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If a part-time Board member is appointed Parliamentarian, do they have to resign their position on the Board?

Dear Jim,
Usually, any member of an association can be appointed "parliamentarian." Here is the rule about this position. If it is just an advisory position where he sits in the assembly and can be called upon for direction, he has all the rights of any member--can make motions, discuss motions and vote. However, if he sits by the president at a meeting then he has his rights are restricted like the president. He must remain impartial.

Members have a misconstrued view of the parliamentarian. They think this office carries a lot of weight and has more power than the president. Not so. The parliamentarian advises the president but the president make all rulings and the members can overturn a ruling of the chair by a vote.

I hope the person appointed knows Robert's Rules and is there to help keep the meetings on track, but he does not replace the power of the president. He also has no more power than the other board members unless your bylaws empower this person with more authority than Robert's Rules.

So look at your bylaws. Do they state this office and what duties it has? Do they conflict with the duties of a board member? If so then it may be wise to have the person choose in which office he wants to serve.

Cheerio,

Little Ben


Question submitted by Jim on October 26, 2016