If we table an item until a future date as an action item, and we are not ready to bring it forward, does it die and we have to bring it forward again, or can a board member raise it as a question and then we table it again?
January 8, 2016
There are two types of “postponement.”
a. One is to postpone indefinitely, that is, to set a pending motion aside with no particular intention of ever taking it up again. If a body postpones something indefinitely, it cannot be taken up again in the same meeting except through reconsideration
b. Postponing to a definite time is quite different. The body does want to resume deliberation on the matter but for a variety of reasons wishes to so do at a later time – either later in the same meeting or in a future meeting. When a body agrees to postpone a matter to a specific time, it has ordered that the future agenda include the item.
When a matter is tabled, it is set aside and the body doesn’t specify when or whether it will take up the matter again. Once an item is set aside by tabling, the body must agree to take it from the table in order to get back to it. In other words it takes a motion to put it “on the table” and it takes a separate, later motion to take it “off the table”.
The confusion between “postpone to a definite time” and “table” comes from the frequent habit of members moving to “table until next meeting (or some other future time)” when they probably want to get back to the matter at a specific time and technically should say "postpone.”
In your specific situation it appears your board meant “postpone to a definite time”. In other words, it will be on the agenda at the time specified in the original motion. If the board does not wish to address this subject at that time, the question can be dealt with by using any of the three motions described above.
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