Most homeowners associations attempt to follow Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (1990 Edition). However, in keeping with the modern times, many associations have adopted specific procedural rules to shorten the debate and make the orderly flow of the meeting less cumbersome. Here are some procedures to consider adopting that further clarify Robert’s Rules of Order.
Suggested Adaptations to Roberts Rules of Order:
Allow alternating debate on the issue. One speaker would present information in favor of the motion; then allow a presentation by a speaker opposed to the motion. When no one wishes to speak on a particular side, ask unanimous consent to end debate. “Is there any objection to closing discussion? Hearing no objection, discussion is closed.”
When seeking out discussion, encourage new discussion rather than permit repetition by the speakers.
Always provide an opportunity for those who have not spoken to address the motion on the floor.
On the agenda, record a start and end time for each discussion item. This will let speakers know in advance how much time is available.
Along those same lines, announce at the beginning of the meeting what time the meeting will adjourn. Board members often police themselves if they are aware of a deadline.
Ask for a motion to end discussion. (“Is there a motion to close debate?”).
If it is perceived that discussion on an issue may become quite lengthy, set a specific discussion time. (“Is there a motion to limit total debate to (20) minutes?”).
Establish speaking rules for all meetings:
Limit the speaker’s time to no more than (3) minutes.
Limit the speaker to one opportunity to verbalize on the issue.
Ask speakers to direct their comments to the chair.
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