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keefe

RONR (11th ed.), p. 468, ll. 16-18

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As a Secretary for our Board the draft minutes have contained business that was moved on at the meeting and no discussion.  It has been requested by the Chairman that I put into the draft minutes "notes" of what was discussed for each agenda item.  I have stayed away from putting any "notes" in the draft minutes because it takes too much time and is subjective and I don't feel like the notes would satisfy everyone. 

These "notes" would also include any motion that was made on the particular agenda item, if no motion was made it would just have the notes of the discussion.  The Chairman has requested this so a member who was absent at a prior meeting could know what was discussed and be kept up to date.  

The Chairman and I don't not agree on this.  I have suggested that those who want more notes can take their own and bring them to the following meeting to look back on.  He stated that won't help those who weren't at the meeting.  Of course I can't help people who don't attend meetings but I want to find a common ground that will benefit the Board.  He suggested that each member will take notes and submit them to me to be recorded into the draft minutes.  That idea seems too labor intensive to collect members notes and type them up.

I keep going back to page 468 and Chapter XV in the 11th edition to make sure I doing my duties to the best of my abilities.  Can you offer any suggestions or advice?  

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

The chairman has no other duty or power than to lead a meeting under RONR. He is not your administrative superior unless your rules provide otherwise. So if the members, not the chairman alone, wish to bog down your minutes with memoranda, let them so order by majority vote.

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Agreeing with the above, it is your job to produce draft minutes for adoption.  You don't answer to the chair in that regard, you answer to the assembly.  (Certainly, the other members being dragooned into typing up their version of events don't answer to the chairman, either!)  I can just imagine what the adoption process would be like once you type in everyone's version...

Point out that your parliamentary authority says what should be in the minutes - what was done - and provides the means by which additional items can be included: an order from the assembly.  Furthermore, point out that the chair is not the assembly.  The conclusion should be clear.

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1 hour ago, Joshua Katz said:

Point out that your parliamentary authority says

Joshua and Guest,

Thank you for your feedback it is greatly appreciated. 

Regarding the parliamentary authority it is RONR.  The Chairman is aware of what it states but doesn't agree with it is what I was told.

1 hour ago, Joshua Katz said:

I can just imagine what the adoption process would be like once you type in everyone's version...

If members submitting notes to be included in the draft minutes is the conclusion to this what is that process? 

 

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1 hour ago, keefe said:

 

I keep going back to page 468 and Chapter XV in the 11th edition to make sure I doing my duties to the best of my abilities.  Can you offer any suggestions or advice?  

Here is one idea:

• As secretary, you keep the minutes in conformance with Robert's Rules of Order.

• Create the position of "scribe" or "scrivener" and assign this pool fool the task of taking down the debate and commentary.

***

• Have the organization approve minutes, as normal.

• Have no approval of the en-scribed notes, but just allow whoever want to, to add or correct the text. -- That gives everyone 100% input, and no one is allowed to scratch out another person's text. -- As that would suppressive editing, wouldn't it? <_<

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20 minutes ago, keefe said:

Joshua and Guest,

Thank you for your feedback it is greatly appreciated. 

Regarding the parliamentary authority it is RONR.  The Chairman is aware of what it states but doesn't agree with it is what I was told.

If members submitting notes to be included in the draft minutes is the conclusion to this what is that process? 

 

I mean that, once you type up all those notes, including all the conflicting points, and present that draft, there's going to be a fight about approving the minutes.  People are going to want to amend out what conflicts with their version, and stick in things that are consistent with their version.  Anyone mentioned in other people's versions will likely be saying "that's not what I said" or "you edited what I said so that it means something different" or some variation on that.  

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43 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

I mean that, once you type up all those notes, including all the conflicting points, and present that draft, there's going to be a fight about approving the minutes.  People are going to want to amend out what conflicts with their version, and stick in things that are consistent with their version.  Anyone mentioned in other people's versions will likely be saying "that's not what I said" or "you edited what I said so that it means something different" or some variation on that.  

Joshua,

Yes for the same reason that you never put dialogue into draft minutes in the first place.  I appreciate you feedback.

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54 minutes ago, keefe said:

Joshua,

Yes for the same reason that you never put dialogue into draft minutes in the first place.  I appreciate you feedback.

One, very common in my experience, "pitfall" in the process of approving the minutes is (wrongly) allowing members to disagree with the draft (without properly offering a "correction"). Things, then, can get really out of hand. The Chair should only allow proposed specifically worded "corrections".

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Keefe, as one or two others mentioned, it is the assembly, not the president or the secretary, that ultimately decides what should go into the minutes.  It is the secretary's job to prepare the minutes as best he can following whatever rules and customs are in place.  The assembly can add to or remove items in the draft minutes when they are before the body for approval.  If the assembly agrees with the president that more detail should be in the minutes, then the assembly should adopt a special rule of order specifying exactly what extra information the minutes should contain.   Be forewarned:  When you start trying to summarize debate, you start getting into trouble, as Mr. Katz pointed out. 

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19 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Be forewarned:  When you start trying to summarize debate, you start getting into trouble, as Mr. Katz pointed out. 

Richard, thank you for the advice and feedback it is appreciated.

I agree with the above posts, it doesn't make sense to do what is being asked/told of me.  As I pointed out it becomes completely subjective what I would begin to write down, what one thinks is important others may not and vice versa.  Many times at a meeting something is said and a member will look at me jokingly and say "don't put that in the minutes".  I usually respond with "as long as it isn't in a motion I won't."

At this point I will stay the course as I have, writing down what was done not what was discussed.  If the assembly would like for additional notes to be submitted into the draft minutes they can do so when they are presented for approval.

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7 hours ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

Here is one idea:

• As secretary, you keep the minutes in conformance with Robert's Rules of Order.

Kim,

That is the idea that I like :)

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