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Guest Hammond

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Guest Hammond

is it possible under RR to discuss a topic without first presenting some motion.  For instance, I would like to discuss a hiring policy, possibly develop  a hiring policy, but do not have some specific one in mind at the start where a vote would be needed.  do we have to develop a strawman motion in order to discuss a topic?

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If you are a member of a small board (p. 487) go right ahead.

But if this is a regular membership meeting, a "discuss a topic" approach is sure to get you a long meeting.  Better that you think of a tentative policy, propose (move it) then refer it to a committee for refinement and a report back next meeting.

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While I agree with Dr. Stackpole's answers, the member does have a few other options, such as a motion to discuss the matter informally as indicated on pages 34 and 299 and to go into the committee of the whole or quasi committee of the whole as discussed on page 429 and other pages such as pages 529-540.  The member can also propose that the matter be debated in "informal consideration" as mentioned on pages 540-541, but this method only relaxes the number of times a member may speak in debate and there must be a main motion on the floor in order to use informal consideration.

Yeah, it all gets confusing. Thus Dr. Stackpole's recommendation that the member actually propose a motion with the understanding that it will probably be amended, referred to a committee or even withdrawn (with the consent of the assembly).  The assembly can also call for a brief recess so the members can discuss the matter informally and off the record among themselves with an eye toward coming up  with an actual proposal (motion) to put before the assembly.  I've seen that procedure work very successfully.

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