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Removing an Agenda Item

Guest David Godley

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We had an item on our agenda. There was a motion to approve the item and a second. While in discussion, a member made a motion to have the item in question removed from the agenda without a vote and the chairman said the motion prohibited any debate. There was a second to removing the agenda item. The chairman called for a vote for the removal and the majority prevailed. Is this proper? Can this type of motion preclude the members from voting on the original motion?

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Proper? No.


Illogical? Yes.


Once the motion to approve the item has been made  and seconded, the agenda is totally out of the picture.  An agenda is a list of things to take up (or do); once the item has been taken up the function of an agenda has been satisfied. 


You can't (logically) undo what has been done:  the agenda said "take this up next" and then you did what the agenda said.  Can't change that fact.  There is nothing left on the agenda (pertaining to the item in question) to "remove". 


One can "remove" an item from an agenda (that would be a motion to amend the adopted agenda) but you would do that before the agenda item is reached; it is also a debatable motion.  Get you chairman a copy of RONRIB:

"Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief", Updated Second Edition (Da Capo Press, Perseus Books Group, 2011). It is a splendid summary of all the rules you will really need in all but the most exceptional situations. And only $7.50! You can read it in an evening. Get both RONRIB and RONR (scroll down) at this link. Or in your local bookstore.

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