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Guest TRay
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We want to talk about a topic at the beginning of a membership meeting. If discussion gets lengthy - and it may, with various ideas - that discussion may need to be tabled to the end of the meeting due to a clinic that has a scheduled start time.   I am familiar with the process after the motion; however,  I have been clarify that we can talk about any topic, table it, restart discussion and then make a motion (or not)?  We will still be able to meet the quorum if we are forced to table it.

My second question is, can we appoint a By-Laws committee to make recommendations to the Executive Committee and then the Executive Committee approve those or send them back to the table to re-write it?

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34 minutes ago, Guest TRay said:

We want to talk about a topic at the beginning of a membership meeting. If discussion gets lengthy - and it may, with various ideas - that discussion may need to be tabled to the end of the meeting due to a clinic that has a scheduled start time.   I am familiar with the process after the motion; however,  I have been clarify that we can talk about any topic, table it, restart discussion and then make a motion (or not)?  We will still be able to meet the quorum if we are forced to table it.

It is generally not in order to have discussion without a motion pending. If the assembly has nonetheless decided to do so, then yes, the discussion could be postponed (not tabled) to the end of the meeting.

34 minutes ago, Guest TRay said:

My second question is, can we appoint a By-Laws committee to make recommendations to the Executive Committee and then the Executive Committee approve those or send them back to the table to re-write it?

Committees appointed by the membership would generally report to the membership, but the membership may instruct the committee to report to the Executive Committee if it wishes. The Executive Committee may not itself approve the amendments to the bylaws unless the  bylaws grant it such power, but it could in turn recommend the amendments to the Board of Directors (if there is one), and then the membership, refer the amendments back to the bylaws committee, or amend the amendments as it saw fit.

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Thank you Josh.  Trying to wrap my brain around this.  How can there be a motion if no one knows to make a motion? Would the topic have to breached?  I understand that once a motion and seconded is made we can discuss that motion and then call for a vote.  How do we get it started?  Do I just come out and make a motion out of the blue?

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14 minutes ago, Guest TRay said:

Thank you Josh.  Trying to wrap my brain around this.  How can there be a motion if no one knows to make a motion? Would the topic have to breached?  I understand that once a motion and seconded is made we can discuss that motion and then call for a vote.  How do we get it started?  Do I just come out and make a motion out of the blue?

Exactly!

Otherwise you and the others will have no idea what you are talking about, in terms of coming to a decision.  That can make for a looooong meeting.

If you really have some idea of what is important, move to refer the general idea (stated, of course) to a committee  --  see pages 168ff. - with instructions to draw up a clear coherent motion and bring it to the next meeting.  Committees are the place to hash out possibilities, meetings are for decisions.

17 minutes ago, Guest TRay said:

We can have discussion on any topic right; should be on the agend?  Honestly, I would anticipate that a motion would not be brought forth.

RONR has no requirement that motions be placed on an agenda.   Just make the motion when you know what it is.

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3 minutes ago, Guest TRay said:

Thank you Josh.  Trying to wrap my brain around this.  How can there be a motion if no one knows to make a motion? Would the topic have to breached?  I understand that once a motion and seconded is made we can discuss that motion and then call for a vote.  How do we get it started?  Do I just come out and make a motion out of the blue?

Well, hopefully not. Here's one good practice: when new business comes up, a person makes a motion on a topic - i.e. "paint the clubhouse." It is likely in need of greater clarity. The assembly refers it to committee, which fills in the details, and reports out, at the next meeting, a motion to "paint the clubhouse red." Now debate is on that question. But what if I, a non-member of the committee (or a minority member) want it to be blue? Then I move to amend by striking red and inserting blue, and now debate is on the question: if the clubhouse is to be painted, should it be red or blue? We continue in this manner, getting the details right, and then vote on the now perfected motion. At each stage, we typically (absent filling a blank) face a binary choice (and even when we fill a blank, each vote is up or down), which avoids all the paradoxes of decision. 

Alternatively, just come in with a full-baked idea. Not having debate without a motion leads to more efficient meetings, in large part by encouraging informal collaboration and cooperation outside the meeting. Think of it this way: meetings are for business. Nights at the bar or a restaurant, with people who choose to come (either informally or by joining a committee) are for informal discussions. Those discussions eventually lead to motions, which are made at meetings.

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1 minute ago, jstackpo said:

Otherwise you and the others will have no idea what you are talking about, in terms of coming to a decision.  That can make for a looooong meeting.

 

Another great point. When someone says "I want to talk about the clubhouse" in a meeting, you're still in a position where, e.g., the chair is calling on people to speak. As a result, what often happens is people making speeches not responding to each other, but rather coming up with their own thing. Motions clarify and refine the issue so that everyone is speaking to the same points.

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39 minutes ago, Guest TRay said:

What about informal discussion before the meeting was called to order?

 

33 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

The rules in RONR apply to meetings. You are free to do what you want before the meeting. 

Yep.  And you are free to do what you want to and talk about what you want to during a recess.  If a few members want to briefly discuss something informally and try to come up with the wording for an appropriate motion, moving for a brief five minute recess can serve that purpose.  Then, when the meeting is called back to order, introduce the motion. In my experience, that works better than having someone make a poorly worded motion on the fly which is so awkward or deficient that the assembly must spend a half hour or more just trying to perfect it using multiple motions to amend....just to have it still be a poorly worded motion.

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