Meeting Minutes

No after-the-fact comments in minutes

By Ann Macfarlane / August 31, 2018 /

As our faithful readers know, Robert’s Rules affirms that minutes contain what is DONE, not what is SAID. Personal remarks and commentary do not belong in meeting minutes. By extension there is no place for after-the-fact comments in the minutes, either. The minutes are the record of the meeting itself. If your council or board…

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Guidelines for Meeting Minutes in Local Government

By Ann Macfarlane / May 2, 2018 / Comments Off on Guidelines for Meeting Minutes in Local Government

Meeting minutes recording the actions taken by your council or board are a fundamental part of the meeting process. These are our guidelines for meeting minutes in local government. They refer to ordinary business and work or study meetings of councils, boards and committees. Public hearings are governed by different rules. Download PDF WHAT KIND…

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Don’t include detailed public comment in meeting minutes

By Ann Macfarlane / March 21, 2018 /

When city councils, school boards or other public bodies hold their meetings, it is usual to reserve a time in the meeting for members of the public to speak to their elected officials. One common name for this is the public comment period.

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Approving minutes if you were absent

By Ann Macfarlane / September 27, 2016 / Comments Off on Approving minutes if you were absent
meeting minutes with pen

Is it all right for you to vote to approve minutes of a meeting if you were absent? Robert’s Rules of Order gives a resounding “yes” as the answer to this question. When you vote to approve the minutes, you are expressing your confidence in the veracity of the secretary, the actions of your colleagues,…

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Who may correct meeting minutes?

By Ann Macfarlane / September 9, 2016 /

In the olden days, the standard way to correct meeting minutes was to request the correction at the next meeting, when the meeting minutes were up for approval. Nowadays, since meeting minutes are often circulated in advance, the question becomes a little more complicated. This article explores those complications. According to Robert’s Rules of Order…

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Recording votes in meeting minutes

By Ann Macfarlane / August 25, 2016 / Comments Off on Recording votes in meeting minutes

When deciding about recording votes in meeting minutes, first review any legal requirements in your state of incorporation. For instance, in California, public bodies must record how each board member cast their vote by name in the minutes. Those requirements may settle the matter for you. If your state doesn’t specify how to record the…

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What to include in meeting minutes?

By Ann Macfarlane / August 2, 2016 / Comments Off on What to include in meeting minutes?

Updated November 20, 2022 Readers sometimes ask us what exactly to include in meeting minutes. This is our best understanding of the content according to our experience and Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th edition. The name of the body that is meeting and the type of meeting (regular, special, annual, continued, study session,…

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Nonprofit boards should not vote to approve minutes

By Ann Macfarlane / May 12, 2016 / Comments Off on Nonprofit boards should not vote to approve minutes
paper with pen

Do you serve on a private nonprofit board? Did you know that according to Robert’s Rules of Order, you shouldn’t vote to approve minutes? Instead, use this simple procedure. The secretary reads the minutes aloud. If the draft minutes have been distributed in advance, so everyone has had a chance to review them, this step is…

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Detailed minutes put your board at risk

By Ann Macfarlane / November 4, 2015 /
red warning sign

Do you include what directors say in the minutes of your nonprofit board meetings? Jurassic Parliament strongly recommends that you stop immediately. Detailed accounts of “who said what to whom” in your minutes are dangerous. In the worst case, they provide fodder for your opponents should your board ever be involved in a lawsuit.  In…

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Are summary minutes right for your nonprofit board?

By Ann Macfarlane / August 25, 2015 /
paper with pen

Over the years Jurassic Parliament has been a strong supporter of “action minutes.” We agree with Robert’s Rules of Order that the fundamental purpose of minutes is to record official actions taken by a governing body. Minutes are a legal record and document what the body has done. This is true for elected councils, appointed…

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