Glossary of Terms

  • Adjourn: to hold a meeting over until a later date.
  • Agenda: a schedule of items drawn up for discussion at a meeting
  • Clerk: A staff member who prepares the agenda, manages documents, gives Council advice about the rules, takes minutes, etc.
  • Closed Session: When the meeting is closed to the public because confidential matters are being discussed.
  • Executive Session: When a governing body meets privately to discuss certain topics.
  • Members: A catch-all referring to members of a board, committee, commission or other governing body.
  • Minutes: the written record of a meeting; resolution minutes record only decisions reached, while narrative minutes provide a record of the decision-making process
  • Other business: either items left over from a previous meeting, or items discussed after the main business of a meeting
  • Point of order: proceedings may be interrupted on a ‘point of order’ if procedures or rules are not being followed in a meeting
  • Proposal: the name given to a submitted item for discussion (usually written) before a meeting takes place
  • Public Comment Period: the time during which a governing body accepts comment from the public by allowing meeting attendees to address members. Typically restricted to several minutes per person.
  • Quorum: the number of people needed to be in attendance for a meeting to be legitimate and so commence
  • Resolution: the name given to a ‘motion’ which has been passed or carried; used after the decision has been reached