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Thread: Format for minutes

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Format for minutes

    What is the best format for the recordation of Minutes of Planning Commission meetings for small towns?

    What are the essential elements to put in the Minutes?

    What else should go in the Minutes?

    Is there a general (standard) Format that should be considered for Planning Commission Minutes?

    What should be stated in the Minutes when there is a "general discussion" without a motion? (ie, subject, speakers, conclusion?)

    If the Chairman presides at one meeting, but is absent at the meeting in which the Minutes are approved, who should sign those Minutes?

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    What is the best format for the recordation of Minutes of Planning Commission meetings for small towns?
    I think it is whatever works best for your committee, assumming that there isn't a requirement by the State.

    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    What are the essential elements to put in the Minutes?
    You need to get the intent into the minutes. The approval and motion is already in writing, but the minutes need to capture the reasoning behind the decision. They need to record the names and addresses of all who spoke at the meeting, and they need to go into detail only when a different topic is discussed.


    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    Is there a general (standard) Format that should be considered for Planning Commission Minutes?
    I am not aware of a standard format. We have standardized our own minutes. As I would assume most communities do.


    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    What should be stated in the Minutes when there is a "general discussion" without a motion? (ie, subject, speakers, conclusion?)
    Make sure you get the name, address, etc. of the person talking, and the general point. The idea is to always have a record of the meeting in terms of what was discussed. You don't have to cover the exact wording, just the gist.

    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    If the Chairman presides at one meeting, but is absent at the meeting in which the Minutes are approved, who should sign those Minutes?
    We have a vice chair. If you aren't comfortable with that idea, hold the minutes off until the chairman gets back.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Less is more
    - if you get caught up in a he said she said kind of thing, then your minutes become transcripts and you can get into trouble if you miss something

    I typically use headings on paragraphs like:

    The Board discussed the following: (then list bullet points of what they focused upon)

    The Board reached consensus on:

    The Board did not reach agreement on:

    The applicant was directed to:


    Staff was requested to:

    I tell my staff to use the 20 year rule:
    in 20 years if someone reads the minutes will they basically understand what happened and why
    a lot depends too on the Board - they have to approve the minutes. I often have had boards that are he said she said type folks but I try to wear that down -

    if you are recording the meeting, dvd video or tape, then you don't need to get into details

    when I have to do minutes, which I hate to be honest, my format, out of pragmatism, is the agenda is on my laptop screen at the meeting and I change the word "agenda" to "minutes" and then type under each agenda item what happened - things discussed not on the agenda go under the "other business" title - it's a subtle way to alert Board members if they go off topic when they receive their draft minutes -if I am at a meeting where I sit with the Board, I hand write meeting goings on right on a paper agenda (which forces even more conciseness)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    My town does "action" minutes now due to budget cut-backs (we also axed planning commission on the local teevee so in exchange i am also cutting back cutting my hair). Action minutes are short and to the point. PM and i can forward you a link to the minutes.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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