Parli Procedure
Resource

   

Introduction

Hire a Licensed Parliamentarian

Parliamentarians
Licensing Authority

Order Form

How To Have Effective Meetings

Little Ben

Home Owners Association
Homeowners' Association
Proxy Voting
A Homeowner's Experience
HOA Blog

Committees

ByLaws

Newsletter

Dear Parliamentarian

Popular Products
Robert's Rules of Order: Simplified & Applied 2014
Competition Package
Competition Package
Dynamic Video & Book Combination - How to Conduct a Meeting
Dynamic Video & Book Combination - How to Conduct a Meeting
How to Conduct a Meeting
How to Conduct a Meeting
How to Run a Meeting (DVD & CD-PPT)
McMinutes: A Training Manual for Secretaries
McMinutes: A Training Manual for Secretaries
Nominations & Elections
Nominations & Elections
Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple: the Basics
Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple: the Basics
Robert's Rules of Order in the Courts (Law Cases)
Robert's Rules of Order in the Courts (Law Cases)
Roberts Rules of Order in Spanish & English
Special DVD and Book - DVD: Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple: the Basics and Book: Robert's Rules of Order: Simplified & Applied 3rd Edition 2014
Special DVD and Book - DVD: Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple: the Basics and Book: Robert's Rules of Order: Simplified & Applied 3rd Edition 2014
Teacher's Package
Teacher's Package
Un Guia para Sessiones Effectivas - in Spanish
All About Motions Video
All About Motions Video

Order Form

Las Reglas Simplificadas de Orden (FREE)

Parliamentarian For Hire

Helpful Links

How To Run A Meeting

Contact

Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 84 Feb. 2003

Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 84  Feb. 2003
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.


Diane Norland wrote:

 

It was great to find this site!  Thank you.

 

At our church's Annual Meeting, the chair had a council member present the proposed budget to the meeting.  After the budget had been presented and questions from the membership answered, the chair asked for the vote.

 

Isn't proper procedure this:

CHAIR: The next item on the agenda is the yearly budget.  May I have a  motion to accept the budget?   (Motion made)  Is there a second? (seconded)  The budget motion is now open to discussion, questions.  Bob will present the proposed budget to the body.

 

The budget is discussed with questions answered.

CHAIR:  If there are no more questions, we will proceed with the vote.

 

Then voting takes place.

IN OTHER WORDS, isn't any discussion of business supposed to occur after a motion brings the business to the floor?

 

There had been an informational (only) meeting the week before, so all had access to the agenda before hand.

 

Thank you,

Diane Norland

 

Dear Diane,
        Yes, the correct way is the way you stated.  However, in addition to asking for discussion, he should have allowed for members to proposed amendments to the budget.  If everyone was satisfied with the budget, as evidently, they were what the chair did was assume a motion and then took a vote.

The Parliamentarian
 

Sandra Riegel wrote:

Dear Parliamentarian:

I work for a non-profit youth serving organization.  I have written scripts for recognition awards but not a script for our annual meeting when we elect new officers of the board and nominating committee.  This year we will also elect a new president.  I am in need a a format to follow for our president to use. We start with minutes, treasurer's report, etc. Can I find this in a manual, etc. I want to make sure I am using the correct wording.  Thank you
for your help

Sandra

 

Dear Sandra,
    I have a meeting script that I have written for a new product that we are currently working on entitled "McMinutes:  A training Manual for Secretaries."  It tells the president what to say and when to say it.  If you give me your fax number I will fax you an example.

The Parliamentarian

Dan Douglas wrote:

Dear Parlimentarian,

 Can a vote be taken by email for a board and not violate Roberts Rules?

 Dan

 

Dear Dan,
    Robert's does not provide for an e-mail vote.  You would first have to have this provision in your bylaws and then careful procedures adopted to see that it was carried out properly.

The Parliamentarian

 

Dear Robert,

You've been very kind to answer my questions in the past, I'm very grateful for your responses.

We have a Annual Meeting coming up March 24.

