Dfredc

Chairman abuse of authority

40 posts in this topic

RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 650-651 provides the procedure for "Remedies for abuse of authority by the chair in a meeting" this recently occurred in a board meeting where the chair ruled a motion dilatory. A member went through a proper appeal of the decision and called on the body to vote. The chairman ignored it and proceeded. When confronted again he said it was dilatory and continued with the meeting. A number of new members on the board and I believe they were intimidated to confront the chair and were afraid (too timid?) and let the meeting proceed.

  What can be done when the chair ignores a proper appeal of a decision and fails to allow a vote for an appeal?

Thanks in advance.

PS there is a video of this but I have not been able to obtain it yet. If I do, I will share it if that is allowed.

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In such a case, would the member have to physically stand and appeal to the assembly? This was a board meeting and they were all seated.

What would be the procedure if the chairman still ignores and just steamrolls ahead?

Thank you btw!

 

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An easy start to fixing things would be to simply move to Censure the Chairman  --  you could precede your resolution to censure with a few "Whereas"s detailing why.  Majority vote is all that is required.  Adopting the motion doesn't actually change anything; it just makes your collective opinion clear and in the open.

This might, at least, encourage the "timid" even though, I'll bet, the dictatorial chairman tries to shut you down. 

OTOH, the original motion may well have been dilatory, so pick your battles carefully.

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I agree with the previous responses and would add that the assembly always has the option of suspending the rules and removing the president from presiding at a particular meeting. See disciplinary procedures in chapter XX of RONR and also official interpretation No. 2006-2 for more information.  http://www.robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_2

The bottom line, though, is that there isn't much you can do unless a significant number of other members agree that the president needs to be reined in and are willing to do something about it. Perhaps a couple of members whom the president respects can convince him to be less dictatorial. .

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6 hours ago, SaintCad said:

In such a case, the member can address the Point and Appeal directly to the assembly.  p 650-651

I'm under the impression that a member attempted to do just that and was rebuffed by the chair.

Dfredc, is that what happened ?

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7 hours ago, Dfredc said:

In such a case, would the member have to physically stand and appeal to the assembly? This was a board meeting and they were all seated.

What would be the procedure if the chairman still ignores and just steamrolls ahead?

Thank you btw!

 

Have the supporters of this all turn to the person putting the appeal and the other motions relaying to the suspension.  The suspended chair is free to yell and bang his gave all he wants.

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I agree with Mme. Zhé-Zhé. Putting the appeal to the assembly means turning one's back on the chair and carrying on no matter what. It is a grave maneuver and one had better be up for a battle of the wills and test of persuasion.

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42 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

I agree with Mme. Zhé-Zhé. Putting the appeal to the assembly means turning one's back on the chair and carrying on no matter what. It is a grave maneuver and one had better be up for a battle of the wills and test of persuasion.

 Ah. it would be "Mister."  That is a picture of Donna Summer.  :)

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7 hours ago, jstackpo said:

An easy start to fixing things would be to simply move to Censure the Chairman  --  you could precede your resolution to censure with a few "Whereas"s detailing why.  Majority vote is all that is required.  Adopting the motion doesn't actually change anything; it just makes your collective opinion clear and in the open.

This might, at least, encourage the "timid" even though, I'll bet, the dictatorial chairman tries to shut you down. 

OTOH, the original motion may well have been dilatory, so pick your battles carefully.

The chairman tried to seat a member of the board that had resigned. He had already relayed it to the membership and set up a special meeting to replace. Before that meeting, the board sent a notice to replace to him and the membership and scheduled a special meeting to address referring to the membership for a vote of his removal. Two days before the meeting to refer the previous board member (an ally to the chairman) decided to un-resign and sent an email to all the members stating so. The chairman followed up with canceled the meeting to replace the board member.

When the meeting began the chairman insisted that the previous board member is added to the roll call. An objection raised, the chairman ruled it dilatory. The member that was ruled against in the objection appealed to the members (3 times, seconded) but the chairman just steamrolled right over it all. Did not allow a vote to be taken.

That seated member (the one that had resigned) was the deciding vote to keep the board from taking it to the members. 2/3 needed 7-4 votes to send it to the members.

 

Can you cite for me the pages where I could find about censoring him? I suspect the board is going to take action soon. I'm not on the board itself but know some that are.

