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Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 51 May 2000

Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 51  May 2000
Answers to your Parliamentary Questions
drvideo@comcast.net


"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.


Dear Parliamentarian

I can't find the answer in my summary of Parliamentary Procedure concerning motions. Maybe you can help?  If a motion isn't seconded must the original motion be recorded in the minutes of the meeting?It seems to me it shouldn't since it wasn't debated but I don't know for sure.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Bob Janauskas,
Ocala, FL

Dear Bob,

You are right. A motion that does not get a second is not recorded in the minutes. Only those motions that get a second, or without a second are place by the chair to the assembly for discussion and vote are recorded in the minutes.

The Parliamentarian

 

Dear Parliamentarian

When a neighborhood elects a President does he pick his comm. chairman's or should they be elected by the neighborhood.

Peggy D. Chastine

Dear Peggy,

If it isn't in the bylaws, then the members need to adopt some kind of rule that establishes the committees and who is to appoint them.

The Parliamentarian

 

Dear Parliamentarian

I was wondering if you could answer a simple questions regarding voting procedures?  As happened, I am an agent for an Association.  At a meeting with all five board members present, there was a vote on an issue. The vote ended as 2 yes and 3 abstained.  Does the vote pass with more yes votes then no or does it die?
Please respond to our e-mail address at foxmngmt@aol.com. Thank you for whatever help you can supply.

Mara Feldman-Fox
847-831-8822
P. O. Box 577
Highland Park, Illinois 60035-0577

 Dear Mara,

If your bylaws say that it takes a majority vote to adopt, then the motion was adopted with two votes because abstentions don't count. However if the your bylaws or rules say a majority of those present or a majority of the board then the motion failed because a majority in that case would be three votes in the affirmative. Even thoough the abstentions aren't votes, not enough people voted to carry the motion.

The Parliamentarian

 

Dear Parliamentarian

A situation arose at a meeting I attended last night. I need an answer. Hopefully you help.The bylaws of a non-profit community theater organization had very unclear rules as to who had voting rights within the organization.The executive board then decided to "interpret" the bylaw as to who had voting rights.Apparently the voting rights stated in the bylaws gave voting rights to "adult members" of the organization only. However there three classes of members, full subscriber members, student/senior citizen subscriber members and cast/crew members.
In addition, some of the letters the organization sent out on their stationary asked cast and crew to join. And with this membership they would be entitled to voting rights as well.
The executive board then decided, about a month ago, they only wanted full and student/senior citizen subscriber members to have the right to vote. Therefore they voted to "interpret" the bylaw at a meeting to reflect their wishes without informing or asking the body to vote on it.
My question is, did they have a right to do this legally according to Robert's Rules and if not, how can the vote taken last night be overturned. What would be the steps in doing this. Thanking you in advance,

Marv

Dear Marv,

If the executive board gave members the right to vote without amending the bylaws then their action is null and void. All you do is need to point this out to them and tell them that they need to present an amendment to the bylaws for the voting membership to adopt.
The executive board can't inerpret the bylaws without allowing the members to do that. When there is a problem of interpretation, the entire membership is to decide the interpretation and not just the board. Then Robert's Rules states that the bylaws should be amendment ASAP to fit the interpretation.  Hopes that helps.

The Parliamentarian

Copyright 2000 Robert McConnell Productions, all rights reserved.