Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
hswolfmaniac

Commander Added Unrecorded Comments to Meeting Minutes

Recommended Posts

There was a meeting tonight where the minutes of the previous month's minutes were read; however, the commander (chairperson) added notes that did not occur during last month's meeting. He added a conversation he and our Department Quartermaster (and the Quartermaster and I) had after the conclusion of the last meeting and via email nor did the conversation occur in our meeting facility. Our adjutant (secretary) was absent from our last meeting so I was surprised he (adjutant) was reading something that had occurred after the meeting. The impression I got from the reading of the minutes was that the commander typed up the minutes. (It was too accurate for the adjutant to have typed it up.) Is the commander allowed to include a conversation that was not a matter of record during the meeting? The minutes were approved as read, but I still had my doubts on what the commander did and included in the minutes. Am I able to request that portion of the minutes be amended, rescinded or expunged at our next meeting by having those comments removed? I looked at RONR, 11th Ed., pages 305-310, subparagraph 35, but I am uncertain if I could or if I should.

Edited by hswolfmaniac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, none of what you've described belongs in the minutes. Minutes are a record of what was done at a meeting, not what was said at the meeting, and certainly not what was said outside the meeting. 

Second, yes, you can move to amend the minutes by use of "amend something previously adopted" (anyone care to object to the name of this motion?). This requires a 2/3 vote, a majority of the entire membership voting in the affirmative, or a majority vote with notice, any one of which will suffice. 

In the future, you should try to make your amendments, particularly in a case like this where accuracy is immaterial because none of it belongs in the minutes anyway, when the minutes are first pending for approval, because then it will require only a majority vote. 

My guess, by the way, is that your organization is including much in the minutes that does not belong there. I make that guess because, if anyone at all can think that conversations outside of meetings belong in the minutes, it strikes me as likely that conversations during meetings are going into the minutes; they don't belong there, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are looking at the correct motion to use: Amend Something Previously Adopted. The motion can be used to correct errors in minutes, even years after they were approved. So you definitely could.

You'll want to read Section 48 on Minutes (p.468 and following). Page 468, lines 17-18 say, "...the minutes should contain mainly a record of what was done at the meeting..."

Discussions held after the meeting don't belong in the minutes of the meeting. The Commander could inform the meeting about the discussions with the Quartermaster as part of the Officer's Report at the next meeting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

First, none of what you've described belongs in the minutes. Minutes are a record of what was done at a meeting, not what was said at the meeting, and certainly not what was said outside the meeting. 

Second, yes, you can move to amend the minutes by use of "amend something previously adopted" (anyone care to object to the name of this motion?). This requires a 2/3 vote, a majority of the entire membership voting in the affirmative, or a majority vote with notice, any one of which will suffice. 

In the future, you should try to make your amendments, particularly in a case like this where accuracy is immaterial because none of it belongs in the minutes anyway, when the minutes are first pending for approval, because then it will require only a majority vote. 

My guess, by the way, is that your organization is including much in the minutes that does not belong there. I make that guess because, if anyone at all can think that conversations outside of meetings belong in the minutes, it strikes me as likely that conversations during meetings are going into the minutes; they don't belong there, either.

Thank you Joshua. I'll have to remember what you've suggested in the future. Does the "entire membership" reflect those present at the next meeting or the total number of active members in our local organization?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, hswolfmaniac said:

Thank you Joshua. I'll have to remember what you've suggested in the future. Does the "entire membership" reflect those present at the next meeting or the total number of active members in our local organization?

"Entire membership" means the full membership of the body which is meeting (which is the latter, presumably, if this is a membership meeting, and is the total number of people on the board if it's a board meeting), not those present at the meeting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

You are looking at the correct motion to use: Amend Something Previously Adopted. The motion can be used to correct errors in minutes, even years after they were approved. So you definitely could.

You'll want to read Section 48 on Minutes (p.468 and following). Page 468, lines 17-18 say, "...the minutes should contain mainly a record of what was done at the meeting..."

Discussions held after the meeting don't belong in the minutes of the meeting. The Commander could inform the meeting about the discussions with the Quartermaster as part of the Officer's Report at the next meeting.

