Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 127 Oct. 2006
Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 127 Oct. 2006
Answers to your Parliamentary Questions
"Dear Parlimentarian" is written by the author of Parliamentary Procedures Made Simple: The Basics, an 80 minute video that tells how to have better meetings.
Don Gillispie wrote:
I am a member of a church that is governed by a Board of Trustees. The members of the board are well defined in our bylaws, but they do not indicate if the meetings are to be open or closed. We have one member of our church who shows up at every meeting of the board and other committees of the church and feels she should be allowed to participate in any debate that takes place there. There is nothing in our bylaws that covers such situations and I was hoping that you might be able to suggest some way for the chairman to shut her up. She is not a member of the board or the committees.
In organizations like yours, according to Robert's Rules of Order, only members can attend the meetings. If there was a provision in your rules to allow her to attend these meetings, that is all that she could do, is attend. She is not allowed to speak unless invited to speak. If you haven't adopted a parliamentary authority, please do so and then you can go that authority and show her where it states that she is not able to attend.
Cami Lucht wrote:
Hello-- our 4-H club has a question. In July of 2005, there was a motion, second and a passing of the motion to purchase a specific number of flocks at a certain price for Heifer International. A new
4-H year began and then in November of 2005, another motion was seconded and passed to buy flocks of chickens, but at a different dollar amount. The July 2005 decision was never followed through with and the flocks not bought the first time, due to the error of the treasurer. The fact that the July decision was never followed through with was not addressed or noticed by the members, hence the new motion. There was no intention of buy flocks of chickens twice--someone just didn't do their job the first time.
Guess I would like to know: can this first motion to spend $300 with Heifer International be over turned by a new vote to spend $320 with Heifer International? There was no amendments, just a new motion like the first one never took place.
In essence the club amended something previously adopted. I assume that it was adopted by most of the group? Did the minutes reflect how many people voted for or against it. If all the members voted for it, then it replaces the first motion. Does any one remember about how many voted for it or if any voted against it? The numbers voting for or against determines which motion stands as the valid motion.
Cami Lucht wrote:
I guess basically- In July 05 the whole club agreed unanimously to purchase 15 flocks of chickens at $20.00 a flock. It was ASSUMED the treasurer would send out the check to Heifer International. Our club then claimed this donation as a Community Pride Project at the 2005 Jackson County Fair, so everyone thought the check had been written. Then, in November 2005 (a completely different 4-H year) the Treasurer made a motion during her Tres. report for the club to send a check to Heifer Internationl in the amount of $320. This got approved unanimously with the Tres. report all lumped together. (Most of our members are 6th grade or younger). No one caught the fact that a 2nd donation was being brought up for the same organization. I was out of the room or I would have said, "Hey- H. I. was suppose to be taken care of in July, what happened?" There was not official amending of the July 05 ruling if she did not say "I move the amend the $300 donation with $320" right? It has become a real problem with in the club because the Treasurer then wrote the check on 12/31/05 instead of after the Nov. meeting and the check never got cashed by Heifer International and before turning her books over to the new Treasurer, she fabricated a deposit to "put" the un-cashed check back into the account, although it never left. I am just wondering if now our Club has actually voted to give Heifer International $620 vs. the original $300 decided on in July of 2005.
Sorry if this is so confusing! Thank you for all your help!!!
I hope you have a better Treasurer. What your organization voted to do was to send a check to Heifer International for $320.00. Even though the motion was not proposed as amendment, but because it was adopted and the last adopted motion on this subject, it in essence amended something adopted previously. So the last motion stands.
Hello ~ I serve on a 7-member board of a neighborhood improvement association. Our bylaws are pretty sketchy and say nothing about impeachment of a board member. One member is working at cross-purposes to the board and has even sent a letter to the other homeowners criticizing our board.
Is it ok if we vote to impeach her without asking her to attend our meeting?
Thanks in advance for your opinion.
NO, you can't impeach someone without asking her to attend a meeting. That is depriving a member of his rights. Second, if the bylaws do not give the board members the right to remove another board member you can't do it. Only the people who elected the board members can remove the board member.
This is what I suggest:
1. That you meet with the board member that you think is working at cross purposes and listen to this persons complaints. Perhaps they are valid.
2. A member of the board who does not agree with issues is not necessarily working at cross purposes. After all everyone has a right to dissent in an organization. However, once the majority has voted to do something, this board member is required to support the majority and willingly carry out what the majority has decided until this person can secure enough votes to rescind an action. This should be pointed out to the person.
3. The action that should be taken is this:
a. talk with the member, listen to grievances and see if valid.
b. point out to the member that it is not right to circulate a letter against the board. Differences should be worked out at the board meetings. If they can't then at the next membership meeting, the board member should make a motion and let the members decided.
c. If the member continues to do this, then the next step is the motion to censure. IF the member continues to work at cross purposes, then the next step is removal from office.
