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Postpone to a Certain Time


Larry R.
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I'm struggling a bit with what is surely a straightforward matter for experienced parliamentarians:

RONR 11th Edition p. 179 line 34 states that "...action on a pending question can be put off...until after a certain event." For example, this could mean that a motion is adopted stating that the assembly won't decide whether to proceed with a specific project until after they hear whether their grant application for funding for the project is successful, which will be at some unknown time in the near future (eg. after a certain event). The assembly I work for holds regular meetings on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

In what appears to me to conflict with the adopted motion above is p. 183 lines 11-17 which I interpret to mean that the question cannot be postponed until after a "certain event," because the assembly holds regular meetings more frequently than quarterly intervals, and therefore the question must be dealt with at the next regular meeting. Can someone please clarify and set me on the right track here? Thank you. 

Edited by Larry J. Randle
clarification of my wording
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The "not past the next regular meeting" limit is firmly in the rules, so if, as in your example, you may not hear from your funders until after the next meeting (or ever...), you can still postpone the motion to the next meeting.  Then when that next meeting comes around (and no funds yet) you just postpone it again to yet another (next) meeting. 

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As an alternative, the matter or motion could be referred to a small committee, even a committee of one person, to pursue funding or to monitor the funding source and to report the status to the assembly at each regular meeting or in whatever manner or frequency the assembly instructs. 

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28 minutes ago, Larry J. Randle said:

I'm struggling a bit with what is surely a straightforward matter for experienced parliamentarians:

RONR 11th Edition p. 179 line 34 states that "...action on a pending question can be put off...until after a certain event." For example, this could mean that a motion is adopted stating that the assembly won't decide whether to proceed with a specific project until after they hear whether their grant application for funding for the project is successful, which will be at some unknown time in the near future (eg. after a certain event). The assembly I work for holds regular meetings on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

In what appears to me to conflict with the adopted motion above is p. 183 lines 11-17 which I interpret to mean that the question cannot be postponed until after a "certain event," because the assembly holds regular meetings more frequently than quarterly intervals, and therefore the question must be dealt with at the next regular meeting. Can someone please clarify and set me on the right track here? Thank you. 

I think you have this right. In order for a motion to be properly postponed "until after a certain event", the event must be certain to occur before the end of the current session or, if the next session will be held within a quarterly time interval, before the end of the next session.

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2 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

As an alternative, the matter or motion could be referred to a small committee, even a committee of one person, to pursue funding or to monitor the funding source and to report the status to the assembly at each regular meeting or in whatever manner or frequency the assembly instructs. 

That's the method I'd recommend if it's not clear at the ouset whether a postponement would be proper.  The assembly can set whatever deadline it wishes, even one beyond a quarterly interval, and instruct the committee to report then, or it can simply play it by ear based on how things develop.  

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The exact quote from RONR puts the question into proper perspective:  "The subsidiary motion to Postpone to a Certain Time... is the motion by which action on a pending question can be put off, within limits, to a definite day, meeting, or hour, or until after a certain event." (my bolding).  The answers above describe what those limits are.

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21 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I think you have this right. In order for a motion to be properly postponed "until after a certain event", the event must be certain to occur before the end of the current session or, if the next session will be held within a quarterly time interval, before the end of the next session.

While I agree, how certain is "certain?"  A motion, "That we postpone this action until our attorney arrives," would seem to be in order, if the attorney is expected to be  at that meeting.  What if he got sick, or his wife was having a baby and he wanted to be there, he was delayed in traffic, or just forgot about the meeting? 

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