Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Council Needs To Observe Procedure

Ken O’Brien

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.” (

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.


  1. Nobody seems to want to face the real driver behind this. The town is facing serious penalties resulting from Obamacare. It needs this to eliminate those costs. If it doesn’t do it, then it will have to resort to layoffs to eliminate those costs.

    1. Can you explain to me how the Affordable Care Act is causing these penalties?

  2. Fines are being over played and underpaidApril 5, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    Remember the " Rent is Too Darn High " guy ?
    Well in Southbridge the Insurance premiums are too darn high!

    Use this formula with these approximated numbers for an Individual :

    annual cost of Insurance premium (divided by) annual household income which can't exceed .095
    3250 / 34000 = .09558
    Anyone on individual insurance coverage and making less then 34000 annual household income isn't being paid enough per the federal regulation and the employer is subject to fines.
    Eye opening numbers for the family plan :
    10500 / 110,000 = .09545
    Which means THE MAJORITY of family plan insured employees rather than the exceptions of our dept heads at the top of the food chain are all paying MUCH more then the allowed .095.
    However, Important point here:
    The employer is only fined if the employee reports this to the federal government which in this take a throat lozenge rather then seek preventive healthcare atmosphere would probably trigger them being fired for reporting it to the government. So, don't be so caught up in the town paying fines. They are being over played and underpaid since this went into effect in January 2015.
    What fines have been report to the feds so far?
    How much has been paid out per month so far? Crickets...........

    If the town doesn't go to 60% the ACA fines them for everyone who leaves and goes to the Health exchange. If the town is only looking out for itself only no harm in returning the favor and only looking out for yourself in return with the health exchange..

    Read this for more info -

  3. are we paying enough?April 6, 2015 at 5:48 AM

    This is a violation only one f the HOUSEHOLD income is $34k. So if you are single, not working at all during the free summer months, and getting under $34 K in wages,for your teaxhing you may be outside the parameters. What. Percentage if our teachers make under $34k a year?

    Aren't we paying our teachers $750 a week?

  4. not about teachersApril 10, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    What about cafeteria workers, educational assistants, office workers? This isn't about teachers.


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