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Minutes of June 15, 2004 SLAA Business Meeting

Members present are: Ket, Marabel, Steve, TimF, crossmage=James, Debbie, Peter, JoelR, carebear=Carrie, Cudbme, Darren, lauramac=Laura, Jon, DougP, Circe

Steve is the Chair for this meeting, and TimF opens with an announcement before formally starting the meeting at 10:03 PM EST on Tuesday, June 15, 2004.

TimF shares the following announcement:

"Subject: Computer Internet Committee
Greetings:
I am Irv B, Co-chair of the Computer Information Committee to the Annual Business meeting for FWS (Fellowship Wide Services). We at the CIC would like to tender an issue to the online fellowship(s).

We are planning to make an issue for discussion/storyboard presentation at the Annual Business Meeting (ABM):

How would the group be represented at the ABM
How would these group(s) work a 7th Tradition
There are issues of anonymity and safety online

We, the CIC, recognize the growing role of the SLAAONLINE groups and the reality of their contribution to the fellowship as a whole.

I would like an open dialog about these issues at your next business meeting which, if you wish, I shall attend.

Another member of our committee, Bill M (Montreal) who is also a member of the Public Information Committee would also like to attend. As I understand that meeting is June 15th?

In Service
Irv B.

Please feel free to use this email address to respond. I am also a member of InterFellowshiop and Charter Conference Committees as well and would be glad to bring the online fellowship into the conscience of the larger FWS group. As you are an online fellowship grow worldwide, spreading the message and reaching out with our primary purpose of bringing help to the addict who still suffers, we hope that we can help each other in these efforts. The ABC/M is Tuesday, July 20 10am-Friday, July 23 2pm in Dedham, Massachusetts. That gives our group about 5 weeks to reply to his concerns."

TimF notes, "That is an announcement (not an order of business) - although in NEW BUSINESS, perhaps we could establish a committee to quickly handle this matter (hint, hint).

At 10:07 pm EST, Steve formally opens the meeting with the Serenity Prayer.

TimF shares, "Marabel and TimF are quite familiar with OLD and NEW business...so we are both willing to help."

Steve asks, "Have we got the minutes posted from last month?"

TimF replies, "Yes - several days ago."

"What's the address?" asks Steve.

"http://slaaonline.org/minutes/040415.html" answers Tim.

"That's April, no?" asks Steve.

Marabel interrupts, "Yes, that is April."

TimF says, "Whoops, http://slaaonline.org/minutes/040515.html"

Steve says, "Error 404, page not found," and smiles.

Tim agrees, "I see. Ditto."

Marabel nods, "Yup."

TimF answers, "Let me try to resolve that quickly. So sorry, fixed now."

"Thanks, Tim." replies Steve.

Tim shares, "Apparently only the officers were privy to this ahead of time - my apologies. Yes, posted now."

Steve takes the floor. "Let's take a few minutes to review last month's minutes."

Four minutes later, Steve asks, "Any corrections to the minutes?

Ket replies, "Great".

Marabel answers, "They look fine to me," and smiles.

Steve asks, "May we have a motion to accept the minutes?"

Marabel raises her hand, saying, "Moves to accept the minutes"

TimF responds, "I was present and reviewed the copy that the Secretary sent (Marabel) - I have no additions or corrections. Seconds."

Steve answers, "Normally, a motion and a second would be all that is required...(I) thinks it better that motion not be made by author," and winks. TimF nods.

JoelR seconds the motion, and Steve thanks him.

"Okay, moving on...Old Business," continues Steve. "We agreed to look over our new behavior guidelines and we oughta discuss the nomination process. Any other old business before we begin?"

Tim replies, "You are correct with regard to OLD Business, Steve."

Steve continues, "Ok, thanks Tim. Behavior guidelines...we've had new behavior guidelines on our new site for quite some time, and we'd like to have consensus so that we can make them formal and official. Floor is open for discussion."

James asks for the url for guidelines, and TimF shares "http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html (NEW)". Steve thanks Tim, and Tim raises his hand for the floor.

TimF shares, "At the last business meeting, the Website Committee proposed the following motion: 'The Website Committee respectfully asks group conscience approves the new behavior guidelines webpage and allows new adjustments to the slaaonline.org website be incorporated as reviewed by the website committee without further need for group conscience -- knowing that the site and committee will respect the S.L.A.A. Traditions.' This can be handled in one single motion - or broken down into two motions, if necessary. The real point is that the MAJOR difference between our OLD site (used to be on angelfire.com) and our NEW site (now at slaaonline.org) is with regard to the behavior guidelines!

The NEW guidelines are more clear and unambiguous: they represent several changes that were made over the last few years that were not updated at the original site. The point of this motion is NOT to "CHANGE" the current behavior guidelines - that can be done down the road with group conscience - but the NEW site's guidelines are more simple to read and clear so that ALL members are more clear about our appropriate and CURRENT guidelines. Changing them is a future matter, but the NEWER guidelines are more accurate and unambiguous.

The secondary part to this request is that once approved, since that is the MAJOR change, that the Website Committee may continue to develop and expand the slaaonline.org website without needing further group conscience (assuming it is already based upon committee group conscience and follows our Traditions). Whether this is one motion or two separate motions, I support them both."

