A special Metro Council meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the council’s chambers to address the majority of Wednesday’s abandoned agenda.
In a rare turn of events, the Wednesday meeting ended after only a portion of the agenda had been addressed because too many council members left the chambers and the quorum of seven was lost.
Within minutes of the quorum being lost, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Walker announced the meeting was adjourned and told the audience that he legally was obligated to end it.
Walker said he was under the impression that the meeting had to end when the quorum was lost.
“Every council has been that way,” he said. “It’s been instilled in all of us that that was the rule.”
He said it’s fruitless to speculate on whether he adjourned too quickly, but said the incident provided a good lesson to the full council about being aware of the quorum.
“Whether I would have done something different, who knows? What happened, happened,” Walker said. ‘It is a great experience for us because we should work toward never allowing that to happen again and be a whole lot more responsible.”
There is no state law that requires the meeting to end, but the Metro Council abides by Roberts Rules of Order, which is mandated in the city-parish code of ordinances.
Roberts Rules of Order indicate that “once a meeting has been called to order with a quorum present and the quorum is subsequently lost, it is the duty of the chair to declare there is no quorum,” said Brian Mayers, council administrator.
“Once the quorum was lost, the chair announced this fact and I believe persons in the chambers attempted to see if any council members were available to re-enter the room, which did not yield any results,” Mayers said.
Council members Scott Wilson, C. Denise Marcelle and Ulysses “Bones” Addison were outside the council chambers having private conversations, and Rodney “Smokie” Bourgeois left to use the restroom.
Council members Chandler Loupe and Ronnie Edwards were absent from the meeting.