Dear Dinosaur Advice Column

Got questions about Robert's Rules of Order?
Ann Macfarlane is a dinosaur who knows her stuff.
She explains the complexity of Robert's Rules so it makes sense.
She loves hearing from readers with their questions about Robert's Rules of Order.

I WANT IT ON THE RECORD!

Dear Dinosaur: When a member of our city council says, "I want this on the record!" do we have to include their remarks in the minutes?

Answer: Not necessarily. Robert's Rules says that the purpose of minutes is to record the actions taken by the body. In general, minutes should not include individual remarks. If a member wants something included, the chair may ask the body if they wish to do so. The chair can say, "Is there any objection if these remarks are included in the minutes?" If someone objects, then the chair would put the matter to the group.

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR ASKING THE GROUP TO DECIDE

Chair:  All those in favor of allowing these remarks to be included in the minutes, please say 'aye.'

Those in favor:  Aye.

Chair: All those opposed, please say 'no.'

Those opposed: No.

Chair: The ayes have it, the motion passes, and the remarks will be included, OR The noes have it, the motion fails, and the remarks will not be included.