Robert's Rules
on Parliamentary

According to

California State Association of Parliamentarians


Survival Tips on
Robert's Rules of Order

The Agenda - Choreography of Rights and Abuses

The more serious an issue is, the more the reason to insist that the issue be included on the agenda, and that the agenda includes explicit starting time for each major section.
The easiest way to defeat an issue is to take so much meeting time so that the issue never comes up. If the agenda specifies times for the major sections, you can always assure that your issue will be addressed before the meeting is adjourned.

An agenda according to Robert's (RONR(10th ed.),p.342-351), with a few comments.

  1. Reading and approval of the minutes.
    (Motion to approve is not necessary. The minutes are either approved as read or as corrected, but without a vote.)

  2. Reports of Officers, Boards, Standing Committees.
    (This includes correspondence, treasurer's report, etc. Treasurer's report is never adopted or voted upon unless it has been audited. )

  3. Reports of Special Committees.
    (Each report could conclude with a motion which the assembly must address.)

  4. Special Orders.
    (Any motion which was adopted as a Special Order which guarantees that the motion will be dealt with before the meeting is adjourned.)

  5. Unfinished Business and General Orders.
    (Any issue which was not concluded, was postponed, or was tabled during the prior meeting. The secretary's minutes should inform the chair which items to add to this section. Only a clueless chair would ask the assembly, 'Is there any unfinished business?')

  6. New Business.
    (This is when the chair and the parliamentarian can be surprised by the sequence of events. It is best to always anticipate issues the membership may present, or else be embarrassed by the complications.
    It is at this time that announcements, educational programs, and speakers are introduced.)

  7. Adjournment.
    (A motion to adjourn may be made at any time of the meeting. The assembly should never be forced to meet longer than it is willing to meet.)

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