We used to have our meetings at our next-door country club. We had a very difficult time

get a quorum of members. We always had to telephone members we knew were home to

come to the meeting so we would have a quorum. Very stressful.

Our CC&R's are the same as all the other CC&R's that I have read covering meetings.

Florida State Statutes say 30% for a quorum, which is 113 in our association.

Last year we decided to mail all ballots to members, with a cover letter, a ballot, a return-addressed-stamped  envelope with a small envelope to place the ballot, to be put in the return envelope and sent back to our homeowners association address.The meeting was now able to be held at our clubhouse.

It worked very well and a goodly portion of our members responded.

The envelopes were opened during the meeting by our teller's committee.

We had spaces for write ins, but they would not be known to other members who were voting, unless that member went from door-to-door. That's the only draw back for write ins..

A couple of days after the meeting, I called the write ins and they said they were not interested,

that someone else had put their names in without their knowing it. I was looking for the write ins for future resignations, hoping they could be put on a list.

We still had a meeting, but from 406 homes we only saw 50 members participate in the meeting.

Q. Can someone move for a motion at this meeting with so few members, or do we have to have

    a quorum of members present at the meeting for a motion to be valid?

    This is a member's meeting and I assume anyone at the meeting can move for a motion

    and a vote taken. ??? The board cannot move for a motion as a board, but just as a member

    like anyone else, correct?

If you have the time to respond, I thank you, in advance, for any help you can supply. Thanks

 

Dear Florence,
    The only motions that can be made when there is no quorum is  to recess and get a quorum, or to set the time for an adjourned meeting.
    Are you allowing people to bring proxies and have the proxies count in the quorum?  Does state law say that 30% is the quorum or does it allow the bylaws to set another quorum number?  That is a high quorum number especially for large organizations.  Some how you need to impress upon your members the importance of attending the annual meeting.  Perhaps you need to have some kind of party with it so it will be fun and entertaining, or some business that is so controversial that everyone will want to attend.
    The board can present a motion that says, "By direction of the board,  I move that...."  One member of the board makes it in that form.   By making it in that form,  the motion does not need a second.  But it is still handled like a main motion from a member.  

The Parliamentarian


florence weber wrote:
 

ARTICLE III- The Association - section 3 - Annual Meetings

The first annual meeting of the Association shall be held one(1) year from the date of incorporation of the Association. Thereafter the annual meetings of the Association shall be held on the same day of the month of each succeeding year.  If the day so designated falls on a legal holiday, then the meeting shall be held on the first secular day thereafter. At the annual meeting the members may transact such business of the Association as may properly come before them. The time of all meetings shall be set by the directors and the directors, by majority vote, may change the date of the annual meeting.

 

Section 7. Quorum The presence in person or by proxy at the meeting of members entitled to cast thirty-three and one-third per cent (33 1/3) of all votes, regardless of class  of membership, shall constitute a quorum for any action required by the membership, except as otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation, the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions or these Bylaws.

 

Section 8. Adjourned Meetings.  If any meeting of members cannot be organized because a quorum has not attended, the members who are present, either in person or by proxy, may adjourn the meeting to a time not later than ten (10) days from the time the original meeting was called, and hold the meeting adjourned, without additional notice, provided that a quorum can be obtained for such meeting.

 

If we can rely on the above underlined words, we can conduct business without a quorum of bodies, and the ballots that were sent and returned are considered proxies or absentee ballots. When I send in my vote on my stock, I am not there, but they can still conduct business. Am I looking at this with a wishful eye?

 

My cover letter could explain (if legal) that business may be conducted by the members in attendance at the annual meeting. We do have refreshments at our meetings.

 

Florida Statutes changed the % for a quorum to 30% and that overrides our covenants.

 

Q. We have committees, at different times, picking paint colors, etc. Does that committee     have full authority of final say on the color, or must they give their recommendations to the     board and the board members decide? This is extremely important that I know this. I read the     Florida Statutes, Corporate Statutes, our CC&R's and can find nothing on assigned     committees, except for architectural control. They seem to have full authority.

