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Question about Minutes attachments


Guest letterstoethan
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Guest letterstoethan

I'm an elected official for a governmental entity. I've prepared a list of recommendations on a particular  topic for our next Board of Commissioners meeting. I would like to submit that list  in writing and ask that it be included as part of the minutes of that meeting. Is that kosher?

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Setting aside any governmental rules that may apply... (like for the congressional record)...

Sure you can ask... but since the "recommendations" sound to me a lot like debate in favor of your "particular topic", and RONR has it that you do NOT include debate in minutes -- "Minutes contain what was done, not what was said" is our mantra -- you would have to obtain the permission of the assembly to include the text of your "recommendations". 

I am not dead sure it it requires a suspension of the rules (2/3 vote) to include your text (since a majority can take it out next meeting when the minutes are approved); but my colleagues may think differently.   A majority vote may well be enough in the case of debate points in minutes, particularly since "Whereas" paragraphs, which sure look like debate sometimes, are OK and are adopted by majority vote right along with the motion.

Edited by jstackpo
Added note about "whereas"
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I agree with Transpower that the simplest thing to do in order to convert these recommendations into action is to move them as one or more motions or as a resolution. 

If, for some reason, you do not wish to actually move these recommendations, then you can request that these recommendations be included or appended to the minutes. This is an incidental motion which requires a second and a majority vote to be adopted.

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Reports from committees (which typically contain recommendations) are not included in the minutes, they are simply placed on file.  Recommendations from an individual would probably be handled in the same way.

But if you make your recommendation as a motion, the text of the motion will be included in the minutes automatically (even if it is voted down).

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While I agree with the excellent suggestions by my colleagues, it is my experience that the minutes of political bodies such as city councils are generally extremely rigid, brief and basic and contain only a record of ordinances and resolutions acted upon. They are usually the epitome of what was done and not what was said. In my experience, there seems to be more flexibility and variation in the minutes of boards, commissions, and committees. I gather that the body which you are a member of is a commission of some sort.

However, if you prefer that your list of recommendations be attached to the minutes as you initially suggested, I believe that a motion to do so would be appropriate and could be adopted by a majority vote.

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