§ 2-2-145. Subsidiary motions  


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  • During the course of debate, commissioners may introduce motions that propose that the board take a particular action on a main motion. These motions are called subsidiary motions and they allow a board to reach a conclusion on the main motion. Subsidiary motions require a second before they can be voted or debated. Three (3) subsidiary motions—amend, limit debate and vote immediately—can apply to other subsidiary motions.

    (1) Postpone indefinitely. If a commissioner believes the main motion should not be considered by the board, that commissioner may move to postpone the consideration of the main motion indefinitely. If the motion is successful, consideration of the main motion stops and the main motion is tabled for the duration of the meeting. A motion to postpone indefinitely can be debated but it cannot be amended. A majority vote is required for the motion to pass.

    (2) Amend. If a commissioner believes that a main motion that is on the table should be changed in order to make it more acceptable, he can move to amend the motion. Amendments must be closely related to the original motion and must not change the nature of the motion that they amend. Motion to refer, amend, postpone to a time certain and the motion to recess can also be amended. A motion cannot be amended more than two times. Debate is allowed on a motion to amend only if the original motion is debatable. Debate is limited to the proposed amendment. A majority vote is required for the board to adopt an amendment. It the amendment is adopted then the board shall consider the amended version of the motion.

    (3) Refer to a committee (commit). If a commissioner believes that further information is needed before the board can act on a main motion, he may propose that the motion be referred to a specific committee or department for further study. If an appropriate committee does not already exist, then a committee may be formed as a part of the motion. A motion to commit should specify the date that the committee or department will report back to the board. This motion is debatable and amendable. A majority vote is required for the motion to pass.

    (4) Postpone to a time certain (postpone definitely). A motion to postpone to a certain time may be proposed if a commissioner believes the main motion should not be considered until a future time. This motion shall set a particular time for the main motion to be considered again. It is debatable and can be amended. If this motion is passed, the chairman will bring the original motion back to the board for consideration at the specified time which may be at the same meeting, at a subsequent meeting, or upon the occurrence of a specified event. A majority vote is required for the motion to pass.

    (5) Limit or extend limits of debate. A motion to limit debate places a time constraint on the length of debate. The details of such a motion are to be decided by the commissioner who makes the motion. This motion can also be used to extend the limits of debate if a limit on debate already exists. Debate is not allowed on this motion and a two-thirds vote is required.

    (6) Call for the question (previous question). If a commissioner believes debate on a motion should end and that the motion that is being considered should be voted on, the commissioner can move to call for the question to vote immediately. The motion is undebatable and a vote of two-thirds of the board is required for the motion to pass.

    (7) Motion to the table (postpone temporarily). A motion to table proposes that the consideration of a main motion be postponed until a later time in the same meeting. The main motion can be brought back for consideration only if a motion to resume consideration is accepted by the board during the same meeting. The motion will die if it is not taken up during the meeting. Debate is not allowed on this motion and the motion is not amendable. A majority vote is required for the motion to pass.

(Ord. No. 05-01, § (1)1-05, 1-3-2005)