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5 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I agree with the previous responses and would add that the assembly always has the option of suspending the rules and removing the president from presiding at a particular meeting. See disciplinary procedures in chapter XX of RONR and also official interpretation No. 2006-2 for more information.  http://www.robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_2

The bottom line, though, is that there isn't much you can do unless a significant number of other members agree that the president needs to be reined in and are willing to do something about it. Perhaps a couple of members whom the president respects can convince him to be less dictatorial. .

Thank you! I think this is what they will probably do. They do have the numbers to do this 6 against the chair for sure and one sympathetic. 4 against (including the chair). Only 3 against once they have taken action to remove the board member "brought back from the dead" by the chair (see previous response to message).

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5 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I'm under the impression that a member attempted to do just that and was rebuffed by the chair.

Dfredc, is that what happened ?

This is exactly what happened.

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5 hours ago, J. J. said:

Have the supporters of this all turn to the person putting the appeal and the other motions relaying to the suspension.  The suspended chair is free to yell and bang his gave all he wants.

This is excellent! Does the board have a course of action if he continues to disrupt? Can they actually physically have him removed?

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5 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

I agree with Mme. Zhé-Zhé. Putting the appeal to the assembly means turning one's back on the chair and carrying on no matter what. It is a grave maneuver and one had better be up for a battle of the wills and test of persuasion.

Thank you! I think the board members have now realized that grave action needs to happen and will gather the confidence to do this.

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If I can add another question... what happens if the minutes are not approved from a meeting? In the case above if the majority of the board decides that they do not want to approve the minutes from this last meeting, what happens? Should I ask this in a new thread?

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25 minutes ago, Dfredc said:

If I can add another question... what happens if the minutes are not approved from a meeting? In the case above if the majority of the board decides that they do not want to approve the minutes from this last meeting, what happens? Should I ask this in a new thread?

Not approving the minutes does not change anything that happened.  Action taken is action taken regardless of whether it is reflected in the minutes.   However, not approving the minutes can ultimately lead to problems because of different memories and conflicting opinions of what happened.  The minutes create a prima facie record of what transpired at a particular meeting.  Failing to approve the minutes does not negate what actually happened.  A motion adopted at a meeting remains adopted regardless of whether the minutes get approved.

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2 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Not approving the minutes does not change anything that happened.  Action taken is action taken regardless of whether it is reflected in the minutes.   However, not approving the minutes can ultimately lead to problems because of different memories and conflicting opinions of what happened.  The minutes create a prima facie record of what transpired at a particular meeting.  Failing to approve the minutes does not negate what actually happened.  A motion adopted at a meeting remains adopted regardless of whether the minutes get approved.

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, Dfredc said:

This is excellent! Does the board have a course of action if he continues to disrupt? Can they actually physically have him removed?

Certainly. The assembly is not required to suffer the bad behavior of any member. It would take a motion to suspend the rules and declare the chair vacant, followed by election of a chairman pro tem, and finally a motion to expel the offender for the remainder of the meeting.

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4 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Certainly. The assembly is not required to suffer the bad behavior of any member. It would take a motion to suspend the rules and declare the chair vacant, followed by election of a chairman pro tem, and finally a motion to expel the offender for the remainder of the meeting.

Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Dfredc said:

This is excellent! Does the board have a course of action if he continues to disrupt? Can they actually physically have him removed?

If any member is disruptive the assembly, after several warnings, may vote that he be removed.  If he reuses, I would suggest you call the police, and be prepared to press charges.

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2 minutes ago, J. J. said:

If any member is disruptive the assembly, after several warnings, may vote that he be removed.  If he reuses, I would suggest you call the police, and be prepared to press charges.

Good idea! This chair is so set on himself, I would not be surprised if he refused to leave. Thank you!

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4 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Certainly. The assembly is not required to suffer the bad behavior of any member. It would take a motion to suspend the rules and declare the chair vacant. . . . 

I don't think that's exactly right. you don't declare the chair vacant if the chair is the regular elected presiding officer. That procedure is used only when the presiding officer is an appointed or elected chair pro tem. In all other cases , the assembly must suspend the rules to take away from the chairman the authority to preside during all or part of a given session. I explained that procedure in an earlier post.

See page 651 line 16 through page 653 line 19.

 

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