The following is intended to be a simple easy to understand explanation of the procedures utilized at the ASC meetings by the GSRs. Input by the GSRS to the ASC is essential to both the groups and to the AREA, so it is important to be able to meaningfully participate.
An area service committee meeting is composed of different parts. There is an agenda of the meeting that is usually followed. The opening of the meeting, the secretary and treasurer reports, and the persons from the various groups are part of the meeting that is fairly structured. Close attention should be given to the reports when they arrive with the ASC minutes and when they are read to the Area. The GSRS will be asked to either accept or reject the reports, or except them with corrections ( for example the secretary may have made an error recording the results of votes at the last minutes, or the treasurer may have incorrectly reported your groups contribution to the Area Service Committee.
The following procedures will guide Area business:
*The Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Narcotics Anonymous
*The procedural Guidelines of the North Dade Area
*Roberts Rules of Order
*The Guide to local Service
*Any additional procedural rules the ASC may adopt.
The Chair to assure a smooth and orderly meeting will adhere to these rules. The chair is empowered to keep discussion focused on the topic and within a reasonable time frame. Only the chair can recognize a member who raises their hand. A member must be acknowledged by the chair in order to speak. Statements made to the ASC should be prevalent and timely to what is going on in the meeting with some limited specific exceptions.
A motion must be submitted in writing within the first 1/2 hour after the opening of the ASC , and comes up for discussion during new business. Another voting member of the ASC must second the motion before it can be considered by the ASC. A second is an indication by the person making the second that the motion deserves consideration by the members of the Area Service Committee. If there is no second the matter dies and no further discussion are permitted.
Once seconded however, it becomes the business of the GSRS to consider the motion and discuss its Pros and Cons.
The chair will usually call upon the person making the motion to explain the intent of the motion. When he or she is through, the Chair will ask for others who wish to argue for or against the motion. Thee usually will be (2) two pro and (2) two cons alternating upon a motion to suspend the rules and is seconded. Debate may be extended, but will not exceed more than 10 minutes after the two pros and two cons have been presented.
Unless an amendment to the motion is proposed and accepted, or the motion is tabled, Postponed, or referred to a committee, a vote will be taken when debate is concluded. A 2/3 vote is required to close, limit, or extend debate. A majority of the votes cast by the GSR is normally required for votes cast. However, certain motions require a 2/3 vote to pass. These include:
*To amend the ASC Guidelines or change procedure.
*To close, limit, or extend debate.
*To close nominations
*To remove a trusted servant from the ASC office.
*To change the order of business
*To take business away from a committee, which has not made a decision or report on it, and return that
business to discussion on the floor of the ASC
A 2/3 majority means 2/3 of the voting members. For example when a vote is called by the chair to accept the minutes or treasurer's report, the chair may call for all those in favor to signify by saying Aye and those who oppose by saying Nay. However when a vote count is required, GSRs must raise hands to signify their vote. If the vote is a tie the chair may break the tie with a vote at his/her discretion, or may call for the matter to be returned to the groups for a group conscience decision, and be brought back to the next ASC.