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Tomm

Special Rule of Order?

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A Board Meeting where members of the organization are allowed to attend:

If the Board votes to allow non-board members to participate during the debate phase prior to the Board's vote,  is that now considered a "Special Rule of Order" that requires a two-thirds majority vote of the Board to suspend?

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The rules in RONR say that a board may allow non-members to speak by majority vote. 

However RONR also says that only members may speak in debate.  Suspending that rule requires a 2/3 vote.  Merely doing so once does not create a Special Rule of Order, it simply suspends it for that one time. 

Has your board actually adopted a Special Rule of Order giving non-board-members the right to debate at all board meetings?  If so, then revoking that right would require at least suspending, and if desired, rescinding that rule.  

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Yes, the Board has voted to allow non-board members to speak during debate. I assume that, that now becomes a "Special Rule of Order". Is 2/3rd's the correct vote to suspend? 

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Thinking further!!! Does that mean that a vote to allow non-members to speak during debate is kinda out of order because the real vote should be to Suspend the Rules?

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The assumption that it "becomes" a special rule of order is questionable.  DId the board pass it as a Special Rule of Order?  This would require either

(a) previous notice (pp. 121–24) and a two-thirds vote or

(b) a vote of a majority of the entire membership.

 

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Well, an executive board is limited to adopting special rules of order that do not conflict with the society's rules of order. In this case, I doubt that the board has the authority if the general membership assembly does not also have such a special rule of order.

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1 hour ago, Tomm said:

the Board votes to allow non-board members to participate during the debate phase prior to the Board's vote,

What exactly happened here? Did the board vote to do this on a one-time basis? Did they vote that this should become the general rule for all board meetings?

We cannot tell if you have created a new Special Rule of Order without  somr more information. 

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This was a motion made by the Board that states: "I move to allow Cardholders the opportunity to speak on each Agenda Item as well as Motions that are listed on the Agenda prior to a Board vote."

It was not introduced as a Special Rule. It was simply introduced as a motion made by a Board Member as stated above. 

This is a permanent thing for all future Board Meetings!

I'm confused!?!?!

Should this have been introduced as a Special Rule of Order? 

Was the motion out of order because RONR only allows members to speak?

I'm trying to make the argument that I don't think this is a good idea. I think it will cause the Board Meetings to get out of control. Any suggestions?

 

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If it were meant to be a permanent "thing" for all future board meetings, then it should have been moved as a Special Rule of Order. It sounds like that was not done, so this motion was really just a badly worded motion to Suspend the Rules for that one meeting alone. It's too late to do anything about that meeting now.

Others, above, have explained to you how a Special Rule of Order should be moved and the vote it requires to be adopted. They have also noted that your board may not be allowed to do this if it is not in accord with the rules of your Society.

 

 

Edited by Atul Kapur

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23 hours ago, reelsman said:

Well, an executive board is limited to adopting special rules of order that do not conflict with the society's rules of order. In this case, I doubt that the board has the authority if the general membership assembly does not also have such a special rule of order.

Can yo please elaborate on this a little? What would be a similar special rule for the general membership?

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Yeah, that's a good question.  The general membership typically will not have a rule either allowing or prohibiting non-members from attending general meetings.  Other than secret societies, most groups don't need one.  In that case I don't see that as limiting the board from adopting a special rule of order allowing nonmembers (or general members only) from attending meetings.  After all, how can a rule conflict with something that does not exist?

Groups that wish to assure that general members can attend board meetings, even when the board would rather not have them, will (carefully) put a rule in the bylaws to prevent the board from suspending it or adopting a contrary rule.

But in general, the most flexible option is to adopt no firm rule, which is what RONR does. It says that any assembly (including boards and committees) may decide when and whether to admit non-members to its meetings, as it sees fit.  A lot depends on the culture of the organization.

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On 9/20/2019 at 9:38 PM, reelsman said:

Well, an executive board is limited to adopting special rules of order that do not conflict with the society's rules of order. In this case, I doubt that the board has the authority if the general membership assembly does not also have such a special rule of order.

It's too bad that this reply hasn't gotten more attention. I see a very large number of responses, in other topics, about procedures for adopting a special rule of order, but they're probably not applicable because the case seems to involve a subordinate board, which cannot adopt a special rule of order that conflicts with the parliamentary authority.

RONR is rather clear that nonmembers are not allowed to speak in debate unless the rules are suspended for that purpose.

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