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Closed Session - Minutes and conduct


Portcullischain

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Our Executive Board, in closed session, discussed a gift for our director at the end of the year and a decision was made to give him x.

  1. Should motions be given in closed session for a small board like this or should it be an informal give and take?
  2. How should the minutes reflect this decision to purchase x? Is it recorded at all?

Also,

Our format allows agenda items to be added throughout the evening. I realized belatedly that we needed to discuss this and as the director was in the room I decided to do it in closed session.

  • How does a board go into closed session? Is a motion made to adjourn to a closed session or is it a recess to closed and then the board comes back into general and adjourns the meeting?

-PC

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Our Executive Board, in closed session, discussed a gift for our director at the end of the year and a decision was made to give him x.

  1. Should motions be given in closed session for a small board like this or should it be an informal give and take?
  2. How should the minutes reflect this decision to purchase x? Is it recorded at all?

Well, you can be fairly informal with your give and take during executive session, but without a motion you can't actually decide to do anything. Minutes would be recorded the same as in open session, except that they would remain confidential, and would be approved in executive session.

Also,

Our format allows agenda items to be added throughout the evening. I realized belatedly that we needed to discuss this and as the director was in the room I decided to do it in closed session.

  • How does a board go into closed session? Is a motion made to adjourn to a closed session or is it a recess to closed and then the board comes back into general and adjourns the meeting?

Yes, it is a motion with a second and majority vote to "go into executive session" and later "come out of executive session". It does not adjourn or recess the meeting, it just brackets that portion of the meeting during which the attendees are pledged to secrecy.

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All that meeting in executive session (RONR-speak for a closed session, more or less) does is impose secrecy on the attendees. In all other matters it is no different than a meeting that's not held in executive session. What you can do in one (e.g. motions, debate, votes, minutes) you can do in the other.

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Well, you can be fairly informal with your give and take during executive session, but without a motion you can't actually decide to do anything. Minutes would be recorded the same as in open session, except that they would remain confidential, and would be approved in executive session.

Yes, it is a motion with a second and majority vote to "go into executive session" and later "come out of executive session". It does not adjourn or recess the meeting, it just brackets that portion of the meeting during which the attendees are pledged to secrecy.

In a small board, an official action can be taken without a formal motion having been made, but care must be taken to ensure that the members are clear about what is being decided. See RONR (10th ed.), p. 470, l. 33, through p. 471, l. 4.

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In a small board, an official action can be taken without a formal motion having been made, but care must be taken to ensure that the members are clear about what is being decided. See RONR (10th ed.), p. 470, l. 33, through p. 471, l. 4.

I suppose so. But as a practical matter, the only way to be certain that everyone knows exactly what's being decided is to put it into a motion, state it word for word, and vote on it. And it's nearly always quicker than "taking care to ensure" informally, which I think is an oxymoron.

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I suppose so. But as a practical matter, the only way to be certain that everyone knows exactly what's being decided is to put it into a motion, state it word for word, and vote on it. And it's nearly always quicker than "taking care to ensure" informally, which I think is an oxymoron.

In reality, I think you will find that routine matters are very frequently handled in small boards (often, by general agreement) without a formal motion being made.

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In reality, I think you will find that routine matters are very frequently handled in small boards (often, by general agreement) without a formal motion being made.

I actually have found that in reality, very frequently. But I have usually also found that afterward everyone remembered what was generally agreed upon differently.

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I actually have found that in reality, very frequently. But I have usually also found that afterward everyone remembered what was generally agreed upon differently.

1. "If there is no objection, we will go into executive session... "

2. "It is moved to go into executive session. Are you ready for the question? All those in favor say aye..."

Is 2 really any clearer than 1?

Edited to add clarity to the clarity issue.

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1. "If there is no objection, we will go into executive session... "

2. "It is moved to go into executive session. Are you ready for the question? All those in favor say aye..."

Is 2 really any clearer than 1?

Edited to add clarity to the clarity issue.

No, obviously there is no difference between a motion and the equivalent unanimous consent. But we were not talking about simple procedural motions. The motion in question here regarded spending money on a gift for a director, which was apparently being kept secret from the recipient. That's a bit more complex. Any number of things could go wrong if it were handled sloppily.

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No, obviously there is no difference between a motion and the equivalent unanimous consent. But we were not talking about simple procedural motions. The motion in question here regarded spending money on a gift for a director, which was apparently being kept secret from the recipient. That's a bit more complex. Any number of things could go wrong if it were handled sloppily.

I thought the debate was on the issue of going into executive session by general consent, as opposed to by a formal motion. Even without a motion, I'm already confused. :P

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