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Robert's Rules: What You Should Know

Robert's Rules do help you run an effective meeting. And you don't have to know a whole book's worth of details—just a few key concepts.

by Christy Forhan

If you’ve ever been tempted to tell someone to “just shut up” when you were conducting a meeting and couldn’t figure out how to get her to sit down, there’s a guy named Robert with some rules you ought to know about. Now, lots of people groan when they hear Robert’s Rules of Order mentioned. They think of some overly complicated stuff about primary motions, points of order, and moving the question. Conducting a meeting is enough work. Why deal with all that?

Certainly when Major Henry M. Robert published his famous primer in 1876 on parliamentary procedure, he wasn’t thinking about parent groups. And his rules to “assist an assembly to accomplish in the best possible manner the work for which it was designed” go far beyond what a typical parent group might need. After all, they’re used in the United Nations, where debate gets a little more complicated than what the next fundraiser should be.

The genius of Robert’s Rules is that they work well for groups of all sizes and types. If you simply read through the rules, all of those terms and the complexity tend to conceal his key concepts. Used with a little assertive leadership, they keep a meeting organized and flowing.

  1. Conduct business one item at a time. Jumping around from one item to another can be confusing, and it generally delays progress on any of the items.
  2. Let committees do their work. Your general meeting is to resolve the major issues. Save everybody’s time by letting committees deal with the smaller details.
  3. Don’t allow crosstalk. Require all speakers to address the chairperson. This helps you keep control and ensures everyone will hear the business at hand.
  4. Limit discussion to the topic at hand. Keep things focused, and don’t be shy about asking speakers to deal only with the current topic.
  5. Cut off discussion when it becomes redundant. For controversial issues, setting a time limit for each speaker can help. When discussion becomes circular, summarize the points on each side and ask for anything new–or shut off discussion by calling for a motion.

An orderly, well-run meeting is better for the officers and it’s better for those attending. You’ll get more business done in a shorter time, and everyone will be happier. Parent groups that limit meetings to one hour have much better luck getting people to return the next month. As for the terms and procedures you find in Robert’s Rules, there are a few fundamentals that you should know.

Agenda

The agenda is a detailed list of specific items, in the sequence in which they will be covered. Use a consistent order of business from meeting to meeting and distribute hard copies of the agenda to attendees. Post the agenda ahead of time at the school and on your website so members know what issues will be discussed at the upcoming meeting. And be specific. Don’t just list “unfinished business.” State what items of unfinished business will be covered.

A typical order of business for a regular parent group meeting might be:

  1. Welcome
  2. Approval of minutes (from last meeting)
  3. President’s report
  4. Treasurer’s report
  5. Principal’s report
  6. Committee reports
  7. Unfinished business
  8. New business
  9. Announcements (including date and time of the next meeting)
  10. Adjournment

Motion

A motion is a formal way to propose something on which the group should vote. The proposer says, “I move that...” and clearly states what is being considered. Someone else “seconds” the motion. Guided by the president, the group discusses the motion until they are ready to vote. Finally, the president asks for an indication of “all those in favor” followed by “those opposed.” There is no need to ask for “abstentions” (those who choose not to vote at all), because abstentions are not counted toward the outcome of the motion.

Quorum

A quorum is the minimum number of members required to conduct business at a meeting. Usually this number is stated in the group’s bylaws. If a quorum is not indicated in the bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order sets it at a majority of members.

Minutes

The minutes are the permanent record of the business conducted during a meeting, typically prepared by the group’s secretary. They include details such as the date, time, and location of the meeting, whether a quorum was present, and the presiding officer. Specific motions and their outcomes (but not exact vote counts) are also included in the minutes. Discussion is not documented in the minutes. The minutes for each meeting are presented for the assembly’s approval at the next meeting.

Adjournment

Adjournment is simply a formal way to close a meeting so everyone knows the session has come to an end. The time of adjournment is recorded in the meeting minutes.

