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The Florida Parliamentarian

Volume 35, Issue 6 December 2016

Professionalism 2017 Parliamentary Calendar Order yours in the NAP Bookstore now. . Features RP exam questions and research . A question -a-day keeps you on your toes.

FSAP LOOKS FORWARD TO 2017 The Florida State Association of Parliamentarians fall meeting was packed with great workshops and wonderful networking. Florida members enjoyed getting to know our NAP representative, Alison Wallis, PRP. The nominating committee reported the proposed slate of officers to be elected at the annual meeting in the spring: President: Dr. Eugene M. Bierbaum, PRP First Vice President: Helen Popovich, PRP

Second Vice President: Jacquelyn Pierce, RP Secretary Sara Russell Treasurer: Karen Price It’s dues renewal season. You can renew on the NAP website or by phone, mail, or fax to NAP. Just be sure to renew by December 31 and you may win a $25 gift certificate to the NAP Bookstore. One member from each district will win. Season’s greetings to all members. See you in 2017!

Inside this issue: Presidentially Speaking


US Constitution -Succession




Unit Lesson: Adjourn


Holiday quiz Can You Find it?

8 9

Unit News


Directory Update


Alison Wallis, Tim Wynn, Jacquelyn Pierce at the FSAP Henry M. Robert’s Day Meeting in October

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The Florida Parliamentarian

Presidentially Speaking... Which came first, the teacher or the student? This is a question that ran across my mind recently. The answer, after a little consideration, became obvious. At a dinner party, I found myself teaching a friend to play chess. I had never endeavored to be a chess teacher, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be one that night. It was from this unexpected experience that I understood where teachers come from. They President Tim Wynn, PRP are nothing more than students who have accepted the opportunity to share what they have learned. Learning and teaching are inseparable. As parliamentarians, we can see the truth of this statement. Every nuance of parliamentary law that we learn is another tool we have for teaching. Knowledge spreads in this way, from student to student. And before we realize it, we have become the teachers. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to formally teach a class on parliamentary law, I encourage you to do so. It really is the best way to learn.

President Tim Wynn, PRP teaches Navigating RONR at the NAP Training Conference.

So, which came first, the teacher or the student? Definitely the student. The Florida Parliamentarian is the official publication of the Florida State Association of Parliamentarians and is published four times a year; February, April, September, December. Subscription rate: $20 per year. Š 2015 Florida State Association of Parliamentarians. All rights reserved. Tim Wynn,PRP, Editor-in Chief (386) 228-2242 E-mail: Ann Guiberson, PRP, Editor (727) 641-6308 E-mail: Dr. Eugene Bierbaum, PRP, Associate Editor (352) 333-2442 Email: Carol Austin, PRP, Circulation Manager (813) 833-4747 Email:

DEADLINES FOR COPY February issue Dec 31 April issue Mar. 1 September issue July 31 December issue Oct 31 SEND ADDRESS CORRECTIONS TO: Carol Austin 1515 Pinellas Bayway S, A13 St. Petersburg, FL 33715 FSAP WEBSITE

Volume 35, Issue 6

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The U.S. Constitution: Succession to the Office of President Most of us know that the order of power in the event of the death of the president is the Vice President and then the speaker of the house. Where does it go from there?

tive branch turning to ash in a split second, the line of succession became more important.

The 25th put the matter to rest—with the prospect of Washington D.C. being melted in a nuclear fire, and most of the legislative and execu-

The original Constitution provides that if neither the President nor Vice President can serve,

