May 17, 2017

Commission debates procedure

Commissioners couldn’t seem to agree on how monthly city meetings should be run, debating at length both legal and moral aspects of different actions common at meetings.
Commissioner Keith Jacobson stated at a previous meeting that he had questions on when the commission president should be voting, adding that he wanted to make sure the board was doing things correctly.
At last week’s meeting, Commission President Larry Thomas stated that he had looked into the matter and that he didn’t find any information stating board presidents should not vote.
“I was looking up under Robert’s Rules of Order,” Thomas said of the guidelines the Washburn City Commission follows, quoting a portion of a paragraph on the subject.
“The president is a voting member of the body. He or she has exactly the same voting rights and privileges that any other members have,” Thomas quoted. “In meetings of a small board, where there are not more than a dozen board members, the presiding officer may exercise these rights and privileges as any other voting member.”
The remainder of the statement, which Thomas did not read during the meeting, dictates that “the impartiality required of the presiding officer of an assembly precludes exercising the right to make motions or debate while presiding and also requires refraining from voting except when the vote is by ballot or whenever his or her vote will affect the result.”

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