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Rules of Order

Published January 14. 2013 4:00AM   Updated January 15. 2013 4:15PM

Recently, I mentioned to Finance Board Chairman Brad Sullivan that Connecticut law, Sec. 7-7, Conduct of meeting of municipal corporations, states, "except as otherwise provided by law, questions arising in such meetings shall be decided in accordance with parliamentary procedure." And parliamentary procedure, aka Robert's Rules of Order, says regarding debate, "each member has the right to speak twice on the same question on the same day, but cannot make a second speech on the same question so long as any member who has not spoken on that question desires the floor." Thus, at the next annual budget hearing, there should be no more "one and done" for speakers.

Sullivan replied to my providing him with this information by sending me a sarcastic email, some of which follows: "[I]t would appear from the Robert's Rules snippets you sent to me that every town meeting I have attended since moving to town has not explicitly complied with every provision of these rules...I don't know what will happen if you don't get this straightened out. Certainly, you should publicize this as soon as possible. You should get town counsel involved to research whether there has been some catastrophic consequences arising from the way we have done things in Clinton at town meetings for years (decades?)...Have you called the television news stations, the Patch, and newspapers? You better get on this because you may have singlehandedly uncovered the biggest conspiracy in Clinton since perhaps the Landing was completed...Again, thank you so much for edifying me...while I count down the days remaining in my elected term of volunteer service to Clinton...You should feel free to forward this response to whomever you feel would benefit from reading it."

And so I am.

Peggy Adler

Editor's note: Find the email exchange, including Peggy Adler's initial email, Brad Sullivan's complete response, and Adler's reply, at right or by clicking here.