Thanks again. I really appreciate your help.


Dear Florence,
    They can't conduct business unless they have enough proxies and people present to be considered a quorum.  If they don't have 30% of the members present in person or in proxy they can't do anything but set the time for an adjourned meeting.
    If the committee was appointed and given the control to pick the colors etc. then they have that power.  If not then the Board would have the power.  You need to find out who created the committee and then what power was given to them.  
 

florence weber wrote:
 

Hi The Parliamentarian...thanks for your help. We don't have proxies anymore, but we mail ballots, so are the ballots returned, plus attendees at the meeting considered part of the quorum for our annual meeting?  Last year we had plenty of returned ballots for a quorum but only 50 members showed up at the meeting.  If so , then we can do business...right?  I'm having a little trouble with the quorum proxy bit. Our members do their own voting.

We used to have proxies, but we never had enough members at a meeting to have a quorum,  but we have this new procedure of mailing ballots, and it's working well..

What I understand you to say is that the ballots and attendees can be counted together in order to have a quorum. So if we have 30% of the ballots returned but only 50 people show at the meeting...we still have a quorum and can do business, right?

So who has the right to give the committee the power to make a final decision?

I just saw the colors the committee has picked for the color of our clubhouse...yuk!

I'm an artist and I know colors and it's still yuk!

Thanks again for your help.


Dear Florence.
    Unless your bylaws state that mail ballots are counted in the quorum,. they are not counted in the quorum.  What you e-mailed me said "proxies" were counted in the quorum.  If you are doing a mail ballot to elect officers they can be counted when no quorum is present.  But again that should be in the bylaws.  Also when electing officers it should be either done by a mail ballot or at the meeting--not both.  Why don't you recommend that the board members contact a parliamentarian in the area to help them sort this entire thing out.  It sounds like they were given bad advice somewhere along the way.  If the bylaws haven't been changed then they should still be using proxies.  In our association what I have designed is a proxy with a proxy ballot. If they can't attend the meeting, the proxy is a limited proxy for that meeting and includes the names of those nominated for office on the proxy.  They can vote for the members on the proxy and then give it to someone to carry to the meeting. You can go to the web site <parli.com> and look under Homeowners associations.  It has it on the page.
    Now about the colors the  committee picked. Why don't you ask the board who has the final say and then volunteer to be on the committee?   I think that is the easiest way to solve that problem.

The Parliamentarian


Donna Mannon wrote:

In our current bylaws there is no mention of how to amend or revise.  Our bylaws were revised in 1993 and they do not follow Robert's Rules of Order.  In the bylaws it is stated that Robert's Rules of Order are to be followed for conducting meetings.  My question is do we need a motion and vote before a committee is assigned to do this?

Dear Donna,
    I would recommend that someone make a motion to form a bylaws committee and then give instructions about what they are to do -- propose amendments or prsent a complete revision, and then when to report to the assembly.  If it is a complete revision, it may take some time to do it. But be sure that they give regular reports aobut how they are progressing.  I am  currently working on the bylaws of my church.  We are bringing them into agreement with both the Non profit codes of our state and Robert's Rules.  It is a very long process.

The Parliamentarian

Aytncc@aol.com wrote:

Dear Mr. McConnell:

I am a member of a nonprofit organization whose by-laws presently state that the elected officers of the association shall be a president and a vice-president.  The term of each office is two years. There is also an approved election procedures document that states that officers elect should shadow the presiding officers for a period of one year in order that they become more familiar with the duties of the office.  Accordingly, the last two presidents of the association have been elected one year and 6 months, respectively prior to the end of the term of the presiding president. We have not elected a  vice-president elect over the last four years nor have the vice presidents chose to run for the office of president.

At a recent meeting, it was suggested that a bylaw  change be made to add the officer, president elect.  Discussion of this is to be continued.  My question is:

If  the president or vice-president elect is to become the next president or vice-president, should the elect officers be added in the by-laws?  Would we than have four elected officers instead of two as has been the situation throughout the history of the organization?

Thank you very much for helping me  make a more informed contribution to this continued discussion.

