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January / February 2008

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ASK THE PARLIAMENTARIAN
Multiple Offices
BY MIKE SWIFT, VVA PARLIAMENTARIAN

Q: Can a member serve in two elected offices at the same time?

A: A member may hold more than one elected office simultaneously because the Constitution of VVA does not prohibit it. Robert’s, on page 425, line 33, states that although “there is no prohibition against a person’s holding more than one office, it is understood in most societies that a member can serve in only one such capacity at a time, and sometimes the bylaws so provide.” This means the bylaws may prescribe the prohibition, but if they are silent, there is not a prohibition.

Q: Can an elected officer of a chapter also be a State Council delegate?

A: The Constitution of Vietnam Veterans of America does not provide that a member is limited to serving only one office at a time.
Although, strictly speaking, there is no prohibition against a person’s holding more than one office, it is understood in most societies that a member can serve in only one capacity at a time, and sometimes the bylaws so provide. In such a case, if the person elected to two or more offices is present, he can choose which of the offices he will accept. If he is absent, the assembly should decide by vote the office to be assigned to him, and then should elect a person to fill the other office. Robert’s, page 425, line 33.

According to the VVA Constitution and Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, a member may serve more than one office at a time. That is, a member may serve as a chapter president and as a state delegate.

Q: If someone calls for an executive session, who is entitled to remain in the room?

A: A motion to go into executive session is a question of privilege and, therefore, is adopted by a majority vote. Only members, special invitees, and such employees or staff members as the assembly or its rules may determine to be necessary are allowed to remain in the hall. Robert’s, page 93, line 8.

Q: Is it necessary to adopt a motion to uphold a previously adopted motion?

A: Motions to “reaffirm” a position previously taken by adopting a motion are not in order. Such a motion serves no useful purpose because the original motion is still in effect. Also, possible attempts to amend a motion to reaffirm could come into conflict with the rules for the Motion To Amend Something Previously Adopted. If such a motion to reaffirm failed, it would create an ambiguous situation. Robert’s, page 100, line 10.

Leadership Conference Seminar
As the VVA’s National Parliamentarian, I will present a seminar on parliamentary procedure at the 2008 National Leadership Conference in Greenville, South Carolina. I would appreciate your help. Please submit requests for material you would like covered in my presentation. Send your suggestions to parliamentarian@vva.org or mswiftrp@parligroup.com and indicate the Leadership Conference in the subject line.

Send your questions on parliamentary procedures to parliamentarian@vva.org Answers are based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised 10th Edition.

 

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