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coleche

Officers on Board Not Allowed to make a motion

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Hello

I am a new member of a Board where the officers can not make a motion  after they give their committee report.  Most of the officers also chair a committee, so after they give their committee report, someone else has to put  a motion on the floor(another officer or member of the Board). This is not in our organizations bylaws or policy and procedures.  I dont understand this because I thought  if the person is a member regardless of position, they had the right to make motions, a  fundamental right of membership. 

It seems to be okay with the board members because this is coming from our Parliamentarian.  Is this a board policy , I am not familiar with.  She insists this is correct procedure, where is this in RROO?

Thank You

Cheryl

 

 

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The reporting member of a committee generally moves the committee's recommendations. Officers, by contrast, do not move their own recommendations in their reports. It seems as though these concepts are getting confused because many officers also chair committees - the rule about officer reports, though, applies only to officer reports, not committee reports.

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The way I read the rule on pages 476-477 about officer's reports, it is more of a "should" rule than a "must" rule.  Here is the text of the pertinent section:

REPORTS OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS. In addition to their annual reports, the president and vice-president from time to time may wish or need to report on their activities in connection with administrative duties. Such reports are usually for purposes of information only, but may sometimes contain recommendations calling for action by the assembly. In either case, the reports should generally conform to the rules [page 477] as to form, substance, and disposition that govern committee reports (51). Motions to adopt or implement any recommendations should be made from the floor by a member other than the reporting officer.

I do agree with Mr. Katz that if an officer is also a committee chairman and is making a committee report, it is perfectly appropriate for him to make the motion for the recommended action on behalf of the committee. He is reporting in his capacity as a committee chairman, not as an officer.

Edited by Richard Brown
Re-drafted entire post

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Some years ago, one of the Authorship Team members was asked where the rule, (page 476-477) saying that officers should not move their recommendations in a report (if any) but have another member do so, actually came from.  No one seemed to know why that rule is there.  Indeed they had asked Henry (no no longer possible, sadly) and he had the same answer.

Seems some point to the rule in the case of the presiding officer -- impartiality and all that -- but the other officers?  Any ideas, or history?

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3 hours ago, jstackpo said:

No one seemed to know why that rule is there.

There was once a man who asked his wife why she always cut off the ends of the pot roast before she put it in the pan...

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Guest Zev
3 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

There was once a man who asked his wife why she always cut off the ends of the pot roast before she put it in the pan...

I believe the rest of this story is that her mother always did it that way because the pan was too short! :D

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You know, I wonder if that rule was invented by some organization seeking a way to allow their presiding officer to make a report with recommendations without leaving the chair during debate, because of the trust in impartiality over it. For a committee chaired by the presiding officer, there is not as much of an issue, because the chair has a duty to present the report and support it, and normally would only refuse to do so in the event of an intense disagreement. Since it's an official duty to do so, the presiding officer can present the report and make the motion without nearly the same potential impact on impartiality, perhaps.

(I'm not sure I agree with the reasoning. But I can see it as a potential line that arrives you at the state of things.)

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Perhaps the rule exists because officers do not have a deliberative function as do committees.

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33 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Perhaps the rule exists because officers do not have a deliberative function as do committees.

Well, they don't have deliberative functions as such, but if members, they are part of a deliberative body. Why is an officer moving a recommendation in his own report different from an officer moving to amend the minutes, to adjourn, or to allocate $500 to paint the clubhouse red when it is not part of his report?

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FWIW, I note that the "rule" is expressed more explicitly by General Robert in Parliamentary Law.  The following passage, in my opinion, is worded more emphatically than the "should" rule in RONR.  From  page 301 of Parliamentary Law:

Ordinarily, no motion should be made to accept the report of an officer.  If recommendations are made, a motion should be made to refer them to a committee, or a resolution may be offered in conformity with the recommendation.   In no case does the officer make a motion relating to his own report, whereas the chairman of a committee is the one who  should make the motion to dispose of the committee's report.  (Emphasis added).

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