Aliceteen Taylor

 Dear Aliceteen,
    What you in essence have done is make the office of vice-president a hybrid office of vice-president and president elect.  Let me tell you what a president-elect is.  It is an office where you elect your president a year before the person actually serves.  So instead of electing a president the organization is electing a president-elect.  In organizations where there is such an office the term of president is one year, but in essence the person who does become president is really in a one year training program before he or she becomes the president.  In organizations where there is a president elect this has to be in the bylaws, and the bylaws state that when the president is absent the president elect fills this position instead of the vice-president. If there is a vacancy in the office of president the bylaws state that the president elect fills the vacancy instead of the vice president. The bylaws also provide for how to fill a vacany in the office of president-elect.
    If you want your officers to have a two year term in president and vice president, then don't assume that the  vice president will want to hang around two years and then be president for two years.  Many people don't want that kind of commitment.
    I would recommend that you have president, vice-president, etc. as officers, and allow them to serve for two one year terms.  Then choose the best people prepared to be nominated for president. Those people who are prepared for this office can usually be trained quickly in the duties without having to "shadow" someone around for a year.
    If you want to have a president elect, then read what Robert's Rules of ORder Newly Revised 10th ed. says about it on page 441.

The Parliamentarian

John Johnson wrote:
Hello,

During the correction of the minutes, I noticed a motion that passed at our last meeting that would effect the outcome of how members were to be elected. So I moved to reconsider the vote on the motion. There are two items on the agenda, officers reports and nominations.

We cant proceed with nominations because the motion in question effects it.

My question to you is, what kind of motion is this, and how do we deal with this during the correction of the minutes?

Thanks, John.

 Dear John,
    If you made the motion to reconsider at the next meeting, that was the incorrect motion to use.  IF a motion is adopted that conflicts with bylaws or rules of order concerning election procedures, then the motion was null and void unless it followed the procedures for amending bylaws or election rules. And the presiding officer should have ruled it null and void.  However, since it has already been done, the minutes should state the motion was made to reconsider the vote on such and such a motion because.....Then that it was adopted.  After the motion to reconsider the vote is adopted, then the members take a vote on the motion that is reconsidered.  The vote on this motion should be stated in the minutes of the next meeting.  I assume it was defeated.

The Parliamentarian

Claire & Jared wrote:
 

Dear Mr. McConnell:

 I live in a condomium complex that recently experienced a division among the 5 Board members.  2 members resigned during a heated and volatile Board meeting on January 9 of this year, attended by 20-25 property owners, myself included.  Highly inappropriate comments were made by 2 of the other Board members which I'm sure contributed towards the resignations.  Following the meeting, 2 of the remaining Board members composed meeting minutes and mailed them to the 90+ Association members.  Upon receipt of the minutes, which included 2 full pages of Board member comments, I realized that the majority of the comments of the previous meeting were grossly distorted, slanted and revised to give a completely inaccurate version of what actually took place.

These 2 remaining Board members stand to be recalled at the next Board meeting on February 25.  Not only did they distribute meeting minutes that have yet to be approved at a subsequent meeting, but the minutes included information and statements that had no place in meeting minutes, i.e. comments made by Board members and residents having nothing to do with any motion or vote.

 I live in southern California and have been unable to find any laws or regulations governing the distribution/alteration of meeting minutes from a HOA Board.  I would like to take these individuals to task for their actions.

Can  you help me?

 Sincerely,

 C. Massey

 

Dear  C Massey,
    I believe there is a law in the state of California that was adopted in the 90's that says each organization must adopt a parliamentary authority and follow it.  If Robert's Rules of Order is your authority then you can take them to task by using that book.  
    Minutes are not considered official until they are approved by the board.  Also in minutes, member's discussion is not included.  Important facts may be included, but not members discussion.  What you have is not a minutes problem but a problem of a few people trying to run things.  This is what needs to be solved.
    May I suggest that you start democracy training programs in your association and some basic classes on parliamentary procedure.  If you have the second edition of our book, there is a small section about Home Owner's Associations in the second book.  There is information about minutes and the very first chapter is about democracy--its principles and importance.  
    We are also working on a big project to be released hopefully at the end of March for secretaries and taking the minutes. May I suggest that your association invest in some of our videos and training tapes.  It may be your salvation.

