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If a President serves as Chair-an analysis

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I have written this.  It is my own analysis, and I am wondering if it is accurate, and if not, where am I off base?

In this analysis, the By-Laws define the role of Association President, and all their actions and responsibilities, as being wholly subject to the control of the board.

President as Chairperson
1. In the case of the absence of an elected or appointed Chairperson, the President acts as Chair in meetings.

2. This means the President does the work of the Chairperson, and that an Association President role is not fused with the role of Chair, meaning a person who is President and acting as chair, does not bring any extra power to the role of Chair (mostly because the President does not have any more powers than other members).
The Chairperson role is neutral, and should reflect similarities and consistencies in how it is conducted, no matter who might act in that role, including the Association President.

3. The Chair should not use their position, and the perceived leadership they carry, as a personal podium for their own protracted arguments, stated opinions, nor to make direct rebuttal commentary on what other members discuss during debate (these are all meant to mean that he Chair should not do so "out of turn" meaning the Chair should not be allowed as many places to speak as they wish, anytime they wish.

Example: The Chair rebuts after a certain member has spoken, nearly every time this member speaks, and each time, they either are attempting to directly invalidate that member's argument, or comment on whether they agree or disagree before recognizing the next speaker).

4. As a member, the person who is President enjoys all the rights that any regular member would, and in small assemblies, can make motions, debate, and vote.

The role of Association President does not typically come into play during meetings, except for in their duties as Chair.

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10 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

I have written this.  It is my own analysis, and I am wondering if it is accurate, and if not, where am I off base?

In this analysis, the By-Laws define the role of Association President, and all their actions and responsibilities, as being wholly subject to the control of the board.

President as Chairperson
1. In the case of the absence of an elected or appointed Chairperson, the President acts as Chair in meetings.

2. This means the President does the work of the Chairperson, and that an Association President role is not fused with the role of Chair, meaning a person who is President and acting as chair, does not bring any extra power to the role of Chair (mostly because the President does not have any more powers than other members).
The Chairperson role is neutral, and should reflect similarities and consistencies in how it is conducted, no matter who might act in that role, including the Association President.

3. The Chair should not use their position, and the perceived leadership they carry, as a personal podium for their own protracted arguments, stated opinions, nor to make direct rebuttal commentary on what other members discuss during debate (these are all meant to mean that he Chair should not do so "out of turn" meaning the Chair should not be allowed as many places to speak as they wish, anytime they wish.

Example: The Chair rebuts after a certain member has spoken, nearly every time this member speaks, and each time, they either are attempting to directly invalidate that member's argument, or comment on whether they agree or disagree before recognizing the next speaker).

4. As a member, the person who is President enjoys all the rights that any regular member would, and in small assemblies, can make motions, debate, and vote.

The role of Association President does not typically come into play during meetings, except for in their duties as Chair.

I see no need for any of it and I see where this can only complicate the rather clear rules in RONR.

Here is just one example:  In No. 1, I'm afraid the phrase "in the absence of an elected or appointed chairperson" creates confusion.  How, when and under what circumstances would there be an appointed chairperson?   Can the elected chairperson appoint one?   Must it be done by the body?  If so, it seems that with your rule the body could appoint an "appointed" chairperson to defeat the right of the president to serve as chair.   Also, what if the body wants to elect a chairperson pro tem to preside in the absence of the regular elected chairperson?  Is that possible?  

That is just for openers.   RONR is already quite clear that whatever administrative duties, rights and powers the presiding officer might have as president are separate and apart from the rights, duties and powers of the presiding officer at a meeting.  And RONR is quite clear that, except under the small board rules, the chair should remain neutral and not engage in debate.

Here is one more:  In No. 4, what exactly is a "small assembly"?   How many members?

Honestly, I don't see how this helps at all.

 

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7 members.

Also:  are you referring to p 457-457 when you say: 

RONR is already quite clear that whatever administrative duties, rights and powers the presiding officer might have as president are separate and apart from the rights, duties and powers of the presiding officer at a meeting.“ (?)

I am trying to specify at some point, to the person who serves as chair, that the perceived powers they might feel are theirs as president, do not fuse with the role of the chair.

Our bylaws specify a chairman of the board as an elected officer, but I guess we just skip electing that role, because it remains unoccupied.  If we were to elect one, I assume it would be in the same way that we elect any other officer (by the assembly) since there is nothing in the bylaws that says otherwise.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

7 members.

RONR provides that in a small board, which is generally defined as not more than a dozen members present (so seven members would qualify), the rules for small boards are generally used, at the board’s discretion. Among other things, these rules do provide that the chair is free to participate, including speaking in debate, voting, and making motions.

