Concept III

From that ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee to AA's General Service Office. What's your take on service?

Concept III

Postby mzahnke » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:48 am

Hello everybody. This is my first post. I live in a dual district that seems to function under confusion. I have a service sponsor and he is useful because he has a past delegate as his service sponsor. The scenario I have is this: Our Telephone Answering Service committee was tasked with putting together a call out/work shop for individuals that want to be on the 12th step call list. We met for the last four months and came up with flyers, a date, and food. When this was brought to district it was, initially, met with a half and half split. The controversy settles on whether or not district should pay for the food to be provided. We are operating with a 1,500.00 surplus, compared to where we were last year at this time. The dollar amount of the pizza comes to 30.00. The DCM of one district proposed we, since we are spending group money, bring it back to the groups for approval, this would post pone the call out/ work shop by a month. The other DCM motioned to pass the call out/ work shop as is and to allow the district to allot the money to be spent because the funds are available. The Telephone Answering Sevice (TAS) has money in their budget, but when they spend the money to buy pizza they will be 30.00 short at the end of the year. The treasurer proposed the "Right of Decision", which my understanding falls under the General Service Conference in reference to the Delegate.

Does the "Right of Decision" encompass all levels of service? or

Because it is at the district level should we follow procedure vs. emotion?

I initially voted to bring it back to the groups, but when "Right of Decision" was invoked I changed my vote. We ended up passing the motion to follow through with things as is with the district paying for the pizza. it was 8-7.

The service manual says something to the effect that it falls under a gray area.

Is it "kosher" for DCM's to make motions?

Does anyone have any experiences similar to this? Does anyone know or care to share experience with "Right of Decision"?

Direct experience is preferred, please do not offer opinions or speculation.
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Re: Concept III

Postby PaigeB » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:23 am

Each Group is autonomous. So is each District & each Area.

Does the "Right of Decision" encompass all levels of service?

YES.
Is it "kosher" for DCM's to make motions?

Not in my District, but Google Robert's Rules for more information.

Does anyone have any experiences similar to this? Does anyone know or care to share experience with "Right of Decision"?

I spent 2 years as a GSR & I am now the District Public Information Committee Chair. I have a vote at the District meeting as a District Chair. Some Districts do it differently. As a District Committee we have a 25$ monthly allowance for costs. In my district, the PI Committee is responsible for the HotLine, and the District pays the cost of the phone line and the answering service who takes the initial calls then makes calls until an alcoholic can be found to take the caller. The PI Committee has been thinking of having a workshop to educate the people who volunteer for the call list.

One thing we know is this: Serve food and they will come! I also know that my District will argue over .27 cents. I have learned to ask for my allowance and forget the rest. I could also have the members of the committee pass the hat, or pass the hat at the function. This workshop we are planning will be considered a District function and the District is/will be responsible for the costs, but we could ask if any Groups wish to donate a pizza.

I know that for larger functions that do not fall under District functions (in my Area), like a Roundup, are totally self supporting with the assistance of any interested Groups who donate food, paper wares, people to serve at the registration desk etc.

My personal experience is that I do not wish to bring a lot of things to the District body because there will invariably be differing opinions. I DO HAVE the right of decision for the autonomous committee and we have our own Group Conscious on the matter. I only need bring things to the body in matters affecting the District on up. It is yet undetermined whether the District will take part in planning & finances for the workshop we want to do.

I am glad you wrote in! Please give us an update as I think we can help each other!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Concept III

Postby mzahnke » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:49 pm

Paige, thank you very much for sharing your experience with me. This whole deal with alcoholics and money can get pretty confusing. Then there is the whole principles before personalities. My service sponsor tells me, repeatedly, that I am not the AA policeman nor am I a martyr. It seems that there is a lack of enthusiasm regarding service work in my area. Unfortunately, what has resulted is the same 10 people stand for various committee chairs and so on. Our Telephone Answering Service is a separate committee, as we have no intergroup or local office. As I talk to more and more GSR's I am finding that there is a strong desire to learn more about our third legacy of service. This is something, that at times can be difficult, but has made me enjoy my sobriety all the more. Once again, thank you for your response and I will send you a PM to let you know how this whole thing goes over the course of the next couple of months.
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Re: Concept III

Postby PaigeB » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:38 pm

I will try and keep you posted as well!!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Concept III

Postby Db1105 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:13 am

Our phone service is handled by our Intergroup in the area where I live. It was our philosophy that when groups sent us money, it was to carry the message to those who still suffer. Not for food. That was handled by a group donation, passing the basket, or putting out a donation basket. Sometimes a member just reached into their own pocket. The groups By Laws should spell out the functions and responsibilities of group officers.

Having had many service position over the years, it's true that its always the same people doing the work. It's also true that some of the petty BS, bickering, and actions by these people in District and Intergroup drive a lot of those interested in sharing away.
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