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Motions in and agenda?


Guest Lisa Craig

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Guest Lisa Craig

Hello,

I am preparing our Board agenda and a committee has sent motions wording for each policy being brought forward for approval with a mover and a seconder already listed from their committee members.  Is it proper to include this in the agenda?   Normal practice for us would be to include suggested motion wording with no mover or seconder noted.

Thank you

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8 minutes ago, Guest Lisa Craig said:

Hello,

I am preparing our Board agenda and a committee has sent motions wording for each policy being brought forward for approval with a mover and a seconder already listed from their committee members.  Is it proper to include this in the agenda?   Normal practice for us would be to include suggested motion wording with no mover or seconder noted.

Thank you

First let me ask:  Is this a public body such as a school board, zoning board, or some such governmental entity?  If so, our answers might be different.

It is unusual for an agenda to go into that much detail if the entity is not a government body.  But, an organization can put pretty much whatever it wants to in its agendas... if an agenda is used.  I see no problem with listing the name of the member who is expected to make the motion in the agenda, but it is rather unusual and it certainly is not required.  

It is also unusual for an agenda to contain the exact wording of motion, but there is no express prohibition against it in RONR.  Agendas usually just list topics and  sometimes expected motions in outline form.  Again, each organization is free to prepare agendas in pretty much any form it desires and with as much or little detail as it desires.

It is common for committees to present their proposed motions in written form.  It is not so common for the written motion itself to list who is going to move adoption of the motion and I would go so far as to say I think that is improper, but RONR contains no specific rule prohibiting it nor specifying exactly what a committee motion should contain. Seconds are not required on motions coming from a committee if it is a committee of more than one person.

A little more detail might help us to provide you with a better answer.

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Guest Lisa Craig

Richard, thank you for your reply.  We are not a public body, just a provincially registered non-profit.  

The committee has been pushing very hard and developing and amending policy in quite a rush some of which has not been task to them or reviewed by staff or directors it might affect as would be the usual collaborative process we follow. 

The Chair and I are concerned that their committee report including motion with movers and seconders ties the hand of the board and actually puts these motions on the floor.

We have a very large board 30+.  We are host our meeting virtually due to COVID, and we thought it would help things run smoother by adding "suggest motion" wording throughout the agenda.  But the way the committee has reported with their motions set so hard and firm has us concerned.  

I think I will suggest that it is more appropriate to lay them out as suggested motions and remove the mover and seconder unless you have another suggestion for me?  Appreciate your help.

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3 hours ago, Guest Lisa Craig said:

The Chair and I are concerned that their committee report including motion with movers and seconders ties the hand of the board and actually puts these motions on the floor.

If the motions are coming as recommendations from a committee, then they don't need seconding. When the committee reports, the reporting member should move the recommendations as motions.

I'm not clear what alternative procedure you're planning on. If the motions aren't "put on the floor" how would you deal with the committee's report and recommendations/motions?

Do you plan on trying to suppress those motions from coming up for consideration?

BTW, what province are you in?

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Guest Lisa Craig

We are in BC.  There is no intent to suppress any motions, but just allow the directors to bring motions from the floor as the meeting flows.  I am wondering if including the motions with a mover and a seconder in the agenda actually put them on the floor at that point in the agenda and forces the board to deal with the written motions before they may choose to bring another motion? 

In the rest of the agenda we have included "suggested motion" for our regular business items.

Thank you

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Under the usual Order of Business in RONR, Reports From Committees are heard well before New Business and the recommendations from the committee, in the form of motions, are considered immediately after the committee reports.

So, in short, yes the board should deal with the motions from the committee before dealing with other motions that someone chooses to bring.

The motion from the committee can, of course, be amended including amendment by substitution if someone else thinks they have a better idea.

 

You will notice that I have not talked about whether  printing the motion in the agenda  makes a difference in how it is handled. This is because it doesn't affect the priority of motions coming from a committee. Many organizations do put a higher importance on what exactly is printed in the agenda than RONR does. It sounds like yours is one of those organizations. I dont know if there is anything in your bylaws or rules of order or the B.C. Societies Act that requires that approach or if it's a custom in your organization (often from a belief that that is what is required).

BTW, Happy Election Day, tomorrow! Did you vote in advance or by mail or are you doing it traditionally?

 

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41 minutes ago, Guest Lisa Craig said:

I am wondering if including the motions with a mover and a seconder in the agenda actually put them on the floor at that point in the agenda

I will answer this one point. The motion is not "on the floor" until the chair states the motion. However, as I said above, this does not mean that someone else has an opportunity to jump in with their own motion ahead of the committee presenting its recommendations.

It sounds like you are considering having a discussion on the subject and then, after some discussion of unknown length, someone generating a motion to reflect the consensus of the discussion. While this is common, RONR is clear that the discussion will be more focussed and efficient if you start with a motion and debate it, with amendments being used to improve it and make it more acceptable to a larger number of the members present.

With a large group (> 30 you said) and with a virtual meeting, the differences in efficiency are even larger.

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