In 1792, Congress passed the first presidential succession act. This act was fraught with political The Constitution actually only provides for wrangling between the Federalists and Antifederthe Vice President to succeed the President. alists, as much early U.S. policy was. The FederalArticle 2-Section 1 and Amendments 20 and 25, ists did not want the Secretary of State, since basically say that aside from the VP, the line of Thomas Jefferson held the position, and he was succession is by law. The exact order is in the emerging as a leader to the Antifederalist camp. U.S. Code, specifically 3 USC 19. Right now, the Some were wary of the President Pro Tem of the order is Speaker of the House, President Pro Senate, because of the apparent mixing of the Tem of the Senate, then the members of the branches of government so recently established. Cabinet (in the order the agencies were added). Ditto the House Speaker and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The eventuThis question has onal compromise did include two ly been around since persons to fall in line past the The Constitution only the cold war. Prior to Vice President. The President provides for the Vice the 25th Amendment, Pro Tem of the Senate first, then there was no procedure President to succeed the the Speaker of the House. in place for replacing President. After that, the line The issue was taken up again a vacant Vice Presidenin 1886, when the Congressional of succession is by law. cy, and, in fact, all Vice leadership was removed from Presidents who sucthe line and replaced with the ceeded a dead President Cabinet, with the Secretary of served out the term State falling first in line. Finally, the 1947 Act without a VP; and each time a VP died, the added the Speaker of the House and President President served without a backup. The framers Pro Tem back in the line (but reversed from the either never thought of the need for a double 1792 order). succession, or thought the odds that the VP The 25th Amendment reiterates what is stated who becomes president would then die were in Article 2, Section 1: that the Vice President is pretty slim. The 1792 Succession Act did provide the direct successor of the President. He or she for the Presidency to be taken by the President will become President if the President cannot Pro Tem of the Senate, then by the Speaker of serve for whatever reason. The 25th also provides the House. In 1886, these individuals were refor a President who is temporarily disabled, such placed by the cabinet secretaries, and in 1947, as if the President has a surgical procedure or if the Congress placed the Speaker and President he or she become mentally unstable. Pro Tem at the top of the order.

(Continued on page 5)

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The Florida Parliamentarian

All page numbers are references to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th ed., unless otherwise noted. Send questions to the Associate Editor, Gene Bierbaum, PhD, PRP. E-mail:

Question #13

Question #14

Bad weather caused a very low attendance at a regular monthly meeting of the ABC Society. With a quorum requirement of 10, only 12 were in attendance. Nine of those present were members of a minority faction that has been agitating to change the location of the society’s meetings. A motion to change the meeting site was adopted by a vote of 7 in favor, 3 opposed, and 2 abstentions. The 3 negative votes came from those in attendance who were not members of the pro-change minority faction. One of these moved to reconsider the vote on the question of relocation but was ruled out of order because he did not vote with the prevailing side. What options does the member have to delay or prevent implementation of the adopted main motion?

Can previous notice of a bylaw amendment be withdrawn?

Answer #13 1. The easiest option, no longer available, would have been to vote in the affirmative. This would have ensured the eligibility of the member to move for reconsideration. 2. It may be possible to persuade a member who voted in the affirmative to move to reconsider. (p. 316, lines 12-15) 3. The member can give notice that a motion to rescind (which, with notice, will require only a majority vote for adoption) will be moved at the next meeting. (p. 306, lines 26-30); p. 335, lines 5-10)

Answer #14 The general rule is that notice cannot be withdrawn because publication of the notice may have prevented others from giving notice of the same motion. RONR, however, does provide that notice can be withdrawn by unanimous consent. (p. 297, lines 20-23) Question #15 During debate on a highly controversial amendment, a member moved the previous question. The motion was defeated by a vote of 50-30. Debate continued, during which several new members entered the meeting room. A member who favors closing debate but voted in the negative to ensure his eligibility to move reconsideration, moved to reconsider the vote on the previous question. Is the motion in order? If so, what further steps must be taken to ensure that debate is closed? Answer #15 Yes, the motion is in order. Although the 30 negative votes were not a majority, they constitute the “prevailing side” by preventing the two -thirds required for adoption. Before debate can be closed, the following must occur: 1. The motion to reconsider must be adopted

