When asked to vote, director does nothing

Dear Dinosaur:  When calling for the vote with our 3-person county board, two directors vote “aye” and the third director does not vote. The director doesn’t vote aye, nay or with an abstention when asked. Just simply, no action. How is that vote then recorded? Answer: Under Robert’s Rules of Order, “to abstain” is to…

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Only one vote – does the motion pass?

Dear Dinosaur:  A motion was made by one board member. After discussion, the other board members did not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand to cast an educated vote. The board member who made the motion insisted on a vote. The vote was taken and resulted in one yes vote with 4 abstaining…

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How can we approve November minutes with 3 new board members?

Dear Dinosaur: During the last election, three of our five board members were replaced with new directors, who take their oath of office at the December meeting. Our question is regarding the approval of the November board minutes. With three of the five being new board members who were not in attendance at the November…

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Conflict of interest can be complicated

The basic principle underlying conflict of interest is easy to state but applying it in real-life cases can be complicated. In a nutshell, when you accept a position on a local government body or a nonprofit board, you are obliged to put the interests of the organization above your own personal interest, and you can’t…

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Counting a vote wrong is dangerous

Updated February 17, 2020   Counting a vote wrong can land you in big trouble. As readers know, the QUORUM is the minimum number of voting members who must be present for business to be done. Once you have your quorum in place, you can take action by discussion and voting. (Read “what is a quorum”…

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Recording votes in meeting minutes

When deciding about recording votes in meeting minutes, first review any legal requirements in your state of incorporation. For instance, in California, public bodies must record how each board member cast their vote by name in the minutes. Those requirements may settle the matter for you. If your state doesn’t specify how to record the…

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If you abstain from a vote, what happens?

A council member called me recently with one of the most common errors people make about Robert’s Rules of Order. She said, “We have a really controversial vote coming up, and if someone abstains, that counts as a ‘yes’ vote, right?” No, it doesn’t. Under Robert’s Rules of Order, you can vote “aye” or you…

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