walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

remembered the water bottle, and more than anyone cares about parliamentary procedure

Got everything set up well. L. and I shared the outlet with the use of the extension cord. The SafCord is brilliant! I really really really recommend that. Much better than tape or the evil raised plastic cord protectors.

The new tripod worked great. I set the video camera to the higher quality for-web and the result looks a lot better -- more detail at a bigger size. Sort of a moot point; it looks like we'll be asking cable/web to record future meetings, so I'll just be doing audio for myself. Which I did at this meeting, but haven't listened to yet, so I can't review the Olympus voice recorder yet other than to say it's very, very small.

I missed doing at least one thing: I should have had a cheat sheet with the RSAs for going non-public (confidentiality, performance of an employee, defamatory, etc.). I need to put that together. And I spoke up way too late in requesting a point of order for someone speaking very abusively at the meeting. I did eventually speak up, in a general way at first, and then finally as a point of order insisting that we follow our parliamentary authority, and that seemed to fix the problem. At least for this session.

One of the previous trustees (not one that recently left; someone from the past), L., found a lot to dispute in what I said in the course of the meeting: we don't need seconds given the size of the group; we don't need a vote on a motion if there is no objection; we don't need to record seconds if we have them; etc. I referenced RONR In Brief in each case (since I had not yet laid hands on RONR itself) and she left it, altho I don't think I convinced her. Other people later said she kept complaining. Not that she has standing to do so. The statute is clear that we can conduct business however we see fit (subject to the Right to Know/Public Meetings requirements in RSA 91-A, and RSA 202-a:11 (I), which is to say, whatever by-laws already have been established by the board). Our by-laws are largely silent on how we are to conduct business and supplies the current edition of RONR as our parliamentary authority, which is what I was referring to.

Despite all this, the spouse of one of the trustees, A., similarly believed that I might be mistaken in asserting we didn't need seconds (etc.). I showed her where I got that. She seemed to think there was something in the statue requiring seconds (!!!!!). Her spouse and I both thought that was unlikely, but I did indeed go digging around.

It's worth noting at this point that RONR says that it is out of order to have a point of order saying there was no second if debate has already commenced on a motion, and that while the maker of a motion should be named in the minutes, the second should not be. Not, doesn't need to be -- _should not be_. So there's really no doubt about just how vestigial a second is in a small gathering. As near as I can tell, the primary purpose served by a second is in a _large_ gathering, when _only one_ person wants to address a piece of business. They get the floor, they make a motion and everyone studiously ignores it. No one says _a thing_. After a pause, the chair recognizes the next person to stand with whatever motion they might present. In a small gathering, there is no parallel purpose. A second is _never_ considered to have signed on to a motion -- just that they want to engage in debate on it, which is why once debate has started, it doesn't matter whether there was a second, and why the name of the second is immaterial (presumably, if a person didn't want to do something, they wouldn't move to do it).

I can only conclude that this has not yet been assimilated by the people who are confused about it. It's really, really, really clear once you read even RONR In Brief. So, I'm thinking people didn't read it. Which is interesting, all by itself.

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