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Proper Procedure?


Guest Bob

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Administrative Board voted to table a motion for 60 days to further investigate the issue in question.  A new meeting has been scheduled 25 days from the meeting date where the motion was tabled (not 60) with the intention of voting on the original motion. Provided some committee members still require additional time, how should this issue be handled during the new meeting provided the meeting can't be rescheduled?  Please elaborate on significance of specific timelines voted on by committees, etc.  (I'm new to this)  Thanks.

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Your Administrative Board is confusing the motion to Lay on the Table with the motion to Postpone to a Certain Time. Take a look at the answer to FAQ #12.

As to postponement:

"In a case where more than a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90) will elapse between meetings (for example, in an annual convention of delegates or in a local society that holds only an annual meeting), a question cannot be postponed beyond the end of the present session. In cases where no more than a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90) will elapse between sessions, a question can be postponed until, but not beyond, the next regular business session." (RONR, 11th ed., p. 183)

"When the time to which a question has been postponed arrives and the question is taken up, it can be postponed again if the additional delay will not interfere with the proper handling of the postponed motion."  (RONR, 11th ed., pp. 183-84) 

 

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7 hours ago, Guest Bob said:

Administrative Board voted to table a motion for 60 days to further investigate the issue in question.  A new meeting has been scheduled 25 days from the meeting date where the motion was tabled (not 60) with the intention of voting on the original motion. Provided some committee members still require additional time, how should this issue be handled during the new meeting provided the meeting can't be rescheduled?  Please elaborate on significance of specific timelines voted on by committees, etc.  (I'm new to this)  Thanks.

6 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Your Administrative Board is confusing the motion to Lay on the Table with the motion to Postpone to a Certain Time. Take a look at the answer to FAQ #12.

As to postponement:

"In a case where more than a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90) will elapse between meetings (for example, in an annual convention of delegates or in a local society that holds only an annual meeting), a question cannot be postponed beyond the end of the present session. In cases where no more than a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90) will elapse between sessions, a question can be postponed until, but not beyond, the next regular business session." (RONR, 11th ed., p. 183)

"When the time to which a question has been postponed arrives and the question is taken up, it can be postponed again if the additional delay will not interfere with the proper handling of the postponed motion."  (RONR, 11th ed., pp. 183-84)

Perhaps  my understanding of the question/issue is a bit different from Mr. Honneman's.  But, in order to fully answer Guest Bob's question, I believe we need more information.  For example: 

1.  How often does this board have regular meetings? 

2. Was the motion postponed to a time beyond the next regularly scheduled meeting? 

3.  Was a meeting (regular or special) already scheduled for 60 days hence at the time the motion to postpone for 60 days was adopted?

Beyond those questions, it is my understanding that the matter was postponed for 60 days, but the board has now scheduled a special meeting to be held only 25 days from the original meeting date for the purpose of taking up the motion that was postponed for 60 days.  Assuming for the sake of argument (which I believe is very much in doubt and is dependent on the answers to the questions above) that the original postponement for 60 days was proper, I believe it would take a two thirds vote to suspend the rules and take up the postponed motion at the upcoming special meeting.  The postponed motion MAY be taken up prior to the date to which it was postponed, but only by a two thirds vote to do so (as I understand the rules).

Am I missing something?

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1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

... the original postponement for 60 days was proper, I believe it would take a two thirds vote to suspend the rules and take up the postponed motion at the upcoming special meeting.  The postponed motion MAY be taken up prior to the date to which it was postponed, but only by a two thirds vote to do so (as I understand the rules).

Let me assume R.Brown's description is correct. It matches a situation I ran up against in real life some years ago, and I was pointed to page 87: Freedom of Each New Session.  Since the initial postponement to a regular meeting 60 days out did not set up a Special Order (2/3 vote), a majority is free to bring up the postponed motion at the intervening Special Meeting.  So a motion to suspend the rules is not necessary at the special meeting  --  the notice that the (postponed) motion will be taken up is sufficient.

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While we're at it, it might help to note what would have been the proper motion (usually the best course) in situations like this, which could have avoided all the counting of days and defining of sessions.

When a motion requires more information before the body can intelligently vote on it, it should be referred to a committee, with instructions to research relevant questions, and report back with the information, possibly with recommendations for disapproval of the motion, or approval, possibly with amendments.

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Maybe.

As best I can determine, adoption of a motion to postpone a pending motion for 60 days is almost sure to be meaningless unless the motion is made during a session which will continue for 60 more days.

So, if the adoption of the motion to postpone the pending motion for 60 days is meaningless, what is the status of the motion that was sought to be postponed?  Has it died?  Is it unfinished business that should come up automatically at the next session, assuming it is within a quarterly time interval?  Has it in essence been postponed until the next session (assuming it's within the quarterly time interval) at which time it can be taken up as a general order?   Some other status?

btw, I agree that the postponement for 60 days was likely improper, but that still leaves the issue of "What is the current status of the motion that they tried to postpone?"