Tabling a Motion

If it is clear that a motion cannot or should not be voted upon at the current time, it is typical to postpone (“table”) it until the next meeting. Technically there should be a new motion to table the current motion, but most groups can agree to delay discussion without layers of parliamentary procedure. Often, it helps to appoint a committee or a member to study the issue and report back to other members at the next meeting. This tactic can save time on circular debate, especially when all of the facts aren’t available.

Resources

There are many guides to Robert’s Rules. If you’d like a reference, go with an abridged version such as Webster’s New World Robert’s Rules of Order, Simplified and Applied. Sticking to a few simple rules can make meetings more pleasant for everyone, from the president to first-timers.

Christy Forhan is a veteran PTO leader who has served as president and treasurer, among other roles, at schools in West Bloomfield, Mich.

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Comments

  1. Posted by - Lindsay on Apr. 14, 2014

    We are a neighborhood association, and we are facing a couple of hot topics that have caused people to show up at meetings who have never been there before. We had to adjourn the last meeting because the environment became unproductive. Before we adjourned, we attempted to take a vote on approving the minutes, but the individuals who had not been at prior meetings tried to vote AGAINST approving the minutes? Does Robert's Rules address how to handle this? If you weren't at a particular meeting, do you have a right to vote to approve the minutes?
  2. Posted by - Greg on Apr. 10, 2014

    I have a question concerning nominations. Our nominating committee just met and our slate has been released. Several members have expressed concern over the nominations, including the fact that people who were on the nominating committee were placed on the slate above others who are definitely more qualified. Additionally, these same people have children going into 5th grade, meaning they are out of the school after next year. Lastly, the nominating committee chair is hurling ethics allegations againt our president, who has done nothing wrong. I am a Delegate, so I hold an executive board spot, and I am a past Treasurer. I would like to call for a vote of no confidence in the slate and state my reasoning. I do not feel that this slate was constructed with the best interest of the unit at heart, rather on spite and ego. Can I call for a vote of no confidence? Thank you so much!
  3. Posted by - Cathy Cameron on Apr. 08, 2014

    URGENT Voting Question ---Our condo association is governed by Bylaws and a Master Deed--adopted Roberts Rules of Orders. We own a 2BR Condo and therefore have 3 votes to cast in the election. The board is saying we HAVE TO VOTE FOR 3 different candidates --and we don't want to--we want to vote our 3 votes to the one candidate of our choice. The bylaws nor master deed DO NOT state on how our votes can be cast it only states the number of votes we have. I believe it is our constitutional RIGHT to vote for who we want --and we are within our bylaws and master deed to do so????
  4. Posted by - Bev on Mar. 20, 2014

    If an organization's by-laws states the Board shall consist of a minimum of nine people and the Board membership falls below the minimum, can the remaining three Board members meet as a Board and conduct business at a meeting?
  5. Posted by - Beverly Chrisp on Mar. 20, 2014

    If a organizations states the Board shall consist of a minimum of nine people and the Board membership falls below the minimum, can the remaining three Board members meet as a Board and conduct business at a meeting.
  6. Posted by - Lori on Feb. 18, 2014

    I am a member of a local HOG Chapter that has a board of directors with elected officers and appointed discretionary officers. The discretionary officers do not have voting rights and are present for part of the meetings but are excused before the "main" business is conducted. Even though they do not have a vote, shouldn't they be present for the whole meeting?
  7. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Feb. 13, 2014

    Lynn -- Check your bylaws to see what they say about removing an officer. If they don't set any guidelines, then it is very difficult to removing an officer according to Robert's Rules. I'd suggesting getting an annotated copy of Robert's Rules and bring it to the meeting. If needed, you can read aloud the information about removing an officer. Here's a link with a quick summary. I don't recommend that PTOs ever use the process described here, but you can use it as a significant deterrent to trying to remove an officer without real cause. By the way, a typical bylaws clause for removing an officer would be to require 30 days notice and then a two-thirds vote. Good luck! Here's the link: http://www.robertsrules.com/faq.html#20
  8. Posted by - Lynn on Feb. 12, 2014