The Parliamentarian

FFMeltdown@aol.com wrote:

Dear Parliamentarian,
 I am in a local union in the IAFF. We use Atwood's rules of order. I made an amendment to our constitution and by-laws in December. It was immediately referred to the constitution and by-laws committee as stated in our locals constitution, it further states that the floor may only do this in the December meeting and that "the committee shall make its report and recommendation regarding the proposed amendment at the regular membership meeting in January." I made a motion to discharge the constitution and by-laws committee in January. My reasons were that the committee failed to meet and have a recommendation by the January meeting as required by our constitution. I used Atwood's rules of order page 76, section 7, page 78 section 10, and page 246 section 1 to support my motion. The president ruled that this was out of order. I didn't think I was, so I tried to appealed to the floor. The president stated that I couldn't do that and I would have to file a grievance or charges to the IAFF. I informed him that I would do that. After  numerous questions from the floor, he allowed my motion to vote to
"discharge the committee from further consideration of my proposed
amendment." At that time he informed the floor that if the committee was discharged it would kill my proposed amendment to the constitution and by-laws. Is this true? I had thought that if you "discharge the committee from further consideration of the motion" that it would come to the floor for any amendments to the amendment, and final action would take place on the floor.
 I did figure out that our local's by-laws states "no committee shall be discharged until all obligations assumed by the said committee have been fulfilled and carried out to the full satisfaction of the president." I find this more controlling that what is said in Atwood's rules of order. What is your opinion of this? I thank you for your time and advice toward my questions.

Sincerely, Tom

 Dear Tom,
    The Bylaws always take precedence over the parliamentary authority.  It sounds like the organization has written the bylaws so that members can't propose bylaw changes.  By what you have written, the chair was correct in ruling your motion out of order because of the way the bylaws are written.  I would recommend that you find a way to get appointed to the bylaw committee and convince the members that your bylaws are very undemocratic.  Until you get the structural changes made in your bylaws, the members will not have much voice in the union.

The Parliamentarian

Tom & Barb Lindeman wrote:
 

A member of the board is now using a motion to clear the floor to in effect
start over.  I see no mention in Websters New World  Roberts Rules of Order.
Is this a correct motion and what is its ranking?

Tom Lindeman

 

Dear Tom,
    I do not know of a such a motion.  If you will give me an example,. perhaps I can find the right motion to use.

The Parliamentarian

Arles Baker wrote:

Dear Sirs:

We are about to have our first Community Meeting and present a bylaw presentation to our homeowners.  We have one couple (thats good, only one) that is expected to cause many disruptions, handing out leaflets, personal agenda items, questioning procedure?? any Board policies.)  We have an agenda and would like to stick to it but also want to address real concerns of ANY of our members.  How can we manage this coulpe and anticipated disruption?

Arleen Baker
Secretary, Homeowners Association

Dear Arleen,
    When you give everyone the agenda, also give them rules of behavior for the meeting.  I have done this and gone over these parliamentary rules with the assembly before the meeting begins. I asked the assembly if there were any questions about the rules before we began the meeting. Then I impartially enforced the rules during the meeting as the presiding officer.  By doing this it allows everyone to speak and ask questions and keeps the meeting in order.
    The only way a meeting can get out of hand is for a presiding officer to let it get out of hand.  I would recommend that your presiding officer be well informed about meeting procedures.  If the presiding officer knows the rules, is fair to all the members under the rules, everyone will get to speak and be happy with the results.  Many times the problem is not with the people attending the meeting, it is with the person conducting the meeting. May I suggest that your presiding officer get a copy of our video "Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple:  the BAsics."  It is available at many libraries or it can be purchased here.  Also our book Robert's Rules of Order Simplified and Applied  would help too.  
    If you need the rules to include with the agenda, let me know and I will look at one of my agendas and e-mail that to you.

