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I received this question from Cheryl in Adelaide.

What can one do if the Treasurer of the board is constantly revising the minutes that have already been approved by the President (Chair)? The changes are a significant amount of preferential changes to wording or phrasing and do not change the content or meaning of the minutes but do result in arduous and tedious revision by the minute taker each time.

The people who are like this are often very pedantic and often raise issues that are of little consequence to the rest of the people. They can be very annoying.

This is not an uncommon problem but the solution is relatively simple.

Option 1. Someone should have a quiet word in the treasurer’s ear about the amount of work it takes to make changes that ultimately do not have any impact.
Option 2. The treasurer may want to be the minute taker – ask him or her or if they want to take over that role. They are likely to back off. (Caution – see below)
Option 3. If the minutes have already been approved by the President – simply ignore the treasurer’s comments until he/she gets the message.
I know these may sound harsh, but the treasurer in your example is unlikely to know the amount of work it takes. The best way is for him or her to be given the role to do the minutes. There is a risk though, they may actually relish the opportunity but even if they do, if the changes ultimately do not have any real impact, what is there to lose?
However, there is a base understanding which may solve the problem completely. Minutes ARE NOT a record of what is said. They are a record of the decisions that were made and the action that was delegated. If the minutes are just that, then there is very little opportunity for massaging the words.
Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. This is not, and should not be taken as legal advice. The author is not a lawyer. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with appropriate advice relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement. If you are in any doubt, seek appropriate advice.

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