    Hello, I am currently president of our PTO. We were informed through the grapevine that at the next meeting there will be a couple of members that will want to have 2 officers removed from their positions. We don't know the reasoning as they have not brought up at any meeting about there being an issue. Can they come to the meeting and ask members to vote that evening to have those board members removed? If majority votes (only out of spite) and they are voted off can those members appeal or something?
  9. Posted by - Steven m on Nov. 09, 2013

    Are there any rules against teachers being on the executive committee? in our meetings most of the attendance has turned into only teachers because parents are tired of fighting an up hill battle against the principals so when ever a vote comes up on funds for school functions even when there are parents that don't want to approve they are always out voted by teachers and principals.
  10. Posted by - rhonda on Nov. 08, 2013

    can to people thats related run for the following: one as P and the other for T?
  11. Posted by - Ron Wrigglesworth on Oct. 24, 2013

    Can a motion to remove the President and Vice President be made as one motion, or are they 2 separate motions?
  12. Posted by - Jennifer on Aug. 23, 2013

    We have a booster club board of 4 (P, VP, S & T). Are decisions to be made as a group or should the P & VP, make decisions without talking to the T & S (especially involving money) and just tell the T & S what the decision? And maybe I need to know what exactly is the T job? Also, when purchasing things to sell, say t-shirts or banners, should more then 1 bid be gotten or should it be allowed to use the P "friend"?
  13. Posted by - sue on May. 22, 2013

    We just recently voted for our officers next year. We had a question of finance come up today that needed an emergency vote. Do u use the officers from yhe current year or the officers just voted in for next year or al of them.
  14. Posted by - Sharon Butler on Apr. 23, 2013

    What happens when two groups merge and there are two officers in every position? How do you determine which officers should step aside and who should run the club?
  15. Posted by - Missey on Apr. 11, 2013

    Among other issues that we experience, I am now in the position as the President of a high school booster club, where most of the time only 1 other person will show up besides myself. Because the end of the year is near, we have very important issues that need completed by next Monday...4 days now. I've contacted everyone prior, giving reminders (I don't even have time for this added task), publishing it in the local paper, as well as sending emails, and texts to these people. Yet, they don't show up, and do not respond to my correspondence! Can I initiate our Bylaws clause, "The President has the delegated authority to take action on emergency matters not prescribed in these Bylaws." such as, pushing through our Sr. Scholarship applications for distribution, and to authorize the purchase of postage, etc... for soliciting more/new club members? To answer a possible question, "No. These two topics are not included in our Bylaws." Any help is appreciated.
  16. Posted by - Tim on Apr. 04, 2013

    Can an elected board member serve on more than one committee at the same time?
  17. Posted by - Brian on Mar. 28, 2013

    I am the current president of a high scholl booster club. I am stepping down and it appears that nobody is interested in taking on the role of president going forward. What is the correct procedure to hadle this situation in the upcomoming nomination/election process
  18. Posted by - Kathryn on Feb. 19, 2013

    Our committee secretary/clerk is away overseas and has not submitted the minutes of our last meeting. We are due to meet again next Monday, what are we supposed to do when minutes are not ready in a situation like this but will most like ly be available when he returns?
  19. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Feb. 14, 2013

    Lynn -- You do have to have a certain number of meetings for the general membership each year. Typically these are monthly, but check you bylaws to see how often you're required to hold them. Beyond that, most groups hold regular board meetings (or as often as needed) for just the officers. These meetings are used to plan and conduct business between general meetings.

