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 a member wants something included, the chair may ask the body if they wish to do so. The chair can say, “Is there any objection if these remarks are included in the minutes?” If someone objects, then the chair would put the matter to the group.
SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR ASKING THE GROUP TO DECIDE
Chair: All those in favor of allowing these remarks to be included in the minutes, please say “aye.”
Those in favor: Aye.
Chair: All those opposed, please say “no.”
Those opposed: No.
Chair: The ayes have it, the motion passes, and the remarks will be included, OR The noes have it, the motion fails, and the remarks will not be included.
For more resources on minutes, search our blog category Meeting Minutes.
Dear Dinosaur provides simple, practical answers to questions about Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure. Send your questions to Dear Dinosaur here. Our answers are based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th edition. As always, nothing in this post constitutes legal or business advice. For complicated questions, seek a qualified authority.