In the wake of the defeat of Roeland Park’s anti-discrimination ordinance on a 4-3 vote, a question for some residents is whether that vote is the last word on the fate of the much-debated proposal. Councilor Becky Fast was absent from the meeting when the vote was taken last week and Mayor Joel Marquardt already has declared his support for the ordinance.
Fast did not reveal her intention to vote for or against the ordinance when asked by PVPost.com. If she voted in favor (and no other votes change), Marquardt would break the tie and the ordinance would pass with its required five votes. Or, a councilor from the prevailing side could change a vote to move it forward. Different options appear to exist for bringing the vote back to the table.
The Roeland Park City Council currently operates under Roberts Rules of Order, said City Clerk Debra Mootz, even though a change is in the works to move to Kansas League of Municipalities rules for meetings in the future. Under Roberts, reconsideration of a motion must be made on the day of the vote or the next succeeding day and reconsideration can only be made by a member of the prevailing side.
But Roberts also allows for defeated motion to be introduced again at any future session:
“38. Renewal of a Motion. When an original main motion or an amendment has been adopted, or rejected, or a main motion has been postponed indefinitely, or an objection to its consideration has been sustained, it, or practically the same motion, cannot be again brought before the assembly at the same session, except by a motion to reconsider or to rescind the vote. But it may be introduced again at any future session.”
Another option on the table is for a petition by residents to put the question before the voters. A petition requires only 472 signatures, Mootz said, based on the turnout at the last city election. If a petition is filed, the city council can either pass the ordinance within 20 days or call for a city-wide vote on the ordinance. The council meets again next Monday.