Proper Minute Taking – Article by Gurdon H Buck from Common Ground Magazine

Minutes are the record of the official action of the assembly. Thus there must be a vote of the assembly to have any official action.

As their name implies, minutes should be brief. As a minimum, the minutes should contain the following elements;

a) The exact corporate name of the association and the words “minutes of the meeting of (name of body).”

b) The date and place of the meeting.

c) The location and time of the meeting.

d) The names of the persons in an official capacity. If there is an open meeting, the non-voting audience need not be included.

e) The resolution exactly as finally made, seconded, and passed. There is no reason to include the summary of the debate, the discussion, or the side remarks of the individual members. In a well run meeting, the text of the motion will have been presented in writing before it is brought to action. The worst example examples of minute taking contain extraneous material. Taking minutes is not the same thing as taking dictation. The secretary’s notes are for the purpose of getting the wording of the motions exactly as passed. The action is only what the group actually approved. A motion is the agreed upon solution to a problem.

f) The vote. If the vote is “without objection,” the fastest method of passing routine motions, it should be so stated in the minutes. If the vote is by voice, only the ruling of the chair need be noted, this is “the motion passed.” In a small assembly, it is proper to show the names of those voting in favor, abstaining and in opposition to a resolution.

g) The signature of the secretary, preceded by the word submitted.

h) Inclusion in the corporate record book.

For more information about the Common Ground Magazine, click here

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