Is your meeting aimed at efficiency or expression?

By Ann Macfarlane / April 12, 2023 /
Photo of David Rumsey

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…

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Can the mayor take part in discussion?

By Ann Macfarlane / April 22, 2022 / Comments Off on Can the mayor take part in discussion?

What is the role of the mayor in discussion at city council meetings? The answer to this question is a bit subtle. Download PDF In a large council, mayor does not take part in discussion Robert’s Rules of Order says that in a large group, the chair of the meeting does not take part in…

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Was this proper use of “Point of Information”?

By Ann Macfarlane / July 23, 2021 /

Dear Dinosaur: A board member at a condo association meeting made a motion.  The motion did not receive a second.  The board member then said, “Point of Information,” and continued to state his opinion of why the motion was important.  Was this the proper use of “Point of Information?  If so, what is the use of…

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Can member explain vote against consent agenda?

By Ann Macfarlane / March 29, 2021 / Comments Off on Can member explain vote against consent agenda?

Dear Dinosaur:  During our consent agenda vote, we have a board member who often votes nay. After their vote, they always feel the need to interrupt our process to give an explanation as to why they voted against the agenda Item. My question is, does a board member have a right to explain their vote…

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Hostages of her ranting

By Ann Macfarlane / March 1, 2021 /

Dear Dinosaur: One board member was dissatisfied with the way the bylaws amendment process was handled. At the membership meeting, she proceeded to monopolize the meeting and refused to stop having the conversation. So we were all hostages of her ranting. Is there anything to do? Answer: At a meeting, a member of an organization has…

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“That’s a bold-faced lie”

By Ann Macfarlane / July 27, 2020 / Comments Off on “That’s a bold-faced lie”

  It beats me how people can say that parliamentary procedure is boring. An article about a recent meeting of Branson Missouri aldermen is full of interest (read it here). The most gripping moment, from my perspective, is when the City Administrator says the following: “He’s not going to stand up there and lie about…

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No debate at all—legitimate, but unwise

By Ann Macfarlane / July 6, 2020 / Comments Off on No debate at all—legitimate, but unwise

  A citizen rang me up in some concern about the way his city council had processed a big motion the night before. The land-use proposal was introduced and seconded, a member was recognized to debate, and that member immediately said, “I call the question.” Five of the seven members on the council voted in…

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Rights and Responsibilities of the Member

By Ann Macfarlane / October 30, 2019 / Comments Off on Rights and Responsibilities of the Member

Weldon L. Merritt, PRP, CPP, has graciously authorized Jurassic Parliament to publish this listing of the rights and responsibilities of ordinary members of an organization. All citations are taken from Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 12th edition (RONR). Download PDF Please note that neither the list of member rights nor the list of member…

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Run better work meetings using Robert’s Rules

By Ann Macfarlane / October 16, 2019 /

A colleague asked for our best tips on leading committee meetings at work using Robert’s Rules. In general, Robert’s Rules don’t apply at work The first and obvious point is that work is not a venue where Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure apply. That system of meeting management is designed for assemblies—groups—where all members have…

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Don’t put these 6 items in the minutes!

By Ann Macfarlane / August 21, 2019 / Comments Off on Don’t put these 6 items in the minutes!

There are half a dozen things that DO NOT BELONG in your minutes. Here they are. 1.  Things that didn’t happen don’t belong in the minutes This may sound unlikely, but we have seen instances where after the meeting, the chair or a board member wants to put something in the minutes that didn’t actually…

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