We’ve had inquiries recently about elected officials who lost a vote, and then actively worked against the outcome. This amounts to trying to sabotage the council. It is wrong, wrong, wrong. Download PDF The majority rules General Henry Martyn Robert, the original author of Robert’s Rules of Order, expresses it this way: The great lesson…

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A married couple, or other closely related persons, can serve together on a nonprofit board provided that no higher authority prevents it. However, you will want to think deeply before proceeding to do this. Here are some considerations to take into account. Does a higher authority prevent married couples from serving together? If you are…

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Dear Dinosaur:  During our consent agenda vote, we have a board member who often votes nay. After their vote, they always feel the need to interrupt our process to give an explanation as to why they voted against the agenda Item. My question is, does a board member have a right to explain their vote…

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A reader contacted us with some concern because a member of her local government body had changed their vote in order to be able to move reconsideration at the next meeting. Was this legitimate? A note about “reconsideration” First off, readers should know that ordinarily, the motion “to reconsider” can be made only during the…

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Dear Dinosaur:  During public comment at a virtual meeting, one citizen was making blasphemous comments about another citizen in attendance, was escalating in emotion, and calling him names and added a few cuss words.  Then he pulls out pictures and past memos, etc.  I’m clear about allowing the citizen his freedom of speech.  He can…

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Dear Dinosaur: One board member was dissatisfied with the way the bylaws amendment process was handled. At the membership meeting, she proceeded to monopolize the meeting and refused to stop having the conversation. So we were all hostages of her ranting. Is there anything to do? Answer: At a meeting, a member of an organization has…

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This strange time of COVID-19 is producing some strange situations. We hear reports of local government meetings lasting far into the night, in some cases taking as long as 7 hours. (See this article about San Jose California). Does this happen to you? Are your meetings too long? If yes, what can be done to…

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We had some wild stories at our webinar on “difficult board chair or member.” One person commented, “Seems like Zoom makes all interactions tougher and bolder.” While the norm has not descended to the level of the Handforth Parish Council (see this internet sensation here, or search for “Jackie Weaver”), clearly many meetings are problematic.…

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Dear Dinosaur:  A motion was made by one board member. After discussion, the other board members did not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand to cast an educated vote. The board member who made the motion insisted on a vote. The vote was taken and resulted in one yes vote with 4 abstaining…

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At a recent workshop, a director from a school board split by pandemic-related decisions asked me what board members can do in the face of intense public pressure. These are tough times for local non-partisan government bodies, for sure. Here are some thoughts about what can be done. Download PDF Listen to your constituents, while…

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