Volume 35, Issue 6

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by a majority vote without debate. The motion to reconsider is not debatable when applied to an undebatable motion. (p. 309, lines 12-16) 2. The motion for the previous question must be adopted by a two-thirds vote without debate. Question #16 During debate on a pending main motion, member A moves to reconsider the vote on a motion to raise the dues which was defeated earlier in the same meeting. The motion to reconsider is seconded by member B and discussion resumes on the pending main motion. Immediately after action on the pending main motion is completed, member C calls up the motion to reconsider the vote on raising the dues. Member B raises a point of order that only the mover of the motion to reconsider is eligible to call up the motion. How should the chair rule on the point of order? Answer #16 Usually, only the mover calls up the reconsideration on the day that the motion is made because “he is entitled to have it take place at a time he feels will make for the fullest and fairest reexamination of the question.” (p. 323, lines 33-35) Robert notes, however, that special circumstances may create a “need for immediate action.” (p. 323, lines 26-27) For example, if the chair believes that failure to raise the dues immediately may create a serious financial liability for the organization, he may then permit any member to call up the reconsideration.

The U.S. Constitution: Succession to the Office of President (continued from page 3) the Congress shall provide law stating who is next in line. Currently that law exists as 3 USC 19, a section of the U.S. Code. This law was established as part of the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. There, the following line of succession is provided:            

Speaker of the House of Representatives President Pro Tempore of the Senate Secretary of State Secretary of the Treasury Secretary of Defense Attorney General Secretary of the Interior Secretary of Agriculture Secretary of Commerce Secretary of Labor Secretary of Health and Human Service Secretary of Housing and Urban Development  Secretary of Transportation  Secretary of Energy  Secretary of Education  Secretary of Veterans Affairs  Secretary of Homeland Security (not yet set by law)

The next person in line must be constitutionally eligible. The only exception to the line provided in the law states that to ascend to the Presidency, the next person in line must be constitutionally eligible. Any person holding an office in the line of succession who, for example, is not a naturallyborn citizen cannot become President. In this case, that person would be skipped and the next eligible person in the line would become President.

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The Florida Parliamentarian

Unit Lesson - Adjourn Remember the very first time you rode a two-wheeler? Wobbling down the driveway, you felt a genuine sense of triumph. Then it struck you. In all your zeal to learn to ride, you hadn’t given much thought to how to stop. The end of that first ride was probably a bit messy. The end of a meeting can be a bit messy, too, if the presiding officer hasn’t given sufficient thought to how to bring the assembly’s business to a clean and crisp conclusion. It’s well worth the time to devote some study to the motion to adjourn. Does the motion require a second? Is it debatable? What vote is required? When, if ever, is a formal motion not needed? What happens if “the ayes have it,” and then a member realizes that some absolutely critical business has been overlooked? What significant differences are there between the motion to adjourn in the regular meetings of an ordinary society and in a convention or mass meeting? The presiding officer’s mastery of these and other facts about the motion to adjourn are the key to a smooth ending—and to members’ positive feelings about returning to the next business meeting. Read RONR, pages 233-242 and answer the questions. Discuss the answers and give page citations. The motion to adjourn is always a privileged motion EXCEPT: List the three cases in which the motion to adjourn is not privileged. 1. 2. 3. Fill in the standard characteristics in the chart below. (See RONR, p. 236) Can Interrupt a speaker?

Must be seconded?

Is it debatable? Is it amendable?

What vote is required?

Can it be reconsidered?

Answer the questions. 1. The Carter County Historical Society, which has no rules establishing a time for adjournment, has disposed of all items under Unfinished Business and general Orders. No one repsonds when the chair asks, “Is there any new business?” No one responds when she asks, “are there any announcements?” The chair should: a. Declare the meeting adjourned. b. Assume a motion to adjourn and put it to a vote after debate. c. Ask a member to move that the meeting be adjourned and put the motion to a vote without debate.

