Public Meeting + Hearing Facilitation: Robert’s Rules Of Order

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Henry Martyn Robert (1837-1923) was a U.S. Army Brigadier General and an engineer.  Born in Robertville, South Carolina, General Robert graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1857.  General Robert had a distinguished military career, contributing to various engineering projects while serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  

General Robert’s pivotal moment is said to have come in 1863, when he was asked to preside over a church meeting in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  The meeting, which quickly descended into chaos due to lack of established rules for conducting proceedings, prompted General Robert to recognize the need for a standardized set of rules to govern meetings and facilitate decision-making processes.

General Robert embarked on the task of creating a comprehensive manual for parliamentary procedures.  The result was the publication of the first edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order” in 1876, which provided a structured framework for conducting meetings, making motions, and voting which placed emphasis on clarity, fairness, and order.  

At the time, “Robert’s Rules of Order” had a profound impact and was widely adopted across various organizations, government bodies, and institutions.  Today, the book and its principles continue to be a foundational and world renowned reference for those seeking to conduct meetings in an organized, effective, and democratic manner. 

Special Note: The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman has provided funding for this training program from the 1% surcharge on all building permits in the State of Utah.

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