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Guest Prdmry

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Guest Prdmry

I have read that you need to minute what is done not what is said.

Does that mean the secretary does not summarize agenda items or topics of discussion if there is no motion involved?

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That is (strictly speaking) correct.  No motion, no mention.

The secretary, or anybody, is free to write up "summaries" of anything, but put them in a newsletter, not the minutes.

It will work much better, and your meetings will go faster, if the chairman insists that potential decisions be put forth as motions.

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page 468

The official record of the proceedings of a deliberative assembly is usually called the minutes, or sometimes—particularly in legislative bodies—the journal. In an ordinary society, the minutes should contain mainly a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by the members. The minutes should never reflect the secretary's opinion, favorable or otherwise, on anything said or done. The minutes should be kept in a substantial book or binder.

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57 minutes ago, Guest Prdmry said:

Does that mean the secretary does not summarize agenda items or topics of discussion if there is no motion involved?

Yes, but it is also the case, other than in small boards and committees, that there should be no discussion (or agenda items considered) without a motion.

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I think to answer your question fully requires a bit more than saying "no motion, no mention," as my colleague has suggested. If, for example, a committee chair gives an informational report that includes no motions, what the assembly did was listen to a report. So the minutes can say, "Mr. Smith, Chair of the House Committee, reported on the committee's work." What the minutes should not do is attempt to summarize what the chair said.

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8 hours ago, Greg Goodwiller said:

I think to answer your question fully requires a bit more than saying "no motion, no mention," as my colleague has suggested. If, for example, a committee chair gives an informational report that includes no motions, what the assembly did was listen to a report. So the minutes can say, "Mr. Smith, Chair of the House Committee, reported on the committee's work." What the minutes should not do is attempt to summarize what the chair said.

And, if the Committee makes a report in writing that is presented at the meeting, the Board is free to indicated that the Report has been filed.  For example, "Mr. Smith, Chair of the House Committee, reported on the Committee's work.  The report was filed with the Secretary."

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
18 hours ago, Guest Prdmry said:

Does that mean the secretary does not summarize agenda items or topics of discussion if there is no motion involved?

That is correct. Minutes are not lecture notes. Members are free to take down their own memoranda.

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And for definitive statements as to what does and does not go in the minutes (beyond "no motion, no mention" which was a bit of an overstatement, I admit) check out pages 468ff. 

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