"Robert's Rules of Order" is a book detailing a set of rules for process and conduct in official meetings. It is the procedural standard used by most public governing bodies. The rules are intended to allow everyone to be heard and business to be conducted in an orderly fashion. Under the "Robert's Rules of Order" guidelines, any member of a governing body can make a resolution, which is a declaration submitted to an assembly for adoption.
Put your resolution in writing. Write the reasons for the resolution in a preamble. Start each clause of the preamble with "whereas" with a capital "W." Close each clause with a semicolon or comma followed by "and." Avoid the use of periods. Close the last paragraph of the preamble with "therefore" or "therefore, be it." Begin the actual resolution with the words, "Resolved, That." Italicize "resolved." Follow it with a comma and the word "That" with a capital "T." Then write your resolution.
Rise and address the chairman as "Mr. Chair or Mr. President." Wait until the chairman recognizes you. Once you've obtained the floor, ask that council consider your resolution. A simple way to do this is "I move the adoption of the following resolution."
Read the reasons for the resolution if you feel the need. If not, simply read the entire resolution and hand it to the chairman. He will call for a vote on the matter.
Traci Bridges is a veteran newspaper editor and reporter. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in print journalism from The University of Alabama. She began writing for the "Morning News," a daily newspaper in South Carolina, in 1998. Since then, her work has appeared in several other publications including the "Winston-Salem Journal," "Tampa Tribune" and "AARP Magazine."