Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Looks like the new BOS is off to a momentous start. Mr. McKinnon moved to have Robert's Rules of Order be the Rules adopted by the BOS--no second to that motion. Under Robert's Rules, that would mean that the motion fails. But what rules apply to the BOS--apparently, whatever the heck Rules they want. I have not seen any written rules that have been adopted by the BOS--something that the School Committee does each time they reorganize. Why are the rules of order significant?: "Rules of order, also known as standing orders or rules of procedure, are the written rules of parliamentary procedure adopted by a deliberative assembly, which detail the processes used by the body to make decisions. Rules of order consist of rules written by the body itself, but also usually supplemented by a published parliamentary authority adopted by the body." --Wikipedia There is not just one set of rules that everyone uses. According to Wikipedia: "In the United States, most state legislatures follow Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure. The United States Senate follows the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, while the United States House of Representatives follows Jefferson's Manual. Most other deliberative assemblies follow Robert's Rules of Order. US organizations dedicated to promoting the general use of parliamentary procedure include the National Association of Parliamentarians and the American Institute of Parliamentarians. In the United Kingdom, Thomas Erskine May's A Practical Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament (often referred to simply as Erskine May) is the accepted authority on the powers and procedures of the Westminster parliament.In Quebec, commonly used rules of order for ordinary societies include Victor Morin's Procédures des assemblées délibérantes (commonly known as the Code Morin[1]) and the Code CSN." The point may be small, but it is this: Steve made a reasonable motion, in order to make sure that everyone participating, as well as everyone listening and watching in the cheap seats would know what rules apply. Written rules adopted by the BOS! What rules has this BOS put in writing and adopted, and at what point will they change them or stray from them for the purposes of their own agendas. If they are not written, then how do we know when they have violated them or our individual rights when we appear before them. We don't, and they like it that way. If they generally follow Robert's Rules, then why is it that they wouldn't second the motion or simply state that they follow Robert's Rules. Why...because they are already in the process of doing what they can to shut Steve down before he has even gotten started. I am surprised at Al. Why no second from you? Don't you want to know the rules of the game? I know I do. Let the games continue.


Middleboro Review said...

Why should the BOS follow anyone's rules? Isn't this creativity at its best?

You might have noticed that the Dog Complaint Hearing was "closed" without requesting Public Comments.

Marsha missed that one!
What would we do without Marsha conducting the meetings by proxy?

And there, in fact, was a Public Comment about the ferocity of the dog attack by a witness via a written statement.

Beyond that, the 2 Selectmen who had been meeting with the Town Manager, Steve Spataro and Patrick Rogers might argue that a quorum is not formed by 2 Selectmen. You do remember that silly Open Meeting Law that each elected and appointed official receives and acknowledges when sworn in?

A review of the BOS meeting minutes would indicate that votes by the BOS have been considered valid with only 2 Yea votes.

Now, which is it?

How do 2 votes constitute a majority in one case but not a quorum in another?

What's with the Chairman abstaining from each vote?

I believe the newly constituted Board was grossly remiss in not handing the gavel back to Marsha. She is clearly missing its feel in her hand when she is forced to endure questions from the rabble!

MR Holding Back? said...

The BOS is lost, and has been for many years now. Not only are they lazy, and wouldn't know the big leagues if they were given tickets to visit, they are only concerned with putting their big seats back in those chairs--satisfy the unions and satisfy the old guard.

Steve is a breath of fresh air, and the more they fight him, the stupider they will make themselves look--if it is possible that they could look stupider (is that a word?).