Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 112 July 2005
Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 112 July 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.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PROMT ANSWER. REALLY APPRECIATE IT. Jean
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Regina Scarlet wrote:
OUR CLUB WENT DORMANT AS THE FIRST OF JUNE. OUR PRESIDENT RESIGNED THEREFORE WE NO LONGER HAVE A LEADER. THE VICE PRESIDENT RESIFNED, THEREFORE WE JUST HAVE A SECRETARY AND TREASURER LEFT IN OFFICE. NO ONE WILL COME FORWARD TO TAKE OFFICE. MY QUESTION IS: SHOULD THE TREASURER STILL BE ABLE TO DISPENCE MONEY FROM OUR ACCOUNT?
WE ARE NO LONGER HAVING MEETINGS OR ACTIVITIES. PLEASE LET ME KNOW AS SOON AS POSSABLE AS I AM SAYING THE ACCOUNT SHOULD BE AUDITED AND FROZEN UNTIL WE GET NEW OFFICERS TO TAKE OVER.
The Treasurer only writes checks when the membership votes to pay bills. Even though you have no president, the secretary can send notices of a meeting, call the meeting to order and then some one can be elected chairman pro tem to conduct the meeting. Perhaps the members need to decide if they want to stay an organization and if not what to do with the money. If you are an incorporated organization or if you are a 501 3 (c) you have to be careful how money is spent. I think you are wise to get the account audited. But the members need to now decide if they want to continue or not.
Austin Lord wrote:
We have a small HOA in GREEN VALLEY Az. cosisting of twenty one lots but only twenty residences.
We have owned our home here for some 27 years with a hiatus of about 9 years to pursue business interests in Tucson.
Shortly after our return I was approached by a member of the board who asked me to take office I at first declined as I really had my fill of HOA'S in Tucson and the pettiness therein I was however persuaded and was elected promptly.
During our first meeting I became aware that this individual and his wife were both on the Board.
I approached the then President and advised him that I could participate unless one of them resigned as this was against the CCand R's he replied that he would have to ask the individual 's opinion ....needless to say my resignation was accepted and the husband and wife team remained on the board .Shortly after that the harassment started so much so that we consulted an Attorney who advised us that we were correct and wrote an opinion to that effect.I advised said individual accordingly needless to say the harassment has contnued and on the advice of the local JP court we are documenting everything.
On further investigation I find that all the elections were run by this individual without any monitoring of Ballot counts and it appears that he elected who would be on the board.
I found all of this behaviour most unprofessional and contacted a Forensic Sociologist to gain some insight she advised me that Ex Prison Guards have a difficult time adjusting to retirement and frequently exhibited two traits Power and Control which is exactly what I am seeing since this individual weighs in at about 525Lbs it is difficult to go face to face.....what now
Dear R. A.,
May I suggest getting the members interested in serving in the Association and learning basic parliamentary principles so that they can defend their rights and assume their proper responsibilities as members of an HOA? It always takes two to tango. The members have willingly allowed this to happened because they don't want to be bothered. You need to get them interested and let them know why they need to be "bothered" about self-government.
If a motion is made, seconded, and discussed, can the chairman refuse to call for a vote--just because he is against it. This chairman can only vote to break a tie. He does not have ordinary voting privileges.
No, he can't stop the vote on a motion that is moved, seconded, and debated because he is against it. He is to remain impartial. However, not only can he vote to brak a tie vote, but he can vote to make a tie vote. He can also vote in a ballot vote.
I am looking for information on the proper way to remove a secretary from office that borrowed $1000.00 of club money and then made a loan at the bank and put it back. We have asked her to resign, but she refused to do so and has the club in a mess. We have contemplated bringing charges against her with the DA, would rather handle it internally if at all possible. Please advise.
Do you have anything in your bylaws about removal of office? Was this officer elected by the members or appointed by someone? Was the person elected by the board? Do you have anything in your bylaws that state "serve for a term of ____ years or until the successor is elected?
Vanessa Bell wrote:
I have two questions regarding in-camera sessions held by our
1. Should there be official minutes of in-camera sessions?
2. Can motions actually be made and voted on while in-camera?
Members of our board have received conflicting information regarding
these two questions. Please advise.
Thank you for writing. I assume that you are in Canada since I have had questions about "in camera sessions before from Canada. If I remember correctly this means a "closed meeting" for a public body. Is that what you are talking about? Are there rules in your province for public bodies to go into an "in-camera session?' Could also give me a general idea what kind of topic that you are taking up in camera and what kind of motions the board would like to make? And who are the people that have given you conflicting information? Are they lawyers or parliamentarians?
James Washer wrote:
I've read (and understand to a degree) Robert's Rules of Order.
However, I don't see how this allows for general discussion (perhaps that is the POINT).
For example, at our home owners meeting, say someone wants to report that the lawn maintenance company didn't fix the broken sprinkler in the park.
Should this be a motion? "I move that the board contact the maintenance company blah blah blah"
This seems a bit heavy. Does Roberts Rules allow for an "open forum" where members can just informally bring something up?
It certainly does. When someone gives a report or the board gives
reports, anyone can ask questions. There is a great motion that allows
for informal discussion. Any can make a motion to consider something
informally. If it is adopted, then people can discuss an issue without
a motion being on the floor. But in reporting a maintenance problem or
such thing, there should be something on the agenda called for the "good
of the order". That allows members to state things such as "this needs
to be fixed" or give other suggestions for things that need to be
improved. It also allows members to thank the board or others for jobs
well done. When you understand the rules and how to apply them fairly,
almost anything can be accomplished.
Hi The Parliamentarian,
Another follow up question. You stated "Any(one) can make a motion to consider something informally. If it is adopted, then people can discuss an issue without a motion being on the floor." In my reading RONR (10th ed.), p. 160, l. 29, I find the motions "Commit" or "Refer" , but these are subsidiary motions to a main motion, are they not? If so, then there is a motion on the floor. Please note, I'm not trying to be a pain here, I'm just earnestly trying to learn Robert's Rules of Order to help me better participate in our HOA.
And yes, I see in RONR (10th ed.), p.350, l. 28, that "Good of the Order" can be used to handles these general discussions.
It's okay to ask to questions. The motion to consider informally is a variation of the motion to "Commit or Refer". In small groups instead of going into a committee of the whole you can use the motion to consider informally. This is made when business is pending. There is also an incidental main motion to "consider informally" that can be made when no business is pending. A member can rise and say " I move to consider informally the subject...." See pages 523 to 525. Or you might want to get our book "Robert's Rules of Order Simplified and Applied. It has information about this subject.