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The Minutes:

The record of the proceedings of a deliberative assembly is usually called the Minutes, or the Record, or the Journal. In the meetings of ordinary societies, there is no object in reporting the debates; the duty of the secretary, in such cases, is mainly to record what is "done" by the assembly, and not what is said by the members. The minutes should show:

  • Kind of meeting, "regular" (or stated) or "special," or "adjourned regular" or "adjourned special";

  • Name of the organization or assembly;

  • Date/time of meeting and place, when it is not always the same;

  • The fact of the presence of the regular chairman and secretary, or in their absence the names of their substitutes,

  • Whether the minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved, or approved as corrected, and the date of the meeting if other than a regular business meeting;

  • All main motions (except such as were withdrawn) and motions that bring a main question again before the assembly, stating the wording as adopted or disposed of, and the disposition--including temporary disposition (with any primary and secondary amendments and adhering secondary motions then pending;

  • Secondary motions not lost or withdrawn where needed for clarity of the minutes;

  • Previous notice of motions;

  • Points of order and appeals, and reasons the chair gives for the ruling;

  • Time of adjournment.

Generally the name is recorded of the mover, but not of the seconder, unless ordered by the assembly. When corrections to the minutes are made by the assembly, the corrections are made in the written text of the minutes being approved, and the minutes of the meeting where they are corrected merely state that the minutes were approved �as corrected�, without actually stating the details of those corrections.

The secretary should sign the minutes, and in some societies the minutes are also signed by the president. When the minutes are approved, the word "Approved" should be written on the minutes with the secretary�s initials and the date.

The essentials of a record should be entered, as previously stated, and when a count has been ordered or where the vote is by ballot, the number of votes on each side should be entered.  When the voting is by roll call, a list of the names of those voting on each side should be entered, and those answering �Present�, and enough names of those present, who fail to respond, to reflect that a quorum was present.

Where the regular meetings are held weekly, monthly, or quarterly, the minutes are read at the opening of each day's meeting, and, after correction should be approved. Where the meetings are held several days in succession with recesses during the day, the minutes are read at the opening of business each day. If the next meeting of the organization will not be held for a long period, as six months or a year, the minutes that have not been read previously should be read and approved before final adjournment. If this is not practical, then the executive committee or a special committee should be authorized to correct and approve them. A special meeting does not approve minutes, and its minutes should be approved at the next regular meeting.

When the reading of the minutes is dispensed with they can afterwards be taken up at any time when nothing is pending. If not taken up previously, they come before the assembly at the next meeting before the reading of the later minutes....

For additional information, refer to RONR 10th ed. pp. 451-458.

Robert's Rules says that all MAIN motions should be shown in the minutes. However, at a meeting, the secretary will have a need to record nearly all motions and what was done (their disposition), recording  details that are not intended to show up in the final draft to be submitted for approval at the next regular meeting.

These notes will then be edited and condensed so that secondary motions, e.g. amendments, are not listed separately in the minutes, but are incorporated into the final wording that is the exact same wording used by the chair in putting the question to a vote and/or otherwise disposing of the main motion. The final draft will show all MAIN motions, as amended, and will not show the evolution of the wording of a motion during its amendment. Thus, a half-dozen handwritten pages may become a single typewritten page.

For example, the final draft minutes may be worded as follows:

After amendment, a motion by H.M. Robert was adopted, "that the club purchase a new laptop computer for use by the secretary in preparing minutes and other correspondence, at a cost not to exceed $2,500."

The fact that the motion was amended is mentioned only parenthetically, without providing details.

 

   

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