Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Suspending the Rules; Absent Member would Change Outcome

Guest Kathy Runge

Recommended Posts

Our City Council consists of 9 members. An ammendment to the charter that required 6 votes to pass was defeated 5-3. The one absent member would have voted in the affermative. The Council President does not think this was fair and has tried to suspend every rule in the book to get another vote on this issue. In fact, the president has stated (paraphrased) that the measure did not really fail, it only lacked that 6th vote.


Rules he has tried to suspend: These are the rules of the Lawrence, MA city council, found on the Municode site.

#1)  RULE 20

When a vote has passed it shall be in order for any member voting with the prevailing side to move for reconsideration thereof at the same meeting in which the vote was taken. But, when a motion for reconsideration is decided, that vote shall not be reconsidered.


He wanted to suspend this rule by reconsidering at the next meeting and letting a member of the losing side move for reconsideration. He does not seem to be pursuing this avenue anymore, since he now he wants to suspend


#2) RULE 21
FINAL REJECTIONhyperlink.png

When an ordinance or resolution has been finally rejected or disposed of by the City Council, no ordinance or resolution which is substantially the same shall be introduced by any Council member or committee at any time within twelve months next following final action on such ordinance or resolution. This restriction shall not apply when a Council has granted leave to withdraw on a previous ordinance or resolution.


The point is that all 6 members in favor will vote to suspend any rule the president wants to get a redo.


The charter ammendment in question would require new employees of the city to be residents (some exceptions). Since this ordeal started they have added / changed some of the language (such as definng what a resident is). and the plan is to have another vote on June 17 if the correct councilors are in attendance. The original document was defeated May 6. A special meeting regarding this issue was already called and cancelled on the day it was to occur since the appropriate councilors could not all make it.


I would apperciate a professional opinion on this matter.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This site is dedicated to the discussion of the rules in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th Edition.Since your question involves rules that are well outside of the rules in RONR, you might want to consider what the city's solicitor has to say about the matter, or, if you do want a parliamentarian who is nearby to look at this as well:


Contact either (or both) the ...

National Association of Parliamentarians
213 South Main St.
Independence, MO 64050-3850

Phone: 888-627-2929
Fax: 816-833-3893;
e-mail: hq@NAP2.org


American Institute of Parliamentarians
550M Ritchie Highway #271
Severna Park, MD 21146

Phone: 888-664-0428
Fax: 410-544-4640

for a reference or information.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...