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  • Someone asked:
    We have a process for approving motions via e-mail between meetings and reading them into the Minutes during the next regular meeting. What format/words should be used for reading these motions into the minutes?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      This is not covered in Robert's Rules of Order but it would be consistent with the rules if you included this in the secretary report, giving the exact motion that was voted on and the numbers for and against (unless the bylaws require a roll call vote). You would not include this in the approval of the minutes because there are no "minutes" to approve at that point.
  • Someone asked:
    How long after a Board meetings are the BOD required to publish meeting minutes to members of a 501C3 Club.
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      There is no specific deadline provided in Robert's Rules. In my experience, an effective secretary should be able to publish minutes not later than the end of the next business day. If it is taking longer than that, probably you are not doing the minutes properly. Minutes are not a transcription of the meeting, or even a summary of all the discussion points. The minutes only included that decisions that were made, or in other words, the motions that were voted on and the result.
  • Someone asked:
    Scenario: an Association meeting is held, a motion is made and seconded. Discussion ensues. It gets heated and a bit chaotic with many members speaking simultaneously. The presiding officer calls for the vote. The motion passes. Other business ensues. The meeting is adjourned. Several weeks later, a member claims that there had been a motion to table during the discussion. Is the vote invalidated? What happens now?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      When a member believes that a parliamentary rule is being violated, the member is obligated to raise a Point of Order at the time. Once a vote takes place, and the body moves on to other business, or ends the meeting, it is then too late to raise a procedural issue. There are only a few very specific exceptions to this requirement for timely raising a Point of Order, such as someone was elected to an office they are not eligible to hold. If the member does not like the way the vote turned out he or she can raise the issue again at a later meeting, in which case the original decision can be overturned with a 2/3 vote without prior notice, a majority vote with notice, or by a vote of a majority of the entire membership.
  • Someone asked:
    How does a Board put a motion on the the floor and second it if the purpose is only for discussion and not committing the mover or the seconder to vote for the motion?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      Neither the maker of the motion nor the seconder is obligated to vote for the motion. Indeed, the purpose of discussion is for the members to persuade each other, and all are free to change their minds. Small boards and committee have a special rule in Robert's that does allow some discussion before a motion is made - this promotes brainstorming and problem solving - but the sooner you are able to get a motion on the table, the shorter your meetings will be. The reason is that having a specific motion can focus the discussion, which can otherwise be too broad for too long. Specific questions regarding your organization can also be email to kirby@parliamentarian.com and there is no charge.
  • Someone asked:
    At our semi-annual HOA meeting in May, a motion was made to vote on raising the dues at the September meeting. The motion passed, without discussion, which was offered. At the September meeting, the motion was brought to the floor for the vote, and when I raised my hand for discussion, I was told that there is no discussion because the time for that was back in May, when the motion was first brought to the floor. the vote continued without discussion. Is this correct? and, if not, Do I have any recourse at the next meeting, or did something need to happen, right then?
  • Someone asked:
    Can a person serve as parliamentarian if he or she is on a committee being called into question? Is that not a conflict of interest?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      It really depends on what you mean by "being called into question". A parliamentarian has a duty of impartiality and even gives up the right to vote in most cases. If the parliamentarian is on the bylaws committee as an advisor, that would not be a conflict. If it is a policy recommending committee or a committee with power to act, that is a different story. If the committee makes a report the parliamentarian should probably recuse himself from acting as parliamentarian for that topic. The parliamentarian is only an advisor to the chair, and the chair makes all of the rulings, so even if it is a conflict, the only damage is the credibility of the parliamentarian.
  • Someone asked:
    As a director, I felt duped into attending an illegally called executive session. So I am questioning the legality of holding an executive session under those circumstances, the improper rescinding of a motion and the contents of the executive session being hidden when they were actually regular session policy matters. I have been told that if regular items are addressed in executive session that could open up the minutes to be disclosed to members, but my research has not revealed that to be true. Any guidance you can provide including pointing me to information would be appreciated. I don't mind doing research, but comprehensive information on Robert's Rules has been hard to find.
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      It seems that the essence of your concerns are about executive session. The only thing special about an "executive session" is that the members attending have an obligation of secrecy. A private society can have an executive session for any subject for which it feels the need for secrecy. RONR (12th ed.) 9:24 There are laws which limit the topics that can be held in executive session for government bodies. To enter or exit executive session requires a majority vote. If you feel the topics being discussed in an executive session do not require executive session, just make a motion to exit executive session
  • Someone asked:
    what is the point in making rules if the leader of labour party can just get away with it not once but 8 times ,if i broke a rule at work i would be punished ,it doesnt look good when the people we elect get away with it ,i wont be voting again whats the point
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      It is important for any organization to understand where the power is- and usually it is in the members. There are ways to discipline an officer or the chair who does not follow the rules. Sometimes these are laid out in the organization bylaws, and if not, there are default rules in Robert's Rules of Order, which are that a member can make a motion to censure an officer - which is an official reprimand from the members, or even make a motion that there be an investigation into the conduct of the leader for potential removal. No leader has the right to violate the rules that are made in the bylaws. If you want advice about your specific organization you can email your bylaws to KIrby@parliamentarian.com. There is not charge.
  • Someone asked:
    The question is about Roberts Rules and whether the person making the motion and the person making the second still need to vote. The motion to vote was made and seconded, when voting started the person who seconded the motion did not vote. When I asked her about this she stated that her second counted as her vote in the affirmative. Does the seconding of a motion count as a vote in the affirmative?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      The seconding of a motion is not in any way a vote. A second only signifies that person wants to discuss the motion. The person seconding the motion might vote for it or against it. Also the motion might be amended such the original person making the motion might even vote against it or even be talked out of it during the debate. The vote is completely separate from the act of making the motion and seconding.
  • Someone asked:
    When a new club president takes office can this new president dismiss/fire/remove executive officers who were appointed by the previous president?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      It depends on what your bylaws say, but the general rule is the position that has the power to appoint also has the power to remove, with or without cause. This doesn’t apply if the person is appointed to fill the term of a vacant position. Send your constitution and bylaws to kirby@parliamentarian.com and I can give you a better answer on this specific case without charge.