When you have done points "a" and "b", and then if you still need to remove, write me back and we will discuss the proper procedure.
When the HOA was transferred from developer to community we got to vote for 7 people to be on the board. Well the person from the management company that was in a rush to get out of there told us it was better to wait to get together and between us decide who was going to be what. Well three of the people got together first in one of there homes and decided between themselves who was president, vice, and secretary. Then e-mailed the rest of us said to meet together and gave us the news and told us if there were any problems with that. We were in shock and didn't say anything. And now we are seeing that everything has to go there way and everyone else is wrong. What do we do?
It was not a valid meeting of the board because a quorum of the board was not present. So therefore there election was not valid. You need to point this out and call a board meeting where all the members are present and elect officers. It probably says in your bylaws that a quorum is a majority of the board which would be four people. The meeting is also invalid because they didn't let the rest of the members know about the meeting. I can see that you are going to have problems with these three. They evidently want to run everything.
Mary Harshbarger wrote:
Please accept my apology, I stated we are requesting information on how to resolve our HOA.............my request is how do we DISSOLVE our HOA?
Please advise and again, thanks in advance.
Your state laws should have the right way to dissolve an HOA. However, if you don't rescind the covenants they still remain enforce and at a later time another association could be begun again based on the covenants. Also as long as the covenants remain, anyone can still enforce them. So be careful how you proceed. It is rather easy to dissolve the association that enforces the rules, but much harder to dissolve the covenants.
Michael, Linda Susan wrote:
Dear Mr. McConnell,
I have a quick question. Can a covenant rule be enforced on one homeowner is the same covenant has been already broken by several other owners and never enforced on them? We have purchased a shed for our home. The covenant rules do not allow for an ‘outbuilding’, however, several other homeowners in our association already have sheds and/or other outbuildings on their properties. The association board has never pursued the removal of these other sheds, but our neighbor is complaining. Do they have the right to pursue the removal of our shed alone? Wouldn’t they have to pursue the removal of all other sheds in the neighborhood as well?
Thank you any input you can offer on this matter.
Covenants should be enforced impartially. I would point this out to the board that it is difficult to make you take the shed down when the others aren't being asked to do the same.
Shaver, Theresa wrote:
I sit on the board of director's as the Vice-Chair.
We use a parliamentarian - but she is not professional or accredited.
If the chair feels strongly about a motion - can they step out of the chair and become a regular member and speak either pro or con to the motion. I took over for a few moments and let her do it.
She did not stay out of the chair until the motion was voted on. Which I believe is a mistake.
There was an "uproar" that this was improper and manipulative.....Our parlimentarian did not try to stop me doing this.
I would like to know if we went against Roberts Rules of Order.
Thanks for your comments.
Theresa A. Shaver
Yes, what was done was out of order. If the chair feels strongly about a motion and speaks, the chair stays out of that position until the motion is either temporarily disposed of or disposed of-- that means that a vote is taken on the motion. Once the motion has been disposed of --either adopted, defeated, or postponed, referred to a committee or laid on the table--then the chair resumes the post.
The parliamentarian only advises. If the members were in an uproar, some one should have raised a point of order and the person in the chair should have ruled. It is not only the parliamentarian's responsibility to thoroughly know the rules, so should the officers, especially the presiding officer, and so should the members.
Perhaps your people need some training in this subject. We do have helpful videos (also dvd's) that could train your people thoroughly in this subject matter.
Elena Jackson wrote:
i am interested in learning about how to have a good homeowners association.
My question at this time is "who can call a meeting?"
i am reading your web page.
Are you on the board? Or are you a member? The first thing that you need to do is read your bylaws. It usually states who can call a meeting. It is usually more than one person.
I was just wondering if a HOA could be terminated. We only have one street and most feel we do not need one. We live in Ohio. Thanks for your help. Coreen
Usually a HOA can be "terminated". You may be able to get rid of the association by dissolving the corporation. The covenants may be harder to dissolve. Consult with an attorney on this issue.
Susan Cooper wrote:
We have a board of 5 members that operate by the Roberts Rules. The board is a national board with members in 3 different states. At the last board meeting members asked that on of the board members prepared a contract for the Executive Director, send it to them via email, and they would vote via e-mail. The board member that prepared the proposal was only going to vote it needed in a tie breaker. Two votes have come back a yes and two votes have not come back and it is now past the deadline. Do the no response votes count as a yes or no? Should the board member that sent the proposal go ahead and vote? Does the proposal die because the majority of the members did not respond? sc
Do your bylaws state anything about voting? For example, All business transacted requires a majority of those voting; or all business transacted requires a majority of the entire board?
Susan Cooper wrote:
The by laws state the majority of those voting. sc
If only two voted and no one voted "no" then the motion is adopted. A no response is an abstention and it doesn’t count either “yes’ or “no”. So the two “yes” votes means it is adopted.