Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 17 May, 1997
Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 17 MAY, 1997
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I used to attend some meetings for local municipalities. At the beginning of each meeting there was a simple consent agenda which contained everything that was thought to just need approval by the committee (things that would not need discussion). Members could select any items from the agenda to discuss if needed. This hurried the meetings right along. I am now on several boards at my church and here at the University of Iowa and am trying to find some simple rules on what can/should go on such an agenda and what should not/can not.
A direction to take would be very much appreciated
Here is a handout about “Consent Calendar” (agenda) that I wanted to mail you by the person who wrote it e-mailed it to me. This was written by Barry Glazer, CPP-T, of Indianapolis, Indiana and a member of Hoosier Parliamentarians Chapter 38, and currently serves of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Parliamentarians. Hope you find it helpful.
The Consent Calendar, by Barry Glazer CPP-T
The consent calendar, also known as a consent agenda, is simply a collection of non-controversial items of business gathered together. It is intended that all of these items be disposed of en bloc, with a single vote, and without individual presentation and vote.
Each item on the consent calendar should be clearly identified, and the proposed action clearly identified.
Chair: You each should have before you a printed copy of the consent calendar. Is there a request by any member to extract any item from the consent calendar?
Member: I request that Resolution 27 be extracted.
Chair: Resolution 27 is extracted. Is there a request for any further extractions? There being none, is there objection to adoption of the balance of the consent calendar as published? There being no objection, the consent calendar is adopted.
Questions and answers about the consent calendar
Q: How are items selected for inclusion in the consent calendar?
A: In any way the body wishes. When reference committees are used to make recommendations on motions, the reference committees will usually identify which items appeared to be non-controversial, and thus suitable for inclusion. In other bodies, a committee can be appointed to identify such items, or the presiding officer can identify them.
Q: How are items extracted from the consent calendar?
A: Any member who wishes to have an item discussed and/or voted on separately may request that the item be extracted. No second is required for extraction, and no discussion and no vote regarding whether to extract the item occurs.
Q: Are their restrictions on what may be placed in the consent calendar?
A: Only those which the assembly may choose. Items with complex amendments may not be suitable, unless there appears to be broad agreement on adoption of all these amendments.
Q: How are extracted items disposed of?
A: Extracted items may be disposed of immediately after all items have been extracted, before adoption of the balance of the consent calendar, or after adoption of the consent calendar, or they may be placed back in the normal order of business and handled in the same place in the agenda where they would have been handled if they had never been placed in the consent calendar.
Q: May bylaws amendments be placed in the consent calendar?
A: Yes, if the assembly wishes this to be its practice. If this is done, the consent calendar must be disposed of by the required vote for a bylaws amendment - 2/3, 3/4, or whatever. Since the consent calendar is adopted without objection, by general consent, this is not a problem.
Q: Can the consent calendar not be adopted?
A: It is hard to imagine how this would occur. Any item on the consent calendar to which their is objection, should be extracted by the objecting member if they wish to vote against it. It is understood that items not extracted will be adopted by general consent.
Q: Is there a danger in putting too many items on the consent calendar?
A: Not really - provided they are all appropriate for the consent calendar. However, placing items which might be controversial on the consent calendar is bad practice - members might think that someone is trying to sneak something past them.
Q: Is it necessary to read each item on the consent calendar, and the action proposed?
A: No. The consent calendar should be presented in writing, or placed by projection where everyone can see it. Then, to accomplish the purpose of saving time, the consent calendar is moved for adoption "as published," and voted en bloc without objection.
Q: When should the consent calendar be presented - before or after the other items of business?
A: It is customary to present it first, but there is no reason that it cannot be left until last. For that matter, it could be disposed of at any time, perhaps, without objection, while awaiting a tellers' report, or some other idle time in the meeting, if such periods are common.
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