    Good luck!
  20. Posted by - lynn on Feb. 14, 2013

    I will probably be the new PTO President for 2013-2014 at our school. When a meeting is called will I have to invite the committee members? Can just the officers meet? Thanks
  21. Posted by - Morgan on Jan. 30, 2013

    Our PTO President of my childs Elementary School is stepping down and I was asked to take her place. Before I let them know if I will. I would like to know what are all my job duties or what all is required of me as the PTO President?? Help I need to give my answer to them tomorrow..
  22. Posted by - cansu ertokus on Jan. 21, 2013

    Hi I have a question and need help asap please;
    In my organization we have been given new constitution and new recruitment guidelines in our retreat but it wasn't formally announced that it will be presented. On the next meeting none of the members gotten any hard copies of either of the new motions and had been voted on and 2 of the members sign the guidelines and other members didn't in mean time deadline have passed. Other members who didn't sign the contract on time made amend to a motion. That two members will be sent it to Judicial Board because they have missed the deadlines to sign the contract. My question is the case wasn't present properly and no hard copies were given to members in this case how can we get out of this situation without getting any fine?

    thank you.
  23. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Jan. 15, 2013

    Anne -- We deal with school parent groups, not homeowners' associations, so I can't really speak to your question. Off the top of my head, though, I don't think Robert's Rules deals with that specific situation -- it would have to be addressed in your bylaws.
  24. Posted by - Anne K on Jan. 14, 2013

    HI, I have just been elected as VP of my HOA. We have two directors that are married. Some of our residents say we can't have this. Our by-laws state all members in the same household are permitted one vote per home. Others say this is conflict since Roberts Rules say this is not legal. I can't find anywhere in RRofO stating this. We conduct our assn with volunteers not paid members, and they are elected officials some are appointed to fill positions left open by some reason or another. My question is, is there any where written that two persons in the same household cannot serve on a board together, in voting on issues it is one vote per home....In a board meeting they would each have a vote. Thank you so much
    Anne K
  25. avatar

    Posted by Rose C on Oct. 24, 2012

    Hi Dale,
    Just a clarification first: Are the folks hanging out deciding what the PTO actions will be members or part of the board? If they are members, the board needs to assert itself by setting an agenda for the meeting and running the meeting and managing the discussions. Sounds like you've got yourself a clique and that isn't unusual. Happens in lots of groups. If the board steps up to run the meetings, greets everyone who attends meetings, recognizes folks by name during meetings and follows its agenda, you'll start moving away from the clique atmosphere.

    If you have board members hanging out ahead of time, then you are within your rights to point out how meetings should be run and how the entire PTO -- members and board members should be working together to make decisions on behalf of the students.
  26. avatar

    Posted by Rose C on Oct. 24, 2012

    Hi Damon,
    This can be a real problem... But it is also fixable. I'd first point to one of our most popular articles: How to Deal with Difficult People (http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/409-how-to-deal-with-difficult-people). I point out that it's popular not to showoff but to point out that lots of people need help in dealing with tough personalities in their groups. One thing the article suggests is to try to figure out why the treasurer is acting this way. Is she anxious things aren't going to get done? Is she worried that the group will get in trouble or not be well perceived? Something is at the core of this. If you can figure it out and talk more directly about what her concerns are, you might be on the road to working out a solution with her.
  27. Posted by - Damon on Oct. 24, 2012

    How do you deal with a treasurer that wants to do everybody's position? I've talked to her about this over and over again. She has cause me to be called into unnecessary meetings because she don't know how to shut up.
  28. Posted by - Dale on Oct. 21, 2012

    Hello,
    I am the New Vice President of our middle school PTO.
    We have a group of members that hang out as a click
    and decide what pto actions will be before meetings.
    I have no confidence in functioning as a board.How should this be handled?
  29. Posted by - Joe Phillips on Sep. 13, 2012

    there was a member voted off of the fire dept and now they are having a special meeting can other members come that did not and vote on that member
  30. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Jun. 22, 2012

    Hi Rob -- That's an interesting and unusual system for a parent group. How well does it work for you?

    If your bylaws don't address the situation you mentioned, I would interpret it that a person could resign as an officer and remain a board member. There are two elections, thus two positions being held.

