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September/October Issue

red star bulletThe Veteran Departments : Featured Stories / Letters / President's Message / VVAF Report / Government Relations / Ask The Parliamentarian / Veterans Benefits Update / Membership Affairs Committee Report / Legislators View / ETABO Committee Report / PTSD Substance Abuse Comittee Report / TAPS / Region 7 Report / AVVA Report / SHAD/Project 112 Task Force Report / Veterans Against Drugs Task Force Report / VetsConnect Report / Homeless Veterans Task Force Report / Women Veterans Committee Report / Arts of War / Book Review / Membership Notes / Chapter of The Year / Locator / Reunions

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ASK THE PARLIAMENTARIAN

BY MIKE SWIFT, VVA PARLIAMENTARIAN

Q: Can the Chair, while presiding, make a motion to take action on something?
A: An office does not deprive a member of his or her rights as a member. See Robert’s, page 432, line 10. Customs of formality followed by the presiding officer serve to maintain the chair’s necessary position of impartiality and to preserve an objective and impersonal approach. Robert’s, page 21, line 31. In small boards, twelve or less, the chair can speak in discussion without rising or leaving the chair, can make motions, and votes on all questions. Robert’s, page 470, line 17.

Q: When you assign a parliamentarian at a chapter, does he or she have to be a member?
A: No. The parliamentarian does not have to be a member. The parliamentarian’s role during a meeting is purely an advisory and consultative one since parliamentary law gives the chair alone the power to rule on questions of order or to answer parliamentary inquiries. Robert’s, page 449, line 7.

Q: When members are elected, when do they take office?
A: An election to an office becomes final immediately. If a formal installation ceremony is prescribed, failure to hold it does not affect the time at which the new officers assume office. Robert’s, page 430, line 6.

Q: How should a convention or state council delegate vote?
A: At the convention or council, the delegate has the duty to be present at the meetings and to be prepared, on returning, to present to the chapter a report of what transpired. A delegate is free to vote as he sees fit on questions, except as his chapter may have instructed him in regard to particular matters scheduled for consideration. Robert’s, page 586, line 20.

Q: Can the new administration rescind a motion that was made at a board meeting before the elections?
A: Rescinding is the motion by which a previous action or order can be canceled or countermanded. It is debatable, and debate can go into the merits of the question that it is proposed to rescind. It requires (a) a two-thirds vote, (b) a majority vote when notice of intent to make the motion has been given at the previous meeting or in the call of the present meeting, or (c) a vote of a majority of the entire membership. There is no time limit on making the motion after the adoption of the measure to which it is applied, and any member, regardless of how he voted on the original question, can move it. Robert’s, pages 293-299.

Q: What do we do if the elected secretary does not come to the meeting?
A: The minimum officers for a meeting are a presiding officer and a secretary. Robert’s, page 21, line 5. In the absence of the secretary, a secretary pro tem (temporary) should be elected. Robert’s, page 443, line 27.

Send your questions on parliamentary procedures to parliamentarian@vva.org

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