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parliamentarian, how to get rid of


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The chair appoints the parliamentarian [RONR, 11th ed., p.465, l. 30-32].

Question: How does the assembly get rid of that parliamentarian?

The scenario is that the person appointed as parliamentarian is not a member of the assembly

that is meeting, and has no rights to vote. The meeting is by telephone. The parliamentarian

frequently jumps in and responds to people or speaks in favor or against motions people make.

I attempted to get rid of the parliamentarian due to one issue that involved a dispute with the

parliamentarian, who then responded that the chair can appoint thte parliamentarian and asserted

his right to continue to be there since he was appointed. He always behaves this way.

I can raise a point or order that he is supposed to be a consultant only when needed, and only

speak on the most involved matters, but he'd assert it was an involved matter (on practically every

matter). Most times the chair allows this take over and will agree to whatever the parliamentarian says

(even when it's not advice on Robert's Rules, but arguments for or against motions). This is

occurring at regular membership meetings and board meetings.

How do we get this parliamentarian under control or removed from turning a meeting into his show?

Or is the chairman's appointment something we are stuck with and can't override/ challenge?

Would it work to create standing rules that the parliamentarian not speak unless asked by the Chair

for their advice on a parliamentary question the Chair has (under penalty of removal from the assembly

meeting area or to be ordered to disconnect from the phone meeting)? Or does this interfere with

the right of the Chair to consult a parliamentarian?

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Move to go into Executive Session which, in part, means members only. If a majority of the members agree with you, he/she can be banished.

BTW, do your bylaws authorize telephone meetings? They have to for such meetings to be proper - p. 97.

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"I move for the adoption of the following standing rules:

1. That the parliamentarian not speak at this meeting unless first asked by the Chair for

assistance with a procedural question;

2. That the parliamentarian is prohibited to speak in debate on motions;

3. That the assembly may, by a majority vote, remove the parliamentarian

from the assembly for the violation of 1 and 2. at any time during its meeting."

Does anyone wish to raise a point of order?

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The parliamentarian not being a member of the assembly has no right to attend meetings, speak in debate, or address the assembly so none of those rules are necessary. That the parliamentarian is there to advise the Chair is entirely at the will of the assembly and he can be tossed out at any point by a majority vote. If the Chair balks at the assembly taking control of their meeting they might have to use RONR pp. 651-653 a few times (Suspending the Rules to remove the Chair from the chair and either having the Vice Chair preside or electing a Chair pro tem). Hopefully after a few times the Chair will realize that the King can be removed from his throne for a period of time pretty easily and will fall in line.

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Move to go into Executive Session which, in part, means members only. If a majority of the members agree with you, he/she can be banished.

BTW, do your bylaws authorize telephone meetings? They have to for such meetings to be proper - p. 97.

That's a good suggestion, but he stuck around the last time we went into Executive Session, I'll have to try that again

and state he's not allowed. I think enough people are noticing his take over behavior that they might go for this

if I do the work of gathering a coalition.

I've been unable to find telephone meetings in the bylaws and won't bring that up until strategically needed.

I don't want to invalidate anything at the last meeting, I want them to execute on motions passed since they are

harmless motions and necessary for the organization.

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I've been unable to find telephone meetings in the bylaws and won't bring that up until strategically needed.

I don't want to invalidate anything at the last meeting, I want them to execute on motions passed since they are

harmless motions and necessary for the organization.

Slippery slope... If somebody gets upset and initiates protests, you are in trouble.

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The parliamentarian not being a member of the assembly has no right to attend meetings, ...

When I tried that at the very start of the meeting, the parliamentarian said

the Chair appointed him the parliamentarian and that

he had a right to continue to be there because he was appointed

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When I tried that at the very start of the meeting, the parliamentarian said

the Chair appointed him the parliamentarian and that

he had a right to continue to be there because he was appointed

He is flat out wrong as far as RONR is concerned. If he tries to pull that again demand that he or the Chair show you all some applicable rule that supports his/their position.

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I've been unable to find telephone meetings in the bylaws and won't bring that up until strategically needed.

you don't think that ship has sailed?? You're having meetings that are not specifically authorized and need to be, the chair and parliamentarian seem to think that's ok, and you are looking to show that the parliamentarian needs to be shown the door... well, maybe he'll start running with scissors.

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...

I've been unable to find telephone meetings in the bylaws and won't bring that up until strategically needed.

I don't want to invalidate anything at the last meeting, I want them to execute on motions passed since they are

harmless motions and necessary for the organization.

