A person in our Chamber Professional’s Group on Facebook asked about having a consent agenda and what action should be taken if a board member wants to discuss something in that section of the agenda.
It’s a great idea to have a consent agenda, as it makes your meetings go faster and more smoothly.
The consent agenda should contain things that have already been discussed in the executive committee meetings like financials, new members, dropped members and other things that are just part of the formalities of the meeting.
Since the board still has to vote on them, you place them in the consent portion of the agenda.
These items can then be voted on/approved at the beginning of the meeting all at once, as the board trusts the executive committee did their work and that the reports that the board members received prior to the meeting were in order.
Roberts Rules of Order and Debated Items
Now, if you have a Chamber board member who says there’s something in the consent agenda that he/she has questions about — that topic gets pulled out of the consent agenda and becomes part of the regular agenda.
You don’t discuss that item as part of approving the consent agenda. It becomes its own new topic.
By the way, if a board member does this on a consistent basis, month after month pulling items from the consent agenda, he/she is going to start looking foolish because it slows down the meeting. It begins to look a little self-serving.
This board member may very well need to be taken aside and talked to by the chairman of the board because of the inefficiency he/she is causing. Every time an item must be pulled, it’s causing delay and derails the business at hand. The other board members are busy people and they won’t appreciate the meeting going long.