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Minutes/ Can I ask that my comments be in the minutes verbatim?


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Guest Sharon Lamb

Hi, I very carefully wrote out comments on a motion so that they could be attached to the minutes. When I read the minutes my comments were summarized inadequately/inaccurately. May I ask that my comments be appended verbatim to the minutes? Or do I have to move to correct/change the minutes before we vote? Thanks, Sharon

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You can ask - at a meeting necessarily - and perhaps there will be no objection to your request. Otherwise, you will need to move to make the change, which will require a second and a majority vote for approval.

You do understand that under the rules in RONR comments do not belong in the minutes at all? The minutes should be a record of what was done, not what was said.

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Guest Sharon Lamb

Thanks so much for a quick reply. If the minutes are going to summarize the discussion, arguments made for and against, which they tend to do, and I'm not going to challenge that at this point, then I think I want my arguments presented accurately. At the time I made my statements I sent them to the secretary to include in the minutes but I don't recall whether I said "I'd like these to be included in the minutes" out loud. So at the next meeting I can either make a motion to include an appendix with my comments to the minutes , or I can make a motion and present my own summary of the arguments made? 

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If your society is bound by the rules in RONR, the proper thing for you to do is raise a point of order insisting they follow the rule in RONR and not include comments/discussion in the minutes.  If the group isn't interested in doing that, they're on their own trying to figure out how to get it right.  They won't be successful.

Edited by George Mervosh
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3 hours ago, Guest Sharon Lamb said:

Hi, I very carefully wrote out comments on a motion so that they could be attached to the minutes. When I read the minutes my comments were summarized inadequately/inaccurately. May I ask that my comments be appended verbatim to the minutes? Or do I have to move to correct/change the minutes before we vote?

You should move to correct the minutes by striking out all of the comments.

If the organization insists on including summaries of comments in the minutes, I agree that there should be an attempt to summarize the comments accurately, and that a correction to the draft minutes for the purpose of making the summary of comments more accurate would be permissible. It is preferable, however, not to include comments in the minutes at all. If the organization prefers to keep a record of the comments, it should be kept separately from the minutes.

You can make your request to include your comments in the minutes verbatim, but I believe the assembly should refuse to grant this request.

2 hours ago, Guest Sharon Lamb said:

Thanks so much for a quick reply. If the minutes are going to summarize the discussion, arguments made for and against, which they tend to do, and I'm not going to challenge that at this point, then I think I want my arguments presented accurately. At the time I made my statements I sent them to the secretary to include in the minutes but I don't recall whether I said "I'd like these to be included in the minutes" out loud. So at the next meeting I can either make a motion to include an appendix with my comments to the minutes , or I can make a motion and present my own summary of the arguments made? 

The fact that your society is having to waste its time on things like this is one of the many reasons why it's a bad idea to include comments in the minutes. :)

Edited by Josh Martin
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My read of this thread is that the minutes have not yet been approved. If I am right, what is the vote required to include these comments? My thought is 2/3, but I would think many would say a majority. Just putting it up for discussion.

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"To modify the rules governing what is regularly to be included in the minutes requires a special rule of order, although a majority vote my direct the inclusion of specific additional information in the minutes of a particular meeting."  RONR 48:43.

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7 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

Why do you think that (incorrect) thought?

Because inclusion of commentary in the minutes is specifically prohibited, and the motion to include it is tantamount to a motion to suspend the rules.

However, between the quote provided by Mr. Merritt, and a rereading of the rules here, I think the answer here is a majority vote. The more arguable case is the inclusion of the secretary's own commentary.

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1 hour ago, Joshua Katz said:

My read of this thread is that the minutes have not yet been approved. If I am right, what is the vote required to include these comments? My thought is 2/3, but I would think many would say a majority. Just putting it up for discussion.

I think that this would be categorized as a "correction" to the draft minutes, and as such would require a majority.  A "correction" is effectively a motion to Amend, and would share its characteristics.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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I concur that a majority vote is all that is necessary to include additional information in the minutes at the time they are being approved. The 12th edition has  expanded on this and made it pretty clear.

I disagree with Mr. Martin when he says he thinks the assembly should not approve the request. It is something that is entirely and solely within the discretion of the assembly and we have no business telling them what they should do in this regard.  Pointing out the downsides of doing something is one thing, but telling the assembly what it should and should not do with regard to something solely within its discretion is something else.

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Guest Sharon Lamb

Thanks everyone for this very interesting discussion.  I am going to suggest that we stop including anything more than "actions" in the minutes and also submit my corrections! 

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