Ket asks, "Just on the issue of in the future web committee, can make changes without bringing it to the group - who is on the committee?"

Tim replies, "I can best answer that - one moment." Tim then pulls up the names and e-mail addresses of those on the Website Committee:

Cathy - mamacat144@hotmail.com
Marabel - marabelb@marabelsplace.com
Sisterjam - sisterjameela@yahoo.com
TimF - timothyf@comcast.net
VJ=Vicki - liberty4all@ureach.com
Steve - steve@sexrecovery.org
EricS (of www.sacslaa.homestead.com) - straats.msn.com
Michael-dR=Michael David - MoreViolas@aol.com
JayFitz=Jay - jayfitz@bayou.com

Ket answers, "Ok, thanks. So it's well represented then."

Joel takes the floor. "Two issues - One, a motion to put up the new guidelines. I am in favor of that. Two, to make future changes of the website a function of the web committee. My thoughts are, the web committee is shackled if every little change has to go through a monthly meeting and a motion. I do think, however, that major changes probably should be brought to a meeting. What's a major change? I'm not sure really, but the maintenance stuff and things that need to be done to keep a website running certainly should not have to wait 30, 60 or 90 days to be approved - nothing would ever get done - and with that, I'm done."

Ket says, "Well, I agree with Joel wholeheartedly. The committee are Trusted Servants. Trusted Servants begin the operative word. I believe this is noted in other fellowship committees' guidelines on what to allow. Joel's 2nd point I believe only if they (the committee themselves) can't agree, to then bring it before the group or if any one person in the committee does not agree on the vote to bring it to the group as a whole, cause the minority should be heard."

Steve replies, "Thanks Ket, appreciate your focus on the Traditions."

Cudbme responds and smiles, "Thank you, Tim, well done, principles before personalities. Thank you kind sir."

Ket laughs.

Cudbme takes the floor. "I think what Joel said is appropriate with regard to updating the guidelines being as they are in plain sight to anyone interested and has objections, and none noted. I agree with reservation with allowing full allowance to all changes from this point on as that sets precedence to words inscribed in stone, as some may come back and slap that onto someone not present to see that the guidelines were correctly worded. However, I'm sure there is a lot of trivial guidelines that go without saying are just common sense, and pretty much vanilla guidelines pretty much known by all members of any 12 step group.

However, I think any major changes that effect the general tone of the group conscious that would effect warnings or bans should be addressed by group conscious, or guidelines that are presently being construed to address present situations and these guidelines are being implemented to address these issues.

I think it only fair to those that are being 'guided' by such guidelines ample opportunity to address the guidelines if such is the case, not that I have any such concerns (grins)! Otherwise, progress should be made all possible with ample functionality to the committee that does seem well represented. Those are my thoughts and concerns."

Tim shares, "I'm seeing a lot of consensus here..."

Steve quietly "reminds all of the need for speed", and smiles.

Tim continues, "1. With regard to any MAJOR changes - I certainly agree that takes group conscience. 2. All the NEW pages have an email address at the bottom - so that ANY member may voice ANY concern. 3. ANY member is welcome to additionally join the Website Committee. All that being said, I move: 'The Website Committee respectfully asks group conscience approves the new behavior guidelines webpage and allows new adjustments to the slaaonline.org website be incorporated as reviewed by the Website Committee without further need for group conscience -- knowing that the site and committee will respect the S.L.A.A. Traditions."

Ket asks, "Can we get a copy of the SLAA group guidelines?"

Steve replies, "I presume they are available on the website: http://www.slaafws.org ."

TimF also shares, "http://slaaonline.org/guidelines.html"

Marabel takes the floor.

Marabel shares, "I agree to the motion, however I wanted to share a note or two about some possible "tweaks" that may be needed..."

Tim says, "Point of order - that is NEW BUSINESS." Steve agrees.

Marabel continues, "Point taken, thanks Tim."

Steve continues, "We have a motion on the floor. Do we have a second?"

Tim asks, "Tim, do you mind if this is two motions?"

Tim answers, "Not at all."

Steve asks, "Would you like to present an amended motion or motion(s), Joel?"

Joel replies, "Yes, if Tim will withdraw his motion."

Tim reminds, "Realize that business meetings last 90 minutes - with NO new business after 75 minutes. We have one other OLD BUSINESS item and two items of NEW BUSINESS. Please be respectful."

Steve asks, "Is that agreeable,Tim?"

Tim answers, "No. Motion is on floor with NO second. Discussion is still occurring. I'm interested in Joel's point of view."

Steve notes, "'Tis true."

(Marabel notes that members present at this time are the following: Circe=Susan, Cudbme, Ket, JoelR, Marabel, Steve, TimF, crossmage=James, Doug)

Steve asks Joel, "Will you elaborate, Joel?"

Marabel comments, "Would like to hear Joel's proposal."

Joel answers, "I liked Ket's suggestion that any member of the committee could have "veto" rights on a change, and if the change was therefore vetoed by a member it would go to the group." Ket nods, "Yes, practical."

