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What if an HOA President (who presides as Chair during meetings) is not interested in the duties of the Chair?


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If Robert's Rules is the officially adopted rules, and the President states they are not interested in the duties of the Chair as they are defined in RONR, and ignores things like learning actual Parliamentary Procedure, does not enforce decorum (and in fact is the worst violator of it) and does not know or bring copies of the governing documents or RONR text to meetings, can they really be considered a Presider? The person in question has also lied to the rest of the group regarding the required use of RONR.

Is it not true that even if there were no adopted rules, that an alternate Parliamentary Rules must be used? 

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Guest Puzzling
6 hours ago, NotSure said:

If Robert's Rules is the officially adopted rules, and the President states they are not interested in the duties of the Chair as they are defined in RONR, and ignores things like learning actual Parliamentary Procedure, does not enforce decorum (and in fact is the worst violator of it) and does not know or bring copies of the governing documents or RONR text to meetings, can they really be considered a Presider? The person in question has also lied to the rest of the group regarding the required use of RONR.

Is it not true that even if there were no adopted rules, that an alternate Parliamentary Rules must be used? 

1) Sadly the president is the person elected to act as such, so yes he is the president.

2) the law and the bylaws govern the organization, not the president. (And RONR has something to say about that as well, rulings of the chair can be appealed, and the bylaws give The rules of RONR authority)   

But all it looks rather dysfunctional what you describe, not sure it a professional parliamentarian or a lawyer is what you really need. Prepare yourself and your fellow (board) members for that.

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40 minutes ago, Guest Puzzling said:

1) Sadly the president is the person elected to act as such, so yes he is the president.

2) the law and the bylaws govern the organization, not the president. (And RONR has something to say about that as well, rulings of the chair can be appealed, and the bylaws give The rules of RONR authority)   

But all it looks rather dysfunctional what you describe, not sure it a professional parliamentarian or a lawyer is what you really need. Prepare yourself and your fellow (board) members for that.

But he is not president of the Board, he is president of the Association, which is an admin title and role that has duties that mostly take place outside of meetings.

It's my understanding that as Chair, the authority the Chair has is over the Parliamentary Rules, and making sure they are functioning and being used properly.

It is my understanding that the Chair is not in charge of the meetings, or the Board, but only serves as a facilitator in the process of the meetings, and in helping the group becoming informed through discussion and then facilitating business carried out through motions and voting, etc.

It is my understanding that the "President" has no more authority on any other matter than any other Board member, and should not act as if they do.

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3 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

Does the HOA have a vice-president? Why not let him preside?

The Vice president has no interest in knowing what needs to be known, and has been told by the president several times that RONR doesn't matter, and that people just need to have a "thick skin" when it comes to personal remarks, and if people have opinions about others they are free to express them, and basically that people who complain about being interrupted or talked over just need to "jump in" and talk louder (and faster, if they don't want to be cut off).

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Guest Puzzling

It is the other way around 

The president is the chairman (except in some cases) and the administrative duties are an added by the bylaws.

 

See RONR 47:5 - 47:20.

The president can be overruled by the assembly,  but in general the chair makes a ruling first. (That is one of his duties, so you could say that outside appeals he is in charge)

But do read RONR 62:1  -62:15 about removing an dysfunctional president 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Guest Puzzling said:

It is the other way around 

The president is the chairman (except in some cases) and the administrative duties are an added by the bylaws.

 

See RONR 47:5 - 47:20.

The president can be overruled by the assembly,  but in general the chair makes a ruling first. (That is one of his duties, so you could say that outside appeals he is in charge)

But do read RONR 62:1  -62:15 about removing an dysfunctional president 

 

 

 

I'm talking about actual duties. The President's duties is to act as Chair in the meetings, but the title of "President" does not give them the right to speak for the board on matters the board has not directed them to, or act unilaterally for instance, or to act like they are the boss of the board or the meetings. I am familiar with the text you are referring to, the problem is, the President lies to them and tells them that they are not required to use RONR if they don't want to, and since they perceive this person as the boss, they do not know they can remove him. the ones I have spoken to act as if it would hurt this person's feelings, or might offend them and make them a target for some kind of retaliation. When I try to show them the text, the response has been a blank look, zero interest, or a sentiment that they do not want to rock the boat.

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12 hours ago, NotSure said:

If Robert's Rules is the officially adopted rules, and the President states they are not interested in the duties of the Chair as they are defined in RONR, and ignores things like learning actual Parliamentary Procedure, does not enforce decorum (and in fact is the worst violator of it) and does not know or bring copies of the governing documents or RONR text to meetings, can they really be considered a Presider?

Yes, just not a very good one. (Assuming he is, in fact, the presiding officer. I'm a little unclear on whether your President is or is not the chair of your meetings.)

12 hours ago, NotSure said:

Is it not true that even if there were no adopted rules, that an alternate Parliamentary Rules must be used? 

Sort of. This is what RONR says regarding a society which has not adopted a parliamentary authority (or its own set of rules of order):

"A deliberative assembly that has not adopted any rules is commonly understood to hold itself bound by the rules and customs of the general parliamentary law—or common parliamentary law (as discussed in the Introduction)—to the extent that there is agreement in the meeting body as to what these rules and practices are." RONR (12th ed.) 1:5

"Although it is unwise for an assembly or a society to attempt to function without formally adopted rules of order, a recognized parliamentary manual may be cited under such conditions as persuasive. Or, by being followed through long-established custom in an organization, a particular manual may acquire a status within the body similar to that of an adopted parliamentary authority." RONR (12th ed.) 2:19

So the organization would follow the common parliamentary law "to the extent that there is agreement in the meeting body as to what these rules and practices are." In other words, since there is no binding rule on the subject, it will be up to the chair (and the assembly) to interpret what the parliamentary rule is in a particular instance. A parliamentary manual (such as RONR) might be cited as persuasive in such circumstances, but is not binding upon the assembly.

