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Tomm

Are comments just comments?

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The Bylaws allow at meetings of the Board "time allotted for Members to make comments". This relates to non-Board members who are in attendance at Board meetings.

Would it make a difference if the members were allowed to make their comments at the end of the Board meeting after the Board has concluded its business but prior to adjourning, or if they were allowed to comment during the Boards debate process, (i.e. after the chair stated the motion but before they voted.)

I'm probably wrong, (as usual!) but I feel that allowing the comments during the actual debate process kinda changes the intent of the term "comment"? It's almost like allowing non-board members to actually participate in the Board meeting's motions? Or is the allowance of comments, just that comments and allowed at anytime?

 

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5 minutes ago, Tomm said:

The Bylaws allow at meetings of the Board "time allotted for Members to make comments". This relates to non-Board members who are in attendance at Board meetings.

Would it make a difference if the members were allowed to make their comments at the end of the Board meeting after the Board has concluded its business but prior to adjourning, or if they were allowed to comment during the Boards debate process, (i.e. after the chair stated the motion but before they voted.)

I'm probably wrong, (as usual!) but I feel that allowing the comments during the actual debate process kinda changes the intent of the term "comment"? It's almost like allowing non-board members to actually participate in the Board meeting's motions? Or is the allowance of comments, just that comments and allowed at anytime?

 

The board can allow comments by non-board members at any point in the meeting it prefers, but customarily it is done at the end of the meeting. I have also seen it done at the beginning of the meeting.

To allow nonmembers to participate in debate is a different matter. That can be done by suspending the rules, but it requires a 2/3 vote. 

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last sentence to first paragraph

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2 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

To allow nonmembers to participate in debate is a different matter. That can be done by suspending the rules, but it requires a 2/3 vote. 

And, to make it exceedingly clear, allowing members who are not members of the board to make comments during debate is allowing them to participate in debate.

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8 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

And, to make it exceedingly clear, allowing members who are not members of the board to make comments during debate is allowing them to participate in debate.

Is your reply based on the RONR that only members can attend meetings, make motions, speak in debate and vote, or is there a cite in another Rule that better defines the difference of when a comment is just a comment or when it interferes with another assemblies business?

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There are three levels at work here.

RONR says that non-members (of the body in session) have no right to attend meetings but may, with the permission of assembly.  And with further permission may address the assembly.  The assembly, by the principle that the it has control of its own hall, by majority vote can grant or revoke these permissions, impose limits on time and monitor closely the germaneness of any remarks.

RONR also has a rule prohibiting non-members from speaking during debate.  But this rule, being in the nature of a rule of order, may be suspended.  Suspension of the rules requires a 2/3 vote.

And RONR also has a rule prohibiting non-members from voting.  This rule may not be suspended, even by a unanimous vote, because doing so would violate a fundamental principle of parliamentary law.

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