Situation: It is important that members of local government boards, councils, and committees attend every meeting in its entirety so that each decision made is as representative of the will of the body as possible. In addition, it is required that a quorum, a specified number of members or proportion of the membership, be present at a meeting for any decisions made to be valid and binding on the body. Non-attendance at meetings, or early departure from them, can prevent the body from conducting business.
(Note that quorum requirements apply to local government bodies but not to meetings of the electorate as in annual town meetings or annual school district budget meetings.)
What is the number of members required to constitute a quorum? Unless otherwise specified, a quorum of a public body is a majority of the members unless a greater number is set by law. For example, the quorum of a city council having more than five members is two-thirds of the members. The governing body may set the quorum requirements for its committees.
[Note that “quorum” refers to the minimum number or proportion of the membership that must be present to have a meeting in which decisions that bind the body can be made. The number of votes required to make some changes or pass some measures varies, so that in some cases the number of votes required to act is more than the number required for a quorum. Local government officials should check the statutes and their own rules for specific vote requirements.]
What is the effect of not having a quorum at meetings? When a meeting is attended by fewer members than those required to constitute a quorum, Read more »