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What to do if presiding officer doesn't show up?


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Guest James

If a special meeting is called per the rules of the committee, by ten percent of the members, and the committee chair decides to skip the meeting because they don't agree with the meeting or want to deny the meeting, what is the proper procedure to conduct meeting and is the meeting still valid even if the chair refuses to show up?

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If there is a vice chairman, that person should call the meeting to order and preside. If there is not a vice chair present, the secretary, if there is one, should call the meeting to order and the body should then elect a chairman pro tem to preside for the rest of the meeting.

If there is neither a vice chair or secretary present, then any member may call the meeting to order and the first order of business should be to elect a chairman pro tem to preside  for the reminder of the meeting.

edited to add: as long as a quorum is present, the absence of the chairman is not a factor. Also, the selection of a chairman pro tem is frequently handled by unanimous consent. The person who called the meeting to order or someone else will suggest someone to serve as chair pro tem and ask if there is any objection. If there is no objection and if no one else is nominated, then that person has been elected by unanimous consent. 

Edited by Richard Brown
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Guest James
1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

If there is a vice chairman, that person should call the meeting to order and preside. If there is not a vice chair present, the secretary, if there is one, should call the meeting to order and the body should then elect a chairman pro tem to preside for the rest of the meeting.

If there is neither a vice chair or secretary present, then any member may call the meeting to order and the first order of business should be to elect a chairman pro tem to preside  for the reminder of the meeting.

edited to add: as long as a quorum is present, the absence of the chairman is not a factor. Also, the selection of a chairman pro tem is frequently handled by unanimous consent. The person who called the meeting to order or someone else will suggest someone to serve as chair pro tem and ask if there is any objection. If there is no objection and if no one else is nominated, then that person has been elected by unanimous consent. 

Makes sense. So let me tag onto this a little bit further. If the chair refuses to show up, and the meeting is had, what if the chair or officers refuse to obey the decisions of the meeting? How can you force them to do as the meeting instructs even if they disagree and try to refuse?

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Guest James

So if the chair refuses to show, a temporary chair is elected, and the meeting is conducted. How do you get the chair and the officers to abide by the decisions of the meeting? If they didn't agree to the original meeting, can they be forced to do what the body wants?

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3 hours ago, Guest James said:

If the chair refuses to show up, and the meeting is had, what if the chair or officers refuse to obey the decisions of the meeting? How can you force them to do as the meeting instructs even if they disagree and try to refuse?

I would suggest replacing them with officers who know how to follow directions. Check your bylaws for rules pertaining to removal, or see FAQ #20 if your bylaws are silent on that matter.

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5 hours ago, Guest James said:

If a special meeting is called per the rules of the committee . . . .

Guest James, what kind of committee is this?  I have a feeling it is not a typical committee, such as a bylaws committee, of a larger organization.  I'm getting the feeling it is actually more in the nature of a board of directors or an independent committee not even affiliated with a larger group, such as a state central committee of a political organization or an independent organization with the word committee in its name, such as "The Committee to Revitalize Downtown Metropolis".

I'm asking because the rules for replacing regular committee  members where the committee is part of a parent assembly generally differ considerably from replacing members of a "free-standing" organization which is not what we normally think of when we think of a committee.   I further suspect that the provisions for removing officers referred to in FAQ # 20 might not be at all applicable to your situation.  We simply need more information, such as the nature of the "committee" and how its members are chosen.

 

Edited by Richard Brown
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Guest James
5 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Guest James, what kind of committee is this?  I have a feeling it is not a typical committee, such as a bylaws committee, of a larger organization.  I'm getting the feeling it is actually more in the nature of a board of directors or an independent committee not even affiliated with a larger group, such as a state central committee of a political organization or an independent organization with the word committee in its name, such as "The Committee to Revitalize Downtown Metropolis".

I'm asking because the rules for replacing regular committee  members where the committee is part of a parent assembly generally differ considerably from replacing members of a "free-standing" organization which is not what we normally think of when we think of a committee.   I further suspect that the provisions for removing officers referred to in FAQ # 20 might not be at all applicable to your situation.  We simply need more information, such as the nature of the "committee" and how its members are chosen.

 

Funny you should ask. Its actually the local Republican County Party. We had a special meeting last week and passed two motions. The chair is now after the fact refusing the motions saying they are against the rules. We are calling another meeting, we aren't sure if the chair will decide to attend.

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8 minutes ago, Guest James said:

The chair is now after the fact refusing the motions saying they are against the rules. We are calling another meeting, we aren't sure if the chair will decide to attend.

Unless your bylaws provide to the contrary, the chair does not have the authority, outside of a meeting, to declare the adopted motions invalid. However, if the motions do in fact violate the bylaws, or if there is an allegation that they do, then at the next meeting any member may raise a Point of Order to that effect or the chair and may do so on his own. His ruling will then be subject to appeal to the assembly.  It requires a majority vote to overturn the ruling of the chair. The decision of the assembly is final.

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To answer the general question, the most direct way to deal with a chair who will not carry out the will of the assembly is to censure him, kick him out, and replace him with someone who will. If the assembly at issue lacks that authority, it should report the situation to the assembly that does have that power. But then, some organizations, you might say, are different than others.

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