Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

How to bootstrap presiding officer


Breck
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

   I am starting a committee and feel that we should do it "by the book", the book being RONR. I will use RONR authority language for Meeting of a Group That Does Not Yet Have Bylaws:

Quote

“Resolved, That the rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this meeting in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with any special rules of order the meeting may adopt.”

We have no special rules yet. 

My first question is how we run the first meeting. Items of concern are:

1) How to decide a presiding officer (PO)/chair? I have searched extensively and cannot find how to boot strap that decision--it could be contentious believe it or not. 

2) Should I hire a professional parliamentarian PO to start things off on the correct foot? How does one find one and what are typical costs? 

3) We have some very open ended thinking to do--essentially the committee is formed to create bylaws for governance for an open source software project. How best to have some non-decision making discussion to start the process of determining our bylaws. I am inclined to "borrow/steal" from existing organizations like the Apache foundation but we still need to have a discussion to research the possibilities. Does this all happen under "New Business". It would be awkward have the PO recognize individual comments. Maybe all the "open ended" thinking happens outside the scope of the meeting.

4) We are geographically distributed so will be doing meetings via video conference. Are there any special considerations given that format?

5) What is the best intro to RONR out there? There is a Dummies book, obviously the book itself but that is too daunting as a primer. 

I tried hard to answer 1) on my own but no luck, 2-5) I got lazy and tacked them on since I have your attention. 

thanks

Breck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Breck, have you read Chapter XVII in RONR, "Mass Meetings and Organization of a Permanent Society" on pages 543=561?  It pretty much walks you through the process of starting a new organization.  Chapter 53 is "Mass Meetings" (which is usually your first meeting) and Chapter 54 is the actual process of organizing the new society.

If you do not have a copy of RONR, I suggest you get a copy as it has extremely useful information for starting a new organization.   It's only about $12.50 or so from Amazon, about $18 in bookstores.  Another book which is helpful in this regard is "Robert's Rules for Dummies" by C. Alan Jennings.  It is currently in its third edition.

Edited to add:  As to the best into to RONR, I woud say without a doubt it is Robert's Rules for Dummies by C. Alan Jennings.  Keep in mind it is not intended to be a substitute for RONR, but is rather a book about RONR and can be an excellent help in understanding it.  Robert's Rules of Order in Brief is also an excellent book for the basics.  It is written by the RONR authorship team and costs about $7.00 online and in bookstores.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Richard Brown said:

Breck, have you read Chapter XVII in RONR, "Mass Meetings and Organization of a Permanent Society" on pages 543=561?  It pretty much walks you through the process of starting a new organization.  Chapter 53 is "Mass Meetings" (which is usually your first meeting) and Chapter 54 is the actual process of organizing the new society.

If you do not have a copy of RONR, I suggest you get a copy as it has extremely useful information for starting a new organization.   It's only about $12.50 or so from Amazon, about $18 in bookstores.  Another book which is helpful in this regard is "Robert's Rules for Dummies" by C. Alan Jennings.  It is currently in its third edition.

Thank you Richard for the quick reply. I was in the process of ordering those exact books and will read relevant sections. 

Breck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Breck, I edited and added to my answer as you were replying, so you might go back and re-read it for the additional information.  Also, although Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised in Brief is an excellent primer for the basics, it contains nothing on forming a new organization.  It is designed to just give people the basics on how a meeting should be run, how to make motions and amendments, etc.  It covers only the basics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

52 minutes ago, Breck said:

1) How to decide a presiding officer (PO)/chair? I have searched extensively and cannot find how to boot strap that decision--it could be contentious believe it or not. 

A person chosen by the sponsors of the meeting calls the meeting to order. The first order of business is then to elect a presiding officer for the remainder of the meeting. Nominations are taken from the floor. A voice vote is taken on the nominees, in the order nominated, and the first person receiving a majority vote is elected.

52 minutes ago, Breck said:

2) Should I hire a professional parliamentarian PO to start things off on the correct foot? How does one find one and what are typical costs? 

You may hire a professional parliamentarian if you wish. The National Association of Parliamentarians and the American Institute of Parliamentarians provide referral services on their websites. Costs tend to vary depending on geographic area, and in any event such a question is beyond the scope of this forum. I advise obtaining multiple quotes if this is a concern.

52 minutes ago, Breck said:

3) We have some very open ended thinking to do--essentially the committee is formed to create bylaws for governance for an open source software project. How best to have some non-decision making discussion to start the process of determining our bylaws. I am inclined to "borrow/steal" from existing organizations like the Apache foundation but we still need to have a discussion to research the possibilities. Does this all happen under "New Business". It would be awkward have the PO recognize individual comments. Maybe all the "open ended" thinking happens outside the scope of the meeting.

Such “open-ended” thinking is generally left to the bylaws committee, which will be appointed at this meeting.

”New Business” is essentially the only heading there is in the first organizational meeting.

52 minutes ago, Breck said:

4) We are geographically distributed so will be doing meetings via video conference. Are there any special considerations given that format?

Yes. The CD-ROM edition of RONR has some sample rules for video conferences.

52 minutes ago, Breck said:

5) What is the best intro to RONR out there? There is a Dummies book, obviously the book itself but that is too daunting as a primer. 

The best introduction generally is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief, however, it does not have information about forming a new society. Robert’s Rules of Order for Dummies is also very good, and does cover that topic.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Josh Martin said:

Quotes below are Josh Martin's, still learning the interface, apologies. 

Quote

 

A person chosen by the sponsors of the meeting calls the meeting to order. The first order of business is then to elect a presiding officer for the remainder of the meeting. Nominations are taken from the floor. A voice vote is taken on the nominees, in the order nominated, and the first person receiving a majority vote is elected.

 

 

 

Thanks, it makes sense. 

Quote

 

Such “open-ended” thinking is generally left to the bylaws committee, which will be appointed at this meeting.

 

 

 

We ARE the bylaws committee and I anticipate procedural problems. It is a bunch of super smart academics with varied social skills, lovely people, but not the easiest bunch to work with. I may just cast it as a game, lots of them play D&D so they know how to play by rules. 

Quote

Yes. The CD-ROM edition of RONR has some sample rules for video conferences.

That is super useful. Thanks. 

Breck

Edited by Breck
Quotes not clearly attributed.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Breck said:

We ARE the bylaws committee and I anticipate procedural problems.

Based on what has been stated so far, no, you aren’t. You don’t just jump right in to being a bylaws committee. When forming a new organization, the steps at the first organizational meeting are to:

  • Elect a chairman and secretary for the meeting.
  • Adopting any rules desired for the meeting - such as to adopt RONR as your parliamentary authority.
  • Adopt a resolution to form a society.
  • Adopt a motion to create a bylaws committee. Often, the motion specifies that the chair shall appoint the committee’s members, but they could be elected if the assembly prefers. This process includes selecting the committee’s chairman, unless the assembly prefers to authorize the committee to appoint its own chairman.
  • Adopt a motion to set the date, time, and place of the next meeting.
  • Adopt a motion authorizing the committee to make copies of its recommended bylaws.
  • If desired, informal discussion regarding the proposed society, to serve as guidance for the bylaws committee.

When you get the book, you can refer to the sections Mr. Brown mentioned for more details.

A committee is a subset of the full assembly and generally consists of a small number of persons. As such, the rules are relaxed - informal discussion is permitted without a motion pending, for instance. The text in RONR provides some guidance for a committee appointed to draft initial bylaws for a society.

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...