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Visitor Kibitzing


FrMacPat
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Our church vestry/board uses RRoO for keeping the meetings in order. We have had a spouse of a board member sit in on the meetings with my permission as the rector. But in the last two meetings the spouse has been sitting next to the member are whispering to him before we vote on issues. What are the rules on kibitzing according RRoO?

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13 minutes ago, FrMacPat said:

Our church vestry/board uses RRoO for keeping the meetings in order. We have had a spouse of a board member sit in on the meetings with my permission as the rector. But in the last two meetings the spouse has been sitting next to the member are whispering to him before we vote on issues. What are the rules on kibitzing according RRoO?

So long as they do not disturb the assembly, no rule in RONR prohibits it.

On the other hand, non-members have no rights with regard to the meeting, so if the board wishes to order the spouse to sit elsewhere, or even to leave, it is free to do so.

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18 hours ago, FrMacPat said:

How does this relate to Sunshine Laws in Wisconsin?

I haven’t the slightest idea. Discussion of Sunshine Laws in Wisconsin is beyond the scope of this forum.

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

Agreeing with Mr. Martin, there is no rule in RONR that says an officer may grant permission to visitors to attend.

 

15 hours ago, SaintCad said:

I think they can but it is with unanimous consent implied meaning if any member objects the visitor's presence must be voted on.

I certainly agree that nothing in RONR authorizes an officer to decide whether a non-member may attend. Only the assembly has that power.

The question then becomes, however, what to do if a non-member does arrive at a meeting? It seems to me that it depends on the assembly’s custom. It may be that the assembly’s custom is to generally permit guests. In such a case, it seems to me that SaintCad is quite correct that the appropriate course of action is to permit the visitor to attend, unless and until the assembly votes to have the visitor removed. On the other hand, perhaps it is the assembly’s custom that guests are not permitted except with the assembly’s express consent. In such a case, the visitor should be instructed to remain outside the meeting hall, unless and until the assembly votes to have the visitor admitted.

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Agreeing with StCad and Josh Martin, I think the "authority" of the president or chairman to permit guests to attend a meeting depends very much on custom and on how much the membership defers to the chairman in such matters.  It is quite common for the membership to defer to the presiding officer to make decisions on such matters with the membership essentially consenting to it by unanimous consent.  Any member certainly has the right to object.

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On 11/29/2017 at 3:10 PM, Richard Brown said:

Agreeing with StCad and Josh Martin, I think the "authority" of the president or chairman to permit guests to attend a meeting depends very much on custom and on how much the membership defers to the chairman in such matters.  It is quite common for the membership to defer to the presiding officer to make decisions on such matters with the membership essentially consenting to it by unanimous consent.  Any member certainly has the right to object.

There was a description of this, and a rule drafted related to it, described in Guest Speakers and the “Ramona Rule”, Parliamentary Journal, January 2003.  

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