Are your meetings seven hours long?

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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How disagreeable are your meetings? Take our survey

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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Only one vote – does the motion pass?

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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When public pressure is intense, what can you do?

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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Can we vote on 10 ordinances at once?

Dear Dinosaur:  We have 10 ordinances on tonight’s agenda for pay increases for all Village employees.  Each ordinance covers a department. After they discuss each piece and nothing has to be revised or discussed further, can they vote all ten ordinances in one vote, rather than voting on each one individually? Answer: From a Robert’s…

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How can owners discuss anything at HOA meeting?

Dear Dinosaur: The management company at our HOA won’t let the members propose anything for the agenda of the annual meeting. They say only the board can make the agenda. How in the world can the owners get to discuss something at an association meeting that the board president may not want to talk about…

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Free Robert’s Rules motions chart

Are you puzzled by the system of motions in Robert’s Rules? It’s a very specific aspect of parliamentary procedure that can seem mystifying and muddling. Yet once you get a handle on it, it’s not so bad! Here is a free chart for download that shows the relationships of key motions in Robert’s Rules of…

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Host shuts eligible directors out of meeting

Dear Dinosaur:  With Zoom, the host kept eligible directors from entering into their board meeting while allowing others in. Then, after finally allowing those unwanted but eligible members to enter the meeting, the host removes him/her repeatedly from the meeting so that they are unable to participate in discussions, deliberation, and vote. Another method utilized…

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How can we approve November minutes with 3 new board members?

Dear Dinosaur: During the last election, three of our five board members were replaced with new directors, who take their oath of office at the December meeting. Our question is regarding the approval of the November board minutes. With three of the five being new board members who were not in attendance at the November…

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