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My Township has not formally adopted Robert’s Rules of Order, but we use them frequently for help with running meetings. Robert’s Rules and the Open Meetings Act require different information to be provided in meeting minutes. Which should we follow?

The public bodies in your Township should follow the requirements of the Open Meetings Act before following conflicting, non-binding guides such as Robert’s Rules of Order. The Open Meetings Act requires that minutes for the public portions of a meeting contain the date, time, and place of a meeting, the members present and absent, any decisions made (votes taken), the purpose for any closed sessions held, and all roll call votes taken. Robert’s Rules of Order suggests providing other information in minutes which the Township may find helpful, but it is not required to include. Furthermore, the Open Meetings Act requires that public meeting minutes be open to public inspection. It is best to ensure that your Township does not provide any information that is confidential under state or federal law, or that may contain sensitive personal information not required to be provided.

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