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Author Topic: More Questions on the Quorum  (Read 1090 times)
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« on: February 09, 2011, 01:48:26 PM »

I got an email last night that brought up a few interesting points:

If you look at the charter, there is an interesting voting issue relative to the quorum.
At the beginning of page 6, the paragraph numbered 2, reads as follows:
2.  In order for the meeting to amend any warrant article, including the Operating Budget, a quorum of the meeting must vote and a majority of those voting must vote in the affirmative on said amendment to the warrant article.
We know a "quorum of the meeting" means 500 people.  This section seems to indicate that in order to pass any amendment, you need a minimum of 251 votes, (500 votes must be cast, and 251 of the votes cast, must vote in the affirmative).
So now, even those attending, cannot abstain on a vote.  For instance, if 500 citizens are in attendance, but only 490 choose to vote, there is no quorum and the vote fails.

By abstaining, you can veto the votes of a majority of those in attendance, since 499 people could vote for an amendment, but if the 500th voter simply abstains, he prevents the vote from being counted.

Interesting points. I'm not sure how it would be handled but there seems to be another question.

While I was reading the email something else came to mind.

Hypothetically.....Say a Deliberative Session begins with 510 residents. The quorum is met and amendments and discussion can take place. Now lets say that there is a larger group of individuals present to discuss Article 12. If the articles are taken in order it could be several hours before the article comes up for discussion.

Now as the meeting begins to run late 11 people decide they are not interested in the final four articles and leave. The meeting now only has 499 residents, one below a quorum. I would assume that is the case the discussion or amending of article 12 is now restricted to the School Board.

Friday night will be a very interesting night!

Glenn Douglas
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