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Tomm

Can it be suspended

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On 11/23/2019 at 11:59 AM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

No, rules that have their application outside of the session which is in progress cannot be suspended. The rule to which you refer is a rule affecting the order of business at a subsequent session. 

I agree, but would this, broadly, be violation of absentee rights?  This session telling the next session what it can or can't do without establishing a special rule of order.

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I can't find it at the moment, but I recall that Mr. Brown and I were aligned, and Mr. Elsman and your were on the other side. The issue was about whether some action short of notice nonetheless should be treated as notice.

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2 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

I can't find it at the moment, but I recall that Mr. Brown and I were aligned, and Mr. Elsman and your were on the other side. The issue was about whether some action short of notice nonetheless should be treated as notice.

Be that as it may, I think in this case I agree with Mr. Elsman that it would be a bit of a stretch to consider the notice given to the previous board of the motion that was then referred to a special committee to be reported to the new board as constituting previous notice to the members of the new board that the motion will be introduced.

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Guest Zev
3 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

I think in this case I agree with Mr. Elsman that it would be a bit of a stretch...

OK, then let me try to stretch this a little bit. Would the fact that all the new members of the board had been on the same committee to which the question was referred to change anything?

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On 11/23/2019 at 9:12 AM, Tomm said:

"EFFECT OF A PERIODIC PARTIAL CHANGE IN BOARD MEMBERSHIP"

Can the rule requiring unfinished business to fall to the ground be suspended?

 

On 11/23/2019 at 11:59 AM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

No, rules that have their application outside of the session which is in progress cannot be suspended. The rule to which you refer is a rule affecting the order of business at a subsequent session. 

 

On 11/25/2019 at 2:15 PM, J. J. said:

I agree, but would this, broadly, be violation of absentee rights?  This session telling the next session what it can or can't do without establishing a special rule of order.

No, I wouldn't think so. 

Regarding persons who may constitute the assembly at a future session as being "absentees" at the current session whose rights are being violated rather boggles the mind.   🙂

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

 

 

No, I wouldn't think so. 

Regarding persons who may constitute the assembly at a future session as being "absentees" at the current session whose rights are being violated rather boggles the mind.   🙂

It a majority of the membership were present, then the action could be taken; those would be the absentees not present at the current meeting.  I could not come up with another reason  other than absentee rights.  What would the ground be for ruling the motion out of order, especially after the fact?

As an aside, if the assembly were to "adopt" a special rule, without previous notice, at a quorate meeting, but without a majority of the entire membership present, that would be out of order.  As of now, I would use the same argument that this violates absentee rights (at the current meeting).  Would you see another ground for ruling it out of order after the fact?

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8 hours ago, Guest Zev said:
11 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

I think in this case I agree with Mr. Elsman that it would be a bit of a stretch...

OK, then let me try to stretch this a little bit. Would the fact that all the new members of the board had been on the same committee to which the question was referred to change anything?

If every member of the board has officially been made aware that the committee will be reporting the motion back at a certain time, then I would say that changes things because no one's rights are being substantially violated.

All I'm saying is that there is merit to the idea that when all the business of a board falls to the ground because of a periodic change in membership, a previously made motion to Commit does not, or at least should not, preserve any previous notice of a particular motion. However, I may be all wrong about this. :)

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1 hour ago, J. J. said:

It a majority of the membership were present, then the action could be taken; those would be the absentees not present at the current meeting.  I could not come up with another reason  other than absentee rights.  What would the ground be for ruling the motion out of order, especially after the fact?

The presence or absence of a majority of the entire membership has no effect upon the validity of the motion to suspend the rules in this instance, nor does it have any effect upon the vote required for its adoption.

The grounds for ruling the motion out of order in this instance is the one I cited in my initial response (the one with which you said you agreed).

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19 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

The presence or absence of a majority of the entire membership has no effect upon the validity of the motion to suspend the rules in this instance, nor does it have any effect upon the vote required for its adoption.

The grounds for ruling the motion out of order in this instance is the one I cited in my initial response (the one with which you said you agreed).

 

You wrote:  " No, rules that have their application outside of the session which is in progress cannot be suspended." 

I don't see any reason listed on p. 251 that says that, except that it could violate absentee rights.  I agree that an assembly cannot tie the hands of a future session (except by a special rule or bylaws).  I do not see, except for a violation of absentee rights, any reason to rule the motion out of order after the motion has been adopted and the society has attended to other business.

(I could see an FPPL that said, the society can only bind the hands of a future assembly by means of a special rule or bylaw, but that is not identified in text.)

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1 hour ago, J. J. said:

 

You wrote:  " No, rules that have their application outside of the session which is in progress cannot be suspended." 

I don't see any reason listed on p. 251 that says that, except that it could violate absentee rights.  I agree that an assembly cannot tie the hands of a future session (except by a special rule or bylaws).  I do not see, except for a violation of absentee rights, any reason to rule the motion out of order after the motion has been adopted and the society has attended to other business.

(I could see an FPPL that said, the society can only bind the hands of a future assembly by means of a special rule or bylaw, but that is not identified in text.)

Take a look at page 264, line 29 to page 265, line 10.

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59 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Take a look at page 264, line 29 to page 265, line 10.

I agree, but the question what on p. 251 does suspending the rule violate, in this case? 

Do you feel that, if the assembly does suspend the rules for a future meeting, that suspension will be null and void? 

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25 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Do you feel that, if the assembly does suspend the rules for a future meeting, that suspension will be null and void? 

Yes, because there is no such thing as "suspending" the rules for a future meeting.

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Yes, because there is no such thing as "suspending" the rules for a future meeting.

What ground on p. 251 do you cite? 

