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  • Someone asked:
    Our softball team by-laws require us to wait a month until the next meeting to vote on an amendment to the by laws that was introduced at today's meeting. The bylaws also require a 2/3 approval to pass. Can we vote to by-pass the monthly wait provision? Would we need a simple mJORITY, OR 2/3? Thank you.
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      No, you cannot bypass the one month waiting time prescribed in your bylaws, unless that is a specific exception in your bylaws that would allow it. The purpose of such a provision is generally to be sure the members have enough time to review and think about the proposal, and for people who are concerned with that issue to plan to attend the next meeting.
  • Someone asked:
    Is there a way for a board to present multiple ways forward and ask the voting members of the organization to choose their preferred course of action? Or to rank their preference? Essentially, we'd like to convey that our board has considered the various courses of action, and we believe that A, B and C are viable. We present them with the recommendation that one of them be selected, but without preference for which. (Not acting, in our case, is the only option that really isn't viable.)
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      Yes there are a few ways to do this. It depends on how complicated the different options are. The easiest way to do this is to make a motion to suspend the rules and allow the body to vote on the three options, with the first option to receive a majority vote being the winning idea, and if no proposal gets a majority, then the lowest vote getting proposal is dropped and the vote is taken again on the remaining options. The body can approve this method of voting by a 2/3 vote. Then then best option is selected by majority vote. If you would like more specific advice on your situation please contact me at kirby@parliamentarian.com. There is no charge for the initial consultation.
  • Someone asked:
    We had a union member come into an executive session to provide some information. They were not informed the board was in executive session. Can we still treat the info given as having been given in exec. session?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      Yes, in fact you must. "Executive Session" applies to those who belong to the meeting. If you all knew it was Executive Session, then you must treat it that way, regardless of what the guests might do.
  • Someone asked:
    Our club bylaws say (i) Any proposed nominee who receives two-thirds of the vote of the ballots cast shall be considered elected to membership in the Chapter. Our member further says the membership can vote for "up to 4" nominees. Our new member election had 9 nominees and only one nominee received the required 2/3 vote. Does Robert's Rule speak to this structure by either confirming it, discussing it or finding it invalid? Thank you
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      In your method of voting, you would consider that individual as elected, and then vote again (with everyone having 3 votes, or the number of votes as the number of open offices). Under Robert's Rules you keep repeating the balloting until you get enough winners. Normally you would have rules for your election (such as in your bylaws or in Special Rules of Order) where you drop the lowest vote getter after each round, and continue until someone gets the required vote. If you would like more specific advice on your situation please contact me at kirby@parliamentarian.com. There is no charge for the initial consultation.
  • Someone asked:
    We are heading into the process of amending our organization’s Constitution. First, should we change the name (so named many, many decades ago) to bylaws? The constitution allows for immediate Past President to be on the Board with voting rights- unless already on the Board-for one year. Our IPPs have not participated in this manner and have left the Board following their term, except for one who is still on the Board 2 yrs following turning over the gavel (did not seek presidency reelection but was still in middle of term, then was reelected to Board as a regular Board member). Should we consider removing this IPP provision since it’s not used as described? There are no duties listed for or any other references to IPP anywhere else in our constitution. Sent from Mail for Windows
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      1. Whether you call it "constitution" or "bylaws" does not matter. If only matters if you have two separate documents, then one is your "constitution" and one is your "bylaws". This is done when you want to have some rules (the constitution) that are harder to change than the bylaws. 2. If you are not practicing a provision of your bylaws, then you need to either remove it or start doing it as described in the bylaws. Choose whichever is better for the success of your organization. If you would like more specific advice on your bylaws please contact me at kirby@parliamentarian.com. There is not charge for the initial consultation.
