meeting minutes

When should the clerk speak up?

By Ann Macfarlane / September 10, 2020 /

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

By Ann Macfarlane / May 8, 2020 / Comments Off on 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…

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Use Minutes Approval Committee instead of waiting months

By Ann Macfarlane / January 28, 2020 / Comments Off on 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…

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Sample minutes from Robert’s Rules of Order

By Ann Macfarlane / January 21, 2020 /

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!

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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No after-the-fact comments in minutes

By Ann Macfarlane / August 31, 2018 /

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

By Ann Macfarlane / May 2, 2018 / Comments Off on 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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Don’t include detailed public comment in meeting minutes

By Ann Macfarlane / March 21, 2018 /

When city councils, school boards or other public bodies hold their meetings, it is usual to reserve a time in the meeting for members of the public to speak to their elected officials. One common name for this is the public comment period.

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Approving minutes if you were absent

By Ann Macfarlane / September 27, 2016 / Comments Off on Approving minutes if you were absent
meeting minutes with pen

Is it all right for you to vote to approve minutes of a meeting if you were absent? Robert’s Rules of Order gives a resounding “yes” as the answer to this question. When you vote to approve the minutes, you are expressing your confidence in the veracity of the secretary, the actions of your colleagues,…

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Who may correct meeting minutes?

By Ann Macfarlane / September 9, 2016 /

In the olden days, the standard way to correct meeting minutes was to request the correction at the next meeting, when the meeting minutes were up for approval. Nowadays, since meeting minutes are often circulated in advance, the question becomes a little more complicated. This article explores those complications. According to Robert’s Rules of Order…

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