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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The biggest problem we encounter in meeting minutes is too much verbiage. Striving to do justice to their job, secretaries sometimes include the arguments that are made, what people say in response, and all the minutiae of discussion. There is a better way! According to Robert’s Rules of Order, minutes should record what is DONE,…

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The clerk of a local government meeting or the secretary on a nonprofit board has a high calling. Under Robert’s Rules, two persons must be present for a valid meeting: the chair and the secretary. They cannot be the same person, and state law often specifies this as well. The clerk or secretary keeps the…

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