Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Who should make the motion?

Nicole E

Recommended Posts

I have been observing a situation where I see the chair, who is also the president, brings up an item of business, and then proceeds to speak extensively on that item, and then instead of offering a motion, or opening up the item for discussion, the chair asks the rest of the board if they have any questions, and then once any questions have been put forth and answered (by the chair), the following happens:

Chair: "Okay, I need a motion."

Another member: "I'll make that motion."

Chair: "I need a second"

A different member: "Second"

Then they proceed with roll call voting.

I am asking about this because nearly every item on the Agenda is handled this way, and it seems to me that if someone is the first to speak on an item of business, especially in a nearly exclusive manner, and then proposing something to be voted on, that they themselves should make the motion, and not ask for someone else to make it.


Thank you for any help!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/13/2023 at 1:55 AM, Nicole E said:

Then they proceed with roll call voting.


In my experience, when organizations follow this "procedure," they then make up rules preventing further debate once the motion has been made. "If I may..." "Quiet! There's a motion! We must vote on it!"

I find this "procedure" distasteful because, first, discussion can consist of more than questions, and second, even knowing what questions to ask often depends on knowing the exact motion under consideration. I see no way in which this "procedure" is somehow more practical than making a motion and then debating it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One issue I have with this is it sounds like the Chair is pre-debating i.e. having their views on the motion known before the motion is made as they cannot enter debate once the motion is made.  I suppose the Chair could just be providing objective information but we would need more information from the OP to know for sure. 


ETA:  Yes I know this would be allowed with small board rules.

Edited by Drake Savory
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Quiet! There is a motion! We must vote on it!" seems to be an improperly formed subsidiary motion, Previous Question.

It should be noted that Previous Question does not interrupt a speaker, and the chair should be prepared to defend the speaker's right to make his remarks without improper interruption.

RONR (12th ed.) 49:21n3 points out the the use of motions that curtail debate is less frequent in small boards; the debate is more often allowed to end naturally without a motion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...