The Parliamentarian  

 

Claire & Jared wrote:

Dear Mr. McConnell:

 I live in a condomium complex that recently experienced a division among the 5 Board members.  2 members resigned during a heated and volatile Board meeting on January 9 of this year, attended by 20-25 property owners, myself included.  Highly inappropriate comments were made by 2 of the other Board members which I'm sure contributed towards the resignations.  Following the meeting, 2 of the remaining Board members composed meeting minutes and mailed them to the 90+ Association members.  Upon receipt of the minutes, which included 2 full pages of Board member comments, I realized that the majority of the comments of the previous meeting were grossly distorted, slanted and revised to give a completely inaccurate version of what actually took place.

 These 2 remaining Board members stand to be recalled at the next Board meeting on February 25.  Not only did they distribute meeting minutes that have yet to be approved at a subsequent meeting, but the minutes included information and statements that had no place in meeting minutes, i.e. comments made by Board members and residents having nothing to do with any motion or vote.

I live in southern California and have been unable to find any laws or regulations governing the distribution/alteration of meeting minutes from a HOA Board.  I would like to take these individuals to task for their actions.

 Can  you help me?

Sincerely,

C. Massey

 Dear  C Massey,
    I believe there is a law in the state of California that was adopted in the 90's that says each organization must adopt a parliamentary authority and follow it.  If Robert's Rules of Order is your authority then you can take them to task by using that book.  
    Minutes are not considered official until they are approved by the board.  Also in minutes, member's discussion is not included.  Important facts may be included, but not members discussion.  What you have is not a minutes problem but a problem of a few people trying to run things.  This is what needs to be solved.
    May I suggest that you start democracy training programs in your association and some basic classes on parliamentary procedure.  If you have the second edition of our book, there is a small section about Home Owner's Associations in the second book.  There is information about minutes and the very first chapter is about democracy--its principles and importance.  
    We are also working on a big project to be released hopefully at the end of March for secretaries and taking the minutes. May I suggest that your association invest in some of our videos and training tapes.  It may be your salvation.

The Parliamentarian

Iaianstyne@aol.com wrote:

Having served on the BOD for my community both self governed and managed, I have come across an issue that seems to have no clear answer. In previous years, when I served as a Board member, my husband was not elected to the BOD. This current year, both my husband and myself were nominated and elected to the BOD. Our fiscal year is coming to a close and one of the Directors now is addressing the concern that she thinks it is unfair that both my husband and myself are entitled to a vote in a BOD decision. It is my understanding though nothing in our documents states otherwise, each member of the Board of Directors is entitled to one vote provided the topic does not directly pertain to them. In which case they may not have a vote. Nothing in the by laws or other governing documents states information or rules regarding this. It does state however that as a member of the community, when it comes to voting, each household no matter how many owners there are, is only entitled to cast one vote in matters relating to the Association, which in those cases, when we cast  a vote as homeowners, we only cast one vote. I have purchased your book " Roberts Rules of Order Simplified and Applied" and can not find anything in it regarding this type of situation. I would greatly appreciate it, if at all possible your letting me know what the quidelines for a situation like this would be. Thank you for your time... Carinda Raftery, President Oak Landing Homeowners Association.

 Dear Cathy,
    Look more carefully in your covenants.  In homeowners associations, the vote and the ability to hold office go with the property and not the number of people living  on the property.  With this type of structure then, only one member of the property can be on the board.  Even though you both of you  were nominated for office, only one of you are able to serve under the documents.  In the election the one who had the highest vote would be the one who won the board position.  The only exception to this would be if you owned two pieces of property in your association.  
    For example, both my husband and I can serve on the board because we own two lots.  We pay assessments on the two lots and we therefore each have a vote.  But that is because we own two pieces of property,.
    Now this is what needs to be done.  The secretary should have recorded in the minutes all the names of the nominees, and how many votes each received.  The board needs to look at this.  Whoever in your family received the highest vote, is a board member the other person is not and should graciously step down.  Then the member that received the next highest vote on the list should take one of your place. So one of your election is not valid and this should be corrected immediately.

