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Omodt voices support for Robert's Rules of Order

Staff Writer | August 2, 2023 1:00 AM

Bonner County Commissioner Luke Omodt voiced support Tuesday for applying Robert’s Rules of Order to both the commissioners’ and other county department meetings.

Two weeks ago, the commissioners voted to use the newly revised rules of order as what Omodt referred to as “a framework for all Bonner County meetings.” The commissioner said that by respecting the decorum of these rules during the meetings, it is in turn respecting the people who put the commissioners in this position — the voters.

Omodt then brought up a specific rule that had come into question by the commissioners at the last meeting after Commissioner Asia Williams continued to discuss topics after a roll call vote was called for.

“One of the things that is odd about this is just understanding that there are three potential actions that can be taken during a vote,” he said. “It is, ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘abstain.’ What is not available during a vote is an attempt to filibuster.”

Clark Fork resident Dmitry Borisov asked Omodt for clarification regarding his item on the agenda. Earlier in the meeting, Borisov said, Omodt had pressed Williams for motions on her action items; however, Omodt had stated his action item did not have an agenda.

“Why does she have to have a motion to discuss and you do not?” he asked.

Omodt replied that all topics must be put on the agenda as action items because of how the county process works. His agenda item was never intended to have a motion attached to it. However, Omodt said in order for the commissioners to commence in back-and-forth discussion over an item, it must be accompanied by a motion, which Williams’s items did not seem to have.

“According to Robert’s Rules of Order, just because it’s listed as an action item doesn’t mean there needs to be an action,” he said. “However, it allows the opportunity to become a motion.”

Had Williams made a motion, Omodt said he would have continued discussing her items. Since they didn’t, he said it was unnecessary to continue conversing over those topics.

“I stand by the motion [for Robert’s Rules] that was put before the board and was voted on legally,” he said.