Agreeing with Mr. Stackpole and TC that this is a bad idea. Also, what struck me when I read your original post yesterday was that part of your problem with the parliamentarian probably stems from the very fact that you are holding a telephone meeting. At a regular in-person meeting, the parliamentarian should sit next to the chair, and inconspicuously offer advice/information when needed or requested. RONR specifically recommends 'consultation in a low voice' and also points out that:

'Only on the most involved matters should the parliamentarian actually be called upon to speak to the assembly, and the practice should be avoided if at all possible.'

You should really read what is said on (RONR 11th ed.) p. 466 regarding the Duties of the Parliamentarian (which is where these citations are found).

During a telephone meeting, especially if you all are just doing a plain vanilla conference call where everyone hears everyone else, how would it even be possible for the parliamentarian to be inconspicuous in speaking to the chair? The point is that an organization that specifically allows telephone meetings should adopt additional rules to govern the conduct of such meetings, and this issue (how to have the parliamentarian advise the chair without shouting in everyone else's ears at the same time) is almost certainly one that has been dealt with by groups that have done the necessary work to set up those additional rules.

Since your group doesn't allow telephone meetings in the first place, obviously you don't have the necessary rules in place to properly govern the conduct of those meetings.

Bring the meetings back into one room, with the members (and the non-member parliamentarian) looking at one another, and I'll bet it will be easier to get him to shut up, and easier to verify that he has actually left the room if the assembly votes to show him the door. And, if he is a non-member, the assembly definitely can take that step.

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RE "...assembly votes to show him the door"

Can we just vote that he leaves when he participates in our debates

or do we have to go into Executive Session and all our guests (including the well -behaved ones) have to leave?

The parliamentarian previously stated a right to be there because of the appointment (by his Chairman friend)

as if the appointment rule in RONR trumps the RONR rule about only members having a right to be at the meeting.

Which is why I ask if this is a 'right' for the Chair to have a parliamentarian?

I agree we will need rules for phone meetings, and the next meeting will be in person so I can bring it up then

and the fact that phone meetings are not authorized in the bylaws

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RE "...assembly votes to show him the door"

Can we just vote that he leaves when he participates in our debates

or do we have to go into Executive Session and all our guests (including the well -behaved ones) have to leave?

Yes, just vote to have him leave. No need for executive session, and no need to throw out other non-members at the same time if you don't want to.

The parliamentarian previously stated a right to be there because of the appointment (by his Chairman friend)

as if the appointment rule in RONR trumps the RONR rule about only members having a right to be at the meeting.

Which is why I ask if this is a 'right' for the Chair to have a parliamentarian?

If there is to be a parliamentarian, the chair has the right to choose someone in whom he has confidence. However, that does not mean that the chair has a right to inflict annoyance from a non-member on the assembly against the assembly's wishes. In the end, a non-member is a guest of the assembly, and the assembly decides whether the non-member stays or goes.
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If there is to be a parliamentarian, the chair has the right to choose someone in whom he has confidence. However, that does not mean that the chair has a right to inflict annoyance from a non-member on the assembly against the assembly's wishes. In the end, a non-member is a guest of the assembly, and the assembly decides whether the non-member stays or goes.

I don't think RONR grants any rights whatsoever regarding the president's appointment of a parliamentarian. The book simply notes that "If a parliamentarian is needed by an organization, the president should be free to appoint one in whom he has confidence," because otherwise there is little use in having a parliamentarian, whose primary function during a meeting is to advise the chair.

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I don't think RONR grants any rights whatsoever regarding the president's appointment of a parliamentarian. The book simply notes that "If a parliamentarian is needed by an organization, the president should be free to appoint one in whom he has confidence," because otherwise there is little use in having a parliamentarian, whose primary function during a meeting is to advise the chair.

So, from a parliamentary p.o.v., the assembly is actually free to select a parliamentarian whom the presiding officer can't stand, and to tell the presiding officer that he is not permitted to choose someone more to his own liking? Although the president should be free to choose someone in whom he has confidence, that's just advice from RONR (not actually a rule)?

More ammunition for Guest_Anna, I suppose.

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... More ammunition for Guest_Anna, I suppose.

There's no ammo that can work like a good coalition!

Thank you everyone, I'll try asserting the rules as suggested to get our overly eager

to participate parliamentarian to sit back quietly, or be prepared for a vote

asking that the non-member leave.

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So, from a parliamentary p.o.v., the assembly is actually free to select a parliamentarian whom the presiding officer can't stand, and to tell the presiding officer that he is not permitted to choose someone more to his own liking? Although the president should be free to choose someone in whom he has confidence, that's just advice from RONR (not actually a rule)?

More ammunition for Guest_Anna, I suppose.

In my opinion, yes.

Are you surprised RONR offers lots of advice in addition to rules, Trina, or that this sentence is advice

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