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  • Someone asked:
    How did Robert come up with Robert's Rules?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      Henry Robert, as a young army officer, was assigned to preside over a meeting, which went so poorly that he determined to learn how to run a meeting well and never experience such an embarrassment again. This began his lifelong study of successful parliamentary procedures throughout the United States. He then wrote a book based on his studies. Robert's rules were not devised by Robert, rather the rules were collected from the best practices of organizations all across the nation ( in the same way that Webster did not invent the English language, but rather reports how most people are using the language.) Now, over 100 years later, the Robert's Rules book continues to be updated by a committee of researches who, in the same way as Robert, collect information on the current trends and practices being used by successful organizations. Robert's Rules of Order is a compilation of best practices for running effective and successful meetings.
  • Someone asked:
    Why do so many organizations use Robert's Rules?
    • Kirby Glad, RPR replied:
      Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, is used by about 80% of deliberative bodies (excluding state legislatures which often use Mason's Rules). The reason is probably that Robert's is the most complete and well researched volume on this topic. Ulike other works on the subject of parliamentary procedure (which means "meeting procedure") Robert's Rules continues to be updated even today by a committee of researchers which gather information on the current trends and practices of successful organization around the country.
  • Someone asked:
    What is the role of the Executive Committee? Once the body moves to take action, what authority does the Executive Committee have to change the body's decision.
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      The answer to this question is found in the governing documents of your organization, such at the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and/or Bylaws. If you want to send these documents to kirby@parliamentarian.com, we can discuss this further. The general rules is the Executive Committee has ONLY those powers specifically granted to it in the governing documents (such as listed above), and it is subservient to it's superior body, which can overrule or undue its decisions or actions at almost any time. For example, the Executive Committee of a Board of Directors could, in most cases, be reversed or overruled by a vote of the Board.
  • Someone asked:
    At our last general membership meeting, there were openings for 3 directors. Two were nominated leaving one seat open. The nominations were closed leaving one seat open. We will vote on the entire slate at our next meeting. Can someone be nominated from the floor at that meeting and voted on that same night? We appreciate your help! Thank you!
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      The answer to this question is found in the governing documents of your organization, such at the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and/or Bylaws. If you want to send these documents to kirby@parliamentarian.com, we can discuss this further. These documents can override the general rules found in Robert's Rules. The general rule is that nominations could be taken from the floor at the election. Additionally Robert's Rules allows for write in votes, so that even an un-nominated person can be elected.
  • Someone asked:
    What can you do if the chair does not recognize you after several tries.
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      If you feel like you are being ignored repeatedly by the chair, first think if you are legitimately entitled to be recognized. Generally the chair should recognize the first person to rise and address the chair, but there are exceptions to this. For example, the person who makes a motion is generally entitled to be recognized first in debate, even if someone else claims the floor first. Also is you are making dilatory motions, or otherwise seeking to obstruct or thwart the will of the assembly, the chair is entitled to ignore you. RONR (11th ed.) p. 343 ll. 2 If you are legitimately claiming the floor and continue to be ignored there are a couple of approaches. Catch the chair after the meeting, and ask “hey did you see me over there?”. If the meeting is large, it may simply be an issue of lighting, or not being observant. This may solve the problem for the future. For something more urgent, you could rise what no one else is speaking and state “Parliamentary Enquiry”, which the chair should immediately recognize. Your point would be “What are the rules for claiming the floor? I have been the first to rise several times but I have not been assigned the floor and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong”. This is a polite way of doing it. If you can’t even get recognized for that, then at a point where you are ignored and someone else is assigned the floor, you can interrupt the meeting and stand to say “Point of Order”. In this case it would be obvious to all if you are not recognized. Your point would be “I rose first to claim the floor, and it was out of order to assign the floor to another member.” Then the chair should either correct himself or explain why you were not called upon. Once of these should solve your problem in all but the most dramatic cases. But if not, for example if the chair does not even recognize your point of order ( again, be sure you are not being dilatory) you can even take your complaint directly to assembly and overrule the chair. This is described on page 650 of RONR, section 62.