Memo to: Constance Leccese, Chairwoman
Attorney Richard O’Neil, Moderator of Special Meeting
From: Christopher T. Casey, Esq.
Dated: November 29, 2018
LCWD: Instructions for Consideration of Articles on the Warrant
At previous open meetings, the Lynnfield Center Water District (LCWD) has opted to follow Robert’s Rules of Order in conducting these meetings. As such, we are advising that the moderator follow these guidelines in considering the order that the articles on the Warrant will be heard.
The Warrant, as adopted by the Board of Commissioners in their regular Board Meeting taking place on November 26, 2018, included the articles in the order that they were received by the LCWD. Though Robert’s Rules of Order are silent as to warrants, the rules do advise on how to adopt and amend an agenda, which is akin to a warrant for the purposes of this meeting:
(M)embers may adopt the agenda at the beginning of the meeting . . . . Some organizations want to adopt an agenda believing that they can add no further items as the meeting progresses, which is not true. If an agenda is adopted, changing it takes a two-thirds vote.
An organization can adopt an agenda only if its governing documents don’t include rules of order dictating the order of a business meeting . . . .
Webster’s New World Robert’s Rules of Order Simplified and Applied (Second Edition) at 18.
As we have had questions from ratepayers regarding the consideration of articles on the Warrant out of order, I would recommend the following process:
- At the outset of the meeting, the moderator will opt to consider the articles on the Warrant in the order in which they appear on the Warrant. This shall constitute the adoption of the “agenda.”
- The ratepayers may then move to vote to hear the articles on the Warrant in a different (specified) order.
- If the ratepayers vote to hear the articles in the specified order by a two-thirds majority, then the moderator shall allow the motion and consider the articles in this order.
- If the ratepayers are unable to come to a two-third majority, the articles shall be heard in the order they appear on the Warrant.
I hope the foregoing has been helpful. Thank you.