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At the beginning of the meeting the Chair asks if there are any proposed additions or deletions to the agenda -  none are proposed and the agenda is adopted as presented. During the meeting when the heading "new business" is reached and the Chair asks "is there any new business?" (above and beyond what may already be on the adopted agenda) - it can become a free for all and members start raising a multitude of issues they would like to have discussion about. Should new business items raised from the floor at that time be subject to requiring a majority vote to determine whether the assembly even wants to take time to consider the issue, just as they would if the issues had been proposed as amendments to the agenda at the start of the meeting? If not, how do we protect against one member forcing the entire assembly to consider his/her matter under the new business heading when maybe a majority of the assembly does not want to?

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7 minutes ago, Larry J. Randle said:

If not, how do we protect against one member forcing the entire assembly to consider his/her matter under the new business heading when maybe a majority of the assembly does not want to?

First, motions require seconds, so no one person can force consideration of a topic (unless you're using small board rules). Second, you could just move the previous question immediately. Third, you could strike "new business" from your agenda, because that heading does not typically appear on agendas, the point of which is to list the business to be conducted. The effect of the third approach would be that a person who wishes to have an item considered must put it on the agenda, either by a majority vote prior to adoption or by a 2/3 vote (or majority of the entire membership) after adoption.

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More fundamentally, when you state that "members start raising a multitude of issues they would like to have discussion about", are these members offering motions to start these discussions?  Discussion without a motion should not be taking place if this assembly is larger than about a dozen members. The chair should not allow discussion to begin if there is no motion made.

If motions are being made, then Mr. Katz has suggested ways of dealing with this issue.

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You are correct in noting that individual members may sometimes try to bring up a locust swarm of business matters when the New Business heading is reached in the established order of business (by the way, agendas, properly speaking, don't have a New Business heading). A couple of limitations do still apply: 1) main motions require a second to be placed before the assembly; and, 2) the assembly has the right to stop sitting at any time by adjournment, which only requires a majority vote.

While we're in the neighborhood, it might be worth noting that a particular original main motion can be killed off from the very start by way of a two-thirds negative vote on an Objection to the Consideration of the Question. Objectionable, obviously unwise, embarrassing, profitless, and otherwise unfortunate original main motions can be thus quickly disposed of without wasting any of the assembly's time on debate and/or amendment.

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13 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

Third, you could strike "new business" from your agenda, because that heading does not typically appear on agendas, the point of which is to list the business to be conducted. The effect of the third approach would be that a person who wishes to have an item considered must put it on the agenda, either by a majority vote prior to adoption or by a 2/3 vote (or majority of the entire membership) after adoption.

Members could still, however, make motions after all business on the agenda has been completed. (Unless, of course, the assembly adopts a motion to adjourn at that point.)

If the assembly wishes to provide that only business which is listed on the agenda may be considered, this would require a special rule of order.

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Mr. Martin, even without the existence of a special rule of order, an order for an immediate adjournment after disposal of the orders of the day can be included in the resolution for adopting an agenda at the beginning of the meeting, provided that the rules that interfere be first suspended by a two-thirds vote.

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3 hours ago, Rob Elsman said:

Mr. Martin, even without the existence of a special rule of order, an order for an immediate adjournment after disposal of the orders of the day can be included in the resolution for adopting an agenda at the beginning of the meeting, provided that the rules that interfere be first suspended by a two-thirds vote.

Yes, I agree. The advantage of a special rule of order would be that this would not need to be done at every meeting.

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