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Opinion in Minutes

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I am part of a small board. I understand that opinion and commentary are not part of minutes. If such opinion or comment is part of an officer's (verbal) report, should it be included? Example: Officer reports that the budget for a raffle drawings was not enough to last the fiscal year, and states her opinion about the purpose of such drawings--which happens to contradict the published purpose.

If the opinion is directly related to an action the officer is taking, should it be included? Example: Officer reports she will be absent for a future meeting and delegates one of her tasks to another member for that meeting, stating that she feels it (the task) is a service to members.

Thanks for the clarification.

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I am part of a small board. I understand that opinion and commentary are not part of minutes. If such opinion or comment is part of an officer's (verbal) report, should it be included? Example: Officer reports that the budget for a raffle drawings was not enough to last the fiscal year, and states her opinion about the purpose of such drawings--which happens to contradict the published purpose.

If the opinion is directly related to an action the officer is taking, should it be included? Example: Officer reports she will be absent for a future meeting and delegates one of her tasks to another member for that meeting, stating that she feels it (the task) is a service to members.

Reports of this nature (reports for information) must be submitted in writing. They do not fall under the types of reports which may be given orally in a small assembly. None of those types reports involve the expression of an opinion except the opinion that particular motions should or should not be adopted. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 525-527 for more information. Therefore, I would suggest that the officer has not officially given a report and nothing should be recorded in the minutes.

If the officer gives the report in writing as required, the minutes will simply note that "The report of the (title of officer) was received and placed on file."

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Example: Officer reports she will be absent for a future meeting and delegates one of her tasks to another member for that meeting, stating that she feels it (the task) is a service to members.

Well, that's not really a "report", is it. The officer is simply stating she'll be absent at some future meeting. Whether she can delegate her authority and/or responsibility to anyone else is another question.

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Hi and thanks. As a small board for a group that has until very recently thought of itself as a "club" (as opposed to the professional organization it is becoming), we try to get reports in writing, but it's rare that anyone other than the treasurer and I do so. So we tend to at least summarize the oral "report" in the minutes. (I won't bore you with all the probable incorrectness going on... just the issue at hand :)).

I am not the secretary, but I have been trying to coach the secretary toward taking proper minutes. I had the opportunity to substitute for the secretary at the last meeting, so I want the minutes I took to be a model... even if they must contain some elements not strictly necessary.

That said, my only concern about the officer's opinions is that they were given in the course of her "report" and that they appear to have a close relationship to the facts being reported. If these opinions are still irrelevant as far as minutes are concerned, I'm happy to leave 'em out.

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So we tend to at least summarize the oral "report" in the minutes. (I won't bore you with all the probable incorrectness going on... just the issue at hand :)).

I doubt I would be bored, but leaving it out was indeed merciful.

I am not the secretary, but I have been trying to coach the secretary toward taking proper minutes. I had the opportunity to substitute for the secretary at the last meeting, so I want the minutes I took to be a model... even if they must contain some elements not strictly necessary.

The one time I was allowed to take minutes, I tried to make them a model, too, except that I inserted a few times the sentence "Then Gary Tesser made a great speech." The next meeting I was able to easily teach the membership how to correct minutes quickly and efficiently by general consent prior to approval. Regrettably, that wasn't all the experience taught them.

That said, my only concern about the officer's opinions is that they were given in the course of her "report" and that they appear to have a close relationship to the facts being reported. If these opinions are still irrelevant as far as minutes are concerned, I'm happy to leave 'em out.

See if the report can stand on its own without the opinions. If so, why not try leaving them out. Then if the reporting member, or anyone, proposes putting the opinions back in, then you, or anyone, can object, and we'll see which position a majority supports. Aslo the lesson can be made that if they want their reports to read the way they want them to read, they can darn well submit them in writing as they are supposed to.

We can leave to a later occasion what happens when they submit written reports that include opinions, and these reports are rejected.

ct 3

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I think I have a different view of "opinions". It is commonly an officer's job to deliver reports and provide information to a board that are the opinions and recommendations of that officer. These might be things like" "As the Treasurer, having reviewed the financial status of the organization and our 2013 budget, it is my opinion that, unless we cut expenses, we will run a deficit, and that we should reduce the Board monthly dinners to every other month instead of every month."

