Monday, August 22, 2011

Town & School Board Fail At Robert's Rules

Over the years, I've attended many dozens of Greece Town Board and Greece Board of Education meetings. In this age of internet postings, I often look at their respective websites to view proposed agendas (even though I know they are a sham, especially the Town's) and try to review their minutes, if & when they get posted (the March Town Board meeting minutes STILL are NOT posted, only the emergency meeting is). 

What I can't understand is, why is it so danged difficult for the Town Board & Greece Central (who both employ some very high powered, expensive attorneys) to get the basics of Robert's Rules of Order right? After a dozen plus years in office, I expect John Auberger to get it right!

In comparison, I belong to multiple other community, volunteer and social organizations who also use Robert's Rules of Order. They do it better and they do it relying on laymen who volunteer their efforts!

Here's but one example of how our electeds are failing to follow Robert's Rules:

Look up any posted minutes from a past Greece Town Board meeting on their website. I'll use the Minutes from the Regular Meeting held July 19, 2011. Scan through and note that you will NOT FIND any action by this governing body to vote to read and/or adopt and/or approve minutes from any previous meeting. In fact, I've never seen the Greece Town Board take care of that housekeeping chore, ever!

Here's what Section 60 of Robert's Rules of Order states should be done:
"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 ..."

Since those who serve us on the Greece Town Board are all paid for their service, could they at least pretend to do it well? They are quick to use Robert's Rules to shutdown hearing from a resident who doesn't have a message they want to hear (think Mr. Garretson in the video I recently posted), but refuse to do the basics correctly!

While the Greece School Board does vote to adopt their minutes, they often don't follow correct procedures for other details. However, just like the Town Board, they are quick to point to some nuance in Robert's Rules to shutdown one of their own (Joe Moscato several yrs. ago) or a community member (Mr. Skeet, also a few years ago).

These folks would rather shut us up than tend to the business in front of them. How pathetic ;)


Anonymous said...

you are right I can not recall the Greece town board ever accepting the minutes of a previous meeting at least not in recent memory

Anonymous said...

Where is it written they have to abide by Robert and his Rules?

SCATS said...

To 4:20PM ~~ I'm trying to find that info out. Maybe it was too great a leap of faith to believe they were following Robert's Rules when it only LOOKS LIKE they are ... for certain things ;)

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting comment I just found on the internet:

"Courts have held that all organizations are subject to the principles and rules of common parliamentary law. In other words, boards, committees, assemblies, and annual meetings must all observe proper rules when meeting to transact business.

Many associations also adopt a rule that they will follow a particular procedural book, such as Robert’s Rules of Order, during meetings. Members who act contrary to the rules they have adopted can be held liable for their actions. As a result, ignoring or incorrectly applying parliamentary procedure can lead to embarrassment and lawsuits.


SCATS said...

To 7:48PM ~~ That makes a lot of sense! Thanks for the source :)

Anonymous said...

The SCATS have no idea what they are talking about once again. I've attended board meetings in Gates, Irondequoit and Brighton and in the City of Rochester and they do NOT do anything with minutes as you claim is a requirement according to Roberts Rules.

Does that help you two understand things any better?

SCATS said...

To 11:04PM ~~ Your comment helps me "two understand" that you skipped school one day too many ;)

Just because ALL OF THEM may be doing things improperly is NO defense.

Anonymous said...

may be, may be, may be.

where's your proof that these towns are doing this wrong?

Proof please. Please Scats, proof for ONCE with one of your accusations would indeed be a nice change.

SCATS said...

To 9:23PM ~~ Have you proved me wrong?? Nope ;)