Thank you, Atul. I will read those pages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

"Entire membership" means the full membership of the body which is meeting (which is the latter, presumably, if this is a membership meeting, and is the total number of people on the board if it's a board meeting), not those present at the meeting. 

On the average, our meeting attendance is between +/-20 to 30 members so they would be considered "the full membership...," is that correct?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, hswolfmaniac said:

On the average, our meeting attendance is between +/-20 to 30 members so they would be considered "the full membership...," is that correct?

 

No, the full membership is all the members, not the average meeting attendance. Does your organization have a roster of members, that is, of all people entitled to attend and participate in meetings? The "entire membership" is everyone on the list, and a majority of the entire membership is more than half the number of people on that list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, hswolfmaniac said:

Thank you Joshua. I'll have to remember what you've suggested in the future. Does the "entire membership" reflect those present at the next meeting or the total number of active members in our local organization?

The "entire membership" includes all members, present and absent, regardless of how "active" they may be.  A pulse is all that's required.  But that is only one option. The other two are

  • a majority vote (of those present and voting) if prior notice of your intent to make that motion is given, or
  • a 2/3 vote (of those present and voting) if notice has not been given.

Meeting any one of the three thresholds is enough to pass the motion.

Edited by Gary Novosielski

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

The "entire membership" includes all members, present and absent, regardless of how "active" they may be.  A pulse is all that's required.  But that is only one option. The other two are

  • a majority vote (of those present and voting) if prior notice of your intent to make that motion is given, or
  • a 2/3 vote (of those present and voting) if notice has not been given.

Meeting any one of the three thresholds is enough to pass the motion.

Thank you for the clarification, Gary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

No, the full membership is all the members, not the average meeting attendance. Does your organization have a roster of members, that is, of all people entitled to attend and participate in meetings? The "entire membership" is everyone on the list, and a majority of the entire membership is more than half the number of people on that list.

There is a roster, but I do not have access to it. Some (or the majority) of our members are elderly, some live out of state or live too far away from our location to be able to attend our monthly meetings. I'll have to decide which route to go. The most viable option is the 2/3 vote, but I may not have enough supporters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, hswolfmaniac said:

The most viable option is the 2/3 vote, but I may not have enough supporters.

I would suggest giving notice, then, so that it requires only a majority vote. Again, though, you don't really need to decide, since if any of the three thresholds are reached, the motion is adopted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, hswolfmaniac said:

There is a roster, but I do not have access to it. Some (or the majority) of our members are elderly, some live out of state or live too far away from our location to be able to attend our monthly meetings. I'll have to decide which route to go. The most viable option is the 2/3 vote, but I may not have enough supporters.

You don't need to declare which threshold you are using.  You vote, and see if any if the thresholds are achieved.  Of course if you have time to give previous notice, you'll help yourself by allowing the lower threshold to be used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

You don't need to declare which threshold you are using.  You vote, and see if any if the thresholds are achieved.  Of course if you have time to give previous notice, you'll help yourself by allowing the lower threshold to be used.

Thanks, Gary. I'll contact the adjutant, and request he notify the membership of my intentions. Whether or not he notifies the membership, I will have no control of that even though I know he must comply with my request. When I contact him I will be specific in my request so there will be no confusion of my intentions.

Edited by hswolfmaniac
added word "...I will be..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Zev

The actual words in the minutes, however, are not physically removed but are deleted only by way of mentioning them in a later set of minutes. The thing that worries me is if the intention of these inclusions, whether accurate or not, is to bring disrepute or somehow disparage you or others. If you do not move a motion to censure the commander then this type of thing may happen again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, hswolfmaniac said:

Thanks, Gary. I'll contact the adjutant, and request he notify the membership of my intentions. Whether or not he notifies the membership, I will have no control of that even though I know he must comply with my request. When I contact him I will be specific in my request so there will be no confusion of my intentions.

You might read up on "Previous Notice of Motions" on pages 121-124 of RONR.  If it is your intent to have the Secretary give notice of your proposed motion, pay particular attention to the last paragraph which starts at the bottom of page 123 and continues through the top of page 124.

Giving "previous notice" is a parliamentary term with specific meaning and requirements.  It needs to be given in a particular manner.  Based on your comments,  I think you will benefit from reading all four pages.