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I think I have a different view of "opinions". It is commonly an officer's job to deliver reports and provide information to a board that are the opinions and recommendations of that officer. These might be things like "As the Treasurer, having reviewed the financial status of the organization and our 2013 budget, it is my opinion that, unless we cut expenses, we will run a deficit, and that we should reduce the Board monthly dinners to every other month instead of every month."

From this, then, could we not distill Section 51 (preferably by heating it until it melts and evaporates, then running the resultant vapor through a coiled tube from which it drips down into a waiting sturdy canister which we can then proceed to beat to flinders with a big stick) into the officer's then pausing expectantly, upon which some other member can move that, as suggested, the board hold its monthly dinners bimonthly, immediately after which, as the assembly all blanches and recoils with revilement, the mover may be roundly cudgelled, by any member except the presiding officer who must regretfully preserve his appearance of impartiality, with the waiting sturdy canister from which he has been overliberally quaffing. At this point the presiding officer may rebuke the mover for his monstrosity, and award to the cudgeller the silver Porsche which has been gathering dust in The World's Premier Internet Parliamentary Forum's (RONR MB's) back room AKA garage, while sharply reining in his indecorous language.

OH yeah. ct 1.

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I think I have a different view of "opinions". It is commonly an officer's job to deliver reports and provide information to a board that are the opinions and recommendations of that officer. These might be things like" "As the Treasurer, having reviewed the financial status of the organization and our 2013 budget, it is my opinion that, unless we cut expenses, we will run a deficit, and that we should reduce the Board monthly dinners to every other month instead of every month."

None of this should be included in the minutes. If this is all that happened, the minutes should reflect only the fact that the Treasurer made his report.

Any motion arising out of the report (such as Nancy envisions), would, of course, be included in the minutes.

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Hi and thanks. As a small board for a group that has until very recently thought of itself as a "club" (as opposed to the professional organization it is becoming), we try to get reports in writing, but it's rare that anyone other than the treasurer and I do so. So we tend to at least summarize the oral "report" in the minutes. (I won't bore you with all the probable incorrectness going on... just the issue at hand :)).

I am not the secretary, but I have been trying to coach the secretary toward taking proper minutes. I had the opportunity to substitute for the secretary at the last meeting, so I want the minutes I took to be a model... even if they must contain some elements not strictly necessary.

That said, my only concern about the officer's opinions is that they were given in the course of her "report" and that they appear to have a close relationship to the facts being reported. If these opinions are still irrelevant as far as minutes are concerned, I'm happy to leave 'em out.

So far as RONR is concerned, the report shouldn't be summarized in the minutes at all, so whether to include the opinions is a moot point. At most, the minutes would record that the officer made a report.

If an organization chooses to deviate from this and attempts to summarize reports in the minutes, then the organization will need to sort out the problems associated with that for itself.

I think I have a different view of "opinions". It is commonly an officer's job to deliver reports and provide information to a board that are the opinions and recommendations of that officer. These might be things like" "As the Treasurer, having reviewed the financial status of the organization and our 2013 budget, it is my opinion that, unless we cut expenses, we will run a deficit, and that we should reduce the Board monthly dinners to every other month instead of every month."

I don't think anyone is disputing whether the officer can offer opinions in his report. The question is whether to include them in the minutes.

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I don't think anyone is disputing whether the officer can offer opinions in his report. The question is whether to include them in the minutes.

Thanks, all. What's proper and what works for our group are frequently two different things... we are trying our best to move closer to proper, one step at a time. (That the group is a bunch of artists doesn't make this any easier!) This group is wonderful (and often has a wicked sense of humor). :-)

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I keep minutes for a board where reports quite often lead to heated debates. If asked by one of the members to include his/her comments in the discussion, am I allowed to do that?

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I keep minutes for a board where reports quite often lead to heated debates. If asked by one of the members to include his/her comments in the discussion, am I allowed to do that?

It's up to the assembly, not any one member (including the secretary) to decide what goes in the minutes. You should decline the request and submit draft minutes in their proper form and content. If this member then wants to request that his comments be added, the assembly should decline his request as well.

For future reference, this forum works best if you post your new question as a new topic, even if you find an existing topic that's similar.

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