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Participation in discussion by President


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Well, RONR provides for a set of rules for small boards and committees. But a membership meeting could also use them by adopting a special rule of order, I would think. So that's one way. Or the membership could simply adopt a special rule of order allowing the president to participate in debate.

I'm not sure I understand the second part of the question. Once it is permitted, the president would participate like anyone else. 

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If this is a very small group and the meetings are peaceful, I don't think you should worry about whether the president speaks in debate or not.  Mr. Katz suggests the possibility of adopting a special rule of order to apply the rules that apply to small boards and committees.  That is certainly the best route to take.  On the other hand, if no one is objecting, I think it would be okay to just move on and let the matter drop,  and the president participate like all the other members, if he wants to.

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To the other question - yes, if you are operating under rules where the president does not participate in debate - that rule applies to the presiding officer. So, the presiding officer may step aside in order to participate in debate, and let the vice chair preside. They would then stay out of the chair until that item of business is done, then resume the chair.

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