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Dec 1, 2009 | Article  Michael D. Pascu

Motions are an Essential Part of Board Meetings

Proper parliamentary procedure requires that each item of business at a condominium corporation board meeting be brought before the board for consideration in the form of a motion. A motion is essentially a formal proposal by a board member on which the board must act. The chair should ask for a motion to discuss each item of business on the agenda. If the motion is made, it must be seconded and then passed by a vote of the majority of the directors (provided that the quorum for the meeting is met) and the discussion should remain focused on that item on the agenda. If an item on the agenda does not get a motion and a second, the item cannot be dealt with (but may be brought up again at a subsequent board meeting).

Any motion may be modified or clarified before it is seconded and considered. If there is insufficient information to properly consider a matter, any board member may make a motion to postpone the matter until the next meeting, to allow the necessary information to be collected. If such motion is seconded and passed, the item is placed on the next meeting’s agenda as unfinished business.
Even if in the opinion of the chair the discussion on a matter becomes lengthy or unproductive, the chair cannot unilaterally end the discussion. The chair should call for a motion to end the discussion or to postpone the matter until the next meeting, and if the motion is not seconded or passed, the discussion must be allowed to continue. Similarly, if all the items on the agenda are dealt with, or if the meeting stretches beyond the allotted time and becomes unproductive, the chair or any member must call for a motion that the meeting be adjourned. Whether or not to adjourn a meeting is a board decision and therefore the decision requires a motion, second, and a majority vote.

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