Nrm

agendas, discussion, and seconds

8 posts in this topic

Two questions: 

1. If an ADOPTED agenda includes a generic topic under New Business like "Lobby Decorating," can multiple motions germane to "Lobby Decorating" be offered under that agenda item before the body proceeds to the next item of business (say, "Landscaping")?  For example, let's say a motion concerning wallpaper is made and disposed of under Lobby Decorating, can a member then rise following that vote and make a motion concerning carpeting?  Or, are no further motions in order beyond that first motion because the next item of business (Landscaping) is up next?

2.  I serve on a small board of fewer than 12 members.  When it comes discussing business items on an adopted agenda, we customarily prefer to make a motion and require a second at the outset.  But, we understand that RONR 11 ed. Procedure In Small Boards permits informal discussion when no motion is pending.  This procedure also says that "motions need not be seconded" (p. 488 l. 1), which in our experience makes it very difficult for our group (even small) to distill and agree when a motion has been made "perfectly clear" (p. 488, l. 9), especially for the presiding officer and secretary.  Is there any guidance on how to balance the procedures for small boards with the rest of the Rules?  Can we allow informal discussion to precede a properly made motion, and how enforceable is that?  Does having an approved agenda help control any of this? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nrm said:

1. If an ADOPTED agenda includes a generic topic under New Business like "Lobby Decorating," can multiple motions germane to "Lobby Decorating" be offered under that agenda item before the body proceeds to the next item of business (say, "Landscaping")?  For example, let's say a motion concerning wallpaper is made and disposed of under Lobby Decorating, can a member then rise following that vote and make a motion concerning carpeting?  Or, are no further motions in order beyond that first motion because the next item of business (Landscaping) is up next?

I'd say that multiple motions are in order, provided they are relevant to the topic of "Lobby Decorating."

1 hour ago, Nrm said:

2.  I serve on a small board of fewer than 12 members.  When it comes discussing business items on an adopted agenda, we customarily prefer to make a motion and require a second at the outset.  But, we understand that RONR 11 ed. Procedure In Small Boards permits informal discussion when no motion is pending.  This procedure also says that "motions need not be seconded" (p. 488 l. 1), which in our experience makes it very difficult for our group (even small) to distill and agree when a motion has been made "perfectly clear" (p. 488, l. 9), especially for the presiding officer and secretary.  Is there any guidance on how to balance the procedures for small boards with the rest of the Rules?  Can we allow informal discussion to precede a properly made motion, and how enforceable is that?  Does having an approved agenda help control any of this? 

If the presiding officer and secretary are unsure whether a proposal is "perfectly clear," then it obviously isn't perfectly clear. It is permitted to have informal discussion with no motion pending in small boards, but the chair is well within his rights to insist that a motion be formally made at some point (in writing, if needed) if necessary to ensure that all members are clear on what they are being asked to decide. I don't understand why the fact that motions don't need to be seconded would make things unclear. All a member who seconds the motion says is "Second!" or "I second the motion!" which doesn't seem to add any clarity.

Adopting an agenda could indeed be used to help control this, if needed, by providing an order of discussing particular topics (even assigning set times, if desired).

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If someone wants to introduce a motion under New Business that is not germane to any of the listed adopted topics under New Business, it seems to me he would have to wait until all off the listed topics are disposed of, and then seek recognition at the end of New Business before going on to the next category of business, if any. 

Typically, New Business is followed by adjournment, but your agenda my vary.

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3 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

it seems to me he would have to wait until ..

Or he/she could move to "suspend the rules" (2/3 vote required) and offer his off-topic motion.

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3 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

If someone wants to introduce a motion under New Business that is not germane to any of the listed adopted topics under New Business, it seems to me he would have to wait until all off the listed topics are disposed of, and then seek recognition at the end of New Business before going on to the next category of business, if any. 

Typically, New Business is followed by adjournment, but your agenda my vary.

Listing any motion, subject, or item of business under "New Business" in an agenda makes no sense at all since it will be either a special order or a general order.

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16 hours ago, Nrm said:

2.  I serve on a small board of fewer than 12 members.  When it comes discussing business items on an adopted agenda, we customarily prefer to make a motion and require a second at the outset. 

Good; I suggest that you simply continue doing so.

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23 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

I'd say that multiple motions are in order, provided they are relevant to the topic of "Lobby Decorating."

If the presiding officer and secretary are unsure whether a proposal is "perfectly clear," then it obviously isn't perfectly clear. It is permitted to have informal discussion with no motion pending in small boards, but the chair is well within his rights to insist that a motion be formally made at some point (in writing, if needed) if necessary to ensure that all members are clear on what they are being asked to decide. I don't understand why the fact that motions don't need to be seconded would make things unclear. All a member who seconds the motion says is "Second!" or "I second the motion!" which doesn't seem to add any clarity.

Adopting an agenda could indeed be used to help control this, if needed, by providing an order of discussing particular topics (even assigning set times, if desired).

Thank you for the answers on both questions.  The more I think about it, the solution for our board may be to clamp down on our speaking-over-each-other problem.  For clarity!

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7 hours ago, Guest said:

Thank you for the answers on both questions.  The more I think about it, the solution for our board may be to clamp down on our speaking-over-each-other problem.  For clarity!

Yes, that is certainly a serious problem, and one that you shouldn't be having if the rules are properly enforced. Even under the small board rules, members are still required to seek recognition and generally cannot interrupt a member who has the floor.

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