A small minyan in a temporary shul was in desperate need of a Baal Korei since their old one was not very good. They found an excellent Baal Korei who was a Yiras Shamayim and read perfectly, only his voice was not very pleasant. So much so that over the next two years a number of people left the minyan. Two years later the minyan built a new permanent shul and they wanted to hire a new Baal Korei. Are they allowed to do this or does the old Baal Korei have a “Chazaka” on his job?
Rav Aharon Yehuda HaLevi Grossman in his sefer V’Darashta V’Chakarta (3:45) says that the Baal Korei has no claim on the position. He proves this from the Rema (CM 149:31) who says that a Chazaka to read from a certain sefer torah is only valid if they read from this torah when there were others available. If it was the only sefer available then when a new torah becomes available it may be used without any hesitation. From here we see that Chazaka acquired by default is not a valid Chazaka.
Furthermore he was not hired with the agreement of the Tzibur rather on an ad-hoc basis therefore it is not a Chazaka. Additionally the Mogen Avrohom says (366:7) that if you always kept the Eiruv Chatzeiros in a certain house you should continue keeping it there unless there is a reason to change. In this case there is a very good reason to switch the Baal Korei.
What he suggests is to explain nicely to the Baal Korei that he doesn’t have any legitimate claim to the position Halachicly and he should step down voluntarily. He should be offered a special honor as compensation. Ideally, to avoid conflict, he recommends, that before giving a position to someone in Shul it should be made clear that the Tzibur has the right to replace him at any time.
Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.