Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 109 April 2005
Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 109 April 2005
Answers to your Parliamentary Questions
"Dear Parliamentarian" is written by the author of Parliamentary Procedures Made Simple: The Basics, an 80 minute video that tells how to have better meetings.
Does the president of an organization have to turn the meeting to his V.P. in order to make a proper motion?
Thank you very much,
During an assembly meeting, he needs to step down and turn it over to the vice president if he wants to make a motion. He stays out of the chair until the motion is disposed of permanently or temporarily. If it is in a board meeting of members under 12 he can make a motion, debate motions and vote without leaving the chair.
We are a Chamber of Commerce that in the last 3 years has experienced a tremendous growth! With this growth, we are experiencing some Growing pains. We have always had very fun and relaxed meetings, but now we have a member (now that we have money) constantly asking for money for roof repairs. We are a small town with very old buildings which all need many repairs to them. We have informed this not for profit member many times that the Chamber cannot give funds to another member ( is this correct, according to roberts rules of order?) Our accountant informed us that we cannot give to a member. We have also stated that our Chamber is to support total growth of the Town of Warren but not to Sustain individual businesses. Also can officers make motions? We believe that if we give to this non for profit business then when will we say no to other businesses.... Please help, we are dealing with a very difficult member.
Here is how to bring a sense of unity and oneness of purpose to your Chamber. Pull out either your corporate charter and bylaws. Review the purpose of the chamber. It should be stated clearly at the beginning of one of these documents. This will help you bring all members into the understanding of what your chamber is to do. Robert's says that to make motions outside the purpose of the organization it first takes a two thirds vote to consider making a motion (giving the member money for individual roof repairs) and then it take a majority vote to adopt it. However, if your accountant has information (many non profit laws profit this and 501.3(c)) about members spending money to fix their own buildings then that supersedes your own governing documents.
An officer can make a motion. It is usually the president that doesn't make a motion. The president can make a motion in a board meeting in members under twelve.
PS. Whether you can spend money on the members depends on how your Chamber is set up and what he governing documents state about this. Once you get this clarified and explained to everyone, then that will solve your problem.
I am rather new to all of this and I might need a little help, if you can.
We are a 6 member club and operate under the parliamentary rules. We have 3 officers, president, vice president and sec/tres. The president is the chair and conducts the meetings. When there is a motion and there is a second and then brought to the floor for a vote and is voted on-there are 3 for and 2 against and then the chair votes and votes to tie-then there is 3 for and 3 against the motion is null and void. How would you ever get anything done if it always comes up to a tie?
Our club had a standing rule that the ruling of two officers is final. If the vice president and sec/tres agree on the motion and rule on that motion can it pass then?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
A ruling is different than a vote. The rule that you adopted that the ruling of two officers stand is really against he principles of parliamentary procedure. It should be the members that ultimate decide a ruling.
If there is a continual tie vote and motions are lost, then I would say that your small club has a very big problem. An organization that is split in half in all decisions can't last long. Is that what is happening? Or are you just asking a theoretical question?
Again, thanks for the response and answer to my question. Talking to our VP last night and agreeing with him, we (our club) hasn't been following the parliamentary procedures too much in recent years. With this in mind, we are a bunch that votes informaly, so saying that, if there is a vote and it is a tie--would you think that the ruling of 2 officers are final? Could this hold up? We all fork out alot of money to belong to this club and a certain few do most of the work as in most clubs. It really isn't fair, in my eyes, that the folks that don't but in much time or effort be allowed to have the club run their way. Like I said yesterday this president walks on both sides of the fence, one day he agrees and the next he is against--go figure. He has 1 more year then he is gone. But for now would you think this way of "breaking" a tie work?
What concerns me with your set up is that you are allowing two officers to have two votes instead of one vote. In a democratic organization it is one man one vote. And you are ultimately allow two people to run the organization is that what you want to do?
This is what I recommend: Make formal motions, have formal discussion and take a formal vote with both the "ayes" and "no" votes. Announce the vote and put that in the minutes. If it continues to be a tie vote, then bring it up at the next meeting, but this time work harder at getting people to agree to what has been proposed.
Henry Robert handle these kinds of problems this way. He got the members to read the "object of their organization" and then to look at the business proposed in line with their object or purpose. By doing that all disagreements were solved. I suggest you do the same.
If you are unhappy that some members do not work and others do, then address this problem in the rules or by changing the qualifications for membership or the duties to remain members.
PS. If I were "forking out a bunch of money" to be a member of an organization, I would want it run correctly. And if you are an incorporated society, the state you are incorporated with wants you to run it formally like a corporation. Perhaps some things need to be rethought.