Vern

Inclusion of an item in the minutes

15 posts in this topic

As the secretary to a 501c3 board, I record the minutes.  In a recent meeting, the treasurer reported that a certain sum had been donated to the organization.  I included that fact and the amount of the donation in the minutes.  The moderator insists that this does not belong in the minutes as it was not a motion or a vote. I cited Robert’s Rules section 48 , item 18 as regards the substance of oral committee reports and section 51 regarding oral reports in a small assembly.  The moderator insists that as moderator he may decide whether a certain Robert's Rule applies. 

It is my belief that while a discussion is underway the moderator has broad powers, but once the draft minutes have been prepared (but not yet approved by the board) that the moderator has no right to determine what should/should not be included in the minutes.  Can the moderator insist that the amount of the donation be deleted from the minutes?

I look forward to helpful comments on this question.

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No he cannot tell you (or anybody else) what belongs in the minutes.  The assembly, at the next meeting when the minutes are up for approval, makes those decisions, by majority vote.

One hopes, of course, that RONR's guidance (p. 468ff.) will be dutifully followed.

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I agree with the previous response, but I suspect that your moderator is probably right. The Treasurer's report was a report for the information of the board. Such a report should be in writing and filed, but it should not be entered in the minutes unless the board orders that this be done.

 

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3 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I agree with the previous response, but I suspect that your moderator is probably right. The Treasurer's report was a report for the information of the board. Such a report should be in writing and filed, but it should not be entered in the minutes unless the board orders that this be done.

 

What about the statement on p. 470, ll. 11-13, that the minutes should inlcude "the complete substance of oral committee reports that are permitted to be given in small assemblies in particular cases"? Although this was an officer's report and not a committee report, wouldn't the same principle apply?

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You can't cite that passage in isolation without reading Pages 525–527, which clearly pertain to recommendations coming from a committee. Reporting that a certain sum has been donated does not appear to be anything like a recommendation or proposal.

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35 minutes ago, Weldon Merritt said:

What about the statement on p. 470, ll. 11-13, that the minutes should inlcude "the complete substance of oral committee reports that are permitted to be given in small assemblies in particular cases"? Although this was an officer's report and not a committee report, wouldn't the same principle apply?

You left out the last part of that statement on page 470 which is "as provided on pages 525-27".

The kinds of reports that can be made orally are extremely limited, and the instance which is described here is not one of them.  

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1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

. . .  The kinds of reports that can be made orally are extremely limited, and the instance which is described here is not one of them.  

I suspect that rule is breached more often than it is honored in most ordinary small assemblies and boards. It bothers me when important information is kept out of the minutes or records simply because the report which contained it was verbal rather than in writing.

Nonetheless, what goes in the minutes is ultimately up to the assembly itself and I believe most societies would want that information included. The assembly has the final word, regardless of whether the RONR authorship team thinks something should not be included.

Edited by Richard Brown

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49 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

"I suspect that rule is breached more often than it is honored in most ordinary small assemblies and boards. It bothers me when important information is kept out of the minutes or records simply because the report which contained it was verbal rather than in writing.

Nonetheless, what goes in the minutes is ultimately up to the assembly itself and I believe most societies would want that information included. The assembly has the final word, regardless of whether the RONR authorship team thinks something should not be included.

Yes, but I've found those guys to be pretty good thinkers and they "know their stuff"! I continue to find them quite helpful. 

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1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

Nonetheless, what goes in the minutes is ultimately up to the assembly itself and I believe most societies would want that information included. The assembly has the final word, regardless of whether the RONR authorship team thinks something should not be included.

Well, what I said was that such a report should be in writing and filed, but it should not be entered in the minutes unless the board orders that this be done.

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It would appear it's a typo; it should be item 8, from the right book.

16 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

I'm still looking for "Item 18".  My §48 only lists 11 items that go in the minutes.   

Could it be that the OP is not working from the right book?

 

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I think I am still confused.  This board has a history of frequently including oral reports by members such as these recent reports.

1 - Board member Julie reported that the subcommittee minutes had been emailed and that the board picnic was scheduled for Saturday.

2- Board member Rod reported that the parking lot repaving and striping would begin on Saturday.

3 - Family Fridays have been successful and August xx will be a workday.

 

I don't see how these differ substantially from an oral report by the treasurer that a monetary gift of a certain amount had been received.  This seems like the moderator singling out something he does not want in the minutes rather than a hard/fast rule.  What do you think?

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Regardless of what the chair wants or is trying to do, the assembly itself has the final word on what goes in the minutes. The society can even adopt a special rule of order re what is (or is not) to be included in the minutes. Neither the presiding over nor the secretary control what goes in the minutes. The assembly itself does. 

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Well at least Vern, as secretary, gets to say what goes in her draft of the minutes which will be presented to the board for its approval. The moderator doesn't even get to do that.

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On 9/3/2017 at 6:51 PM, Vern said:

I think I am still confused.  This board has a history of frequently including oral reports by members such as these recent reports.

1 - Board member Julie reported that the subcommittee minutes had been emailed and that the board picnic was scheduled for Saturday.

2- Board member Rod reported that the parking lot repaving and striping would begin on Saturday.

3 - Family Fridays have been successful and August xx will be a workday.

I don't see how these differ substantially from an oral report by the treasurer that a monetary gift of a certain amount had been received.  This seems like the moderator singling out something he does not want in the minutes rather than a hard/fast rule.  What do you think?

So far as RONR is concerned, none of these reports should be in the minutes. Such information would be better kept in a separate document.

Nonetheless, it is ultimately up to the board to decide what goes in its minutes, not the moderator.

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