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    OTHER MATTERS

    COMMITTEES. - A committee is a miniature assembly. The first person named on a committee is the chairman; in his absence the next named, and so on, unless the committee, by a majority vote, elect another member as chairman, as they have power to do. The clerk of the assembly should furnish him, or some other member, a notice of the appointment, names of the members, and the matter referred to them, with instructions, if any. The chairman calls the committee together, and when a majority (which constitutes a quorum) are present, reads, or has read, the entire matter referred to them. He then reads each paragraph, pausing for amendments, and putting them to vote, if any. In this case they vote on their own amendments only, not on the matter committed to them. This they report back to the assembly, recommending such changes as they have made by their amendments. If, however, the committee originate the resolutions, they having been drafted by one of their number, they adopt the whole report in committee before reporting and recommending it to the assembly. Only what the majority agree to can be the report of the committee. The minority can also present their report, collectively or individually, with the permission of the assembly; but the assembly can act upon it only by substituting it for the regular report. In committee, a motion to reconsider can be made regardless of time elapsed, provided every member who voted with the majority is present. A committee (except committee of the whole) may appoint a sub-committee.KSDPR 22.2

    When through with their business, the motion is made “that the committee rise” (equivalent to “adjourn” in the assembly, and like that undebatable), and that the chairman, or some other member specified, make a report of the action of the committee to the assembly. As soon as the assembly receives the report, the committee ceases to exist.KSDPR 23.1

    The assembly “receive” the report when they permit the chairman or any member to present it. They can then amend, reject, or adopt it. To “accept” the report is the same as to “adopt,” which makes the recommendations of the committee the action of the assembly.KSDPR 23.2

    FORM OF COMMITTEE REPORTS. - If a standing committee, say, “The committee on [giving the name of committee] respectfully report,” or “beg leave to report,” or “beg leave to submit the following report,” letting the report follow. If a select or special committee, say, “The committee to which was referred [stating the subject referred], having had the same under consideration, respectfully report,” etc. A minority report should be, “The undersigned, a minority of the committee to which was referred,” etc. All reports properly conclude with the words, “All of which is respectfully submitted.” If the matter is of much importance, the report should be signed by all concurring; if otherwise, the signature of the chairman is considered sufficient.KSDPR 24.1

    The report should generally close with formal resolutions embracing all that the committee recommend, so that adopting their report would adopt all that is necessary to carry their recommendations into effect. Should any one object to receiving the report, a formal motion to receive it becomes necessary. If received, the committee is dissolved, unless revived by a motion to recommit the subject to them. In this case all that has not been agreed to by the assembly, is ignored, as if the report had not been made.KSDPR 24.2

    The report is considered on a motion to “adopt,” “accept,” or “agree to,” as may be most appropriate to the case in hand. The report then stands before the house like a common motion, subject to debate, amendment, etc. The member who introduced it is first entitled to the floor to discuss it, and after all have spoken who wish to, he is also entitled to a final speech to close the debate.KSDPR 25.1

    If the report contains several propositions or paragraphs; as, for instance, the articles of a Constitution or a code of By-Laws, the paper is first read entirely through by the clerk, then the chairman reads, or causes to be read, each paragraph, pausing at the end of each for amendments. If none are offered to the first, he says, “No amendments being offered to this paragraph, the next will be read.” In this way he proceeds through to the last paragraph, when he states that the whole report having been read, it is now open in any part to amendments; and if none are offered, he puts the question on the adoption of the whole paper, as amended if any amendments have been adopted. If there is a preamble, it should be read after the last paragraph. If the resolutions are rejected, the preamble goes with them, and need not then be read at all.KSDPR 25.2

    A list of officers nominated by a committee is to be treated in the same way. Each name is treated as a separate paragraph in the report. If a name is presented to which the assembly object, or upon which they do not wish to act, they can amend the report by postponing the consideration of such a name, or striking it out, or substituting for it some other name.KSDPR 25.3

    COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE. - When an assembly desires to consider a subject with all the freedom of an ordinary committee, the subject not being sufficiently matured for definite action, nor one which it wishes to refer to a committee, a very desirable way is to refer the matter to a “committee of the whole.” This name is given because, under this move, the whole assembly is transformed into a committee. The form of the motion is, “I move that the assembly do now resolve itself into a committee of the whole to consider,” etc., specifying the subject. This is a motion “to commit,” and takes the same order of precedence. If the motion prevails, the chairman immediately calls upon some member to take the chair as chairman of the committee, while he takes his place as a member of the committee. The only motions in order in a committee of the whole, are “to amend,” “to adopt,” and “to rise and report.” The committee can not refer the subject to another committee. When the subject is sufficiently considered, and the motion “that the committee rise and report” is carried, the chairman of the assembly resumes the chair, and the chairman of the committee, taking his place again in the assembly, rises and informs him that, the committee having finished the consideration of the subject referred to them, he is ready to make the report when the assembly is ready to receive it. The clerk of the assembly does not record the proceedings of the committee on the minutes, but keeps a memorandum for the use of the committee. When there is an assistant clerk, he acts as clerk of the committee. Should the committee become disorderly, the chairman of the assembly can take his place, and declare the committee dissolved.KSDPR 26.1

    INFORMAL ACTION. - It is customary in some assemblies to consider a question “informally,” instead of going into a committee of the whole. During informal action, the only motions that can be made are “to amend” and “to adopt.” This action having been taken, the chairman, without further motion, announces that the assembly, acting informally, has had the subject under consideration, and has made certain amendments, which he will report. The subject then comes before the assembly as if reported by a committee. While acting informally, any motion except to amend or adopt puts an end to the informal action. The clerk keeps a memorandum for temporary use, and enters the chairman’s report on the minutes.KSDPR 27.1

    DEBATE. - The member upon whose motion a subject is brought before the assembly is first entitled to the floor, though another member may have arisen first and addressed the Chair; and the member who presents the report of a committee is entitled to close the debate, and if the previous question is ordered, he is immediately assigned the floor for this purpose. It is a general rule that no member can speak the second time to a question until every other member who wishes to speak has spoken. The maker of a motion may vote against his own motion, but is not allowed to speak against it.KSDPR 28.1

    UNDEBATABLE. - In addition to the motions marked undebatable in the Diagram, we here add that all motions relating to priority of business, limiting or closing debate, or granting leave to continue his speech to one guilty of indecorum in debate, are undebatable. The main question can not be debated while amendment is pending, only as involved therein.KSDPR 28.2

    TO CLOSE DEBATE any one of the following ways may be taken: To object to considering question; to lay it on the table; to move the previous question; to adopt an order limiting debate, or fixing time when it shall close. Debate is not closed by the chairman rising to put the question; for until both the affirmative and negative votes are taken, a member can claim the floor, and re-open debate.KSDPR 28.3

    PUTTING QUESTION. — The chairman shall distinctly submit every motion to the decision of the house by some such formula as the following: “As many as are in favor of this motion [or of the adoption of this resolution], will manifest it by raising the hand. Those opposed will show the same sign.” Or, “Those in favor,” etc., “will say Aye. Those opposed, say No.” Do not in this case say, “Those opposed will show the same sign.” The chairman should always announce the result of the vote by saying, if decided in the affirmative, “It is a vote;” or “The motion is carried;” or “The resolution is adopted;” or, “The ayes have it.” If decided in the negative, “The motion [or resolution] is lost;” or “The noes have it.” If it is found, even after the chairman has announced the vote, that a member had arisen and addressed the Chair before the negative had been put, he is entitled to be heard, and then the question is in the same condition as if it had never been put. In case of a tie vote, the motion fails, unless the chairman, who then has power to vote, decides it in the affirmative. If his vote will make a tie, he can cast it, and thus defeat the measure. In voting by ballot, the chairman writes his vote with the rest. The votes having been collected and counted by the tellers, at least two in number, who have been appointed to distribute the blanks and collect the votes, the result is announced by the chairman in this manner: “The whole number of votes cast is —; necessary for a choice, —; Mr. A received —; Mr. B, —; Mr. C, —, and is consequently elected” (provided he received the requisite number of votes).KSDPR 29.1

