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Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 100 July 2004

Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 100  July  2004
Answers to your Parliamentary Questions

"Dear Parlimentarian" is written by the author of Parliamentary Procedures Made Simple: The Basics, an 80 minute video that tells how to have better meetings.

Dear The Parliamentarian:


The ladies club of which I am President has bylaws and the following are some excerpts from them.

1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers, the immediate past president and committee chairpersons.

2. A newly elected President shall appoint a Chairperson of each Committee from the active membership.

 My question is:

 A chairperson of one of the committees has resigned, are we to hold an election to replace her, or is it the President who chooses her replacement?

 Thank you for your help.

 Iris Fishman, President

LaTourette Women's Golf Club

Staten Island, New York


Dear Iris,
    The bylaws give the president the power to appoint the chairmen of committees.  It is a parliamentary rule that with the power to appoint comes the power to fill vacancies.  In the official Robert's Rules book, Robert's rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th edition,  page 69, line 28 it states, "The power to appoint a committee includes the power to fill any vacancy that may arise in it.  Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, the appointing authority has the power to remove or replace members of the committee:  If a single person, such as the president, has the power of appointment, he has the power to remove or to replace a member so appointed, but if the assembly has the power of selection, removal or replacement can take place only under the rules applicable to the motions to Recind or Amend Something Previously Adopted. "

The Parliamentarian wrote:

Dear The Parliamentarian:

 May I impose on you to help me with another issue:

  A Chairperson of a committee who has resigned, has written a detailed letter of formal complaint charging the President's behavior, in an incident between the President and the Chairperson.

 We have nothing in our bylaws on how to deal with this.

 Thank you for your help.

 Iris Fishman,President

LaTourette Women's Golf Club

Staten Island, New York


Dear Iris,
    What does the letter say?  And what do you mean "filing a formal complaint charging the President's behavior?"

The Parliamentarian

Jim wrote:

I have a question on procedure and I cant seem to find the answer in our by-laws, operation handbook or in roberts rules of order so maybe you can answer this.I am a member of an executive board of the American Legion Post. We recently had a problem in our post bar where a member was engaged in physical violence on post property.Police were called and the victim was taken away by ambulance for treatment.The member left the scene but his family remained. When the police asked for info from the family they refused to help. It was discussed and voted on by the executive board to permanently revoke all bar priveledges from the member and his family. At the next regular meeting the commander stated he didnt believe this was fair so he returned the action back to the executive board for further discussion. My question is can he do that? If he can override the board then what good is having a board?



 Dear Jim,
       There are certain procedures that need to be followed when discplining members.  Not having been there and not having read the minutes, your commander,if he is the presiding officer, may have the right to do this.  If the proper procedures were not followed concerning this matter, then the discplinary action would be void.  I do not know what Robert's Rules book you have, but look in the index under discplinary procedures.  If you have the official book, Robert's rules of Order Newly Revised 10th edition,  you will find that information in the last chapter of the book.  Let me suggest that you read that chapter and then you will know how to proceed.  If you find that a mistake has been made you can raise a point of order to correct it.  It is important that members' rights are not taken away during this type of procedure no matter how guilty the part may be.

The Parliamentarian