When I attend meetings, it frequently feels like a 12 step program for compulsive talkers. Folks with a bottle problem have Al-Anon. Druggies have Narcotics Anonymous. I’ve never seen an advertisement for compulsive talkers, but I figure their meetings are probably called On and On. In my imagination, they are like some of the community meetings I have attended in my life – endless.
Still, Robert’s Rules of Order provides a method to end a meeting. A motion to adjourn is a privileged motion and takes precedence over any other motion except a motion to fix the time of adjournment. A motion to adjourn is non-debatable, cannot be amended and moves to an immediate vote. While all motions technically need a second, if a motion to adjourn is moved to a vote without a second the motion is still valid.
Otherwise, if the chair is noticing that the meeting has been hijacked by On and On, the simple statement, “The chair will entertain a motion to adjourn.” can get things moving. Since it’s a privileged motion the chair can actually move toward adjournment without so much as “I so move.” coming from the floor.
All of us want our opinions to be heard – but being able to shut off irrelevant debate is important. Of course, that’s why I’m writing here. If it’s irrelevant to you, you can click past at the start, the middle, or a paragraph before this one.