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Request for RONR help with Aug 30 mtg

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I am respectfully asking if one of you (maybe a retired person with some spare time) might help me to navigate RONR prior to and during a PTA Executive Board special meeting to be conducted via email and called for my removal from elected office as Secretary of a Council-level PTA this Friday, August 30, 2019, at 7 p.m.

I need advice prior to the email meeting and then potentially during the email meeting.  I anticipate the email meeting to be extremely short without debate and for me to be removed from office.

In that case, I plan to appeal my removal directly to the National PTA.

I have copies of all bylaws and emails.

I originally posted in the advanced forum because I read one answer about email meetings in the general discussion forum that seems incorrect.  I need my answers to be correct.  I mean this comment nicely. ;)

Edited by PTA Mom

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From Council PTA:

This email serves as the official notice for a special meeting of the County Council of PTA’s (HCC) executive board pursuant to Article 9, Section 6 of the HCC Bylaws, which reads as follows:

“…Special meetings of the executive board may be called by the president or by a majority of the members of the executive board, five (5) days’ notice being given. A quorum of the executive board members shall be a majority of the members of the executive board then in office.”

The purpose of this special meeting is to call to vote for the removal of the current Secretary of the HCC and will occur on Friday August 30th, 2019 at 7:00pm. This vote will be conducted electronically (via email) in accordance with Article 9, Section 10 of the HCC Bylaws, which reads as follows: 

“The executive board shall reserve the right to vote on business via electronic vote. Only the president shall have the authority to call for an electronic vote and to establish the guidelines for that vote. The established quorum of the executive board shall prevail. Results must be recorded in the minutes and ratified at the next executive board meeting.” 

An email will be sent to the executive board again stating the purpose and requesting a “reply all” to acknowledge attendance.  After that is complete, and a quorum has been established, another email will be sent requesting an official vote, again through the “reply all” feature via email. 

Once the votes have been tallied, an email announcing the official results will be sent to the executive board. All documentation will become part of the official minutes and be placed on file.

Edited by PTA Mom

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1 hour ago, PTA Mom said:

I posted in the advanced forum because I read one answer about email meetings in the beginner forum that seems incorrect.  I need my answers to be correct.  I mean this comment nicely. ;)

When you ask for free advice you get what you paid for. I mean this comment helpfully.

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From State PTA:

The email notification regarding the special meeting is in accordance with the approved bylaws of the County Council of PTA.

The proceedings will be in accordance with Roberts Rule of Order, of which all State PTA Bylaws are based. The Article within the bylaws that this action is based on is;

...Article 9: Executive Board. Section 5. If any member of the executive board shall at any time, cease to meet the qualifications or fulfill the duties of the position, that person may be removed from the board by a majority vote of the executive board...

The President of Council of PTA has given proper notice of the special meeting and defined the method in which the electronic meeting and vote will commence.

Thank you all for your service and commitment to County Council of PTA’s.

Edited by PTA Mom

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Hi Atul Kapur,

Thanks.  I know.  I’d really just like to 1) get as many ideas as possible as to motions that I could make, and 2) practice which motions I might be able to make based on circumstances.  Based on her email, I truly think that the president’s plan is to open the meeting and call directly for a vote.  I think the plan is to preclude any debate.  In the case that the president allows any debate to occur, then ‘personnel’ type info might be included in the minutes.  Based on her email, she plans to send three emails:  open the meeting, call for a vote, and announce results.  It appears to be an email only meeting (versus teleconference).

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3 hours ago, PTA Mom said:

posted in the advanced forum because I read one answer about email meetings in the beginner forum that seems incorrect.  I need my answers to be correct.  I mean this comment nicely. ;)

That's not what the Advanced Discussion forum is for, and I doubt it would make any difference in the quality of the answers. Anyone who can post a response in the General Discussion forum can post one in the Advanced Discussion forum, and vice versa. (Starting a new topic in the Advanced Discussion forum, however, requires registering as a member.)

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2 hours ago, PTA Mom said:

1) get as many ideas as possible as to motions that I could make

I would first note that all of this should be taken with a large grain of salt, since RONR says the following regarding email meetings:

“A group that attempts to conduct the deliberative process in writing—such as by postal mail, electronic mail (e-mail), or facsimile transmission (fax)—does not constitute a deliberative assembly. When making decisions by such means, many situations unprecedented in parliamentary law will arise, and many of its rules and customs will not be applicable (see also pp. 97–99).” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 1, footnote)

Setting aside this major problem, I would think the most useful motions would be...

1) To raise a Point of Order if you believe the removal itself, or some aspect of the process, is in violation of the organization’s rules, followed by an Appeal if necessary.

2) To move to Postpone the motion.

I don’t know what you had in mind, but I don’t know that many other motions would be useful.

2 hours ago, PTA Mom said:

Based on her email, I truly think that the president’s plan is to open the meeting and call directly for a vote. I think the plan is to preclude any debate.

Generally, motions to limit or end debate require a 2/3 vote for adoption.

2 hours ago, PTA Mom said:

In the case that the president allows any debate to occur, then ‘personnel’ type info might be included in the minutes.

So far as RONR is concerned, debate is not included in the minutes, so whether or not debate occurs will not affect what is included in the minutes. (It might be argued that the organization’s rules provide otherwise on this point.)

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Thank you so much!  I talked to two lawyers with parliamentary experience today who both agreed that the meeting does NOT appear to be following RONR.  The problem is that neither the council or state level PTA actually care to follow RONR!  So, I can cite RONR, and the members will just ignore me and do whatever they want - which is to remove me as an officer (under a pretext but mainly because I was concerned about them omitting to follow RONR and the bylaws).  It’s a very small board so it is easy to get a quorum and/or majority - especially by email - without a teleconference requirement and with a near instantaneous vote.

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Remember that the bylaws supersede RONR. Your bylaws, at least what you have shared, seem to allow this type of meeting and this type of voting.

I suggest you contact a parliamentarian to do a detailed review of the bylaws and advise you as to what options are open to you.

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