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recording Public Comments in the minutes?


ponygirl
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We recently started allowing public comments at the beginning of our meetings. As the secretary, I'm wondering how, or if, I'm supposed to record the comments in the minutes. Or do I just write "Public Comment Period" with no details? I couldn't find a reference to this in Robert's Rules, and our Bylaws don't state anything. How do you think I should approach this?

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We recently started allowing Public Comments at the beginning of our meetings. As the Secretary, I'm wondering how, or if, I'm supposed to record the comments in the minutes. I couldn't find a reference to this in Robert's Rules, and our Bylaws don't state anything. How do you think I should approach this?

The minutes should record what was done, not what was said. No comments, either by members or by "the public" (i.e. non-members) should be included.

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We recently started allowing Public Comments at the beginning of our meetings. As the Secretary, I'm wondering how, or if, I'm supposed to record the comments in the minutes. I couldn't find a reference to this in Robert's Rules, and our Bylaws don't state anything. How do you think I should approach this?

You shouldn't record them. The minutes are the official record of what was DONE not what was SAID. See RONR(10th ed.), p. 451, l. 25 - 28.

You could make mention that Public Comments were heard, but it should just be a brief sentence to that effect. See RONR(10th ed.), p. 454 - 456 for sample minutes.

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Thank you. That was what I thought, and of course I should always remember the rule of "what was DONE not SAID." It was a somewhat heated confrontation by the "public," so I wanted to make sure I wasn't leaving something out that I shouldn't. What you said makes sense. One other (related) question: The six people who made the public comments normally attend our meetings, and one of them is a voting member. I found it odd that a voting member signed up for public comment. What is your view on a voting member signing up for public comment?

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  • 10 years later...
Guest Land use geek
On 6/17/2010 at 1:01 PM, hmtcastle said:

The minutes should record what was done, not what was said. No comments, either by members or by "the public" (i.e. non-members) should be included.

What is your source.  If a board is flagrantly abusing its power and public comment is not recorded, where is the record that the comments were made.  Something doesn't sound right here.

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6 hours ago, Guest Land use geek said:

What is your source.  If a board is flagrantly abusing its power and public comment is not recorded, where is the record that the comments were made.  Something doesn't sound right here.

10 years ago, the late Mr. Mountcastle's source was the 10th Edition of RONR.  Today try RONR (11th ed.), p. 468 - "The official record of the proceedings of a deliberative assembly is usually called the minutes, or sometimes—particularly in legislative bodies—the journal. In an ordinary society, the minutes should contain mainly a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by the members. The minutes should never reflect the secretary's opinion, favorable or otherwise, on anything said or done."   Not only do you not record what is said by the members (of the board in your instance), you don't record what is said by anyone, at least if RONR controls the matter.

Oh and please see this from Mr. Gerber regarding tacking on to old threads - https://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/25416-important-read-this-first-faq-and-information-for-new-members-and-guests/

 

Edited by George Mervosh
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