Edited by Richard Brown
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12 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

btw, I agree that the postponement for 60 days was likely improper, but that still leaves the issue of "What is the current status of the motion that they tried to postpone?"

If, as we assume to be the case, the adoption of the motion to postpone the pending motion for 60 days was meaningless, and a special meeting has been called for the purpose of considering and voting on this motion, no rule prevents the Board from considering and voting on the motion at this special meeting.

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And even if the 60 day postponement had been proper (because, say, there was a regular bimonthly meeting already scheduled two months hence), it would still be proper to simply bring up the motion at the earlier special meeting, assuming the intent to do so was in the meeting notice.  At the special meeting, the majority would be free to postpone the motion, again, to the "60-day" bimonthly meeting.

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33 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

And even if the 60 day postponement had been proper (because, say, there was a regular bimonthly meeting already scheduled two months hence), it would still be proper to simply bring up the motion at the earlier special meeting, assuming the intent to do so was in the meeting notice.  At the special meeting, the majority would be free to postpone the motion, again, to the "60-day" bimonthly meeting.

Well, it seems to me to be highly unlikely that a motion to postpone a pending motion "for 60 days to further investigate the issue in question" is going to be able to be legitimately construed as constituting a motion to postpone the pending motion to the next regular meeting, but if we assume this to be the case, then I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Brown that the motion cannot be taken up before the next regular meeting except by suspending the rules by a two-thirds vote (RONR, 11th ed., p. 186, ll. 3-7; p. 364, ll. 27-31).

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27 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

... then I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Brown that the motion cannot be taken up before the next regular meeting except by suspending the rules by a two-thirds vote (RONR, 11th ed., p. 186, ll. 3-7; p. 364, ll. 27-31).

Well now...  that leaves me puzzled as to what page 87, lines 6-10, are all about.    Your, and R Brown's, assertion that a 2/3 vote is required to bring up (via suspend the rules) the postponed motion at the special meeting, leaves a bare majority (or anything less than a 2/3 supermajority)  helpless to take up the postponed motion in what is clearly a new or later session, the special meeting. That would appear to contradict the initial lines page 87's "Freedom" paragraph.

The strictures on p. 186 would seem to me to apply only to regular meetings, not the special case of a special meeting inserted between two regular ones. If the special meeting didn't happen, once the bimonthly meeting (60 days hence) had begun it would indeed require a 2/3 suspend vote to take the motion up before its time.

Granted, if the original motion had been made a special order for the bimonthly meeting 60 days hence, the Special Meeting could only take it up by suspending the rules, and, I presume, that motion to suspend should be a part of the notice for that meeting.

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15 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

Well now...  that leaves me puzzled as to what page 87, lines 6-10, are all about.    Your, and R Brown's, assertion that a 2/3 vote is required to bring up (via suspend the rules) the postponed motion at the special meeting, leaves a bare majority (or anything less than a 2/3 supermajority)  helpless to take up the postponed motion in what is clearly a new or later session, the special meeting. That would appear to contradict the initial lines page 87's "Freedom" paragraph.

The strictures on p. 186 would seem to me to apply only to regular meetings, not the special case of a special meeting inserted between two regular ones. If the special meeting didn't happen, once the bimonthly meeting (60 days hence) had begun it would indeed require a 2/3 suspend vote to take the motion up before its time.

Granted, if the original motion had been made a special order for the bimonthly meeting 60 days hence, the Special Meeting could only take it up by suspending the rules, and, I presume, that motion to suspend should be a part of the notice for that meeting.

I'm fairly certain that these questions relating to the calling of a special meeting to consider a motion which has been postponed to a later, regular meeting have previously been discussed at some length, but I haven't yet been able to find anything.

As of now, however, I'm inclined to think that the general rule as stated on page 87 must be regarded as of lesser authority than the specifically stated rule on pages 186 and 364.

 

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19 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Maybe.

As best I can determine, adoption of a motion to postpone a pending motion for 60 days is almost sure to be meaningless unless the motion is made during a session which will continue for 60 more days.

Maybe I'm being slow here, but why is this, assuming frequent meetings-cum-sessions, and that the next meeting/session will occur 60 or more days hence (but of course within the quarterly time interval)?

 

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20 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Maybe.

As best I can determine, adoption of a motion to postpone a pending motion for 60 days is almost sure to be meaningless unless the motion is made during a session which will continue for 60 more days.

 

1 hour ago, Gary c Tesser said:

Maybe I'm being slow here, but why is this, assuming frequent meetings-cum-sessions, and that the next meeting/session will occur 60 or more days hence (but of course within the quarterly time interval)?

 

 

4 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, it seems to me to be highly unlikely that a motion to postpone a pending motion "for 60 days to further investigate the issue in question" is going to be able to be legitimately construed as constituting a motion to postpone the pending motion to the next regular meeting,

 

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