The Town Council Rules and Regulations are quite explicit. Rule 18 states,
All rules of procedure not considered herein shall be governed by “Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure”.
This rule has a significant bearing on the agenda that has been issued for the Council’s Meeting of the Whole this Tuesday.
At its meeting of March 23rd the Council, by a vote of 6 opposed and 3 in favor, defeated exactly the same motion as that on the current agenda.
Consequently, prior to agenda item #4, “Motion: That the Town of Southbridge engage in the process to change health insurance benefits of copays and deductibles under M.G.L., Chapter 32B, Sections 21 through 23and that the Town of Southbridge accepts Sections 21 through 23 of Chapter 32B of Massachusetts General Laws .So voted by the Southbridge Town Council on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 6:00 PM.” there needs to be a preceding motion.
Contrary to practice that has transpired on occasions in the past, this would not be a motion to reconsider. As Michigan State University’s Extension Service notes on its reference page, “The making of the motion [to reconsider] is subject to time limits (see RONR p. 316 ll. 21- 31). For ordinary meetings of a board who meets monthly or biweekly, for example, it can only be made at the same meeting the decision to be reconsidered was made.” (http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/parliamentary_procedure_what_is_a_motion_to_reconsider)
Rather, what is required is a motion to rescind the prior vote. The motion to rescind does not require that it be made by a member who voted with the prevailing side as does the motion to reconsider. It does require, however, that prior notice of its being made or inclusion in the call of the meeting (agenda) be given in order to pass by a majority vote. Lacking such notice, the motion requires a two thirds margin in order to be adopted.
Since no such notice was given, and lacking its inclusion in the agenda as issued, the adoption of a motion to rescind the prior vote will require a two thirds vote. Failure to make and adopt such a motion to rescind would result in any action on agenda item #4 being an illegal action by the Council in violation of its own rule 18.
To iterate, in order to proceed with agenda item #4, the Council must first entertain a motion to rescind its vote of March 23rd. In order to be adopted, such a motion requires an affirmative vote of two thirds of those present and voting. If, and only if, the motion to rescind is adopted can the Council proceed to consider agenda item #4. Otherwise, it remains as it was left on March 23rd.