The Parliamentarian

JofaJohn@aol.com wrote:

I am the president of a 700-player youth hockey organization.  We have a Board of Directors consisting of 4 officers and 6 directors.  The officers serve 1 year terms.  The directors serve 2 year terms.  The terms of the directors are staggered 3 / 3.

We are having an election of officers and directors.  A nominating committee accepts nominations and we accept nominations from the floor at the annual meeting.  Four people are running for vice president.  Suppose that no candidate receives the majority of votes.  Does the candidate with the greatest number of votes get elected even if it is not a majority of the votes cast?  Or do we need to have a second vote?  If we need to have a second vote, is it for the 2 of the four candidates who received the greatest number of votes in the first ballot?

Currently, we have at leat 5 candidates for the 3 directors' positions.  Same question as above for the vice president.
Thanks for any guidance you can give me.

JofaJohn@aol.com

Dear ,JofaJohn@aol.com
    You must keep voting until someone receives a majority vote.  If you have no election rules, then all names remain on the ballot.  One thing that will help you is to read how many votes each candidate receives.  Usually people change their votes and vote for the person who has the highest number of votes.  May I recommend our video "Nominations and Elections?"  With this many people nominated, the vote should be by ballot. The tellers should record the votes on a tellers' sheet to read to the assembly and then give to the president to read and announce the vote.  Our video explains all.

The Parliamentarian

Hi,

My 15 yr old is in 4-H and would like to do a demo/report on Parliamentary Procedure and how the Leaders should arrange themselves in the meeting and conduct the meeting.

What resources would you suggest?  Currently at the club meetings members outside the President and VP are sitting at the head and the treasurer is sitting in the back while the Secretary sits at the side towards the middle.  The member "tables" are in the form of a rectangle with space at the head for about 3-5 and the sides about 8 and the back 3-5. The conduct of the "older head" members is distracting to the younger members who are not part of the leadership.

Thank you for your help.

Also my daughter is considering becoming a Parliamentarian (Sergeant at Arms?) next year for our club

Deb Taylor

 

Dear Deb,
    How old are the younger members and why are they not able to participate in the government of the club?  

The Parliamentarian

 

The younger members range from 5 to 12 and our bylaws state the age requirement of 13-18 with at least 1 yr with the club.  The treasurer is 12 by special vote this year thru a 1 year amendment excepting the age because no members old enough wanted to be treasurer.  However there are older members aged 15-17 who are sitting up front with the P and VP.

 

Dear Deb,

   This is what I recommend.  That in front there be a table where the president and secretary sit.  The best way would be for the president to conduct the meeting from a lectern and the secretary to be next to the president, at a small table, to take minutes and be close at hand to give him any information if necessary.
    Then I would have chairs arranged in rows (assembly style) for the members and officers to sit.  Those officers and members who have reports to give at the meetings should sit in the front row so they are immediately in front of the assembly to give their reports.  
    I don't know how you are going to incorporate little ones into these sessions unless you have some small chairs for them to sit on in the very front row with an adult to be beside them to keep them quiet during discussion.  Perhaps your entire group needs training in meeting manners.  Our video "How to Conduct a Meeting", which is 30 minutes long would be a very good video to show the entire group.  The members could see how every is seated, how to follow an agenda and give reports. The video teaches how to make a main motion, discuss it and take the vote.  
    If these little ones can learn proper meeting procedures early, they will be a big blessing to your club.  

The Parliamentarian


 
Mary Jeanne Frey wrote:

The Bylaws of our condo association states that officers must be owners but nonowners may serve on the board.  Recently the board removed the president from office. A board member whose condo is in a trust was "appointed to fulfill the duties of the president" until the next election next July. Was this
a legal and proper move?  Thank you for your attention to this.

Mary Jeanne Frey, Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

Dear Mary Jean,
   What do your bylaws say about the officers of your association? Does it say they are picked from the directors?  Does it say that an officer has to be a member of the association?

