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Recorder Greg

Able to limit detail of a motion in the minutes?

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19 minutes ago, Recorder Greg said:

A member proposed a motion that was voted on and approved. Now I'm being asked if we can limit the detail of the motion in the minutes...? 

 

14 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

The motion recorded in the minutes must be a complete verbatim statement of exactly what was voted on.

Well,  I'm going to quibble with the esteemed Mr. Novisielski just slightly. 

RONR says that the minutes SHOULD contain the exect wording of the motion.  However, the assembly has the final decision as to exactly what goes into the minutes and what "corrections" are made to the minutes.  So, I'm of the opinion that technically the assembly can decide to tinker with the wording of an adopted motion that is to appear in the minutes, but I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Novosielski that it should not do so.

For the record, this is a copy and past of what RONR says the minutes should contain regarding adopted motions on page 469:

"The body of the minutes should contain a separate paragraph for each subject matter, and should show:
    6)    all main motions (10) or motions to bring
 a main question again before the assembly (pp. 74–79; 34–37) that were made or taken up—except, normally, any that were withdrawn*—stating:
        (a)    the wording in which each motion was adopted or otherwise disposed of (with the facts as to whether the motion may have been debated or amended before disposition being mentioned only parenthetically); and
       (b)   the disposition of the motion, including—if it was temporarily disposed of (pp. 90–91, 340–41)—any primary and secondary amendments and all adhering secondary motions that were then pending; "   (
Emphasis added by me to (a).

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30 minutes ago, Recorder Greg said:

A member proposed a motion that was voted on and approved. Now I'm being asked if we can limit the detail of the motion in the minutes...?

To the person(s) asking for limited detail in the minutes - I would ask how the members of the entity meeting would (or could) know whether the motion approved was acted on fully and completely? Who is asking this and why?

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11 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

 

Well,  I'm going to quibble with the esteemed Mr. Novisielski just slightly. 

RONR says that the minutes SHOULD contain the exect wording of the motion.  However, the assembly has the final decision as to exactly what goes into the minutes and what "corrections" are made to the minutes.  So, I'm of the opinion that technically the assembly can decide to tinker with the wording of an adopted motion that is to appear in the minutes, but I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Novosielski that it should not do so. 

 

Well, I'm going to disagree with the esteemed Mr. Brown rather vehemently, since it appears that he may be suggesting that it's okay to falsify the record.

In addition to what he has quoted above, RONR also says, on page 44, that:

"When the debate appears to have closed, the chair may ask, 'Are you ready for the question?' or 'Is there any further debate?' If no one then rises to claim the floor, the chair proceeds to put the question—that is, he puts it to a vote after once more making clear the exact question the assembly is called upon to decide. If the chair's wording of the question is erroneous, a point of order may be made until any member has actually voted. Except as it may be corrected in response to such a point of order, the exact wording the chair uses in putting the question is definitive, and the wording in the minutes should be the same." (Emphasis added by me.)

In this quote, as in the one cited by Mr. Brown, I suggest that the word "should" should be taken as meaning "must". It's the only way it makes any sense.

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Wait do we know that the OP is talking about the wording of the motion?  "Detail of the motion could mean who made the motion, who seconded it, the vote count, elements of the debate, who voted for/against it.  I think we need more information on what changes the member wants.

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Very appreciative of all the feedback!  To answer some questions: on the wording of the motion ("detail"), I was speaking of the actual motion that included details of the amount of money going to individuals/groups per a relief effort.  The member wishes to not include the specifics of who the money goes to in the minutes to attempt to offer some privacy to to those that are in receipt. 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Privacy against whom? The members have a right to know where the money is going. Your minutes are ordinarily not subject to public inspection.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

If this was a general membership meeting, then any general member has a right to know what actions were taken by inspecting a true and complete record in the minutes. Members don't lose their rights because they miss a meeting. Moreover, I would suggest that hiding the names of payees may lead more cynical members to suspect your intentions.

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2 hours ago, Recorder Greg said:

Very appreciative of all the feedback!  To answer some questions: on the wording of the motion ("detail"), I was speaking of the actual motion that included details of the amount of money going to individuals/groups per a relief effort.  The member wishes to not include the specifics of who the money goes to in the minutes to attempt to offer some privacy to to those that are in receipt. 

 

1 hour ago, Recorder Greg said:

The general membership... 

What body was meeting? If the general membership was the body that was meeting, you’re out of luck.

