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Minutes in Executive Session


Guest KathyW
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I am the secretary of a small nonprofit.  In executive session minutes, what should be included and not included?  There are some members of the board who are insisting on detailed minutes.  Is there  a section of RONR that I can quote to be very clear?  The executive session regards removal of a board member and it has gotten ugly.  There are even motions against using RONR.  Thank you. 

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Whether from meetings in executive session or meetings not in executive session, the minutes should only include what was done, not what was said. You can find RONR's detailed description of proper minutes starting on page 468 in the 11th edition. Your organization, however, is free to mandate more detailed minutes - by majority vote. But every member should be aware of the major pitfalls of trying to include debate and commentary in the minutes. This will inevitably lead to needless arguments of who said what, even from members regarding their own statements.

As for deciding against using RONR - what would you replace it with?

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1 hour ago, Guest KathyW said:

I am the secretary of a small nonprofit.  In executive session minutes, what should be included and not included?  There are some members of the board who are insisting on detailed minutes.  Is there  a section of RONR that I can quote to be very clear?  The executive session regards removal of a board member and it has gotten ugly.  There are even motions against using RONR.  Thank you. 

Page 96 of RONR contains instructions regarding the minutes of an executive session.  As my colleagues have already said, the minutes of an executive session would normally contain the same information that is contained in minutes of regular sessions, but those minutes may be kept separate from the minutes of "public sessions".  Here is the language from page 96:

The minutes, or record of proceedings, of an executive session must be read and acted upon only in executive session, unless that which would be reported in the minutes—that is, the action taken, as distinct from that which was said in debate—was not secret, or secrecy has been lifted by the assembly. When the minutes of an executive session must be considered for approval at an executive session held solely for that purpose, the brief minutes of the latter meeting are, or are assumed to be, approved by that meeting.

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