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Question re: rescinding vote on a motion to accept donation of real estate

Guest cfgirl

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At a recent city council meeting, a motion was made to rescind a previous vote to accept a donation of a piece of real estate.  The business making the donation was present at the time of the affirmative vote by the council to accept, thanked the council and indicated the business would move forward with getting title ready to transfer. The business then spent money and time in preparing the property and necessary title work to make the donation.


At the most recent meeting, the city council attempted to rescind the vote.  The motion to rescind was made by a member who had voted against the original vote, which does not seem to comply with RROO.


Additionally, the posted public agenda did not provide notice that action would be considered to rescind the vote.


And, finally, the agenda item under which this action was taken was not posted within the required notice timeframe (which in this case is 24 hours).  Rather, it was added to the agenda about 5 hours before the meeting.


The motion to rescind passed by more than 2/3rds vote.


What is the end result?  There is enough happening here that I am not certain how to analyze.


Do we start with:   no action could be taken because insufficient notice was given?

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Sufficient Notice?  That's gonna depend on what your city ordinances require as a matter of law.   RONR only requires notice on a motion to rescind to allow for a majority vote, rather than a 2/3 vote or a majority of the entire membership, to be sufficient for adoption.  No other advance notice is (usually) required.


Public posted agenda?  Again, same thing.  RONR has no "public agenda" requirements.


Moved by an earlier "No" voter?  Not an RONR problem either.


Whether the original motion could have been made in the first place, because things have been done that cannot be undone - p. 308 - is up to the council members to decide; it may just be that your donor is out a few bucks.  Perhaps the city should reimburse him.


So, short answer:  as far as RONR goes, the motion to rescind was proper and was adopted.  Your laws and rules (which would supersede RONR's rules) may lead to a different answer.

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Guest cfgirl, unfortunately, your questions are beyond the scope of this forum.  Your questions are more legal in nature and depend to a large extend on the local rules of your city council and state law.   Our advice must be limited to provisions in RONR (Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition).


However, I can tell you that per the rules in RONR, any member may make a motion to rescind something previously adopted, regardless of how he or she voted on the original motion.  You may be thinking of a motion to reconsider, which must be moved by someone who voted on the prevailing side.  That motion, however, is subject to time limits.


Edited to add:  RONR has no "posting" requirements.  Any requirements regarding posting the agenda in advance of the meeting are probably contained in your state's open meetings (sunshine) laws or local rules and are beyond the scope of RONR.

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