Robert’s Rules for Elected Officials

Next live Zoom workshop: Meeting Minutes & Role of Clerk - Thursday, June 6 at 10 am Pacific time

What we offer elected officials

Serving your community as an elected official can be rewarding, invigorating—and stressful. Any long-serving official will tell you that while the job is filled with fulfilling moments where you know you’re serving and connecting with your community, public meetings can also begin to feel like a waste of time—especially if nothing gets accomplished, or worse, tempers flare and the community begins to suffer.

Public meetings are a cornerstone of democracy—but bringing a large group together with differing opinions and backgrounds can be enough to overwhelm someone who isn’t prepared with the tools and best practices offered by Robert’s Rules of Order. Here at Jurassic Parliament, we are focused on bringing this often dry and confusing document to life through fun, interactive live online workshops, self-paced courses, and plenty of other content!

So what is the best learning path for you, an elected official who wants to have more effective, respectful, less chaotic, meetings? Here are some suggested learning paths for your journey.

Three learning paths

Intermediate path

You're not new to public service, but you could benefit from some refreshers and maybe some new tricks for your toolkit!

  1. [COURSE] Great City Council Meetings, Great School Board Meetings
  2. [BLOG] Rights and responsibilities of the member
  3. [BLOG] Four bad habits to avoid at council meetings
  4. [QUICK GUIDE] What are the 11 duties of the chair?
  5. [QUICK GUIDE] Essential Guidelines
  6. [QUICK GUIDE] Guidelines for Public Comment in Local Government Meetings
  7. [COURSE] Get What You Want Using Motions

Advanced path

You’ve got Robert’s Rules working pretty well, but you’re finding that the outcomes of your meetings are still suboptimal. We suggest the following learning path to get you well on your way to expert status when it comes to getting the most out of your public meetings.

  1. [BLOG] The 12 stupidest meeting mistakes
  2. [BLOG] Are your meetings seven hours long?
  3. [BLOG] When public pressure is intense
  4. [QUICK GUIDE] Lost the vote? Don’t sabotage the council’s action
  5. [COURSE] Difficult Board Chair or Member
  6. [COURSE] Take Control of Your Meetings Using Robert’s Rules

Hi. I’m Ann Macfarlane.

I know the frustration of ineffective council meetings. I can help you change your next meeting:

Master parliamentary procedures

Stop bullies who just want to argue

Get your voice heard

Solicit cooperation from other elected colleagues

I’ve worked as a diplomat for the U.S. Government. Through my work as a translator, I’ve helped hundreds of people communicate effectively across cultures.

Sixteen years of experience working with electoral bodies means I have answered 100s of actual on-the-job questions about Robert’s Rules. I can help you, too. I work with city, town, and county councils, utility boards, special districts, planning commissions, overnmental associations, and anyone who wants better meetings.

I’m a Professional Registered Parliamentarian and I know how effective government works. 

In fact, together with my partner, Andrew Estep, we wrote the book for local government: Mastering Council Meetings. There’s nothing like our book. Click here to learn more and download a sample chapter.

Ann Macfarlane is a trusted trainer for these organizations:

City of Bainbridge Island WA
City of Bellingham WA
City of Blaine WA
City of Bothell WA
City of Burien WA
City of Chico CA
City of Cordova AK
City of Edmonds WA
City of Enumclaw WA
City of Ferndale WA
City of Gig Harbor WA
City of Kenmore WA
City of Kent WA
City of Kirkland WA
City of Liberty Lake WA
City of Long Beach WA
City of Loveland CO

City of Lynnwood WA
City of Medina WA
City of Millwood WA
City of Newcastle WA
City of Olympia WA
City of Pacific WA
City of Port Angeles WA
City of Port Orchard WA
City of Port Townsend WA
City of Renton WA
City of Sammamish WA
City of SeaTac WA
City of Seattle WA
City of Sedro-Woolley WA
City of Selah WA
City of Sequim WA
City of Shelton WA

City of Shoreline WA
City of Snoqualmie WA
City of Sultan WA
City of Sumner WA
City of Tonasket WA
City of Tukwila WA
City of Wenatchee WA
City of West Lynn OR
City of Woodinville WA
City of Woodland WA
City of Yakima WA

King County WA
Pierce County WA
Snohomish County WA
Spokane County WA
Whatcom County WA

Columbia River PUD
Jefferson County PUD
Nevada Poolpact
PenMet Parks
Port of Olympia WA
Scotts Valley CA Water District
Snohomish County Ag Board
Sound Cities Association
Washington Public Ports Assoc
Washington State Parks

Really helpful, Ann. You make it all so clear and achievable. I’ll be relying on your lessons at every future meeting.

Bob Walter, Council Member, City of Eatonville WA

Every single one of us walked out the session feeling so much more confident and comfortable with the subject of parliamentary procedure. We are so appreciative! I can’t wait for our next training session!

Tiffany Aliment, Dept of Planning & Public Works, Pierce County WA

Ann, you are a constant amazement in your ability to concisely deliver value.

Karen Macedonio, East Kern Health Care District