Becoming a parliamentarian step-by-step

Picture of Texas Senate Parliamentarian talking with Senator

A reader wrote, saying that he had been running a summer camp for 23 years, and would like a change of occupation. What would it take to become a parliamentarian? I had to reply that becoming a parliamentarian is not an easy career path. Most parliamentarians I know either have another job, or are retired.…

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Was this proper use of “Point of Information”?

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 director take back his vote?

Dear Dinosaur: Our board voted to eject a member from our social club. The next week, one of the directors changed his mind and said he wanted to take back his vote. Can he do this? Answer: No, once a vote has been taken, the chair has announced the result, and the board has gone…

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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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Mischievous troublemaker vs. pedantic stickler

Dear Dinosaur: At our church council meetings, the chair calls for the vote by saying, “All those in favor, please raise your right hand.” One of our members raises his left hand, upon which the chair refuses to count his vote. Is this correct? Answer: It seems as if your chair is a pedantic stickler…

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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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Disruptive members derailing your Zoom meetings? Use these rules!

A client is running Zoom meetings for 300-400 members. Not surprisingly, the meetings are challenging! People fail to follow common courtesy, Points of Order are rife, sometimes discourse collapses. It doesn’t have to be that way. Jurassic Parliament has developed a set of “sample Zoom rules,” based on Robert’s Rules of Order and adapted to…

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