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Approval of Minutes


Guest Gina

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At a previous meeting, there were 2 abstentions from a particular vote. As the secretary, I did not record these abstentions in the minutes. At the next meeting, the two complained that their abstentions were not recorded. I explained the rule and that they should have voted No if they wanted it recorded. Thus, no one would move to accept the minutes. The chairman told me to just write in the minutes that the previous meeting minutes were not approved. Is that correct?

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At a previous meeting, there were 2 abstentions from a particular vote.

As the secretary, I did not record these abstentions in the minutes.

At the next meeting, the two complained that their abstentions were not recorded.

I explained the rule and that they should have voted No if they wanted it recorded.

Thus, no one would move to accept the minutes.

The chairman told me to just write in the minutes that the previous meeting minutes were not approved.

Is that correct?

Is WHAT correct? -- You've got a handful of irregularities going on there.

What should have happened is, the assembly should amend the minutes to include/exclude whatever (truthful) actions did take place.

By rule, abstentions are not to be included in the minutes. (Individual votes are not to be included in minutes, either, for that matter.)

But the assembly is free to amend the minutes so that the particular vote of Mr. X and Miss Y, or the abstentions of Mr. X and Miss Y, are included.

I would vote down such a request (to include somebody's abstention. -- Ugh!).

But that does not imply that a majority would agree with me.

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At a previous meeting, there were 2 abstentions from a particular vote. As the secretary, I did not record these abstentions in the minutes. At the next meeting, the two complained that their abstentions were not recorded. I explained the rule and that they should have voted No if they wanted it recorded. Thus, no one would move to accept the minutes. The chairman told me to just write in the minutes that the previous meeting minutes were not approved. Is that correct?

What I want to know is: Is it proper to record that the minutes of the previous meeting were not approved? In addition, what are the ramifications if the minutes are not approved? Is it as if that meeting never occured?

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What I want to know is: Is it proper to record that the minutes of the previous meeting were not approved? In addition, what are the ramifications if the minutes are not approved? Is it as if that meeting never occured?

The preferred practice, after the secretary reads her draft of the minutes, is for the chair to ask if there are any corrections. Any forthcoming are usually handled by unanimous consent (nobody objects to the correction), but a majority vote will decide what the correction should be in case of dispute. After all corrections (if any) are handled, the chair announces "the minutes are approved (as corrected)" and moves on to the next order of business.

Failing to approve the minutes does not invalidate any actions taken or decisions made previously, nor does it make the meeting "not occur". You can't change history that easily. (You need a Delorean for that) The previous meeting took place, what happened there happened. Now you're just struggling with accepting that by the approval of the record of it all.

Next meeting, you will need to approve these unapproved minutes, as well as the minutes of this meeting at which you didn't approve the minutes of the last meeting.

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What I want to know is: Is it proper to record that the minutes of the previous meeting were not approved?

Although the minutes are a record of what was done (not what was not done), I see no problem with noting that the minutes of the previous meeting were not approved (since the assumption would be that they were).

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Although the minutes are a record of what was done (not what was not done), I see no problem with noting that the minutes of the previous meeting were not approved (since the assumption would be that they were).

Noting page 452 item 5), and as it relates to the last two lines on page 454, it would seem that it in fact it should be noted that the minutes were not approved.

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At the next meeting, the two complained that their abstentions were not recorded. I explained the rule and that they should have voted No if they wanted it recorded.

Generally speaking, neither the abstentions nor the votes of individual members are recorded in the minutes. The only case in which individual votes are recorded is a roll call vote, in which case both are recorded (except that members who do not respond to the roll call are recorded only if this is necessary to show a quorum).

Thus, no one would move to accept the minutes.

For future reference, the chair should not wait for a motion to approve the minutes. He should ask if there are any corrections, and after the assembly has handled any corrections, he announces the minutes approved (as read or as corrected, whichever is the case). Thus, the proper course of action would have been for the assembly to "fix" the minutes, not to leave them unapproved.

The chairman told me to just write in the minutes that the previous meeting minutes were not approved. Is that correct?

Yes.

What I want to know is: Is it proper to record that the minutes of the previous meeting were not approved?

Yes.

In addition, what are the ramifications if the minutes are not approved?

The ramifications are that the assembly has no official record of that meeting, until the assembly does approve the minutes (which it should do as soon as possible). I'd recommend bringing up the minutes again at the next meeting, preferably after explaining the proper procedure for approval to the chair and members.

Is it as if that meeting never occured?

No.

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