Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

November 19, 2013

Education board meetings raise 'Robert's Rules' questions

Absence of order contributes to chaotic, state-level meetings.

(Continued)

For her part, under “Robert’s Rules,” Ritz would have a stronger grasp on the flow of each meeting. She has often repeatedly been forced to state, “I am the chair!” when board members speak over her. The rules set clear procedures for allowing the chair to recognize who will speak.

Without “Robert’s Rules,” or even any sort of basic agreement on the alternative rules they established in their place, Ritz and Pence’s staffs have been unable to agree whether she ended the meeting or not last week. Department of Education staffers say the alternative rules they agreed to mean Ritz ended the meeting when she walked out, but Pence staffers say she lacks the power to singlehandedly end a meeting.

There’s little chance a simple set of rules would end the power struggle between Pence and Ritz, but it would tamp down some of the wilder moments of each meeting.

Tom LoBianco covers Indiana politics for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tomlobianco.

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