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  1. Guest

    Meeting Minutes

    I serve on the board of a 501(c)(7) organization. The organization holds monthly board and general membership meetings at which minutes are taken. Our current president recently instituted a rule that causes me some concern. The new rule requires that all draft meeting minutes must be reviewed and approved by the current president before they are published in our monthly newsletter. The president receives the drafts from the club secretary, makes any substantive or stylistic changes she deems necessary, and then forwards the minutes directly to the newsletter editor for publication with the secretary’s and the president’s signatures. No one other than the president knows what changes have been made. The newsletter editor has been prohibited by the president from publishing any draft minutes that the president has not personally approved. Our club’s practice has been that the secretary drafts the minutes and submits them to the newsletter editor for publication. The draft minutes are brought up at the next meeting. At that time, any member of the appropriate group (board or voting member) may move to amend the minutes before they are approved or the minutes may be approved as published. Draft minutes have (at least as far back as 2000) been taken by the club secretary, submitted in draft form directly to the newsletter editor, and published in the club newsletter, which is shared with all members before the minutes are reviewed and approved at the next meeting. Our club’s bylaws state, in relevant part: “Officers. The Club’s officers, consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both in regard to the Club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings. a. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and of the Board and shall have all duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those particularly specified in these bylaws. The President may appoint, subject to the approval of the Board . . . and all Committee Chairpersons. The President shall not serve in any appointed office and shall be an ex officio member of all committees. * * * c. The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Club. He/she shall have charge of the correspondence, notify members of special meetings, notify new members of their approval for membership, notify officers and directors of their election to office, keep a current roll of the members of the Club with addresses and telephone numbers, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these bylaws.” With regard to parliamentary authority, the bylaws state: “Order of Business and Parliamentary Authority: The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special Rules of Order the Club may adopt.” I would like your advice on whether the rule as instituted by our club president would be a violation of Robert’s Rules. Thank you in advance.
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