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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.


  1. Wynetta on August 22, 2015 at 6:13 am

    What is the required amount of members of a committee that need to be present in order to conduct a meeting? I was told it was 75%. Is this correct?

    What is the required amounts of members of a meeting that is needed to pass a motion. Is it 50% of all members or 50% of those present?

    • Ann Macfarlane on August 22, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Wynetta, ordinarily a majority (more than 50%) of the members of a committee must be present for business to be done. This is called a “quorum” of the committee.

      And ordinarily, a MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST is necessary to pass a motion. You will see that this is less than 50% of all members and also less than 50% of those present, since some members could be absent, and some members who are present could choose not to vote (to abstain). See our blog post on “abstain.”

      It is also possible for bylaws to set higher requirements for either of these. Always check the bylaws to see what they say.

      Thanks for asking and good luck! Ann

  2. Grace Hebert on March 22, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    If you have a AGM and one has left there name to run in any spot but secetery and a vote is held he gets in by 1vote .Then it comes to treasure and no. One wants it but the first person that got voted in would of taken treasure can one change places

    • Ann Macfarlane on March 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Dear Grace,

      This is an interesting situation! I can’t give specific advice without knowing more. In general, however, a person can step down from his office. The person who is willing to be treasurer could resign the position to which he was elected, someone else could be elected to that position, and then the willing person could accept the treasurer position. Good luck!