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Question on Committee Meeting Minutes

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  • #16
    I wish our troop committee had a secretary. I mentioned it once to someone who has a lot more training than I do, and the person said, oh, that's outmoded, no troop has a secretary any more. But I know that's not true, and the position is listed in the troop committee guidebook, which is good enough for me. If it's the word "secretary" people have a problem with, they could call it "communications coordinator", or whatever. So what we have instead is a CC doing parts of about 3 other jobs besides CC, with predictable results, even though it is mostly the CC's choice to do it this way.


    • #17
      The age of paper has ended, go digital and email. There's actually two other questions here:

      1. Transparency to parents
      2. To what degree to allow parental involvement in the committee.

      There are many different takes on these questions, and many different ways of doing things. I've seen one pack thrive with a scenario that a pack across town fails with, find what's right for you.


      • #18
        If people follow the Robert's Rules, things have a tendency to run smoother, quicker and easier.

        Everyone sends their resolutions to the secretary so the group knows what to discuss (New Business). It's discussed and decided on. The secretary collects up the resolutions, combines them and they are the minutes for the next meeting. Anything that got tabled for further discussion and or ran out of time to complete, secretary keeps and carries over to the next meeting (Old Business).

        Without such orderly protocol, most meetings end up a long, drawn out free-for-all where nothing really gets decided.

        I suggest to the committee that they use Robert's because after a half hour of wasted time, I leave, and they can mail me the minutes of what they didn't decide later. I don't need to participate in such foolishness.



        • #19
          Emailing out the committee minutes saves trees!

          As for passing them out to the general public (ie the parents), I would suggest to do so with guidance, depending on how detailed your minutes are from the secretary.

          After all, a parent reading minutes that say something simple like Approved $200 for food at campout and not seeing the big discussion that went into making the decision can quickly question why you are spending so much money on X. But if a parent wants to know the meeting minutes, having a committee member explain them and the reasoning/logic/discussion that went into making the decision is much better.

          Thats the same approach if someone wants to know about the treasury. Everything should be open and available to the parents, but with explanation so assumptions dont get made and problems dont occur! If parents are that interested to know the committee member meeting minutes, then they should be going to those meetings!

          Minutes are VERY important to have however, and have passed out to your committee members. You need a record that this or that was approved, especially when it comes to money. That way everyone is on the same page and people don't remember things differently.


          • #20
            One has to remember a secretary writes down in the minutes what he/she feels is important. It may or may not be what others think is important. Roberts makes adjustments for that.

            Everything to be discussed in a meeting should be written down and read so that everyone discussing it knows exactly what it is that they are to discuss and decide upon. This can lead to some really pointless discussions if not done. The target of what is being decided can through random discussion with no focus, end up voting on something no where near what the original requester had in mind. So in fact that person's concern was totally ignored.

            The secretary should then identify each person who has the floor and record the gist of their discussion on the subject. Then when the question is called, retain the resolution and it's resulting vote.

            If one wants transparency in their work, one need follow the "rules" so that no one can argue with the guy who says, "We discussed something like that last night and voted against it." So exactly what was discussed? One is already at level 2 conflict and don't even know it yet. Transparency, integrity, honesty, openness, etc. all lost in the fog.

            People are so into conflict and accountability these days because they don't have a method of doing civil business in a group. Most of the meetings I attend today are basically free-for-alls, with little or no resolution unless pressed to a vote.

            Whenever I am asked to chair a meeting, I adhere to Roberts and am considered a real pain in the butt about it. But, when all is said and done, everyone knows exactly what it is that was discussed, who spoke for and who spoke against and what the result of the vote entailed. My job as chair was to make sure the proceedings were civil and that everyone had a chance to speak to the issues without interruption.

            I have noticed over the years that for "normal" things and when things are not tense, I never get asked to chair a meeting, but once the fur flies, I'm the first they ask to chair/referee. I agree only if I can enforce Roberts and no one has ever said no to that.



            • #21
              Oh, by the way, saving trees has nothing to do with it. Being a good steward means one recycles paper. It's an industry known fact that it's easier to make paper out of paper than it is out of trees.