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Table a motion


Guest Terry
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Our township consists of 3 supervisors. I am one of the supervisors. At the last meeting, our vice chairman made a motion to purchase a new truck for our roadman. I made a motion to table it until we had more information on the subject and where it fit into the budget. Our vice chairman said he wasn’t going to table it, and I tried to ask our solicitor if this was permissible-nothing was said. Our township is small (7 miles of road ) and we can’t adford to buy this. Any help is greatly appreciated. 

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Well, your motion to table was out of order since you weren't setting it aside to take up something urgent.  The correct motion would have been to postpone, or to refer.  But the vice-chairman (presumably not the chair) can't just unilaterally say "no."   He could raise a point of order, or vote against your motion, but it's not up to any individual to just decline motions.  Lawyers don't necessarily know parliamentary procedure, so you should have raised a point of order that he was speaking without recognition and that the chair needs to state the motion (I'm assuming you were using small board rules, given that there's 3 of you, and so a second wasn't required), rather than asking the lawyer for help.  Your budgetary objection isn't a reason not to consider the motion, though, it's a reason to vote no.  

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The chair should have, and possibly did, treat the "motion to table" as a "motion to postpone".  But, regardless, he does not have the power to unilaterally declare that "he" was not going to table or otherwise deal with it.  But, since no point of order was made, I suspect that what's done is done.  That is the type irregularity that would have required a timely (immediate) point of order at the time of the breach.

btw, where was the chairman during all of this?  Was he absent?  Why was the vice chair presiding or acting like he was in charge?

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