Posts

Can board member see previous minutes?

By Ann Macfarlane / March 17, 2023 / Comments Off on 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…

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Does a motion that was passed and then rescinded go in the minutes?

By Ann Macfarlane / March 10, 2023 / Comments Off on Does a motion that was passed and then rescinded go in the minutes?

Dear Dinosaur: Does a motion that was passed, then rescinded at the same meeting, go in the minutes?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.…

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Extra rules to add to Robert’s Rules

By Ann Macfarlane / February 3, 2023 / Comments Off on 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…

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How do I handle nominations for mayor? Do nominations need a second?

By Ann Macfarlane / January 10, 2023 / Comments Off on 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…

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“Order of Business” says when you can make a motion

By Ann Macfarlane / December 9, 2022 /

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…

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Don’t attack or criticize the staff in public

By Ann Macfarlane / November 17, 2022 / Comments Off on Don’t attack or criticize the staff in public
man shaking finger

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.…

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Can a recording serve as our minutes?

By Ann Macfarlane / November 4, 2022 /

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…

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Run, don’t walk, to buy Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track

By Ann Macfarlane / October 21, 2022 / Comments Off on Run, don’t walk, to buy Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track

Reader, I am over the moon about Jim Slaughter’s new book, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track. This brief, affordable and funny guidebook will give you the tools to apply Robert’s Rules immediately and effectively. Jim’s humor and focus kept me reading with enjoyment, underlining key phrases, and dotting the text with exclamation points. Jim…

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No second – should motion be recorded in minutes?

By Ann Macfarlane / October 4, 2022 /

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…

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Our bylaws are old and conflict with Robert’s Rules

By Ann Macfarlane / September 29, 2022 / Comments Off on 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…

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