The agenda for the September 14, 2014, assembly will follow the suggestions found in Chapter Four of The AA Service Manual in the section titled “A Typical Election Assembly.” All voting members of the Area Assembly are eligible to vote for the Panel 65 (2015-16) officers. The most important voting members of the Area Assembly are the Group Service Representatives – GSR.
The election will be chaired by a past delegate, who will open the session by reviewing “A Typical Election Assembly” and “The Third Legacy Procedure” from the service manual. The Panel 65 Delegate will be chosen first, followed by Alternate Delegate, Area Chairperson, Alternate Area Chairperson, Treasurer, Alternate Treasurer, Secretary, Alternate Secretary, Registrar and Alternate Registrar.
What Position Should I Stand For?
Item 6 of “A Typical Election Assembly” describes how candidates for Delegate are identified. It suggests two factors to consider when deciding whether to stand for a service position: eligibility and availablilty.
- Eligibility: Service experience and length of sobriety are the criteria used to determine if a candidate is eligible to stand for an Area service position. Functional skills, such as computer literacy or relevant work experience, are viewed as possibly useful, but are not mandatory. (See the list of criteria below). Candidates for Delegate, Area Chairperson, and their alternates should have served as a member of the Area Committee for at least one rotation. Candidates for the other offices should have some group, intergroup, or general service experience. The service manual suggests minimum lengths of sobriety for the officers: five years for Delegate, three years for Area Chairperson and Treasurer, and two years for Secretary and Registrar.
- Availability: Each individual has to decide whether s/he would be available to fiulfill the obligations of the position. The most important factor to consider is whether the candidate has family, personal or professional commitments that would restrict the time they have to devote to the job. The potential candidate should also reflect on whether they have the functional skills necessary to fulfill the obligations of the position.
The Election Process
The Panel 65 Delegate will be selected first. All present or past members of the Area Committee with at least five years of sobriety (Officers, DCMs, DCMC, and Standing Committee Chairs) will be asked to stand up. These are the eligible candidates for Delegate. The Election Chair will then ask those who have determined that they will not be available to fulfill the obligations to sit down. The names of those that remain standing will be written on the board as the candidates for Area 53 Panel 65 Delegate. Before voting begins, the candidates will be asked to share their service experience with the Assembly.
The selection process will be conducted using the “Third Legacy Procedure” described in Chapter One of The AA Service Manual. The details of this procedure will be described before the elections begin. The key qualities that distinguish this from a “normal” majority-rule election are: a 2/3 majority is required to reach a decision, voting will last no more than 5 ballots, all voting will be by written ballot, some candidates may be eliminated after each ballot, and – if no candidate has been selected after five ballots – the choice will be made by lot, called “going to the hat.”
The list of remaining candidates is the beginning list of eligible candidates for Alternate Delegate. The Election Chair will ask if anyone wishes to add or remove their name to the list and the “Third Legacy Procedure” will be followed to select the Alternate Delegate.
We will then select the remaining officers in the order listed in paragraph two above. Since the service history and desired length of sobriety change as we move through the different service positions, others may add their name to the list of eligible and available candidates at each stage of the process. We will continue this process until all ten Panel 65 officers have been chosen.
Duties and Qualifications of Officers
(Sources: AA Service Manual and Area 53 Guidelines.)
Delegate: Attend the General Service Conference, communicate Conference actions to the Assembly, communicate Area needs and concerns to GSO, attend all area and regional service meetings and assemblies, work with area standing committees, provide leadership in solving local problems, and visit groups and districts whenever possible. Candidates for Delegate should have several years of active service participation, including service on the Area Committee, the time to fulfill the obligations of the position, knowledge of AA affairs, and enough sobriety to be “responsible and informed” (at least five years).
Alternate Delegate: Represent the Delegate when they are not available, be prepared to assume the full duties of the Delegate if they can no longer serve, attend area and regional service meetings and assemblies, and chair the Area 53 Mini-Conference Committee. Candidates for Alternate Delegate should meet all of the eligibility requirements for the Delegate.
Area Chairperson: Prepare the agendas for and chair the Area Assembly and Area Committee meetings, communicate plans and results to members of the Area Assembly, attend area and regional service meetings, and assist the officers, standing committees, and districts as appropriate. Candidates for Area Chairperson should have several years of active service participation, including service on the Area Committee, the time to fulfil the obligations of the position, and a “solid period of sobriety (minimum three to five years).”
Alternate Area Chairperson: Represent the Chairperson when they are not available, be prepared to assume the full duties of the Chairperson if they can no longer serve, and attend area and regional service meetings. Candidates for Alternate Chairperson should meet all of the eligibility requirements for the Chairperson.
Treasurer: Receive and record group contributions, maintain the area checking account, maintain appropriate financial records, chair the Finance Committee, prepare and present an annual budget, report the Area’s financial position quarterly, and file all necessary IRS documents required by law. Candidates for treasurer should be responsible, organized enough to keep good records, and have “a solid period of sobriety.” The Service Manual suggests that accounting and bookkeeping experience could be useful.
Alternate Treasurer: Represent the Treasurer when they are not available, be prepared to assume the full duties of the Treasurer if they can no longer serve, assist the Treasurer with reporting needs, and serve as Treasurer of the Area 53 Mini-Conference Committee. Candidates for Alternate Treasurer should meet all of the eligibility requirements for the Treasurer.
Secretary: Record and distribute minutes of the Area Assembly and Area Committee meetings. Candidates for Secretary should be able to capture the essentials of what is happening at the meetings, have some group, intergroup or general service experience, the time to do the job, and have “a resonable period of sobriety.” The service manual suggests that computer knowledge could be helpful.
Alternate Secretary: Represent the Secretary when they are not available, and be prepared to assume the full duties of the Secretary if they can no longer serve. Candidates for Alternate Secretary should meet all of the eligibility requirements for the Secretary.
Registrar: Maintain the Fellowship New Vision (FNV) database, keep an updated list of those eligible to vote at the Area Assembly, and coordinate the flow of group information between GSO and the Area Delegate. Candidates for Registrar should be organized, have some group, intergroup or general service experience, the time to do the job, and have “a resonable period of sobriety.” The service manual suggests that computer literacy would be helpful.
Alternate Registrar: Represent the Registrar when they are not available, and be prepared to assume the full duties of the Registrar if they can no longer serve. Candidates for Alternate Registrar should meet all of the eligibility requirements for the Registrar.