You might also benefit from reading up on  the motion to "Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted" starting on page 305.  Pay particular attention to the different vote requirements depending on whether previous notice is given.   You might also read up on the definition of "majority of the entire membership" on pages 402-404.  It does not mean a majority of those  members  present.  It means a majority of all of the members of the organization, regardless of whether they are present. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

The actual words in the minutes, however, are not physically removed but are deleted only by way of mentioning them in a later set of minutes. The thing that worries me is if the intention of these inclusions, whether accurate or not, is to bring disrepute or somehow disparage you or others. If you do not move a motion to censure the commander then this type of thing may happen again.

Thank you, Zev. I thought of what he did after the meeting also. I believe he included those after-meeting comments in order to cause ill feelings towards me. Censuring the commander is not a bad idea. I'll speak to the Department Quartermaster on the subject of censure. I'm sure he would be able to provide me with the proper process.

Thanks again, Zev.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 12:21 AM, Joshua Katz said:

First, none of what you've described belongs in the minutes. Minutes are a record of what was done at a meeting, not what was said at the meeting, and certainly not what was said outside the meeting. 

Second, yes, you can move to amend the minutes by use of "amend something previously adopted" (anyone care to object to the name of this motion?). This requires a 2/3 vote, a majority of the entire membership voting in the affirmative, or a majority vote with notice, any one of which will suffice. 

In the future, you should try to make your amendments, particularly in a case like this where accuracy is immaterial because none of it belongs in the minutes anyway, when the minutes are first pending for approval, because then it will require only a majority vote. 

My guess, by the way, is that your organization is including much in the minutes that does not belong there. I make that guess because, if anyone at all can think that conversations outside of meetings belong in the minutes, it strikes me as likely that conversations during meetings are going into the minutes; they don't belong there, either.

Yes, they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Today I submitted my letter for amendment. In speaking to the adjutant when I gave him the letter, I discovered that the commander is the one typing the minutes. The adjutant says he types too slow in typing the minutes. During our conversation, the adjutant said he needed to verify what I had submitted, and I told him to do just that. After I left the adjutant, I was speaking to another individual outside when the commander came to me and became confrontational. He emphatically said he was not going to send any letter of notice to over 400 of our members. I reminded him he does not have the authority to stop in sending the notice. There were a few expletives he used, but in the end I reinforced my position. (I will be notifying our District Commander of the Post Commander's obvious refusal to take corrective action.) He even went so far as to say he could say something about what was said in the minutes, but I told him that it still cannot be included in the minutes. He was very hostile towards me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Zev

Why not purchase a copy of Robert's Rules Of Order Newly Revised In Brief for your Commander and see if this helps. Many times people that do not have an understanding of proper parliamentary procedure and have been doing things a certain way for many years think that comments or ideas that they should do differently is a form of challenge to their authority. Perhaps a friendly gesture may go a long way into demonstrating that you and he are on the same side and not adversaries. Also, see if you can get the Adjutant/Secretary to do his job of typing the minutes and perhaps the Commander would not be so protective of the whole thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

Why not purchase a copy of Robert's Rules Of Order Newly Revised In Brief for your Commander and see if this helps. Many times people that do not have an understanding of proper parliamentary procedure and have been doing things a certain way for many years think that comments or ideas that they should do differently is a form of challenge to their authority. Perhaps a friendly gesture may go a long way into demonstrating that you and he are on the same side and not adversaries. Also, see if you can get the Adjutant/Secretary to do his job of typing the minutes and perhaps the Commander would not be so protective of the whole thing.

The Post Adjutant (Adj) told me yesterday morning, Friday, 15 Mar 2019, he had purchased a copy of RONR, but I'm too tired now to remember if he bought it for himself or the Post. And here's a kicker. Our Post Commander just happens to be the District Adjutant, but I have been to (just) a few District meetings where he has not done the minutes correctly there either. I have not been to a District meeting for several months now so I don't know if the (Post Commander)/District Adjutant continues to perform the minutes incorrectly. Back to the RONR, the Post is authorized to purchase a copy of the RONR for the office so I will suggest to the Post Adj to purchase one to keep handy in the office. What I have to find next in the RONR is the rule where it states the Commander (Chair) is not allowed to prevent anyone from submitting a letter on the Rescind; Amend Something Previously Adopted process, and that the Commander (Chair) must allow the process to proceed once the letter/notice has been received by the Post/organization.