These rules are also used in committees of any size unless the committee’s parent assembly otherwise instructs the committee. RONR notes that they may be useful in small assemblies other than boards, but that a special rule of order is required for adoption in such cases.

33 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

I am trying to specify at some point, to the person who serves as chair, that the perceived powers they might feel are theirs as president, do not fuse with the role of the chair.

What exactly does this mean? If a person has the powers of chair, and also has administrative powers as President as assigned by your bylaws, the person has and may exercise both sets of powers. What does it matter whether these powers are viewed as “fused”?

33 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

Our bylaws specify a chairman of the board as an elected officer, but I guess we just skip electing that role, because it remains unoccupied.  If we were to elect one, I assume it would be in the same way that we elect any other officer (by the assembly) since there is nothing in the bylaws that says otherwise.

If your bylaws provide for this position, then it seems to me the assembly should fill this position. The assembly is free to elect the President to this role or to elect someone else. I agree that, while this position remains vacant, the President would preside, unless the President is absent or the board suspends the rules.

Edited by Josh Martin

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What exactly does this mean? If a person has the powers of chair, and also has administrative powers as President as assigned by your bylaws, the person has and may exercise both sets of powers. What does it matter whether these powers are viewed as “fused”?

My only concern are abuses of power. I was looking for support through RONR to show why this “fusion” does not equal a sum greater than its parts. 

Edited by .oOllXllOo.
uneccessary detail

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Guest Zev
1 hour ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

It was made without the board having any chance to deliberate.

If you are not a member of this board then the only thing you can do is persuade someone that is a member to take some action. If you are a member of this board then you can introduce some motion that either censures the individuals involved or some more drastic measure. If this organization has a superior body then it can issue an order mandating the board to perform a particular act that hopefully will set things straight. As far as I am concerned there is no issue with "fusion" or anything else related to that. What does make a difference is whether the officers are within the boundaries of their authority as defined in the bylaws. It is only whenever an officer exceeds those boundaries does that warrant a reaction. No one can criticize an officer's actions unless they are prepared to offer a motion covering the action taken. You see something you think violates the rules, then make a Request For Information first. Perhaps the presiding officer has a reasonable explanation that satisfies you. If not, then either raise a Point Of Order or make a motion to undo what you think needs to be undone. Its not complicated.

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32 minutes ago, Guest Zev said:

I You see something you think violates the rules, then make a Request For Information first. Perhaps the presiding officer has a reasonable explanation that satisfies you. If not, then either raise a Point Of Order or make a motion to undo what you think needs to be undone. Its not complicated.

and if the presiding officer as well as the manager and the other members are not knowledgeable of the rules that was broken, is it then my "job" to bring all that evidence forth?

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18 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

and if the presiding officer as well as the manager and the other members are not knowledgeable of the rules that was broken, is it then my "job" to bring all that evidence forth?

If they rule against your Point of Order, you can Appeal. During the appeal, you can lay out your case (including explaining the rules in question) to the membership (through the Chair, as usual).

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1 hour ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

and if the presiding officer as well as the manager and the other members are not knowledgeable of the rules that was broken, is it then my "job" to bring all that evidence forth?

Unless I missed it, we still don' know if you are a member of this board.  Your "job" may vary, depending.

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48 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Unless I missed it, we still don' know if you are a member of this board.  Your "job" may vary, depending.

I am a member, and an officer.

Edited by .oOllXllOo.
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5 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

My only concern are abuses of power. I was looking for support through RONR to show why this “fusion” does not equal a sum greater than its parts. 

What RONR says on this matter, as already noted, is the following: “All of the duties of the presiding officer described above relate to the function of presiding over the assembly at its meetings. In addition, in many organized societies, the president has duties as an administrative or executive officer; but these are outside the scope of parliamentary law, and the president has such authority only insofar as the bylaws provide it.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 456)

2 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

and if the presiding officer as well as the manager and the other members are not knowledgeable of the rules that was broken, is it then my "job" to bring all that evidence forth?

Whether or not it is your “job” to do so, it seems that it would be necessary to do so in order to have any hope of them voting for the motions you make on these subjects.

44 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

I am a member, and an officer.

Then make whatever motion(s) on these subjects you feel are appropriate. In regards to the manager, these would be ordinary main motions from a parliamentary perspective (even up to and including firing the manager), although there may also be legal issues involved concerning an employee, especially if the employee has a contract with the society. 

As for the President, check what your bylaws say on the subject of discipline for officers. If they are silent, see FAQ #20 for information concerning removal. Alternatively, elect a new President when the regular elections come up.

In debate, present those facts which you feel are pertinent to this matter so that the appropriate assembly (which may be the board or the membership, depending on the specifics) may make an informed decision on this matter.

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