One of our board members requested the board secretary remove a statement he made at the previous meeting from the draft minutes that are going out to the full board to be approved at our next meeting. Should the statement be removed completely or shown but barred out? How can this best be handled?

Draft minutes should reflect what the board secretary observed at the board meeting. The final minutes belong to the board as a whole and should reflect what they vote to approve.

The draft is a recording of what was said, not what a board member intended to say or mean, or what they thought they said.

If a board member does not agree with what is in the draft minutes they may make a motion to amend the minutes. The whole board votes on the amendment before voting to approve the minutes.

If the change is made now, based on a board member’s request, then the precedent is set for every board member to come to the board secretary with any changes they want made to the ‘draft’ minutes before the meeting, with the expectation that those changes will be made. If there is a really ‘hot’ topic, each board member might request different changes to the same material. Individual board members, even the chair, don’t have any authority to change those draft minutes. The board could give the chair the right to review and make changes to draft minutes, but they need to do that by vote or policy change.

Good practice is to let the board member know he/she needs to make a motion at the meeting to amend the draft minutes before they are approved by the board .

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