    The exception might be if all board members hold offices -- for example, you have four board members, with one as president, one vp, one secretary, and one treasurer. In that case the office and the board position would essentially be the same thing. But I'm guessing from your description that's not the case.
  31. Posted by - Rob on Jun. 21, 2012

    I have a question I was hoping you could answer. I can't find any specific details in Roberts' Rules. In our organization, the membership elects directors, then afterwards the directors elect the executive officers (president, secretary, treasurer, vice-chair). Once a person is the president, can they resign from their presidency but remain a director? Or do they cease to be a director by virtue of resigning from the presidency?
  32. Posted by - Liz on Feb. 15, 2012

    Is it appropriate for a person attending a meeting to read a statement/opinion written by a different person who was not in attendance? Someone at the meeting made a motion to hear the opinion read and it carried by majority vote. What is the right way to handle this?
  33. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Feb. 13, 2012

    ... (continued from below -- too long winded!)

    3. The procedures you mention, two signatures on checks and having someone besides the treasurer review monthly statements, are sound financial controls and absolutely should be in place. If they haven't been in place before (especially having someone else review the statements) and your treasurer objects that strenuously, that to me is a warning sign. I would strongly recommend a thorough review of the books, even (and maybe especially) over the treasurer's loud objections.
  34. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Feb. 13, 2012

    Joyce -- You're right, those three officers can't "dissolve" the board, and certainly not in that way. Several things are wrong with the scenario you describe:

    1. The members were elected by your general membership, and that can't be undone by the board. Questions like removing an officer have to be brought before the general membership, not the board. Your bylaws should spell out a specific procedure for removing an officer. If they don't, it's unlikely that she can be removed involuntarily.

    2. Even if your bylaws allowed the board to call new elections (for example), decisions like that require advance notice to members so that they can be present for the vote. The purpose is to prevent exactly what happened in your case — people essentially sandbagging someone they don't like.

    -- more --
  35. Posted by - Joyce Ewing on Feb. 13, 2012

    Our treasurer, secretary and vice president called a residents' meeting without the presence of its new president (on vacation) or his knowledge to dissolve all officers. Reason for this is simply because the treasurer wanted complete control of the residents account & could not have it since the new President stated two signatures on all checks and demanded a copy of monthly expenditures. Yes, those few attending the meeting agreed (after listing to negatives about the president). Regardless of that, how can this meeting be legal considering its purpose. How can three officers dissolve themselves and its presdient without his knowlege or presence?
  36. Posted by - Minute Taker on Dec. 06, 2011

    My problem is having to chair and write the minutes for our meetings. I write some of my minutes prior to meeting based on the submitted agenda items.

    It has worked well except except participants who are trying to have absolutely every minute detail recorded in those minutes to have them serve as her work bible. This is very draining on me and I don't feel mini policies should be written up in the form of meeting minutes, or that previously distributed documents referred to have to then be re-attached again to the minutes for her one-stop convenience.

    Am I being too arrogant in my thinking? Should minutes not be a brief record of what occurred - agenda items/decisions/follow up actions? Before I took on writing the minutes, the documents were like a dog's breakfast. Now, they are used to having me clarify each step in the minutes so they don't have to.
  37. Posted by - lkh on Dec. 02, 2011

    Here's the summary: a meeting was called to order at
    5:35 pm. No quorum was present, but nevertheless the
    chairman proceeded w/ the agenda. 4 speakers were
    heard. At about 6:00 pm the 5th member called in via
    speaker telephone to the meeting. The Chair declared there to be a quorum, and they voted to approve the minutes as well as other items on the agenda, that had already been
    addressed, b/4 the quorum. The Chair made no mention of the 4 speakers, to the 5th member. During New Business, one of
    the speakers asked to address the board, now that there was
    a quorum. The Chair denied the request. What are the remedies? Thanks.. I need an answer ASAP.. and, can
    you cite a Rule(s) in Roberts to substantiate your response? thanks...lkh
  38. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Nov. 10, 2011

