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Executive Session and RONR


BabbsJohnson
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17 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

My question is this:

If by state law, our board is only allowed to broach a very narrow and specific list of topics in Executive Session, does RONR trump that in any regard, to allow for other topics to be discussed?

 

No! It's the other way around. Applicable state law trumps RONR.

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1 minute ago, Weldon Merritt said:

No! It's the other way around. Applicable state law trumps RONR.

Ok, so if we are using RONR, and something in an entry states that a thing not on that list "should be discussed in Executive Session", that's irrelevant if our state laws do not allow for it?

Sorry for the redundancy, but I just want to be very clear on this.

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5 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

Ok, so if we are using RONR, and something in an entry states that a thing not on that list "should be discussed in Executive Session", that's irrelevant if our state laws do not allow for it?

Sorry for the redundancy, but I just want to be very clear on this.

There is absolutely no doubt as a parliamentary matter that procedural rules in applicable law take precedence over RONR. So if, as you say, “by state law, our board is only allowed to broach a very narrow and specific list of topics in Executive Session,” whatever RONR may say on this subject which is in any respect in conflict with that law is superseded by the law.

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1 hour ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

Ok, so if we are using RONR, and something in an entry states that a thing not on that list "should be discussed in Executive Session", that's irrelevant if our state laws do not allow for it?

Sorry for the redundancy, but I just want to be very clear on this.

I don't know what "something in an entry" means.  But if you have a state regulation that says only certain topics may be discussed in executive session, then no other topics may be discussed.  State law supersedes the rules in RONR--read it carefully, and don't accept what others tell you it says.  The regulation may also state how the motion to go into executive session must be phrased, what motions can or cannot be made in executive session (even for allowed topics), and may have rules on how long and under what conditions the minutes remain secret.

If members stray from the allowed topic or, if the regulations so require, from the scope of the notice given in the motion, and if a friendly reminder goes unheeded, you should protect yourself by raising a point of order that this discussion violates the regulation, and then follow up to make certain that your objection and the chair's ruling are recorded in the minutes.

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38 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

If members stray from the allowed topic or, if the regulations so require, from the scope of the notice given in the motion, and if a friendly reminder goes unheeded, you should protect yourself by raising a point of order that this discussion violates the regulation, and then follow up to make certain that your objection and the chair's ruling are recorded in the minutes.

Very good idea...thank you

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So, following up on everyone’s answers, that leaves me with one final question...

 If we cannot stray by law from any of the authorized topics for executive session does that mean that we would have to do something like a disciplinary process in open session?

I am aware that committees could meet in closed session, but that they must be equal to less than a quorum of the board, so that a committee meeting is not a board meeting.

So...if not in open Session, Is this perhaps how a board member discipline or conflict problem would be solved? To appoint a committee to handle it,  and then allow the committee to meet in a closed session, and then perhaps report back to the board?

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1 hour ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

So, following up on everyone’s answers, that leaves me with one final question...

 If we cannot stray by law from any of the authorized topics for executive session does that mean that we would have to do something like a disciplinary process in open session?

I am aware that committees could meet in closed session, but that they must be equal to less than a quorum of the board, so that a committee meeting is not a board meeting.

So...if not in open Session, Is this perhaps how a board member discipline or conflict problem would be solved? To appoint a committee to handle it,  and then allow the committee to meet in a closed session, and then perhaps report back to the board?

 Be very careful here. I don't want to stray into legal advice, but in my experience, courts take a dim view of anything that smacks of trying to get around the provisions of state open meeting laws. So my advice for these questions would be to consult with a lawyer who is familiar with your state's open meeting law.

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4 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

If we cannot stray by law from any of the authorized topics for executive session does that mean that we would have to do something like a disciplinary process in open session?

Well, I haven't read your Sunshine regulations, but if it's a personnel matter, that's usually included as an exception.   Have you actually read the language?  If you're talking about the discipline of a board member, and it fits no exception category, then it may be something the legislature thinks would benefit from some Sunshine.

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I have read them, and it doesn’t include any language or category of discipline of a board member. It mentions discussion of personnel, meaning who the board might hire, fire, review performance of...

and hearings for homeowners that have either broken association rules or have some kind of complaint happening.

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11 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

So, following up on everyone’s answers, that leaves me with one final question...

 If we cannot stray by law from any of the authorized topics for executive session does that mean that we would have to do something like a disciplinary process in open session?

I am aware that committees could meet in closed session, but that they must be equal to less than a quorum of the board, so that a committee meeting is not a board meeting.

So...if not in open Session, Is this perhaps how a board member discipline or conflict problem would be solved? To appoint a committee to handle it,  and then allow the committee to meet in a closed session, and then perhaps report back to the board?

As I was afraid of, this discussion is quickly veering from “Do procedural rules in applicable law supersede RONR?” to “What does this particular law require?” I concur with Mr. Merritt that if there are questions on that subject, they should be directed to an attorney.

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18 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

As I was afraid of, this discussion is quickly veering from “Do procedural rules in applicable law supersede RONR?” to “What does this particular law require?” I concur with Mr. Merritt that if there are questions on that subject, they should be directed to an attorney.

Yes, that seems to be the next step...I’m working on that.

Thanks 

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1 hour ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

I have read them, and it doesn’t include any language or category of discipline of a board member. It mentions discussion of personnel, meaning who the board might hire, fire, review performance of...

and hearings for homeowners that have either broken association rules or have some kind of complaint happening.

Do they contain any exception for discussion of something like "legal matters" or "matters that could open the board to legal liability"?  If so, then speaking generally, and depending on what this discipline was related to, there might be times when such an exemption would apply.  

To determine if this is true in your particular case, for a particular matter, consult an attorney.

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On 5/28/2019 at 8:01 PM, Gary Novosielski said:

But if you have a state regulation that says only certain topics may be discussed in executive session, then no other topics may be discussed.  State law supersedes the rules in RONR--read it carefully, and don't accept what others tell you it says.  The regulation may also state how the motion to go into executive session must be phrased, what motions can or cannot be made in executive session (even for allowed topics), and may have rules on how long and under what conditions the minutes remain secret.

If members stray from the allowed topic or, if the regulations so require, from the scope of the notice given in the motion, and if a friendly reminder goes unheeded, you should protect yourself by raising a point of order that this discussion violates the regulation, and then follow up to make certain that your objection and the chair's ruling are recorded in the minutes.

You say, "State law supersedes the rules in RONR--read it carefully, and don't accept what others tell you it says." But from the rest of your post, it is obvious that you think we ought to accept what the regulators tell us the law says. :)

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20 minutes ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

You say, "State law supersedes the rules in RONR--read it carefully, and don't accept what others tell you it says." But from the rest of your post, it is obvious that you think we ought to accept what the regulators tell us the law says. :)

Chevrons are not just uniform decorations.

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On 5/30/2019 at 6:00 PM, Shmuel Gerber said:

You say, "State law supersedes the rules in RONR--read it carefully, and don't accept what others tell you it says." But from the rest of your post, it is obvious that you think we ought to accept what the regulators tell us the law says. :)

What the law invariably says is that the regulators may regulate by writing regulations, which have the force of law, unless a judge says otherwise.  I would, therefore, modify my advice above not to believe what others tell you, and suggest that if one or more of those others is a judge, who tells you what the law says, you could hardly be blamed for accepting it.  You may also wish to accept what an attorney says, but not if he or she is being paid by someone else.

On 5/30/2019 at 6:20 PM, Joshua Katz said:

Chevrons are not just uniform decorations.

Correct, they are also gas stations.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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