All organizations should, and usually do, recognize the need and value of having established rules and procedures in place to better facilitate the flow and conduct of business meetings.

The basic requirement for the framework of any meeting or deliberation of a governmental body is that it be handled with fairness and good faith towards all who are entitled to take part, and that those present be given access to consider and act on matters brought to the floor of the meeting.

Rules of procedure are useful and necessary. They are enacted to enable us to work together in groups, being able to properly acknowledge and express our areas of agreement and disagreement, and to reach an understanding or consensus.

A governing body,like any other organization, need to have procedures in place to determine who gets to talk and when? How should motions be made or amended? When can a vote be taken? When is a decision final and is there a course to appeal or override? What is the role of the presiding officer? What limits of authority are placed on the chair?

The goal is to have all business to be done in a positive environment where reason is valued and the emotions of the moment do not become the rules and actions of the moment. Conversation and engagement should be based on respect and the desire to be productive.Decision makers of policy should not be subjected to interpersonal manipulation, or attempted coercion by either speakers or the chair. No official should be placed in a position of attempting to function under duress.

Meetings are meant to represent or determine the will of the majority, while at the same time protect the minority. Business should be completed with a process of convenience and functional effectiveness. The process should never be abused or misused.

The most critical part,of course, is that all discussions be with professionalism,ethics, and a spirit of courtesy and civility. Thats how business should be done.