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2. At 10:00 a.m., the president of the Winchester Garden Club, having just declared that the next business in order is new business, recognizes a member who, instead of introducing an item of new business, moves that the meeting adjourn at 10:30 a.m. Another member seconds the motion. The chair should: a. Rule the motion to adjourn at 10:30 not in order. b. State the question on the motion to adjourn at 10:30 a.m. and ask, “Are you ready for the question?� c. Put the question on the motion to adjourn at 10:30 a.m. to an immediate vote. 3. A member of the Good Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary moves to adjourn while an item of new business is pending. Another member seconds the motion. The chair immediately puts the question on the motion which passes unanimously. Another member rises promptly and says that he would like to give notice of a proposed bylaw amendment. The chair should: a. Ignore the member and declare the meeting adjourned. b. Permit the member to give notice of the proposed bylaw amendment and then declare the meeting adjourned. c. Permit the member to give notice and then retake the vote on the motion to adjourn. 4. The New Port Richey Businesswomen’s Association has just approved the minutes of its last meeting when one member makes and another seconds a motion to adjourn. The motion is put to a vote without debate, but it is lost. After hearing reports from committees, the assembly takes up a proposal that was postponed from the last meeting. Soon after debate begins, a member moves to reconsider the vote on the motion to adjourn and it is seconded. The chair should: a. Ask the secretary to make a note of the motion to reconsider and allow debate on the postponed motion to continue. b. Rule the motion to reconsider out of order. c. Put the motion to reconsider to a vote without debate. d. State the motion to reconsider and open the floor to debate. 5. A convention adopted a program which provided for adjournment of the Thursday afternoon business session at 4:00 p.m. However, at 4:00 p.m., a special order set for 3:30 p.m. is still pending. The chair should: a. Immediately declare the meeting adjourned. b. Announce that the meeting will adjourn as soon as the special order is disposed of. 6. The Citrus County Middle School PTA has a standing rule that sets the hour of adjournment at 9 p.m. at the April meeting, debate on a motion is going on and on and members are getting tired. A member moves to adjourn and it is seconded. It is only 8:15 p.m. and there is a lot of business on the agenda. The chair should: a. Rule the motion to adjourn out of order. b. Open the motion to adjourn to debate and amendment and then take the vote. c. Immediately put the question on the motion to adjourn. If a majority vote in favor, adjourn the meeting. (See answers on page 12)

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The Florida Parliamentarian

Parliamentary Quiz for December Holidays - What is the Message? Fill in the blanks and then insert the first letter of the inserted word in the space at the left to spell out the special message. 1. _____ To introduce new business, use a _____________ motion. 2. _____ To change the rules of debate, you can use the motion that will either limit or _____________ limits of debate. 3. _____ If you decide that we made a hasty decision, in the same meeting, you can make the motion to ______________ if you voted on the prevailing side. 4. _____ To make a vote legal that may have been taken at a meeting with no quorum, use the motion to _____________. 5. _____ A lower ranking motion is said to _____________ to a higher ranking motion. 6. _____ Standing and special are two types of ___________________. 7. _____ Sometimes majority votes are taken by a show of _____________ in a small board. 8. _____ If the action on an adopted motion has not been taken and you wish to overturn that action, at the next or a subsequent meeting, use the motion to _______________. 9. _____ If you wish to know more about something, rise to a request for ____________________. 10. ____ If you feel the motion is worthy of debate, even though you do not like the motion, you can still ______________ the motion. 11. _____ A motion laid on the table stays there until someone moves to _________ it from the table or it will die at the close of the next regular meeting. 12._____ The document containing the permanent record of a meeting is called the ______________. 13._____ To modify or make changes to a motion, use the motion to ________________. 14._____ Besides amending by strike out, insert, add, strike and insert, you can move to ____________. 15._____ Some organizations have an _________________ membership category for nonmembers who gave exceptional service to the group. 16._____ To close a meeting, the motion to ___________ is used. 17._____ To kill a motion without voting on it directly, use the motion to ________________________. 18._____ To keep from voting on an issue at this meeting, delay it by moving to ________________ to a definite time. 19._____ In a roll call vote, those in favor may vote _______ and those opposed, vote no. 20._____ The word used to propose someone for an office is to _____________. 21._____ Almost all organizations _____________ their officers for a one or two-year term. 22._____ If you wish you hadn’t made the motion, you may wish to __________________ it. 23._____ When one motion outranks another, the lower ranking motion is said to __________ to it. 24._____ Many bylaws now permit ___________ notices as well as sending them by postal mail. 25._____ To organize a new association, it is necessary to ____________ a set of bylaws. 26. _____ A short intermission in a meeting is called a ___________________. (Answers are on page 12)