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3 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

None. None is needed.

The book doesn't say that none is needed.

I maintain that the assembly could only permit business would carry over to the next session by adopting a special rule.  It could only adopt such a special rule, without notice, by a majority of the entire membership.  Anything else is a violation of absentee rights, as expressed on p. 251, e.

While I will agree that wording it as a motion to suspend the rules is improper,  I would not agree the mere wording is sufficient to  create a breach of a continuing nature.

 

Edited by J. J.

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7 hours ago, J. J. said:

I maintain that the assembly could only permit business would carry over to the next session by adopting a special rule.  It could only adopt such a special rule, without notice, by a majority of the entire membership.  Anything else is a violation of absentee rights, as expressed on p. 251, e.

While I will agree that wording it as a motion to suspend the rules is improper,  I would not agree the mere wording is sufficient to  create a breach of a continuing nature.

Creation of rules, and the rules governing creation of rules (discussed in Sec. 10 of RONR, 11th ed.) is one thing; suspension of rules, and the rules governing the suspension of rules (discussed in Sec. 25), is something else entirely. 

The question originally asked in this thread is one relating to suspension of the rules, and this is the question I have been addressing. It is a question having absolutely nothing at all to do with absentee rights. If you intended to go off on a tangent (as it now appears) and discuss rules relating to the creation of special rules of order, and the rights of absentees with respect thereto, it would have been helpful had you made that clear at the outset, and I would not have been inclined to engage in this colloquy. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Creation of rules, and the rules governing creation of rules (discussed in Sec. 10 of RONR, 11th ed.) is one thing; suspension of rules, and the rules governing the suspension of rules (discussed in Sec. 25), is something else entirely. 

The question originally asked in this thread is one relating to suspension of the rules, and this is the question I have been addressing. It is a question having absolutely nothing at all to do with absentee rights. If you intended to go off on a tangent (as it now appears) and discuss rules relating to the creation of special rules of order, and the rights of absentees with respect thereto, it would have been helpful had you made that clear at the outset, and I would not have been inclined to engage in this colloquy. 

 

 

Ultimately, that the reason the rule cannot be suspended is due to absentee rights.  By suspending the rules, improperly, so that the future session must consider these items, the current session attempts to place that choice beyond the control of the next session (p. 87, ll. ll. 6-11).  Placing something beyond the control of a future session, without using a bylaw or special rule, violates the rights of absentees, because either method requires some measure to protect absentee rights.  It would require either previous notice or a majority of the entire membership, both of which serve as a protection of absentee rights.

There is an identifiable reason why the rules could not be suspended beyond the current session.

 

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So as long as we are here,  I've often been troubled by the rule stated on pages 237 and 488-489 and  a more basic question to me is whether the rule serves a valid purpose when there is a change to only part of the board. [As opposed to a full board turnover.]  Since the authorship team is working on edition 12, perhaps this a good time to raise the subject for discussion.  Requiring reintroduction of unfinished business when there is only a partial turnover frustrates existing board members and unnecessarily delays pending business.  Many boards, especially local government boards, require two or three readings before action can be taken.  A board that meets monthly necessarily must then wait three months before it can take action on matters that may already have been through their second-reading and may have already been the subject of public hearings.  Imagine a city council deliberating changes to its "use of force" or "sexual harassment" policies having to explain to the public that there will be at least a 3-month delay because RONR requires they be reintroduced anew.  As a practical matter, in my nearly 30 years of professional practice I have never yet had a client observe this rule -- some have special rules that override this provision [knowingly or not]--  more commonly they are simply unaware of the rule and press on. 

I have no problem with the rule when there is a full turnover -- that's clearly a new board.  But I think the rule should be reexamined for partial turnovers.  In the alternative, I would welcome a good explanation of the purpose it serves with only a partial turnover. 

 

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While taking no position on your argument abut this rule in RONR, I note that in your complaint about the RONR rule, your example is that it complicates a rule that does not exist in RONR (the three readings rule). It seems to be a high standard you set: that RONR should work well with and not cause unintended consequences in another rule that a particular assembly adopts. Would the RONR rule be a problem if the board didn't have it's own (non-RONR) rule?

In the situation you describe, if the board finds itself in a situation where urgency is required, why couldn't it suspend the rule requiring three readings?

Edited by Atul Kapur

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2 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

If the board finds itself in a situation where urgency is required, it could suspend the rule requiring three readings.

That might not be possible for a govenmental entity, depending on where the "three-reading rule" appears. 

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Agreeing with SMB, the rule makes even less sense... and maybe no sense at all... if there is no actual turnover of members at all, such as would be the case if the members whose terms are expiring are re-elected.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added first three words.

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35 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Agreeing with SMB, the rule makes even less sense... and maybe no sense at all... if there is no actual turnover of members at all, such as would be the case if the members whose terms are expiring are re-elected.

If application of the rule is made contingent upon whether or not all members of the "old" board are reelected, then in many (if not most) instances the assembly at the last meeting of the "old" board will not know if they can or cannot effectively postpone a motion to the next meeting, nor will they have any way of knowing what will happen to business left unfinished at adjournment. 

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21 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

If application of the rule is made contingent upon whether or not all members of the "old" board are reelected, then in many (if not most) instances the assembly at the last meeting of the "old" board will not know if they can or cannot effectively postpone a motion to the next meeting, nor will they have any way of knowing what will happen to business left unfinished at adjournment. 

Isn't that true even if there is no change in membership?  The rules, at the future meeting, could be suspended to prohibit the consideration of the postponed items.

Likewise, if the question has been tabled at the prior meeting, the assembly may not take it from the table at the current meeting. 

Like some others, I'm not taking a position on the rule. 

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