If the board was meeting, I would note that the principal purpose of the minutes is to serve as a record for members of the body, and only members of the body have a right to view minutes of the body. So only members of the board have a right to view minutes of board meetings. If it is your society’s custom to have minutes of the board made available to the membership, then it would be acceptable to have a redacted version of the minutes for distribution to the general membership, but the actual minutes (which only board members may view), should contain the full text of the motion. If you are required by a rule of the society or by applicable law to make the minutes available to the general membership, then you’re out of luck.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the membership may order the board’s minutes to be read at a meeting of the general membership. This requires a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice. Such a motion is debatable, so board members could speak in debate and request that the general membership amend the motion to permit the Secretary to withhold the names of the recipients to protect their privacy. It will be up to the membership to decide whether to respect this request.

Edited by Josh Martin

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3 minutes ago, Recorder Greg said:

The motion was made, and approved, at a general membership business meeting. 

Then you’re out of luck. There is no proper way to hide the actions of the general membership from the general membership.

Edited by Josh Martin

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Guest LLT

 If a member uses profanity  in the making of the motion - that profanity can be omitted from the minutes  and instead in brackets there can be ( "expletive ") . Such "exact" words need not be in the minutes  .Some profanities may be located in "wikipedia" - some not . But verbal abuse used in a motion need not be tolerated - notwithstanding RONR p. 44.

LLT

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Guest LLP

 On reflection - correction to the above  :

The Chair ,of course, can refuse to include profanities in the stating of a motion . That being so profanity  would  never be stated to the assembly for vote and never located in the minutes . Page 44 RONR  does not  exactly actually  come into this . But just today on reviewing a set of minutes there was profanity included as the secretary was of the view that an exact verbatim record was needed  of statements  made by a member   . Even if it was( "moved by "X" that " expletive,etc  " ) such is not necessary for the minutes  as not repeated by the Chair . 

LLP

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2 hours ago, Guest LLT said:

 If a member uses profanity  in the making of the motion - that profanity can be omitted from the minutes  and instead in brackets there can be ( "expletive ") . Such "exact" words need not be in the minutes  .Some profanities may be located in "wikipedia" - some not . But verbal abuse used in a motion need not be tolerated - notwithstanding RONR p. 44.

LLT

[citation needed]

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16 hours ago, Guest LLT said:

 If a member uses profanity  in the making of the motion - that profanity can be omitted from the minutes  and instead in brackets there can be ( "expletive ") . Such "exact" words need not be in the minutes  .Some profanities may be located in "wikipedia" - some not . But verbal abuse used in a motion need not be tolerated - notwithstanding RONR p. 44.

If a member’s motion contains indecorous language, which profanity could be considered as, the chair could rule the motion out of order on that grounds until the motion maker changed the language, but if he fails to do so, the Secretary cannot censor the motion after the fact.

14 hours ago, Guest LLP said:

The Chair ,of course, can refuse to include profanities in the stating of a motion . That being so profanity  would  never be stated to the assembly for vote and never located in the minutes . Page 44 RONR  does not  exactly actually  come into this . But just today on reviewing a set of minutes there was profanity included as the secretary was of the view that an exact verbatim record was needed  of statements  made by a member   . Even if it was( "moved by "X" that " expletive,etc  " ) such is not necessary for the minutes  as not repeated by the Chair . 

If a member moves a motion which contains indecorous language, the chair should not simply omit the language from the motion. Rather, he should call the member to order and notify the member that he shall not state the question on the motion unless the objectionable language is removed. The chair may suggest alternative language, but he may not change the language of the motion himself. See RONR, 11th ed., pg. 39. While it is correct that the chair’s language used when putting the question is definitive, this is not intended to give the chair license to modify the motion as he sees fit.

Finally, there is no blanket prohibition against profanity in the minutes. In the event that a member repeatedly uses indecorous language and is “named” by the chair, the words used by the member are recorded in the minutes, so that there is a record of the member’s actions.

Edited by Josh Martin

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On 11/7/2017 at 10:36 AM, Guest LLT said:

Yes- this seems all the better . Profanity can be policed out .

All well and good,  but I don't think that would be smiled upon in a meeting of the Crazy Coots Creative Cussing Club.

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1 hour ago, Gary Novosielski said:

All well and good,  but I don't think that would be smiled upon in a meeting of the Crazy Coots Creative Cussing Club.

That's too bad. Robert's Rules of Order is for ladies and gentlemen (and children of all ages). So, for example, if thieves and bandits wish to use it for their meetings, they must at least be gentlemen thieves and bandits -- no cussing allowed.

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21 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

That's too bad. Robert's Rules of Order is for ladies and gentlemen (and children of all ages). So, for example, if thieves and bandits wish to use it for their meetings, they must at least be gentlemen thieves and bandits -- no cussing allowed.

I can almost hear them cussing under their breath.

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