5 hours ago, NotSure said:

But he is not president of the Board, he is president of the Association, which is an admin title and role that has duties that mostly take place outside of meetings.

It's my understanding that as Chair, the authority the Chair has is over the Parliamentary Rules, and making sure they are functioning and being used properly.

It is my understanding that the Chair is not in charge of the meetings, or the Board, but only serves as a facilitator in the process of the meetings, and in helping the group becoming informed through discussion and then facilitating business carried out through motions and voting, etc.

It is my understanding that the "President" has no more authority on any other matter than any other Board member, and should not act as if they do.

I'm somewhat confused. I don't think I fully understand whether the President and the Chair are the same person and you are trying to make some distinction between the two "hats" they wear in their capacity as presiding officer and their capacity as chief administrative officer of the society (and it should be noted the President only has such authority to the extent it is granted by your rules) or if you do, in fact, have two different people who serve as President and as Chair. Generally the President serves as chair by virtue of being President, although it is conceivable your rules provide otherwise.

In any event, this summary appears to be generally correct.

1 hour ago, NotSure said:

The Vice president has no interest in knowing what needs to be known, and has been told by the president several times that RONR doesn't matter, and that people just need to have a "thick skin" when it comes to personal remarks, and if people have opinions about others they are free to express them, and basically that people who complain about being interrupted or talked over just need to "jump in" and talk louder (and faster, if they don't want to be cut off).

Well, obviously this is inappropriate.

48 minutes ago, NotSure said:

I'm talking about actual duties. The President's duties is to act as Chair in the meetings, but the title of "President" does not give them the right to speak for the board on matters the board has not directed them to, or act unilaterally for instance, or to act like they are the boss of the board or the meetings.

Yes, this all seems to be correct.

48 minutes ago, NotSure said:

I am familiar with the text you are referring to, the problem is, the President lies to them and tells them that they are not required to use RONR if they don't want to, and since they perceive this person as the boss, they do not know they can remove him. the ones I have spoken to act as if it would hurt this person's feelings, or might offend them and make them a target for some kind of retaliation. When I try to show them the text, the response has been a blank look, zero interest, or a sentiment that they do not want to rock the boat.

I guess I don't really understand what you are looking for here.

You seem to already understand what the rules are, the problem is that your group has no interest in enforcing them. I feel sympathy for you and wish you the best of luck in changing this situation, but I don't know what you expect us to do about it. There are no Parli-Pro Police. It is up to the organization itself to enforce the rules.

To the extent that it is alleged that there are also violations of applicable law, there may be mechanisms to enforce those, but that discussion is beyond the scope of RONR and this forum and such questions should be directed to an attorney.

Edited by Josh Martin
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Guest Puzzling

I fear there is not a lot you can do on your own. You do need supporting board members for almost anything.

Maybe you can draw in other HOA members.

But more practical can you see that the president get some monetary  unwarranted personal gain from it? If so he is probably breaking state law.

But your fellow board members are right.

it will hurt this person's feelings, and will offend him and might make them a target for some kind of his retaliation. 

Not sure how you can convince them otherwise 

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I, too, share Mr. Martin's confusion.  Nevertheless, it is the premier duty of the presiding officer to preside at meetings.  If that were to be a problem, the person should not have stood for election.  Not only does the presiding officer have the duty to preside, but he also has an obligation to perform faithfully, so not being interested is just not in the cards.

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19 hours ago, NotSure said:

I appreciate all the replies, I have some things to think about as far as next moves. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

I'm afraid that most of us on here don't really know exactly what you are asking of us.  The answers to many of your "questions" will be found in your own bylaws, such as whether the president is to preside at meetings of the membership and the board.  Absent any contrary provisions in your bylaws, he is almost certainly the person who is to preside over the meetings of your membership and your board.

Question:  Do your bylaws or your special rules of order (or your standing rules or any other adopted motion) state that Robert's Rules of Order are to be your parliamentary authority or to control when your bylaws are silent?

If you don't already have it, I suggest strongly that you get a copy of RONR (the real book, not a cheap knockoff version).  You might also find RONR In Brief very helpful.  Personally, I find the book "Robert's Rules for Dummies" by C. Alan Jennings very helpful for beginners, but it has not yet been updated to correspond to the 12th edition of RONR.  Most of the changes in the 12 edition, however, are relatively minor.  It makes the more technical aspects of RONR much easier to understand for "newbies".  It is written more in "layman's" language.  It is not a separate book of rules, but is rather a book about RONR and its rules.  It's full of useful pointers.

You might take a look in RONR and also on the main pages of the main RONR website for information on how to remove officers and how to remove the regular presiding officer from presiding at a meeting.   All of that is covered in Chapter XX of RONR (the chapter on discipline).  It is also addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions on the main RONR website.  It sounds to me like you may need a new president or at least take action to prevent the current one from presiding.  RONR tells you how to do both.   You might even want to consider a motion of censure or even stronger disciplinary action (up to and including removal from office) as to your president.  He should the chief enforcer of the rules, not the chief culprit when it comes to ignoring them.

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Guest Puzzling

Maybe a good starting point is to learn about the real (enforceable / state) laws and regulations about HOA 's

A bit of googling found https://www.hopb.co/ (but there maybe others and maybe better starting points)

But this goes all far outside the scope of this forum

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