    Can you hold a meeting in conjunction with a school event, or create your own event that will draw parents, like a student art show, kindergarten chorus, etc.? That would create a quorum. At that meeting, make sure you vote to reduce your quorum requirement to something that better matches your usual participation.
  39. Posted by - Mae Davis on Nov. 10, 2011

    If you consistently don't have a quorum and business need to be conducted. What can you?
  40. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Oct. 31, 2011

    Every vote should be recorded in the minutes. When something is missing from the minutes, is incorrect, or is incomplete, you make a motion to amend the minutes. This is typically done when the minutes are read and before they are approved.
  41. Posted by - Noeline on Oct. 30, 2011

    Kia ora
    I would like to know is it legal for a secretary to omit motions from the minutes?
    There was a motion put forward it was voted and rejected. However, when at the next meeting that resolution was not included in the next lot of minutes.
    Is this right? And what can be done if the secretary refuses to record correctly?
  42. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Oct. 07, 2011

    Sandra -- You're a little beyond my practical experience with Robert's Rules. However, I believe division of a question can be applied to a main motion or an amendment. Also, I believe the amendment to the main motion would take precedence over dividing it into parts.

    In your situation I would:
    * Vote on the amendment in parts (if division is approved)
    * Vote on the revised main motion (based on the amendments) in parts (again, if division is approved).

    If you would like a more authoritative answer, there are some parliamentarian sites on the web with a Q&A function, including robertsrules.com.
  43. Posted by - Sandra on Oct. 07, 2011

    Is it in order to move to a Division of a Quetion on an amendment if the amndment contains seveal parts, each of which is capable of standing as a complete proposition of the others are removed? Can the motion Division of a Question also be applied to a main motion while an amendment is pending?
  44. Posted by - Gail Dopp on Sep. 21, 2011

    As vice president, I often run the meetings of our PTA when the president is unable to attend. What is proper proticol when the president arrives after the meeting has begun. Can I finish running the meeting without being in violation of any procedures?
  45. Posted by - Sylvia on Sep. 09, 2011

    We are a new school and we are having our 2nd ptso board election. What is the best way to state this on the agenda? What is the best way to conduct the election?
  46. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Jul. 18, 2011

    Sandra -- It counts as a meeting even if you don't have a quorum or vote on anything. However, you should take minutes at every meeting, even if there isn't a quorum. You can still discuss business, even if you can't have an official vote.
  47. Posted by - sandra on Jul. 14, 2011

    at a meeting a guarum was not met. minutes were taken. there was no voting. is this concidered a meeting? or was this gathering null and void?
  48. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Apr. 13, 2011

    Marie -- The reason organizations use Robert's Rules is because they provide a ready-made set of procedures. That way you don't have to write these types of procedures into your bylaws or standing rules (policies). When things are going well, it's not unusual for groups to pay little attention to Robert's Rules. The meetings go smoothly, and you're able to decide things by consensus. It's when controversy arises that Robert's Rules can play an important role. They provide an impartial reference for how things should be handled -- taking away the argument that the chair is being arbitrary or one side or the other is being treated unfairly.
  49. Posted by - Marie on Apr. 13, 2011

    Our PTO bylaws state that we shall govern robert's rules however at our last meeting it was discussed that the board would like to have that removed as they are just guidlines to follow does anyone know what ramifications or legal issues this may cause?
  50. Posted by - Jack Rowland on Oct. 19, 2010

    At our last meeting our president presented revised bylaws. I made a motion to change the language in on of the bylaws. The motion was seconded but the president refused to allow the motion to be discussed or voted on.
    Was his action correct>
  51. Posted by - Ginger on Apr. 23, 2010

    Last night our co-president presented revised bylaws at our meeting. A person from the floor wanted to make a motion to change the language in on of the bylaws. The motion was seconded but the co-president said the motion could not be made. Is this correct?
  52. Posted by - Andrea on Apr. 09, 2010