  • Someone asked:
    A resignation is received by a Board which must have a motion to accept the resignation, a second and a vote to accept. No such motion is made; a motion to table discussion/consideration is made (with a 60 day date). Prior to the 60 day period ending, the resignation is withdrawn. What is the status of the Board member who submitted the resignation?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      A resignation is a motion to request being excused from a duty. If the motion is not approved by the body, then the resignation is not accepted. In this case the resignation is still under consideration if, as you say, it was postponed definitely for consideration at a later time. Once the motion is stated by the chair it no longer belongs to the person who made it and that person cannot simply withdraw it without the permission of the assembly. Therefore the fate of the board member is still in the hands of the board. They can take up the matter at the next meeting and vote to accept it or not. The board member in question could also move to withdraw the motion of 'request to be excused from a duty' and the board could vote on that. Either way, the matter is in the hands of the board now. Of course if your bylaws say something different, that would apply.
  • Someone asked:
    My club's Bylaws: Membership Requirements. Each applicant for membership who is in good standing with AKC shall apply on a form as approved by the board of directors. The application shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by these bylaws, the RTCA’s Code of Ethics, The Rules and Regulations of The American Kennel Club and AKC’s Code of Sportsmanship. The application shall state the name, address, telephone number and email address. It shall carry the endorsement of two (2) voting members in good standing from different households along with their email addresses so that the secretary may confirm the endorsement. No signatures will be required of the sponsors. The application shall also provide space for the signature of the applicant [electronic signature is acceptable]. Accompanying the signed application, the prospective member shall submit dues payment for the current year. The application may be sent via mail or email and payment may be by check or electronic transfer of funds (if available). If the preceding requirements are met, the membership is granted. At our Annual Meeting, Membership applications were accepted and granted membership. The secretary was not at the meeting and could not verify the endorsements. Are the memberships valid? Or do the memberships need to be on hold until the paperwork is sent to the secretary to verify the endorsements and that payment has been made?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      Using only the information provided, the memberships are valid. The members had the ability at the member meeting to raise a Point of Order regarding any irregularity in the process. If they fail to do so, it cannot be raised at a later date. They also could have referred the matter to a committee to resolve the issues. Having chosen to approve the memberships rather than these other two courses, the memberships are valid. At this point, the members could be removed only by the following the provision in the bylaws for removal of members.
  • Someone asked:
    In a Board meeting once a motion has been made and seconded. Is it appropriate during discussion for a member to state their view and say how they will vote? Is this possible intimidation of the vote?
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      Holding an open and even passionate debate not "intimidation of the vote". Conflict in debate is expected after a motion is made, and it is the way good decisions are made.
  • Someone asked:
    A governing board is using Standard of parliamentary Procedure (NAP) as their Rules of Order. At a Regular Business Meeting, a motion is created, seconded, and passed to send a topic to a Standing Committee (on Regulations) to evaulate and bring back suggestions to the board. The next Regulations Commitee meeting is next qtr. There is another Regular Business Meeting in the same qtr the motion was passed and before the Regulations Committee meets. A board member asks to have a "Discussion Topic" added to the agenda of the Regular Business Meeting on the issue that was referred to the Committee. Is this in order? Should this topic be discussed at the Regular Business Meeting and on it's agenda or are we supposed to wait until after the Regulations Committee meets? If we are supposed to wait, can the rules be suspended so that it can happen anyway. We've got board members strategizing and it's not really my thing 🙂
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure is published by the American Institute of Parliamentarians (AIP) and is the second most commonly used parliamentary authority in the United States. The most popular is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised which is adopted by the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP). Regardless, if there is only a "discussion" and no motion is made, then no rules are being broken, except that it may be a waste of time as you will probably have the discussion all over again when you get the committee report. If someone makes a motion on the issue that was referred to the committee that DOES break a rule because you already voted to send the matter to the committee, so to take action on the motion that you sent to committee you will have to undo the decision to send it to the committee. Thanks for your question.
  • Someone asked:
    I am a member of an chapter in the alumni association. My membership privileges' were taken away from me, by violating the bylaws. Can I sue the chapter
    • Kirby Glad, PRP replied:
      That is a legal question, and this page covers parliamentary questions. If you want to ask about the process to get your membership back through the use of your bylaws, I could help you with that. You can send your bylaws and circumstances to kirby@parliamentarian.com. There is no charge for an initial review.