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Guest Arthur541

WORKSHOPS

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Guest Arthur541

My HOA is holding "workshops" to informally discuss issues without motions.  To my knowledge, RONR does not allow for "workshops".   Is there a way that a board can hold a meeting to discuss issues informally, without making motions?    

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RONR actually does mention "workshops" several times in the context of "conventions," as part of a convention program. Furthermore, in a section titled "Aids to the Crystallization of Opinion," RONR discusses methods for developing a greater consensus on controversial matters. In part, it states, "In more recent years, a practice has developed of establishing breakout groups with every member in attendance being urged to participate in a group. . .  Often, the groups meet during a recess or adjournment of the assembly. Sometimes, the conclusions reached by the various breakout groups are conveyed to a committee that assembles them and attempts to report a consolidated response to the assembly. At other times, the breakout groups report through their moderators directly to the assembly after it has been reconvened and the matter under consideration is again pending. These reports are in the nature of debate" (RONR pp. 541-542).

The point is, such gatherings are not "meetings" in the technical sense of that word. So they aren't bound by the rules of RONR - even if they result in input that may eventually come before an assembly while in session. 

So yes, I would say that RONR does "allow for 'workshops' " - particularly as a way to inform members and build consensus. 

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1 hour ago, Chris Harrison said:

Are decisions actually being made in these informal meetings or is everyone just talking with no intention to decide anything?

I am assuming from Guest Arthur's statement that the workshops are "to informally discuss issues without motions" that there is in fact no "intention to decide anything." If I am wrong, that obviously affects my comments. 

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Guest Arthur541

God question.   Actually this board president likes to get consensus.   I seldom see him get a vote on anything at a regular board meeting.  They tend to eventually agree on something.  I am pretty certain that is what they will do this time.  

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As far as the rules in RONR are concerned, board members can get together any time they like, discuss anything they like, and arrive at any decisions they like. However, none of this constitutes official business of the board, since a board can conduct official business "... only in a regular or properly called meeting of which every board member has been notified—or at an adjournment of one of these meetings (pp. 93–94)—and at which a quorum (a majority of the total membership unless otherwise specified in the bylaws or established by the constituting power) is present."  (RONR, 11th ed., pp. 486-87).  For an understanding of what constitutes a "regular or properly called meeting" see pages 89-93.

 

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Guest Arthur541

Daniel thank you for replying.   Interesting.  RONR seems to take the position that official business occurs only at a properly called meeting?  To me, that begs the question. What is official business?   Is it making motions and voting?  You say board members can discuss anything they like any time without it constituting a board meeting.  

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Any collective action of the association that is done in the name of the association (spending money, chastising a member, taking a stand on an issue, disbanding the organization, whatever) is "official business".  The key is that whatever is done, is done by the organization, not individuals. And adopting motions is how the collective action is defined and implemented.   See page 1.

Where else would official business occur (setting aside special provisions for e-meetings and the like)?

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5 hours ago, Guest Arthur541 said:

What is official business?   Is it making motions and voting?

Yes - and, as a consequence, binding the organization to action.  

 

5 hours ago, Guest Arthur541 said:

You say board members can discuss anything they like any time without it constituting a board meeting. 

Yes, at least so far as RONR is concerned.  Discussing anything they like, at any time, is not taking action.

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23 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

  Yes, at least so far as RONR is concerned.  Discussing anything they like, at any time, is not taking action.

But a note of caution... members of some government bodies with "sunshine laws" are not allowed to discuss what could become "official business" with each other except in regular official meetings.   Check with a lawyer if there is a possibility of this.

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Guest Arthur541

Sorry for the delay.   I am reading through all the comments  and sorting them out.  .  Thank you so much for them for now.   My HOA is playing games with the issue of "business" with this workshop.   They will likely discuss and come to some agreement, like they usually do at a workshop.   

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