Edited by hswolfmaniac
added date on line 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, hswolfmaniac said:

What I have to find next in the RONR is the rule where it states the Commander (Chair) is not allowed to prevent anyone from submitting a letter on the Rescind; Amend Something Previously Adopted process,

You won't find that specific rule in RONR because RONR expects all members to follow the rules that are written in the book, such as the one below.

6 hours ago, hswolfmaniac said:

that the Commander (Chair) must allow the process to proceed once the letter/notice has been received by the Post/organization

Mr. Brown answered this one. 

On 3/12/2019 at 9:24 AM, Richard Brown said:

pay particular attention to the last paragraph which starts at the bottom of page 123 and continues through the top of page 124.

Which reads:

"Instead of being given at a meeting, a notice can also be sent to every member with the call of the meeting at which the matter is to come up for action, except where the rules of the organization provide otherwise. In such a case, the member desiring to give get the notice writes to the secretary alone, requesting that the notice be sent with the call of the next meeting, and the secretary should then do this at the expense of the organization." (Emphasis added)

Edited by Atul Kapur
Corrected dictation typo (dicto?), as Mr. Brown identified

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

the member desiring to get the notice writes to the secretary

Thanks, Atul.  One minor nit-picky correction:  I think perhaps you intended to say, "In such a case, the member desiring to GIVE the notice writes to the secretary. . . .",  rather than the member desiring to GET the notice writes to the secretary. . . ." 

 

15 hours ago, hswolfmaniac said:

Today I submitted my letter for amendment. In speaking to the adjutant when I gave him the letter, I discovered that the commander is the one typing the minutes. The adjutant says he types too slow in typing the minutes. During our conversation, the adjutant said he needed to verify what I had submitted, and I told him to do just that. After I left the adjutant, I was speaking to another individual outside when the commander came to me and became confrontational. He emphatically said he was not going to send any letter of notice to over 400 of our members. I reminded him he does not have the authority to stop in sending the notice.

I will mention something here that has bothered me from the beginning of this thread.  If this is a regular meeting and no call of the meeting is sent out by the secretary or if the call of the meeting has already been sent out, I question whether the secretary must send another notice at the request of the member and at the expense of the society.  The quoted language from the bottom of page 123 and top of 124 indicates to me that the secretary is not required to send the notice.... at least not at the organization's expense.... in such a case.   I'm not even convinced that the secretary must do it if the member offers to pay the expense.  Could the member even mail the notice himself in that situation?  Perhaps if he does it a "reasonable period of time in advance of the meeting"?  I am interested in what the authorship team and other regular contributors to the forum have to say about that issue.

For reference, here again is the pertinent language from pages 123-124 of RONR:

"Instead of being given at a meeting, a notice can also be sent to every member with the call of the meeting at which [page 124] the matter is to come up for action, except where the rules of the organization provide otherwise. In such a case, the member desiring to give the notice writes to the secretary alone, requesting that the notice be sent with the call of the next meeting; and the secretary should then do this at the expense of the organization."  (Emphasis added)

Of course, a motion to rescind or amend something previously adopted does not REQUIRE previous notice... previous notice just lowers the vote requirement.  The motion can still be made and considered without notice at the meeting, but subject to the higher vote threshold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

I will mention something here that has bothered me from the beginning of this thread.  If this is a regular meeting and no call of the meeting is sent out by the secretary or if the call of the meeting has already been sent out, I question whether the secretary must send another notice at the request of the member and at the expense of the society.

I think that, in either of these instances, no previous notice can be given. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I think that, in either of these instances, no previous notice can be given. 

Just to parse this response a bit: I agree that if the call has already gone out it is  too late to give valid previous notice because members can reasonably expect that notice would have been include with the call.

However, if this is a regular meeting without a separate call being sent out, then couldn't the organization voluntarily send out a valid notice, as long as it is sent a reasonable number of days before the meeting? Mr. Honemann's answer suggests that this would not be valid notice so I'm looking to clarify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...