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Marisa

Committee agenda item placed on board regular agenda without action by committee

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A community oversight Board referred an item to its Policies and Standards Committee. The item was whether to adopt revisions to a Standard Operating Procedure suggested by the public. The committee met twice to receive information from all stakeholders. It was scheduled to meet a third time next month for final deliberations. The Board Chair has placed the item back on the Board’s agenda for a vote at its meeting this week without any recommendation from the committee. I’m wondering if this is in violation of Robert’s Rules? Is the Board not required to await a recommendation from the committee?

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Look up "discharge a committee" in RONR. The Board can take an item back from a committee but there is either a notice requirement or a higher voting threshold than usual to do so.

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I think this situation is somewhat different than what reelsman describes above. I take it that the board has referred an item to one of its (apparently standing) committees, but before the committee could report back to the board, the board chairman (not the committee chairman) has put it on the board's agenda for a vote.

Certainly the board has the authority to take over consideration of an item from one of its committees, but the procedure for doing that would be for the board to adopt a motion to discharge the committee from considering the matter (RONR, p.310). That motion requires a second, and a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote if previous notice is given.

However, nothing in RONR gives the board chair the right to do this on his own; it is the board itself that must agree to discharge the committee. Of course, since this appears to be a local legislative body, there may be rules and procedures involved that supersede those of RONR.

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I would add that, if the rules in RONR apply, any document the board chair has presented is a proposed agenda, not an agenda. But, as Mr. Lages noted, the rules in RONR may well be superseded by procedural laws here.

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