Charleston City Council recently re-affirmed a Memorandum of Agreement with the South Carolina Dept. of Transportation and Charleston County to replace a lane of vehicular traffic with a bicycle lane by a 7-6 vote. The decisive vote was cast by Councilman Rodney Williams by a telephone vote.
The City Council Rules of Order, passed in Jan. 2016, does not specify a procedure for allowing votes by telephone. Robert’s Rules of Order * specify that any procedure not specified in a governing body’s operating procedures should not be allowed unless it complies with Robert’s Rules, which requires voting members to be present at the meeting.
It is likely that one or more members of City Council will challenge the telephone vote at the Tuesday, August 16 meeting. The bicycle lane plan, officially known as the Ashley River Bridge Retrofit Project, is highly controversial. If the July vote stands, funding for the project still must be approved by Charleston County Council using funds from the transportation sales tax.
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* Robert’s Rules of Order is the short title of a book, written by Henry Martyn Robert, that is intended to be a guide for conducting meetings and making decisions as a group. Originally published in 1876, it has been revised regularly through the years, including two major revisions, by Robert and his successors based on feedback from users. The most recent version is the 11th Edition published in 2011 under the name Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (abbreviated RONR). This book has details on the types of groups that use it, the ways that decisions could be made, and the various situations in which decisions are made. Several resources, including an official concise guide and information on the official website, have been released by Robert’s successors to help the many different organizations and groups that use the book. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)