to not be amenable to coverage in RONR.  

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On 2/6/2017 at 8:53 PM, Guest mjhmjh said:

After a motion has been properly moved, seconded, and passed, who executes it? Should a motion always specify a party responsible for execution?

I ask because the sample dialogue in RONR In Brief includes motions like "I move that the Tennis League establish a division open to juniors and seniors enrolled in city and suburban country high schools." Clearly, the division won't establish itself.

Normally, a motion will be carried out by one or more of the executive officers, the executive board, or a standing or special committee, depending on who has the power to act on matters relating to the motion or on behalf of the society in general.

That is why the executive board is called the executive board -- it executes actions on behalf of the society. "Except in the simplest and smallest local societies, or those holding very frequent regular meetings, it is generally found advisable to provide in the bylaws for a board to be empowered to act for the society when necessary between its regular meetings, and in some cases to have complete control over certain phases of the society's business." (RONR, p. 481.)

On 2/6/2017 at 9:13 PM, Guest mjhmjh said:

Would it be wise to state in the by-laws that the president is responsible for figuring out how to execute any motion lacking a provision for execution?

If there is an executive board, and if the motion does not full under the purview of any particular officer or committee, then that is the executive board's responsibility. If there is no executive board, then I agree the bylaws should provide that the president (or someone else, such as the executive secretary) shall be the chief executive officer of the society. Otherwise, the president will not have any such authority: "In many organized societies, the president has duties as an administrative or executive officer; but these are outside the scope of parliamentary law, and the president has such authority only insofar as the bylaws provide it." (p. 456)

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