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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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 try to count a voice vote

Sometimes after a voice vote that is not unanimous, we see an odd scenario. The chair or the clerk starts trying to figure out who voted for and who voted against. “Let’s see, it looks like the motion passed, with Member B and Member C voting against—you did vote against, didn’t you?” Don’t do this! Trying…

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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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