Robert’s isn’t the only game in town – consider AIPSC

Guest post by Weldon L. Merritt, PRP, CPP Does your organization use Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) as its parliamentary authority? Do you sometimes feel daunted by RONR’s 700+ pages and its often seemingly archaic terminology? If so, you may be interested to learn that RONR is not your only choice for a…

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Failed motion can’t be made again – true or false?

Dear Dinosaur: In my first year on the city council, I have made several motions which have all failed. My colleagues say, “Don’t make a motion you know will fail because once it fails it cannot be made again.” Is this true? Answer: No, this is wildly wrong. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, during…

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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…

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You’ve already adopted the 12th edition of Robert’s Rules of Order

Did you know, gentle reader, that if your parliamentary authority is Robert’s Rules of Order, you have already adopted the 12th edition? Here is the quotation from the horse’s mouth: This Twelfth Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe “Robert’s Rules of Order,”…

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Should you have co-presidents for your nonprofit board?

Nonprofit organizations, like many voluntary groups in our country, struggle to locate and recruit adequate leadership. People are living such busy lives, with the demands of work, family, and personal well-being, that they find it a challenge to take on a leadership role. When there is a dearth of candidates to lead an organization—and often…

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What about our elections in this pandemic?

  With fall and the turning of the year, many organizations are struggling over their elections. We can’t do things the way we have always done, so what are the options? Here are a few thoughts on holding elections in this pandemic. As always, this is not legal advice. Be sure to consult your attorney!…

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When and how do you pass the gavel?

The term “pass the gavel” refers to a situation where the chair of a meeting (the presider, the person running the meeting) temporarily gives up the position of chair (the authority to run the meeting) to allow another person to preside over the meeting. Download PDF Pass the gavel in a large meeting In a…

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How to be objective about subjective comments

  What can you do when your colleagues on a board or council say things that you find offensive? What if they are making subjective statements that hurt your feelings? We are living in tough times for civility. People feel free to say things during meetings that can be offensive and challenging. Robert’s Rules of…

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Meeting minutes record what is DONE, not what is SAID

The biggest problem we encounter in meeting minutes is too much verbiage. Striving to do justice to their job, secretaries sometimes include the arguments that are made, what people say in response, and all the minutiae of discussion. There is a better way! According to Robert’s Rules of Order, minutes should record what is DONE,…

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When should the clerk speak up?

The clerk of a local government meeting or the secretary on a nonprofit board has a high calling. Under Robert’s Rules, two persons must be present for a valid meeting: the chair and the secretary. They cannot be the same person, and state law often specifies this as well. The clerk or secretary keeps the…

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