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Procedure for motions and voting on multiple bids


EricR
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Our homeowners association runs its Board meetings by Robert's Rules, and we came upon a procedural question that threw us. We have four companies bidding on the same job, and the Board's job is to accept one of those four bids. At the meeting, we didn't know if someone is supposed to make a motion in favor of accepting a certain contractor's bid, or if there was some way to put all four bids on the table and have members vote for the bids each member preferred. A couple of Board members expressed concern at the former procedure because it would favor the contractor for whom the motion was made, potentially excluding the other three from consideration right from the start. But we didn't know what procedure could allow the latter.

Example: Company A, Company B, Company C, and Company D have presented bids to the Board. Director 1 moves to adopt Company A's bid, and Director 2 seconds. Discussion begins, and Directors 3 and 4 say they prefer Company C's bid. But the current question is whether to adopt Company A's bid, not whether to adopt Company C's bid. The motion fails because a majority of directors vote against it because they each preferred a different company. After much discussion (outside of a motion, mind you!), the Board eventually comes around to agreeing that Company A has the best bid. But because that motion had already been made, the Board felt it shouldn't make the same motion and vote at the same meeting. (Eventually one of the people who voted against the original motion offered a motion to reconsider, and everyone got on board with that - hopefully we followed the correct procedure!)

What the Board really wanted was to put all four bids on the table, make a motion/second to adopt one of them, discuss all four bids, and then have each Director vote for the Company he/she preferred. Is there a way to do that?

Thank you for any guidance you can collectively provide. Apologies if due to ignorance this is a dumb question! :)

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20 minutes ago, EricR said:

 . . .What the Board really wanted was to put all four bids on the table, make a motion/second to adopt one of them, discuss all four bids, and then have each Director vote for the Company he/she preferred. Is there a way to do that?

 

Yes.  As Mr. Mervosh pointed out, the procedure is called "Filling Blanks".  A blank is created and all suggestions are listed, much like all nominees are listed on a ballot.  Once one of the suggestions receives a majority vote, the blank is filled with that name and then the original motion, with the blank filled in with the "winning" name, is voted on. 

17 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

See RONR (11th ed), p. 162ff for the  use of the device, Filling Blanks.

 You're confident EricR has a copy of RONR?  :)

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Just now, Richard Brown said:

Yes.  As Mr. Mervosh pointed out, the procedure is called "Filling Blanks".  A blank is created and all suggestions are listed, much like all nominees are listed on a ballot.  Once one of the suggestions receives a majority vote, the blank is filled with that name and then the original motion, with the blank filled in with the "winning" name, is voted on. 

 You're confident EricR has a copy of RONR?  :)

Nope.  But if he wants to read the cited pages he'll get one.  :)

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5 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Yes.  As Mr. Mervosh pointed out, the procedure is called "Filling Blanks".  A blank is created and all suggestions are listed, much like all nominees are listed on a ballot.  Once one of the suggestions receives a majority vote, the blank is filled with that name and then the original motion, with the blank filled in with the "winning" name, is voted on. 

28 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

Agreeing with Mr. Brown, they are ordered from least likely to be accepted to most likely.  Presumably, that would be highest to lowest in this case.  However, I'm not sure that this fits the description the OP wanted:

34 minutes ago, EricR said:

What the Board really wanted was to put all four bids on the table, make a motion/second to adopt one of them, discuss all four bids, and then have each Director vote for the Company he/she preferred. Is there a way to do that?

 

The method of filling blanks doesn't, to my mind, exactly fit this description.  But I agree it's the closest.

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Many thanks, everyone. I'll look at the citations from Mr. Mervosh and see if I can apply his suggested procedure the next time something like this comes up.

As for voting by ballot, Mr. Huynh, how is that different than just polling the Directors verbally or by hand (aside from ballots allowing anonymity)? And how is a motion made to vote by ballot? Or is that something that needs to be agendized, that a ballot will be taken at a certain point in the meeting?

Newbie here, so please be gentle  :)

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18 minutes ago, EricR said:

As for voting by ballot, Mr. Huynh, how is that different than just polling the Directors verbally or by hand (aside from ballots allowing anonymity)? And how is a motion made to vote by ballot? Or is that something that needs to be agendized, that a ballot will be taken at a certain point in the meeting?

 

A motion can be made to vote by ballot, it requires a majority vote to adopt.

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