Point of Order!

Below are the bases for my point of order that the August 6, 2007, WBAI LSB meeting was either an adjourned meeting or no meeting at all. The term “RONR (10th ed.)” refers to the book Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th edition, which is the standard of parliamentary procedure mandated to be used by the Pacifica bylaws. The “p.” and “l.” terms are references to page and line numbers respectively.

This is an adjourned meeting.

The meeting of June 26, adjourned to July 14. On July 14, the LSB failed to achieve a quorum. The Chair acknowledged this. There were points of order and objections to conducting any business on July 14. Robert's Rules of Order says that, “In the absence of a quorum any business transacted (except for the procedural actions noted in the next paragraph) is null and void. But if a quorum fails to appear at a regular or properly called meeting, the inability to transact business does not detract from the fact that the society's rules requiring the meeting to be held were complied with and the meeting was convened — even though it had to adjourn immediately.

“The only action that can legally be taken in the absence of a quorum is to fix the time to which to adjourn, adjourn, recess, or take measures to obtain a quorum ....” [RONR (10th ed.) p. 336, l. 24-35]

“The prohibition against transacting business in the absence of a quorum cannot be waived even by unanimous consent, and a notice cannot be validly given.” [RONR (10th ed.) p. 337, l. 14-16]

Now Robert's Rules does say that, “Where an important opportunity would be lost unless acted upon immediately, the members present can, at their own risk, act in the emergency with the hope that their action will be ratified by a later meeting at which a quorum is present.” [RONR (10th ed.) p. 337, l. 19-23]

But if the actions at the July 14, meeting are to be “ratified” at a later meeting where there is a quorum then the calling of a regular meeting cannot itself be ratified before that meeting has met. Therefore either this meeting is an adjourned meeting that must pick up the agenda where there June 26, meeting left it or else it is no meeting at all.

The rule for continuing the meeting with less than a quorum as long as a majority of a quorum approve a motion comes from the default provision of Calif. Corp. Code Section 5211, Section 8. “Action by unanimous consent requires the presence of a quorum, just as for the transaction of business by any other method.” [RONR (10th ed.) p. 53, l. 33-35]

Pacifica bylaws, Article Seven, Section 7,

“A quorum at any meeting of an LSB shall be a majority of the then currently serving LSB members, not including the Station Manager. Associate station representatives shall not be counted for purposes of establishing a quorum for matters on which they are not entitled to vote. If after a quorum has been established at a meeting of the LSB some of the LSB members leave the meeting and there is no longer a quorum present, those LSB members remaining may continue to take action so long as a resolution receives at least that number of affirmative votes as would constitute a majority of a quorum. (E.g., if the quorum is 13 LSB members, and a majority of a quorum is 7, then so long as 7 LSB members remain present and vote in the affirmative the resolution shall be adopted.) Except as otherwise expressly provided in these Bylaws, the approval of a majority of the LSB members present and voting shall be required for any action of said LSB. In the event that the vote on any motion results in a tie, the motion shall not pass.”

“As stated on page 4, the basic requirement for approval of an action or choice by a deliberative assembly, except where a rule provides otherwise, is a majority vote. The word majority means ‘more than half'; and when the term majority vote is used without qualification — as in the case of the basic requirement — it means more than half of the votes cast by persons legally entitled to vote, excluding blanks or abstentions, at a regular or properly called meeting at which a quorum is present.” [RONR (10th ed.) p. 387, l. 5-13]

There was no vote to adjourn.

“A meeting of an assembly is a single official gathering of its members in one room or area to transact business for a length of time during which there is no cessation of proceedings and the members do not separate, unless for a short recess, as defined below.” [RONR (10th ed.) p. 79, l. 17-21].

An election requires a quorum. If a quorum is not present when the election is held then the actions of the committee will constitute a continuing breech and may jeopardize all waivers in the upcoming the elections.

Standing Committees

[RONR (10th ed.) p. 473, l. 27-35, p. 474, l. 1-11]

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