How can we approve November minutes with 3 new board members?

Dear Dinosaur: During the last election, three of our five board members were replaced with new directors, who take their oath of office at the December meeting. Our question is regarding the approval of the November board minutes. With three of the five being new board members who were not in attendance at the November…

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I want it on the record!

Dear Dinosaur: When a member of our city council says, “I want this on the record!” do we have to include their remarks in the minutes? Answer: Not necessarily. Robert’s Rules says that the purpose of minutes is to record the actions taken by the body. In general, minutes should not include individual remarks. If…

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Meeting minutes record what is DONE, not what is SAID

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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When should the clerk speak up?

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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3 lists every nonprofit secretary should keep

There are 3 lists that every secretary of a nonprofit board should maintain in the organization’s official record book: A running list of the dates of board meetings. A list of officers elected or appointed and their terms, including dates when they resign or are removed from office if such occurs. A list of all…

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Use Minutes Approval Committee instead of waiting months

Have you ever attended an annual meeting of an organization and been asked to vote to approve the minutes from the previous year’s annual meeting? How well did you remember that previous meeting? I am guessing that your memory was a bit fuzzy, unless something dramatic happened. There is a better way. Use Minutes Approval…

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Sample minutes from Robert’s Rules of Order

Here are the sample minutes provided in Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 12th edition, in section 48:8.   The regular monthly meeting of the L.M. Society was held on Thursday, January 4, 20__, at 8:30 P.M., at the Society’s building, the President being in the chair and the Secretary being present. The minutes of the…

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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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No after-the-fact comments in minutes

As our faithful readers know, Robert’s Rules affirms that minutes contain what is DONE, not what is SAID. Personal remarks and commentary do not belong in meeting minutes. By extension there is no place for after-the-fact comments in the minutes, either. The minutes are the record of the meeting itself. If your council or board…

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Guidelines for Meeting Minutes in Local Government

Meeting minutes recording the actions taken by your council or board are a fundamental part of the meeting process. These are our guidelines for meeting minutes in local government. They refer to ordinary business and work or study meetings of councils, boards and committees. Public hearings are governed by different rules. Download PDF WHAT KIND…

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