The most useful and practical phrase a chair can say
It’s a little risky to make extreme claims, but in the view of Jurassic Parliament, the most useful and practical phrase a chair can say is: Members will kindly seek recognition before speaking. This is based on our 20+ years of experience, in which the tendency of meetings to dissolve into conversations among the members…Read More
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
Is your meeting aimed at efficiency or expression?
Guest post by David Rumsey Meetings can come in all shapes and sizes. But there are ultimately two reasons for holding a meeting: to discuss topics and/or to make decisions. Although most meetings include both elements to some extent, understanding which element should be emphasized and when will go a long way toward achieving successful…Read More
The Neuroscience of You and good decisions
I’ve been fascinated by Chantel Prat’s book, The Neuroscience of You. She does a great job making complex information about the brain accessible to a lay person like me. Up until now, scientific research has focused on how brains in general work. This book is different. It gives ideas, quizzes and exercises to estimate how…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Does a motion that was passed and then rescinded go in the minutes?
Dear Dinosaur: Does a motion that was passed, then rescinded at the same meeting, go in the minutes?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
Extra rules to add to Robert’s Rules
Robert’s Rules of Order is a daunting subject for many folks who haven’t yet seen how much it improves meetings. We strive in Jurassic Parliament to distill key information that will help you run effective and fair meetings. Distillation is one thing, but ADDING RULES? When there are already hundreds of pages of rules in…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
“Order of Business” says when you can make a motion
It is a fundamental principle of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 12th edition (RONR) that main motions must be taken up at the proper time on the agenda. (A main motion proposes action by the body). This is necessary in order to preserve order, and the rights of members. To that end, RONR establishes…Read More
Don’t attack or criticize the staff in public
Several local government officials have recently described to us situations where elected officials are criticizing and attacking the staff during public meetings. This must not happen. Councilmembers and board members must respect the role of the administrative head of the organization (mayor, city manager, general manager, etc.). They may not criticize the staff in public.…Read More