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Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 116 Nov. 2005

Dear Parliamentarian Vol. 116  Nov. 2005
Answers to your Parliamentary Questions
drvideo@comcast.net


"Dear Parlimentarian" is written by the author of Parliamentary Procedures Made Simple: The Basics, an 80 minute video that tells how to have better meetings.


Fred Mabry wrote:

Dear Parliamentarian,

    I am the current Secretary for a non-profit agency.  During the previous Secretary's time in office the organization had a special called meeting to handle a personnel issue.  At the end of the meeting, the Secretary made a motion that the minutes of that meeting be 'sealed'.  The motion was seconded and the vote passed.  The minutes have never been approved.  As far as I know they have never been seen by another board member.  I have recently come to the realization that no copy of the 'sealed' minutes have been filed in the office of the organization.  The past Secretary is due to rotate off the board and refuses to turn over a copy of the minutes unless the current board votes for her to do so.  My understanding is that the minutes are a legal document of the organization.  The past Secretary is an attorney.  I would think she should know better.  How should I handle this situation?  Awaiting your answer, thanks!  Lynne

 

 

Dear Lynne,
     The minutes belong to the organization and not to the secretary.  The board should vote that the minutes be turned over to the board.  The minutes should only include what was done and not what was said.  If the minutes were written correctly there is no need to "seal" them.  Since the minutes have never been approved, why not suggest that the secretary read Robert's Rules of Order and see what should be written in the minutes--mainly no discussion.  Then suggest that the secretary write the minutes so that only the main motions made and how they were disposed of be put in the minutes.  If that is done,  then I am sure there is no need for "sealed" minutes.  The members can than rescind this motion and approve the minutes.  They can then be included with the other minutes of the organization.

The Parliamentarian



Dick Bode wrote:

I have thoroughly explored Robert's Rules of Order but

have not found a written answer to a question posed to

me.




Example:  "I move that the Scholars Inhibited Club not

be allowed to join our organization."




First of all, I find nothing that states a negative

motion is out of order (although often very confusing).

 




Secondly, and even more important, if the above motion

fails, then does that mean the Scholars Inhibited Club

may join the organization?




My answer was that the motion should have been

reworded but given that it wasn't, another motion is

needed for the Club to join.




Please advise.

 Dick

 

Dear Dick,
    Motions are to be written in the positive and not the negative.  In the example that you give, if members didn't want the Scholars Inhibited Club join the organization they would have to vote "yes" which of course is very confusing.  A no vote would defeat the motion but not necessarily allow them to join.  If the members wanted them to join, then they would need another motion that allowed them to join.

The Parliamentarian