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Censure and penalties for officers short of impeachment


sfraser

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Hello:

Background: community college student gov't board, with separate Constitution and By-laws. These documents outline what each elected officer of the Executive Board (the main governing body of the student population) can do. These documents provide for an impeachment and recall procedure in case of 'neglect of duty' or excessive absences. This is the only punishment specifically outlined in the adopted governing docs.

Issue: When these duties aren't followed, there's no recourse allowed for by the governing docs except for impeachment. And in most cases, it's an excessive punishment. But besides that threat, what options or tools does the Board have to actually punish or reprimand a member in any meaningful fashion beyond a stern look or a finger-wag?

An example might be repeated failure to perform a task requested of an officer that isn't, however, a specific duty outlined (beyond executing board business as directed by the President).

Thanks!

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But besides that threat, what options or tools does the Board have to actually punish or reprimand a member in any meaningful fashion beyond a stern look or a finger-wag?

The board can only do what the bylaws authorize it to do. But the general membership has a host of disciplinary sanctions available to it. See Chapter XX. See also FAQ #7.

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But besides that threat,

what options or tools does the Board have to actually punish or reprimand a member in any meaningful fashion

beyond a stern look or a finger-wag?

None.

Once you fix the number of punishment options, you will have run out of options.

The only Good News is, you may waggle your finger all you want. -- You are free to censure anyone, for anything, despite the specific disciplinary rule. The Book allows for condemnation and for censure without invoking any disciplinary procedures.

(See the RONR chapter on AMEND for the relevant example.)

(I hear a raised eyebrow is still serious stuff in the European community. Oh, those British!) ;)

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Hello:

Background: community college student gov't board, with separate Constitution and By-laws. These documents outline what each elected officer of the Executive Board (the main governing body of the student population) can do. These documents provide for an impeachment and recall procedure in case of 'neglect of duty' or excessive absences. This is the only punishment specifically outlined in the adopted governing docs.

Issue: When these duties aren't followed, there's no recourse allowed for by the governing docs except for impeachment. And in most cases, it's an excessive punishment. But besides that threat, what options or tools does the Board have to actually punish or reprimand a member in any meaningful fashion beyond a stern look or a finger-wag?

An example might be repeated failure to perform a task requested of an officer that isn't, however, a specific duty outlined (beyond executing board business as directed by the President).

Thanks!

If the governing documents prescribe a specific punishment without qualification, then it is understood that an increase or diminution therefrom is prohibited. See RONR (10th ed.), p. 572, l. 28, through p. 573, l. 2.

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Alright, thanks for the reply so far.

So, following on, were a motion to censure an officer pass, what would that motion mean given the context of this new information? What would the next step be, besides recording that a motion to censure passed?

S Fraser, we begin to venture into interpretation of your bylaws, which is, in the Latin phrase, fred nauseam on this website. Why not try the bylaws chatting forum, which plaintively faunches for questions like these? It's at /bylawsandsuch.lefora.com/ , or thereabouts.

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So, following on, were a motion to censure an officer pass, what would that motion mean given the context of this new information?

A motion to censure is simply a motion expressing the body's disapproval.

What would the next step be, besides recording that a motion to censure passed?

By default, that would be the extent of it. Alternately, it is permissible to adopt a motion ordering the presiding officer to publicly censure the individual, in which case the presiding officer would do a lot of that finger wagging and raised eyebrows in full view of the meeting.

A motion to censure is not necessarily a disciplinary action, so I don't believe what your Bylaws say here have much bearing on it. Additionally, since you say that all of these individuals are officers, then censure or removal from office are your only real options. RONR doesn't provide an in-between punishment for officers (only for members).

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