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Guest Polaris

Schedule / Postponed Motion - Consequence of Error

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Guest Polaris

An assembly meets twice monthly - 14 and 28th.

At the October , 28th meeting a matter is postponed to November 28th . However, when the Secretary   prepares the agenda  and sends that   out on November 7th ( all in good time )  for the meeting on the 14th ,he inadvertently places the postponed matter for the 28th , on that agenda . The agenda is approved at the outset of the meeting on November 14th , by majority vote , and  no one recognizes the error - or if they do, no one says as much  .  When the matter is reached on the agenda, it is hotly  debated  and then carried  ( close vote ) .  The error is  recognized  only after the meeting is adjourned .

Some members   consider  all is fine - the majority have spoken and no one raised an objection or point of order when the matter came on for consideration. Others take a different view and it seems clear some ( or most ) of those  other members were opposed to the motion . These other  members want it placed on the agenda for the November 28th meeting . Who is correct ?  Thanks for any response .

 

Polaris 

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I assume that each of these meetings is a separate session, in which case the errors actually begin at the first meeting. It is not permissible to postpone a question to any time beyond the next session, so the original postponement is not in order, and a majority in the assembly has the right to consider the motion at the second meeting.

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Guest Polaris

The custom of the assembly is to allow postponements as long as the postponement  is  within a quarterly period . They routinely postpone matters beyond the next session . Given that what is the  appropriate resolution . Thanks .

 

Polaris 

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6 minutes ago, Guest Polaris said:

The custom of the assembly is to allow postponements as long as the postponement  is  within a quarterly period . They routinely postpone matters beyond the next session . Given that what is the  appropriate resolution . Thanks .

Either to leave things be or to apply the rules.

If push comes to shove, the written rules take precedence of a custom that is in conflict with them (see RONR, 11th ed., p. 19). And the rules in RONR are clear that one session cannot tie the  hands of a majority at the next session by postponing a matter to any time beyond the next session (see p. 87, ll. 6-21 and p. 183, ll. 3-17).

In any event, even if the postponement were proper, the assembly can, by a two-thirds vote or unanimous consent, take up a question before the time to which it was postponed (see p. 363) or adopt an agenda that is in conflict with the existing order of business (see p. 372, ll. 11-22). And any point of order regarding the lack of a sufficient vote for a procedural action such as this would have to be made at the time the action is taken (see pp. 250-251).

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1 hour ago, Guest Polaris said:

The custom of the assembly is to allow postponements as long as the postponement  is  within a quarterly period . They routinely postpone matters beyond the next session . Given that what is the  appropriate resolution . Thanks .

6

 

1 hour ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

Either to leave things be or to apply the rules.

If push comes to shove, the written rules take precedence of a custom that is in conflict with them (see RONR, 11th ed., p. 19). And the rules in RONR are clear that one session cannot tie the  hands of a majority at the next session by postponing a matter to any time beyond the next session (see p. 87, ll. 6-21 and p. 183, ll. 3-17).

In any event, even if the postponement were proper, the assembly can, by a two-thirds vote or unanimous consent, take up a question before the time to which it was postponed (see p. 363) or adopt an agenda that is in conflict with the existing order of business (see p. 372, ll. 11-22). And any point of order regarding the lack of a sufficient vote for a procedural action such as this would have to be made at the time the action is taken (see pp. 250-251).

I was about to suggest to Guest Polaris that his society consider adopting a special rule of order, like my city council has done, permitting it to postpone motions for a longer period.  The rule adopted by my city council allows it to postpone matters for two meeings, rather than just until the next meeting. 

Is it correct that if, pursuant to that special rule of order, a matter is postponed for two meetings rather than for one meeting, that the assembly at the next meeting could, by a two thirds vote, take up the postponed matter at that meeting?

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15 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

s it correct that if, pursuant to that special rule of order, a matter is postponed for two meetings rather than for one meeting, that the assembly at the next meeting could, by a two thirds vote, take up the postponed matter at that meeting?

Why not?

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Guest Polaris

Mr Brown( and all) 

If there were a special rule that allowed postponement within the quarter and the facts were as stated  in this post - what would the resolution be were the agenda adopted by majority vote only  at the outset -and matters proceeded as mentioned . Would the response of "too late" to complain  when meeting completed -apply .

 

 

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Guest Polaris

That is- postponement allowed beyond the one meeting as noted by Mr.Brown, and what occurred- as described.

p

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7 minutes ago, Guest Polaris said:

Mr Brown( and all) 

If there were a special rule that allowed postponement within the quarter and the facts were as stated  in this post - what would the resolution be were the agenda adopted by majority vote only  at the outset -and matters proceeded as mentioned . Would the response of "too late" to complain  when meeting completed -apply .

 

 

Yes, as Mr. Gerber previously explained, any point of order regarding the lack of a sufficient vote for adoption of the agenda in this instance would have to be made promptly at the time when the agenda was erroneous declared to have been adopted.

 

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Guest Polaris

It would seems all  above experts agree - that a majority vote approving the agenda ,for a matter that ought to have been on a subsequent meeting agenda  ( special rule allowing ), and then carry of  the motion postponed ,would  stand - unless a  timely point  of order was raised . Thanks All. 

p

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