    I am proposing amendments to our by-laws, baseically adding a position. Does anyone know what semantics HAVE to be in these and how they should be structured? We use Robert's Rule but I can't seem to find the wording/formatting that I am required to use and I don't want to get it wrong!
  53. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Feb. 08, 2010

    Lewis -- This site is for all parent groups: PTA, PTO, HSA, or any other acronym. No matter what our groups are called, we all do the same thing: support the school and the students. We don't have a section specifically for high schools, although much of the information on our middle school page applies: http://www.ptotoday.com/middle-school . Also, if you have any specific questions, feel free to post them on the Ask a Question page: http://www.ptotoday.com/answers
  54. avatar

    Posted by Craig on Feb. 08, 2010

    K. Lewis -- Check your bylaws for the procedure to remove an officer. Many PTOs have one of two provisions (or both): an officer who is not doing her job may be removed by a unanimous vote of the remaining executive board or by two-thirds vote at a general meeting. If you don't have one of these in your bylaws, you might want to add it in. (Typically a two-thirds vote at a general meeting is required to amend bylaws.) For either removal of an officer or amending the bylaws, you need to give plenty of notice (at least two weeks, and even better would be to announce it at one meeting an vote on it at the next), and you must have a quorum present at the meeting when the vote is taken.
  55. Posted by - Lewis on Feb. 06, 2010

    Is this site now for PTO and PTA?
    Is they a site for PTA?
    Our we all just use this site?
    What information do we have for High School?
  56. Posted by - k.lewis on Feb. 06, 2010

    How can we have your vice president to step down before she be come president next year?
    At this time she is now our vice prewidnet and will more into our presodent sit next year.
    She have not been at 1/2 of our meetings late year and just attendance 1 this year.

    So can someone please let us now what do do.
  57. Posted by - tkstreets@bellsouth.net on Nov. 24, 2009

    Can minutes of closed session due to "discussion personel" state" person refused to sign evaluation at this time" for sake of official record but not be published to the public?
  58. Posted by - Jen on Oct. 16, 2009

    Please help - our last cheerleading meeting went out of control with a person attending being totally unrealistic and uncontrollable. Can we put in our by-laws about a person's behavior?

    THANKS
  59. Posted by - Jen on Oct. 16, 2009

    Our last cheerleading booster meeting went out-of-control with one person (that is not an officer) trying to dictate everything we are doing- this girls 5th meeting and the officers having years of experience. Can we state in our by-laws about the conduct of people attending the meetings?? Thanks for your help
  60. Posted by - scott on Sep. 11, 2009

    can a president apoint a co- president
  61. Posted by - Lisa @ PTO Today on Sep. 03, 2009

    Hi Pam-
    The most important thing is that you have 2 leaders sign every time -- not whether the second signature is a Pres or VP. Whichever members your board decides to authorize, their names should be on the account signature card at the bank. You'll be sure that nothing slips through the cracks if you make sure you wait to get both signatures on all checks.
    ~ Lisa
  62. Posted by - Pam on Sep. 02, 2009

    Signing of checks we require two signatures Pres Vpres Treas are the authorized signers. Shoulkd the signatures be pres and treasure? And if President is not avavivable should then it be V Pres & Treasure?
  63. Posted by - Allison on Aug. 28, 2009

    i have a question and please help me at all if you can. I used to be in charge of donations last year for our activities and this i have become the vice president.

    Our Treasurer from last year is now our President. There was a newly elected Treasurer for this year. But our now NEW president will not give up the old job. What can be done about this? She is still holding onto bank statments, funds that come in she is sure to count, deposit and tell everyone how much was brought in AFTER the fact it was counted at her home.