    TWO-THIRDS VOTE. - In addition to the motions named in Diagram, it requires a two-thirds vote to amend the rules, to take up a question out of its proper order, and to close or limit debate.KSDPR 30.1

    OFFICERS AND DUTIES. CHAIRMAN. - The chairman should rise to put a question to vote, but may state it sitting. Referring to himself, he should always use his official title; as, “The Chair decides so and so;” not, “Your humble servant decides;” or, “I decide.” A motion referring especially to the chairman should be put to vote by the one who made it. The chairman, if he wishes to vacate the chair for a time, can appoint a chairman pro tem.; but the first adjournment thereafter ends such appointment. If the society has vice-presidents, the first on the list takes the chair in the absence of the president, and so on to the last. If there are no vice-presidents, the clerk calls the assembly to order, when the first business is to choose a chairman pro tem.KSDPR 30.2

    SECRETARY. - The recording officer is called the “clerk” or “secretary,” and his records are called the “minutes.” The secretary should occupy a seat near the chairman, and should keep such a record as will enable any one to understand fully the nature and doings of the meeting. He should name the kind of meeting; that is, whether regular or special, or adjourned regular or special, and should give the date and place of meeting; if the chairman is absent, he should call the meeting to order, and preside while the assembly is electing a chairman pro tem.; and if the regular chairman or clerk is absent, he should name the substitute. He should record all the “doings” of the meeting, - that is, all the action taken by the assembly in a deliberative capacity, - and should enter upon the records every “principal motion,” whether carried or lost, unless otherwise instructed, as it is often as important to know what measures were introduced and lost as what ones were carried. He should hand to the chairman of every committee appointed, or to some member thereof, a list of the names composing said committee, and a statement of the matter committed to them. He should, previous to each meeting, make out for the use of the chairman, an order of business, showing in its order what is necessary to come before the meeting; should have a list of all committees in existence, standing or special, and should attach his signature to the minutes.KSDPR 30.3

    MEETING AND SESSION. - These terms should not be confounded. A meeting is any particular assembling of the members of a society or other body, and covers only the time during which there is no separation of the members by adjournment. A session covers all the time necessary for a deliberative body to finish its business, and may include many meetings. If bodies which meet at regular and stated intervals, as weekly, monthly, or yearly, complete their business upon once assembling, that one meeting is the session; and in that case, meeting and session would mean the same thing. But if they find it necessary, in order to finish their business, to adjourn to meet again the same day, the next day, or at some point of time in the near future, the adjournment would end that meeting, but would not end the session; and when they meet again, according to adjournment, it would be another meeting, but not another session. This is illustrated in the action of those religious bodies which hold a yearly conference, covering, perhaps, many days. It is only one session, but that session includes many meetings.KSDPR 32.1

    QUORUM. - A quorum is that portion of an assembly necessary to transact business, and in the absence of any rule, consists of a majority of the members. The assembly can, however, adopt a much smaller number, even to less than one-twentieth. When a quorum is not present, the only action that can be taken is to adjourn.KSDPR 32.2

    ORDER OF BUSINESS. - In the absence of any rule passed by an assembly fixing a special order of business, the regular order is as follows: -KSDPR 33.1

    1. Reading the minutes of the previous meeting, and the correction or approval of the same.KSDPR 33.2

    2. Reports from standing committees.KSDPR 33.3

    3. Reports from select committees.KSDPR 33.4

    4. Unfinished business.KSDPR 33.5

    5. New business.KSDPR 33.6

    A subject which has been made a “special order” takes precedence of all business except reading the minutes. The “orders of the day” come in with unfinished business. Business out of its order can be taken up only by a suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds vote, but a majority can lay it on the table, and so pass on to any question which they desire first to consider.KSDPR 33.7

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