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Can You Find These Research Questions In RONR? 1. If the motion made as a question of privilege is seconded, and if the chair admits it as such and decides that it should be entertained immediately, he states the question on it and proceeds as with any other main motion. 2. The adjournment may be signaled by a single rap of the gavel, if desired. 3. But sometimes [page 223] the chair or a member may sense that the assembly would prefer to continue consideration of the presently pending question or take up another matter first. 4. If the chair does not announce the recess at the scheduled time, a member can call for the orders of the day (18), thereby demanding that the recess be declared. 5. At the adjourned meeting, except for the reading of the minutes, business will be taken up from the point at which the previous meeting adjourned or at which questions were postponed. 6. But this privilege of renewal and the high rank of the motion are sometimes abused to the annoyance of the assembly. 7. Depending on the case, the member then either (a) describes the situation briefly and asks that it be remedied, or (b) if he believes that the matter will require formal action by the assembly, makes a motion covering his question of privilege, and another member seconds it. 8. For business to receive proper consideration, officers, committee members, and the delegates who are principally involved in major questions must be able to know the approximate times at which subjects will come up. 9. A motion to go into executive session (9) is a question of the privileges of the assembly. 10. The previous question can also be applied to it to prevent amendments being moved, although this situation rarely arises in ordinary societies. 11. In assemblies that follow the "standard" order of business explained above, [page 367] orders of the day for a given session, day, or meeting that are not set for particular hours are taken up under the headings of Special Orders and Unfinished Business and General Orders. 12. When the assembly has no fixed place for its meetings, the motion should include the place as well as the time of the adjourned meeting. 13. Once the assembly has refused to proceed to the orders of the day, they cannot be called for again until the pending business is disposed of. 14. When much time may be consumed in counting ballots, it is generally better to take a recess, but the assembly can adjourn if it has previously appointed a time for the next meeting. 15. Consequently, since there usually is no fixed hour for adjournment, the unqualified motion to adjourn is usually privileged in boards or committees. (Answers are on page 12)

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The Florida Parliamentarian

Unit News -Florida Alpha Unit Reports by Shirley Brodbeck, RP The Florida Alpha members are a flexible group. In November our meeting room in the Florida Hospital in Tampa was preempted and we were led to another building on the other side of the parking garage. We stepped into two elevators to go to the third floor meeting room and neither elevator would budge. When security didn't show up to start the elevator, we improvised and set up in the hall way by moving two sets of chairs to face each other, a waste container for the head table, and began the meeting with flag and gavel present. A standing rule was adopted and another was rescinded. Helen Popovich had us looking up sections and sentences in RONR and becoming familiar with how to use the layout of the book to find answers to our questions more quickly . This will be especially helpful to members studying for the RP open book exam.

SAVE THE DATE! APRIL 8, 2017 FURP PLANS EXCITING PARLIAMENTARY WORKSHOP The Florida Unit of Registered Parliamentarians (FURP) has an exciting educational opportunity for all FSAP members. On Saturday, April 8, 2017, there will be a parliamentary workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the GFWC Naples Woman’s Club Clubhouse, 570 Park Street, Naples, FL 34101 The registration fee of $25 per person includes registration fees, continental breakfast, buffet luncheon, and four informative and interesting workshops presented by FURP members. Parliamentary Myths……………………Dorothy Demarest, PRP Officers’ Responsibilities…………..…Ann Guiberson, PRP Bylaws 101…………….…………………………Helen Popovich, PRP Proper Protocol……..………………………….Jacquelyn Pierce, RP Please mail check payable to FURP by Tuesday, April 4, 2017 to the Workshop Chairman Jacquelyn Pierce: 174 S. Collier Boulevard, #705, Marco Island, Florida 34145. Also please indicate if you will need hotel arrangements for Friday, April 7 or Saturday, April 8. Questions? Contact Jackie at 239-293-3411 or via email to

