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New Motion that contradicts One Approved Previously


Guest KerryL1959
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I serve on an HOA board of five that approved a motion in January to spend $250,000 for repairs of some exclusive use common area components. Our board meetings are monthly except for December when we do not meet, so the January agenda was jam-packed with significant agenda items.  

At our May meeting, a board majority approved a different motion to spend $750,000 on this project by including a large number of additional components in the same category as the January decision.  The January decision was not rescinded or amended. I confess I completely forgot about the January motion.

Is the May decision valid?  If not, and I did vote against it, should I/other directors try to rescind the May decision? Advice please. thank you.

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16 minutes ago, Chris Harrison said:

Unless there is evidence that the May meeting adopted the motion with the necessary threshold to Amend Something Previously Adopted it would be null and void per RONR p. 251(b).

I concur, however, with such a small board, such evidence may not be difficult to obtain. If all five members were present (and none abstained), for instance, there would be no difference between a majority vote and a vote of the entire membership, and it already appears to be an accepted fact that the motion was adopted by majority vote.

Edited by Josh Martin
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I think a problem would exist only if the second expenditure motion was for the exact same thing. The fact that these two motions share some type of classification does not present a problem. If they cannot both be carried out independently, as Kapur has stated, then yes there would be a problem.

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2 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Well, a motion, the second one, to spend more would be out of order if there wasn't enough $$ in the bank to cover the larger (in total) amount to be spent.

Agreed, that would be an example of a situation where both motions cannot be followed. I just didn't want to assume that was the case. The wording of the question suggests this type of problem but doesn't say so explicitly.

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Sure, but the comment here was about the bank balance, which is something that can change from day to day. Maybe I confused the issue by introducing budgets, but my point was that I don't see any reason it's out of order to plan to spend more than you have, so I don't see why a motion to actually do it is out of order, either.

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1 minute ago, J. J. said:

Why?

The society could borrow the money

But that would require another motion.  If it was made first, and adopted, maybe OK.

But if the "overspending" motion was made (prior to the "get a loan" motion), it ("overspend") would be out of order as it would be impossible to comply with both motions (initial "spend" and subsequent "overspend") at the same time.

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30 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Why?

The society could borrow the money.

 

I agree.  The funds (or lack thereof) available might be a subject of debate on the motion, but would not, per se, be a reason to rule the motion out of order.  Someone in favor might announce that if the motion passes, she will offer other motions to cut spending in other areas, or to arrange for a loan or for a source of additional income.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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17 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Well, a motion, the second one, to spend more would be out of order if there wasn't enough $$ in the bank to cover the larger (in total) amount to be spent.

 

53 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Why?

The society could borrow the money.

 

 

23 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

I agree.  The funds (or lack thereof) available might be a subject of debate on the motion, but would not, per se, be a reason to rule the motion out of order.  Someone in favor might announce that if the motion passes, she will offer other motions to cut spending in other areas, or to arrange for a loan or for a source of additional income.

I agree with  the posts quoted above by J.J. and Gary Novosielski.  A motion to spend more money than the organization has in the bank is not our of order per se.  A motion to rob a bank to get the money would not be out of order, either, per the 11th edition, as the laws prohibiting bank robbery are not procedural laws.  Under previous editions, it might have been out of order to adopt a motion to rob a bank, but the 11th edition (or maybe the 10th) clarified that only violations of procedural laws cause a motion to be out of order.  Unwise, perhaps, but not out of order.  See pages 3, 125 and 251 of RONR 11th ed.

Edited by Richard Brown
Corrected typo and added citation
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29 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

I agree.  The funds (or lack thereof) available might be a subject of debate on the motion, but would not, per se, be a reason to rule the motion out of order.  Someone in favor might announce that if the motion passes, she will offer other motions to cut spending in other areas, or to arrange for a loan or for a source of additional income.

Or the organization's stock holdings could issue a dividend. Point being, to be clear, even if none of those things happened in debate, there's nothing inherently out of order, in my opinion, about adopting the motion. We do not know what the future holds.

Think of the consequences if such a motion were out of order. Suppose there is $100 in the bank, and I make a motion to spend $70. In order, right? But how can we know that, before the expenditure, the organization won't be assessed a $40 fine?

12 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

I agree with  the posts quoted above by J.J. and Gary Novosielski.  A motion to spend more money than the organization has in the bank is not our of order per se.  A motion to rob a bank to get the money would not be out of order, either, per the 11th edition, as the laws prohibiting bank robbery are not procedural laws.  Under previous editions, it might have been out of order to adopt a motion to rob a bank, but the 11th edition (or maybe the 10th) clarified that only violations of procedural laws cause a motion to be out of order.  Unwise, perhaps, but not out of order.  See pages 3, 125 and 251 of RONR 11th ed.

Exactly. In these days of overdraft protection, it isn't even the case that paying more than is in the account is necessarily impossible or illegal anyway. 

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