Prospect Heights Community Farm Meeting Guidelines
Obtain the floor politely by addressing the Meeting Chair and waiting until you are called upon before speaking.
Speak clearly and concisely and avoid repeating points that have already been made.
Most importantly, BE COURTEOUS.
Meetings follow the order of business below.
- Call to order and confirmation that quorum has been met, based upon Article III, Section 4 of the PHCF Bylaws.
- Approval of minutes from the previous meeting.
- Officers reports.
- Committee reports.
- Unfinished business.
- New business.
How are motions made?
- In order to make a motion, a member will say, “I move that….” and clearly state the content of the motion. The Meeting Chair will then ask if there is a second. If a motion is not seconded, the motion is lost.
- If a topic or issue is being discussed without a motion on the table, the Meeting Chair can halt the discussion and ask if a member would like to make a motion.
- The Meeting Chair cannot make a motion of any kind, but may call for motions.
What happens after a motion has been made and seconded?
- The Meeting Chair should then state the motion and call for discussion: “It has been moved and seconded that … Is there any discussion?”
- The Meeting Chair should set a time limit for discussion and make note of members who would like to speak and call on them in the order in which their hands are raised.
- During a discussion of a motion or amendment, the chair of the meeting should ensure that each member speaks only once until all other members have had an opportunity to speak. It is a good idea to alternate speakers for and against the motion. If members begin responding to and addressing remarks to each other, the Meeting Chair should remind the group that all comments should be addressed to the Meeting Chair first. The discussion and debate is for the group as a whole to participate in. It is not an argument between a couple of members.
- Once the time limit for discussion has been reached, the Meeting Chair should ask if anyone would like to move to extend the debate. A member may then move to extend the debate and ask for a second. If the motion to extend is seconded, the Meeting Chair will then ask the membership to vote on extending the debate.
How can a motion be amended?
- Sometimes an amendment to the motion on the floor may be offered. An amendment must be seconded and then discussed. The Meeting Chair should say: “An amendment has been made and seconded that … Is there any discussion on the amendment?” A vote is first taken on the amendment. After the amendment is decided on, the discussion returns to the main motion (as amended if the amendment was passed). A vote is then taken on the main motion.
How can a motion be postponed?
- If a member feels that it would be better to postpone a vote on a motion to a future meeting, a motion can be made to postpone a vote to a later time by stating, “I move to postpone the motion to…” If the motion to postpone is seconded, a vote is taken on the motion to postpone.
How are votes counted?
- Votes are generally taken by voice whereby the Chair asks those in favor to say, “aye”, those opposed to say “no”, and those not choosing to vote to “abstain.” The chair may call for a count if there is no clear indication if the motion pass or not.
- When a motion is not likely to be opposed, the Chair may say, “if there is no objection …” The membership shows agreement by their silence, however if one member says, “I object,” the item must be put to a vote.
Article III, Section 5 of the bylaws state that decisions are made by a simple majority, which means that the more than half of the members present at the meeting must vote “aye” in order for a motion to pass. Members who abstain may want to consider that by abstaining they may be inadvertently voting against a motion. For example, if there are 20 members present at a meeting, 8 vote “aye”, 7 vote “no”, and 5 “abstain” the motion will not carry. In order to carry, at least 11 members present must vote “aye”.
- If a motion passes or fails at a meeting, can it be brought up again for a vote at a future meeting?
Yes. As long as the motion is seconded and passed again, it can be voted on again at another meeting.
AFSCME. How to Chair a Meeting:
Acosta, Andrew etal. Robert’s Rules of Order Presentation.
Robert’s Rules of Orders. Date Accessed 2018-02-22.
3/3/2018 – Ratified at the Annual Meeting.