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  1. Hi, All. I was very grateful with help I received from those on this Forum back in the Fall and write again in search of further assistance! The issue this time: the procedures for a motion of censure. The situation I'm attempting to address, in rough, is this. At the last meeting of our Council, a member brought a motion to censure the President for a communication to members that contradicted the expressed will of the Council. At the beginning of the meeting, Council was asked to approve a parliamentarian to assist the President with the conduct of the meeting. This in and of itself is not unusual. In fact, Councillors had argued for the need for a parliamentarian in the hope that this would mean our meetings were run in good order. The parliamentarian in question for this meeting was not our usual parliamentarian. We finally reached the motion of censure very late in the meeting. At this juncture, the President asked for someone to move that the parliamentarian chair the discussion of the censure motion. I objected, as did the Vice-President. The President ignored all objections, kept calling for someone to move the motion in question, declaring that if we would not move that the Parliamentarian chair the discussion of the motion of censure against her *she* would chair the discussion. By a narrow margin, Councillors approved having the Parliamentarian in the chair. In my view this meant that we had in the "chair" a Parliamentarian who had willingly approved of a breach of the rules to put him in the chair. I would greatly appreciate hearing more informed views than mine on whether my view is correct. The Parliamentarian then read out the motion of censure, let the mover speak to the motion, and then promptly ruled the motion out of order. He ruled it out of order on more than one basis including that our Council has no authority to take any disciplinary action against a Presiding Officer and a motion of censure is a disciplinary action. He also ruled it out of order on the basis that the mover was proposing a penalty (that the Vice-President rather than the President send out communications to the membership). At this juncture, the mover read from Robert's Rules claiming that it was a breach of the rules for the Parliamentarian to be in the chair. Shockingly to me, he asserted that the as a majority had agreed to the breach the breach was fine. On the basis of advice that I had received from this Forum in the Fall I then moved an appeal of the decision of the "chair." The Parliamentarian-as-chair's ruling that the motion was out of order was DEFEATED, and we proceeded to debate on the motion of censure. My position, as I say, that the parliamentarian should never have been permitted to chair the discussion, and I seek guidance on this matter. When, in the course of my appeal of the decision of the chair, I aired my view that the Parliament should never have been in the chair he claimed to be the "presiding officer." I informed him that he was not the presiding officer — he had not been elected to office in the Association. After about 45 minutes of debate on the motion of censure, someone moved a postponement. The matter is to be addressed again at our next Council meeting this Thursday. I assume that we will once again be asked to put this Parliamentarian back into the "chair" for the continuing discussion. This should not, in my view, be allowed. I would therefore be very grateful to hear: 1. Whether a Parliamentarian can chair a motion of censure. Shouldn't such a discussion be chaired by the next highest presiding officer, in this case, the Vice-President? 2. If the Parliamentarian cannot or should not chair the motion, how does our Council ensure that this Parliamentarian cannot be put into the chair for the continuing discussion? I very much look forward to receiving advice from participants in this invaluable Forum! Thank you, Carolyn
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