Libran

Vice President's duties in President's absence

13 posts in this topic

The bylaws say the President shall serve ex-officio on all committees except the Nominating Committee.  They also say: "The Vice-President will:

(1)   Perform all the duties of the President in his/her absence."

The President could not attend a committee meeting.  He asked the Vice President to attend in his place.  An important vote was taken.  Should the VP's vote have counted, or is it considered a proxy vote, which isn't allowed?  Is the VP "performing the duties of the President in his/her absence" or does that not include the ex-officio duties?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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When the bylaws stipulate (as does RONR) that the president may not serve ex officio on the nominating committee, it  is very hard for me to understand how that can be equated to the president 'being absent'. Clearly, the bylaws mandate that serving ex officio on the nominating committee is not one of the "duties of the president", and therefore not something that can be transferred to the vice president. In my view, the VP had no business attending the meeting, much less voting, in the first place.

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3 hours ago, Libran said:

The bylaws say the President shall serve ex-officio on all committees except the Nominating Committee.  They also say: "The Vice-President will:

(1)   Perform all the duties of the President in his/her absence."

The President could not attend a committee meeting.  He asked the Vice President to attend in his place.  An important vote was taken.  Should the VP's vote have counted, or is it considered a proxy vote, which isn't allowed?  Is the VP "performing the duties of the President in his/her absence" or does that not include the ex-officio duties?

Thanks in advance for your help.

The organization will need to interpret its own bylaws.

2 hours ago, Bruce Lages said:

When the bylaws stipulate (as does RONR) that the president may not serve ex officio on the nominating committee, it  is very hard for me to understand how that can be equated to the president 'being absent'. Clearly, the bylaws mandate that serving ex officio on the nominating committee is not one of the "duties of the president", and therefore not something that can be transferred to the vice president. In my view, the VP had no business attending the meeting, much less voting, in the first place.

I think this is about a different committee.

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14 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

The organization will need to interpret its own bylaws.

I think this is about a different committee.

Yes - that is the more logical interpretation of the initial post. Sorry for mis-reading the question.

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It was a different committee (not the Nominating Committee).  

Have others encountered this interpretation of the VP stepping in? It's pretty standard bylaws language, isn't it?   So if I understand it correctly, in the short term, the majority decides the interpretation, and in the long term the organization needs to revise the bylaws to be more specific as to when and how the VP can carry out the presidential duties.  Any suggested wording would be helpful.  Thanks.

 

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RONR states:  " This section may also provide that certain officers—for example, the president—"shall be ex officio a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee." In that case, the president has the right, but not the duty, of participating in the work of the committees (see also pp. 483–84, 497)."  RONR (11th ed.), p. 579.  emphasis added by me.

Perhaps it's not a duty which needs performed by your VP.

That said, I agree with Mr. Martin that it's up to your group to ultimately decide.

 

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Thanks for the quote from RONR, George. I thought it said something to that effect but don't have a copy available at the moment and didn't want to guess at it. I agree with your post. I think a "right" isn't necessarily the same thing as a "duty". 

Edited to add: this might be easier if the bylaws said that the vice president shall (or may) exercise the "powers", rather than the "duties", of the president in the absence of the president.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph

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It's embarrassing to be so paint-by-numbers in agreement with Richard Brown that I might come across as a fawning sycophantic lickspittle.  Thank Heaven he's a Republican or something, so I can grasp desperately at the plaintive pathetic tatters of my self-respect.

(In the early days of this, the World's Premiere Internet Parliamentary Website, there was a regular poster, Ian, who formed a mutual admiration society with me.  Two members.  I wrote the bylaws.  GM III might remember those days.  Of course, we were younger then.  Josh and Shmuel were what, six?  Three?)

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Well, Ian may be long gone, but now we have Nancy and Mr.(we're not on a first name basis) Scorpion to deal with. :)

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22 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

Well, Ian may be long gone, but now we have Nancy and Mr.(we're not on a first name basis) Scorpion to deal with. :)

It's never a good idea to mess around with the Scorpion.  :)

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3 hours ago, Libran said:

Have others encountered this interpretation of the VP stepping in? It's pretty standard bylaws language, isn't it? 

I think it's pretty standard language, but usually no one gives much thought to what it actually means until there is a problem. I have not seen this particular issue come up before.

RONR simply provides that the Vice President will take over for the President's duties in relation to presiding when the President is absent, which keeps things simple.

3 hours ago, Libran said:

So if I understand it correctly, in the short term, the majority decides the interpretation, and in the long term the organization needs to revise the bylaws to be more specific as to when and how the VP can carry out the presidential duties.  Any suggested wording would be helpful.  Thanks.

If you just want the Vice President to preside at meetings of the board and membership when the President is absent, RONR has you covered. Just strike this language entirely.

If you want it to apply to other duties as well, you will need to not only consider what duties it applies to, but also consider what constitutes an "absence." This is pretty clear-cut for meetings, but it's much less clear for duties which apply outside of meetings. I don't have a recommended wording for you. You'll have to consider what is best for your organization.

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6 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

I think it's pretty standard language, but usually no one gives much thought to what it actually means until there is a problem. I have not seen this particular issue come up before.

RONR simply provides that the Vice President will take over for the President's duties in relation to presiding when the President is absent, which keeps things simple.

If you just want the Vice President to preside at meetings of the board and membership when the President is absent, RONR has you covered. Just strike this language entirely.

If you want it to apply to other duties as well, you will need to not only consider what duties it applies to, but also consider what constitutes an "absence." This is pretty clear-cut for meetings, but it's much less clear for duties which apply outside of meetings. I don't have a recommended wording for you. You'll have to consider what is best for your organization.

For meetings, RONR has these issues covered.  As for administration issues (i.e. issues related to duties outside a meeting) it is up to the organization, through it's By-laws to decide who takes over and when. That's why I don't like it when the By-laws say that the Treasurer and another officer must sign cheques instead of two officers (or two members authorized by the Board) as what happens when the Treasurer is on holiday?

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On 8/29/2017 at 8:23 PM, Rev Ed said:

 it's

Not bad.  Except for the Canadian punctuation.

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