Points of Order

On my lunch break I looked for a Duluth Reader hoping to see Loren Martell’s take on our last school board meeting. Sometimes pathetic things make me laugh and Loren’s quoting of our debate about the Weighted Average Daily Membership (student enrollment) made me guffaw between winces. Here’s a sample (with my stage direction inserted):

Member Johnston has the floor:” …The school has done nothing”

The Chair takes the floor: “What school are you talking about?”

Member Johnston tries to regain the floor: “I’d like to raise a point of order. I have the floor. The Chair is interrupting me.”

The Chair fight’s back: “No, I think–”

Member Johnston not giving up: “I’m raising a point of order! I happen to have the floor!”

Loren’s exposition: Having the floor or raising a point of order never count for much in the boardroom. Member Welty recorded the ensuing argument in his blog as a “nasty, nonproductive, fifteen-minute hissy fit, in which Chair Seliga-Punkyo lost all touch with parliamentary procedure.”

The Dummies guide to Parliamentary procedure does a good job explaining how points of order should be handled. They should be handled quickly. Chair Seliga-Punyko is in at least her second go-round as a Chairman and judging by her handling of this matter last week she must have had a rocky time of it in her first year-long stint as the Board’s Chair.

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