Rules of parliamentary procedure were developed to provide for orderly and courteous meetings. If you have questions about parliamentary procedure at a meeting of your county commission, you should consult your county attorney.You may have your county attorney attend county commission meetings to assist the presiding officer with questions of parliamentary procedure (or be available to provide answers to your quesitons).
The county legislative body is usually required to follow procedures mandated by state law, but often the state law is silent on the procedures to be followed. Therefore, it is important for county legislative bodies to adopt rules of procedure to follow when the state law does not provide guidance. During the meeting a commissioner should seek recognition in the manner used by the body which is generally by rising or by raising his/her hand. As a parliamentary courtesy, the member who makes a motion is entitled to speak first on the issue and is entitled to close debate but not until every member who desires to speak has been heard. The member should make the motion, without discussion that is not needed to explain the motion, allow for a second, and then be heard on the motion. A member should confine his/her remarks to the question before the body and should avoid personalities.
Many county legislative bodies adopt Robert's Rules of Order when parliamentary questions arise that are not specifically dealt with in their local rules. Whenever specifically adopted local rules differ with Robert's Rules (unless the local rules provide Robert's Rules control), the local rule would control. Neither Robert's Rules nor local rules can take precedence over a statute. When there is a conflict between a statute and a rule, the statute controls.
Sample rules of procedure. These are basic rules and it is suggested, as the sample does in Rule 11, to adopt a provision that all matters not covered by state law or the adopted rules be governed by Robert's Rules of Order Revised as contained in the latest copyrighted edition.