Volume 35, Issue 6

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WELCOME NEW MEMBERS AND DIRECTORY UPDATE Welcome to New NAP Members Saharsh Agrawal, 12209 Fairlawn Dr., Riverview, FL, 33579, 850-980-2191,, Student MAL Angela Potier, 1405 Landview Lane, Osprey, FL, 34229, 941-330-6786,, Student MAL Paul Rene, P.O. Box 7840806, Winter Garden, FL, 34778, 321-662-0040,, MAL Andre Staton, 105 NW 105th Street, Ocala, FL, 32663, Member-at-large Welcome to New Provisionals Alexander Baisden, 9700 NW 17th St, Plantation, Fl 33322, 954-296-6853,, Plantation Unit Genevieve Baisden, 9700 NW 17th St, Plantation, Fl 33322, 815-739-0659,, Plantation Unit Karen Bauer, 11301 Roseland Rd., Sebastian, FL, 32956, 772-388-8640, Apollo XI Unit Address Change: Dr. Eugene Bierbaum, PRP, 2120 Arbor Way, Mount Dora, FL, 32757, 352-327-3528, MAL. In Memoriam: Margaret Harris, RP-Retired Dissolved: The Citrus County Unit of Parliamentarians voted to dissolve at their October meeting.

REMINDER: If you moved, changed your email or phone number or your unit added a new member or lost a member, notify Second Vice-President Carol Austin of the information right away! It is a big job to keep the FSAP database accurate and it all depends on Carol receiving accurate information in a timely manner. Please help and do your part. Email Carol: or call her at 813-833-4747.

QUOTES TO REMEMBER Quotes from Cannon’s Concise Guide to Rules of Order. 

The Chair makes the difference at meetings. If the chair is an effective leader—focusing on the members, treating each fairly, earning everyone’s trust—then the meeting will be successful. p. 13,

To become an effective Chair, the individual must establish goodwill, respect, and trust between the Chair and the assembly. p. 15.

Quotes from Henry M. Robert, preface to Robert’s Rules of Order, 1876 

The object of Robert’s Rules of Order is to assist an assembly to accomplish the work for which it was designed, in the best possible manner.

Page 12 The Florida Parliamentarian

Answers to Adjourn Questions: Adjourn is privileged except: (RONR, p. 234) 1. When the motion is qualified in any way. 2. When a time to adjourn is already established. 3. When the effect of the motion, if adopted, is to dissolve the assembly with no provision for another meeting. Standard characteristics chart. No, Yes, No, No, Majority, No (RONR Tinted Pages 6, #2) Multiple choice questions: 1) A; 2)B; 3)B; 4) B; 5) A; 6) A

Answers to December Quiz: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Main Extend Reconsider Ratify Yield Committees

7. Hands 8. Rescind 9. Information 10. Second 11. Take 12. Minutes

13. Amend 14. Substitute 15. Honorary 16. Adjourn 17. Postpone 18. Postpone

19. Yes 20. Nominate 21. Elect 22. Withdraw 23. Yield 24. Email

(The secret message is Merry Christmas—Happy New Year!)

Answers to Research Questions: 1. p. 228

6. p. 240

11. p. 336-367

2. p. 242

7. p. 228

12. p. 244

3. p.222-223

8. p. 219

13. p. 223

4. p. 232

9. p. 227

14. p. 235 fn

5. p.244

10.p. 231

15. p. 238

25. Adopt 26. Recess

December 2016 pub  

December 2016 Florida Parliamentarian

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