Unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting

One of the useful techniques to add to your voting toolkit is “unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting.” If allowed by state law, you can use this approach when it’s not feasible to hold a live board meeting. In order to do this, prepare a written motion proposing the action that you would…

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When can you bring up a new topic during a meeting?

At a recent council meeting I attended, the city issued a proclamation honoring efforts to assist the homeless. In responding to the proclamation, a local pastor asked the council to provide extra funding for their project. Before the mayor could move on to public comment, a council member made a motion to provide the funding.…

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When and how can you change your vote?

A reader contacted us with some concern because a member of her local government body had changed their vote in order to be able to move reconsideration at the next meeting. Was this legitimate? A note about “reconsideration” First off, readers should know that ordinarily, the motion “to reconsider” can be made only during the…

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Hostages of her ranting

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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Are your meetings seven hours long?

This strange time of COVID-19 is producing some strange situations. We hear reports of local government meetings lasting far into the night, in some cases taking as long as 7 hours. (See this article about San Jose California). Does this happen to you? Are your meetings too long? If yes, what can be done to…

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How disagreeable are your meetings? Take our survey

We had some wild stories at our webinar on “difficult board chair or member.” One person commented, “Seems like Zoom makes all interactions tougher and bolder.” While the norm has not descended to the level of the Handforth Parish Council (see this internet sensation here, or search for “Jackie Weaver”), clearly many meetings are problematic.…

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When public pressure is intense, what can you do?

At a recent workshop, a director from a school board split by pandemic-related decisions asked me what board members can do in the face of intense public pressure. These are tough times for local non-partisan government bodies, for sure. Here are some thoughts about what can be done. Download PDF Listen to your constituents, while…

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Robert’s isn’t the only game in town – consider AIPSC

Guest post by Weldon L. Merritt, PRP, CPP Does your organization use Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) as its parliamentary authority? Do you sometimes feel daunted by RONR’s 700+ pages and its often seemingly archaic terminology? If so, you may be interested to learn that RONR is not your only choice for a…

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When and how do you pass the gavel?

The term “pass the gavel” refers to a situation where the chair of a meeting (the presider, the person running the meeting) temporarily gives up the position of chair (the authority to run the meeting) to allow another person to preside over the meeting. Download PDF Pass the gavel in a large meeting In a…

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