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.

How do I handle nominations for mayor? Do nominations need a second?

Dear Dinosaur:  At our council meeting, councilmembers will appoint a mayor for the new year from among the council. My question is how to manage the possibility of there being more than one nomination. I can’t say that we will, but I want to be prepared. Answer: At the meeting, as presiding officer you open…

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Can a recording serve as our minutes?

Dear Dinosaur:  Can we totally dispense with written minutes and simply make a recording of the meeting available and the official record? Answer: Under the requirements of common law, minutes are a written record of a body’s decisions. A recording does not qualify. It is merely a passive capturing of the meeting. Minutes, on the…

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No second – should motion be recorded in minutes?

Dear Dinosaur:  A councilmember made a motion and no one seconded it. Should it be included in the minutes? Answer: This is a simple question with a slightly complex answer. Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 12th edition says that all main motions which are moved in the course of a meeting, except normally any…

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