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Guest Chris

Question on suspending the rules to name a temporary presiding officer

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Guest Chris

Our Governor has issued an Executive Order that allows non-profits to hold their annual meeting virtually. Our association has given proper notice and set a date and time for the annual meeting to be held on Zoom. This platform has a function for voting where each vote can be counted, and a majority or 2/3 majority can be determined. Nominations can still be taken from the floor and discussion can be hosted. 

The Board of Directors, including the Chairman of the BOD, who is the presiding officer at the annual meeting (our bylaws), wishes to have a member be the presiding officer for the annual meeting. This member has the most knowledge about running all of the virtual features needed for the meeting and is the most versed in parliamentary matters and knows our bylaws ans operating documents very well.

It appears that the most expedient way to assign a new presiding officer may be to Suspend the Rules and name the new person. Is that correct? Since our association gives the BOD the authority to handle all matters of the association between annual meetings, is the vote to Suspend the Rules a vote 2/3 by the BOD ahead of the annual meeting or is it a 2/3 vote by the members who attend the annual meeting?

 

Thanks.

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This cannot be done ahead of time but once the annual meeting is called to order.   See https://robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_2     Given that the current presiding officer is in favor of it I'd be surprised if this couldn't be handled by unanimous consent.

Edited by George Mervosh

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1 hour ago, Guest Chris said:

Our Governor has issued an Executive Order that allows non-profits to hold their annual meeting virtually. Our association has given proper notice and set a date and time for the annual meeting to be held on Zoom. This platform has a function for voting where each vote can be counted, and a majority or 2/3 majority can be determined. Nominations can still be taken from the floor and discussion can be hosted. 

The Board of Directors, including the Chairman of the BOD, who is the presiding officer at the annual meeting (our bylaws), wishes to have a member be the presiding officer for the annual meeting. This member has the most knowledge about running all of the virtual features needed for the meeting and is the most versed in parliamentary matters and knows our bylaws ans operating documents very well.

It appears that the most expedient way to assign a new presiding officer may be to Suspend the Rules and name the new person. Is that correct? Since our association gives the BOD the authority to handle all matters of the association between annual meetings, is the vote to Suspend the Rules a vote 2/3 by the BOD ahead of the annual meeting or is it a 2/3 vote by the members who attend the annual meeting?

If both the chairman and vice chairman are agreeable to this plan, no suspension of the rules is necessary. A majority vote is sufficient. The vote is by the members at the annual meeting. While the rule in question refers to an "invited nonmember who is skilled in presiding," the principles are the same if the skilled presiding officer is a member.

"In certain instances in an ordinary society—for example, if an adjourned meeting or a special meeting (9) must deal with a problem that has intensely divided the organization—it may be that such a meeting can accomplish more under the chairmanship of an invited nonmember who is skilled in presiding. (Sometimes this may be a professional presiding officer.) If the president and vice-president(s) do not object, the assembly, by majority vote, can adopt such an arrangement for all or part of a session. Alternatively, the rules may be suspended to authorize it, even over the objection of the president or a vice-president. Cf. pages 652–53." (RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 453-454)

Edited by Josh Martin

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Guest Chris

Thank you George Mervosh and Josh Martin for your helpful responses.

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Guest Chris

A related question...

If a member is voted to be the presiding officer for the annual meeting, does s/he assume all of the responsibilities of the replaced presiding officer. Specifically, we will elect new Board members at the meeting. It is a duty of the Board Chair (normally the presiding officer) to swear in the newly elected board members. Does S/he still retain that responsibility or does the new presiding officer have that responsibility?

Thanks,

Chris

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11 minutes ago, Guest Chris said:

If a member is voted to be the presiding officer for the annual meeting, does s/he assume all of the responsibilities of the replaced presiding officer. Specifically, we will elect new Board members at the meeting. It is a duty of the Board Chair (normally the presiding officer) to swear in the newly elected board members. Does S/he still retain that responsibility or does the new presiding officer have that responsibility?

The temporary presiding officer would assume the duties of the presiding officer in RONR, which are discussed in RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 449-452. Additional duties and authority granted to your board chair, such as this swearing-in ceremony, would remain with the board chair.

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