Can the chair take the minutes?
Dear Dinosaur: In our organization, one person makes the agenda for the meeting, chairs the meeting, takes the notes, and creates the minutes. Besides being a lot of work for one person, it seems like more people should be involved to avoid the appearance of a concentration of power within the commission. Are there specific…Read More
Can board member see previous minutes?
Dear Dinosaur: Is a newly voted board member allowed to see the previous 12 months of board minutes? Answer: A board member has the right to view all the board meeting minutes. This is necessary because a board member is a fiduciary for the organization, in a position of trust. One has the obligation to…Read More
Does a motion that was passed and then rescinded go in the minutes?
Dear Dinosaur: Does a motion that was passed, then rescinded at the same meeting, go in the minutes? If not, then is the motion to rescind also not put in the minutes? Answer: Yes, both the motion itself, and the motion to rescind, go into the minutes. Each is a separate action of the board.…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
Our bylaws are old and conflict with Robert’s Rules
Dear Dinosaur: Our local bylaws are old and have clauses that conflict with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Does Robert’s Rules overrule the conflicting errors? Answer: No. Bylaws have higher authority than Robert’s Rules, so if the clauses conflict, in general, the bylaws take precedence (have authority). It is a good idea…Read More
Two motions at once?
Dear Dinosaur: At a recent board meeting, a motion was made and seconded and there was discussion. During discussion, another motion was made and seconded to delay consideration of the original motion until the next board meeting (we have monthly meetings). A challenge to this second motion was made stating that the original motion was…Read More
What’s the point of the discussion period?
Dear Dinosaur: A commonly expressed sentiment by both the public and elected officials is that the Discussion Period on any agenda item should not be viewed as an opportunity to convince colleagues to vote one way or another. One should ask questions, and perhaps state one’s own viewpoint. However, attempting to sway votes one way…Read More
Don’t drink on Zoom
Dear Dinosaur: As our Zoom meeting rolls along, a member of our board starts making quips and silly jokes. He keeps his video off and takes a long time to unmute when called upon to vote. Then he leaves himself unmuted, and starts making jokes while others are speaking. A few days after the meeting,…Read More