    Please any information will be VERY helpful
  64. Posted by - Lisa @ PTO Today on May. 11, 2009

    Susan- That's a good question about quorum.I would suggest posting it on our message boards, where you can typically get input from far more leaders and folks who’ve been in your shoes. I’ve posted your question here: http://www.ptotoday.com/boards/robts-rules-bylaws-legal/22282-quorum-minimum.html
  65. Posted by - Susan on May. 07, 2009

    Is there a minimum number in a quorum? We have very low attendance at our meetings. We are considering amending the by-law we now have. We are lucky to have our four board members present plus maybe an additional 3-4 members. Our quorum is now at 10 members with 2 officers present. It has made it very difficult to accomplish any business.
  66. Posted by - Ken on Mar. 21, 2009

    How many positions on a board can one person run on at one election? Can a person only run for one? two? all?
  67. Posted by - Amy on Jan. 22, 2009

    Can pto meeting minutes be emailed to those inattendance? Is there a standard procedure for handling minutes after they have been taken?
    Thanks,
    Amy
  68. Posted by - susan on Dec. 05, 2008

    in a corporation do the fin. and recx, secretaries have the right to a vote ?
  69. Posted by - Craig Bystrynski from PTO Today on Nov. 20, 2008

    Peter -- What do you mean by a variance? Can you describe the specific situation? -- Craig
  70. Posted by - Craig Bystrynski from PTO Today on Nov. 20, 2008

    Shama -- Your bylaws should state how they can be amended. Typically, changing bylaws requires a vote of the membership at a general meeting. -- Craig
  71. Posted by - peter vasilakos on Nov. 15, 2008

    Is there a minimum number of days for voting on a variance?
  72. Posted by - Sharna on Nov. 12, 2008

    Can the PTO and Principal change our By-laws in a closed meeting??
    Thanks
  73. Posted by - Craig Bystrynski from PTO Today on Oct. 30, 2008

    Justine -- Check your bylaws. It's possible that they allow you some leeway. It's common for bylaws to specify a minimum (and perhaps a maximum) number of board members. Some officer positions (president, treasurer, secretary) are required while the others can be created at the discretion of the president. If your bylaws are too strict to allow this, then you might want to amend them. -- Craig
  74. Posted by - Justine on Oct. 27, 2008

    I am the President of our Band Boosters and would like to add a new Office and officer to our Board. Is there an "official" way of doing this? Thanks.
  75. Posted by - Rae on Apr. 29, 2008

    Hi Melissa,

    One of the rights - and responsibilities - of membership is to vote. Unless the bylaws specifically state that a person must have been a member for X number of days, weeks, or months before they can vote, that member has the right to vote on any issue before the organization the minute after they join the organization.
  76. Posted by - Rae on Apr. 29, 2008

    Hey Barbara,

    Forgot - a motion is only tabled for a short time during A meeting. The motion is postponed to the next meeting.

    Rae
  77. Posted by - Rae on Apr. 29, 2008

    Hi Barbara,
    Bylaws provide for absences and the consequences of being absent whether excused or not excused. It is unwise to make requirements in bylaws relating to only one person or one situation.

    It is much wiser to examine the bylaws and find out if there is a provision for removing a person from office. If there is none, it is necessary to refer to the parliamentary authority - frequently Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised. Check with National Association of Parliamentarians.org for information on procedure and options.
  78. Posted by - Melissa on Apr. 25, 2008

    How many meeting do you need to attened to vote for the next chairperson?
  79. Posted by - Kathryn Lagden from PTO Today on Apr. 25, 2008

    Hi Barbara - suggest you check out our Message Boards. They're a great spot to ask specific questions as there are tons of folks on the boards with a lot of experience to share. Our PTO Today experts jump in pretty regularly as well. You can find the boards here - http://www.ptotoday.com/boards
  80. Posted by - Barbara on Apr. 24, 2008

    Is it legal to write into the By-laws not to allow the chairperson to conduct the meeting because he or she had an excused or unexcused absence from the Executive Board meeting?
  81. Posted by - Heather Hock on Feb. 11, 2008

    Good article, good references.

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