The Parliamentarian
 
Mary Jeanne Frey wrote:

The Bylaws state that members of the Board of Directors do not have to be owners but officers of the board must be homeowners. The president must be a member of the board and a homeowner. The Bylaws also state that "the board may appoint such other officers and agents
as it shall deem necessary who shall hold their offices for such terms and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as shall be determined from time to time by the board."  Since the new president's name is not on the title, the Board appointed rather than elected him.
Mary Jeanne Frey

Dear Mary Jeanne,
    The member appointed president is in violation of your bylaws unless he can prove that he owns the Condo.  To appoint other officers means "others" in addition to the ones listed in the bylaws.  The president is listed in the bylaws so therefore he must be an "owner."   I would request that they ask the attorney about this.

The Parliamentarian
 
Mary Jeanne Frey wrote:
 

Dear Parliamentarian
Thank you so very much for your help. One more question if you don't mind. First, the appointed president's mother is the trustee of the property held in trust and the property will be passed on at her death.. She is willing to appoint him as a proxy to act and vote for her in all things relating to the property. Would a statement from her qualify him to hold office? This gentleman has been so great that we are trying desperately to hang on to him as you can tell.  We have just released our previous attorney and will interview a new one.

Mary Jeanne

 Dear Mary Jeanne,
    The mother is the owner of the property right now.  She can give her son a proxy to vote for her at meetings.  He can serve as a member of the board because your bylaws allow him to serve,. but he can't serve as president until he owns the property.  Why can't he just serve as a board member?  Why does he have to be president?   Is it because he can conduct meetings and others can't?  If you want him to be president then you will have to amend the bylaws so that he can be president.

The Parliamentarian

 

Connie Rogers wrote:
 

We are a Home Owners Association in Florida.  At our Gen'l Meeting we will vote for new officers.  Question:  If someone nominates another person for office, is it necessary for that nominee to be present at the meeting?  We had a sign-up board, and the person to be nominated had signed up but will not be present at the meeting when he will be nominated.

Thank You,
Connie

 

Dear Connie,
    It is not necessary for the person to be at the meeting as long as you know the person would serve if elected.  If he signed up to be a nominee then he has said he is willing to serve.


The Parliamentarian

 

John Johnson wrote:

 

Good afternoon,

 1. What are the rules concerning a committee's report that includes a recommendation of action, with a motion at the end?

2. Can the Chair put this kind of a motion under new business, or is this  kind of motion that has to be address when the report is given?

                            Could you please explain.

                               Thanks, John

 Dear John,
    The committee report should appear on the agenda under committee reports.  When the chair asks for the your committee's report, you give the report, and then at the end of the report you say:  "By direction of the committee, I move that..............  This motion should be written out in duplicate copies.  One is given to the presiding officer the other to the secretary.  Since this motion comes from a committee of one it doesn't need a second.  The chair should immediately place the motion to the assembly and ask for discussion.  After the discussion the chair takes a vote.  If  members want to take this up under new business (not the chair) some will have to move to postpone it to new business or they can suspend the rules and ask that it be placed under new business.  The motion to postpone is a debatable motion and takes a majority vote.  To suspend the rules is not debatable but takes a two thirds vote which is a rising vote.

The Parliamentarian

 
John Johnson wrote:

Hello,

Could you please help to understand what an intent is and its purpose if it has one;what does it mean to consider the intent of a motion? I often hear this term used and Iam not sure what it means.  Thanks once again.

 

Dear John,
    Intent means the reason why you want to do something.  When a committee makes a motion, the chairman gives a report first detailing the investigative work of the committee, the committee's findings, and the reasons why the committee has come to the conclusion it has and the necessity for the motion.  Then at the end of the report the committee chairman states:  "By direction of the committee, I move that......
    The presiding officer then places the motion to the assembly for discussion.  The chairman of the committee then gets to speak for the motion first.  In debate, each committee member can speak for the motion, too.  The presiding officer should allow others to speak for or against the motion.
Does that help?

The Parliamentarian