Aldermen continue to use Robinson’s Rules of Order

\Call the Tune\ by Mike Anthony

\”Call the Tune\” by Mike Anthony

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen recently demonstrated that it continues to conduct its meetings under Mayor Roy Robinson’s Rules of Order.

As we’ve noted previously, most governmental bodies in the United States look to the parliamentary procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order to ensure their meetings are conducted in an orderly and civil fashion.

And as we’ve also noted, they’re meetings of the Board of Aldermen, which under the Crestwood Charter “shall by ordinance determine its own rules and order of business.”

But it appears the majority of aldermen prefer the arbitrary Robinson’s Rules of Order imposed by Roy as opposed to following proper parliamentary procedure outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order.

To see how well Robinson’s Rules of Order work, one needs to look no further than the March 9 board meeting when Ward 2 Alderman Chris Pickel moved that the findings of the city’s Animal Control Study Committee be discussed at the board’s April 13 meeting.

The only problem, as cited by Ward 3 Alderman Paul Duchild, was that Alderman Pickel didn’t have the floor. At the risk of getting caught up in the minutiae of Robert’s Rules of Order, before a board member may make a motion or speak in debate, he or she must obtain the floor.

“Point of order, mayor,” Alderman Duchild said. “Alderman Pickel’s light was not on. He did not have the floor to make that motion.”

“You don’t control the lights here. I do,” Roy replied.

Alderman Duchild said, “He didn’t have the floor. I’m calling a point of order …”

“If you’re wanting to cause an argument, that’s wrong,” Roy said. “But you don’t sit over there and tell me whether lights are on or not.”

“(Ward 1) Alderman (Darryl) Wallach clearly had the floor — point of order, that’s all,” Alderman Duchild said.

“Well the order is fine with me,” Roy said.

As we’ve noted before, the city of Crestwood is at a crossroads and needs real leadership to determine what path to take. But if aldermen cannot agree on something as simple as adopting rules of parliamentary procedure to govern their meetings, we believe there’s little hope they’re up to solving the many challenges the city currently is facing, not to mention any problems they may encounter in the future.