TimF notes, "Is open to a friendly amendment to include that."

Joel asks Tim, "How do we do that, Tim, with a motion on the floor?"

Ket laughs and notes, "And friendly, lol".

Cudbme agrees, "That is practical as an amendment."

Steve replies, "Seems we have agreement in principle. We need an amended motion. Who'd like to present an amended motion?"

TimF shares an amended motion - "The website committee respectfully asks group conscience approves the new behavior guidelines webpage and allows new adjustments to the slaaonline.org website be incorporated as reviewed by the website committee without further need for group conscience -- knowing that the site and committee will respect the S.L.A.A. Traditions. As the committee reviews changes - if ANY change is of concern to ANY committee member - then the change will be brought before group conscience for a final conclusion."

TimF replies, "Is agreeable to that friendly amendment if Joel is."

JoelR seconds, and Cudbme says, "Fair enough."

Steve responds, "Okay, motion and 2nd." Ket laughs. Steve continues, "Please vote + for aye, - for nay, or x for abstain."

The motion passes with a majority vote. Seven of nine members voted yes, with no members with "nay" votes and two members abstained.

Steve continues. "Okay, nomination process. I've accepted the position as Chair, unopposed. Tim as webmaster, also unopposed. Cudbme as Secretary, unopposed as well. No nominations for co-webmaster..."

Circe, Ket, and Marabel send out "Woohoos", and Cudbme says, "Congrats, fellow servants," and braces for impact.

Steve asks, "Any discussion on how we might fill the co-webmaster position?"

Tim shares, "Long ago, we did NO'T have a Co-Webmaster. Later, we decided that this was important, mostly because I was Webmaster a while back - and I'm a real sicko! LOL, frankly hospitalized many times.

Since nominations have closed, I've heard from two people that were interested, both web-savvy. I would hate to make constraints of one over the other. I like the idea that we let this position be OPEN for a month or two and allow NEW nominations (including self-nominations) after the new officers are in place and revisit this issue after 90 days."

Joel shares, "I agree."

Cudbme takes the floor. "Well, I agree with Tim that to just choose one candidate over another because of the vacancy is a bit against all the hype earlier that we needed to be very fair about who was taking count of the votes, and then just choose one and fill it because...heh...we underestimated the nominee zeal to hold positions?"

Ket notes, "Good point."

Cudbme continues, "As it was once not needed, so as such it would seem possible to live without for a time. It does seem a "process" of co-chair nomination and election be held if needed so that the conscious that everyone who feels it was crucial to fair process feels we didn't Bush it into power. Thanks for the time, my thoughts."

Tim remarks, "Hopefully I won't be in the mental health ward soon."

Ket laughs and says, "Deary me" and hugs Tim.

Steve notes, "Time is short, friends. Do we need a motion, or shall we table?"

Tim moves "that we extend the time of this meeting by 15 minutes (including time for NEW business by 15 minutes)."

Steve looks for a second, and Marabel seconds. Steve asks, "Any objections?"

Tim shares, "All are encouraged to vote. Please type + for yes; - for no; x for abstain."

(Marabel notes that Susan, Cudbme, Joel, Ket, Marabel, Steve, Tim and James are present.)

Six vote "yes" to extend the meeting, one votes to abstain, and one member abstains by not responding. The motion is passed to extend the meeting for another 15 minutes.

Steve asks, "Further discussion on the Co-Webmaster position?"

Tim makes a motion, "That we allow the position of Co-Webmaster to remain vacant for until 10/1 - as we acquire new nominations through 8/31 and acquire votes through 9/30."

Steve asks for further discussion, and Circe seconds Tim's motion.

"Time to vote. All are encouraged to vote. Please type + for yes; - for no; x for abstain," Steve responds.

Seven approve Tim's motion, and one member abstains. The motion carries.

"Okay, that's it for old business. Marabel, any new business received in the slaaonline@yahoo.com mailbox? If not, we'll open the floor for any other new business." Steve asks.

Tim asks, "Marabel, shall I field this?"

Marabel answers, "None in the slaa box, unless Tim has any?"

Tim remarks, "One new item in the new SLAA ONLINE FORUM regarding 'feedback' and 'crosstalk'. Little time now, but I encourage everyone to review this. Also, earlier Marabel (and others) have suggested making more additions to the behavior guidelines. I'm glad the original document passed, but think on this - both have merits."

"Okay, any other new business or discussion of Tim's share?" asks Steve.

Marabel shares, "I think a definition of "cross-talk" on our site is in order, since it is mentioned, but I'm not sure folks understand exactly what it is. Also same for "toxic, triggering and inappropriate". If there is a general guideline for what those terms mean, folks might better know when they've crossed a line...just a thought."

Tim answers in feedback, "The page about behavior guidelines is 95% complete. There is ALSO a page about etiquette/formats. That page is 0% complete, yet I have ideas. Another thing for the Website Committee. I completely agree. Engaging in 'crosstalk' or 'triggering language' is NOT typically going to get a member banned, but it is so very important for members to know boundaries. I hope you help me in the creation of this page."

Marabel nods, "Exactly. Sure."

Susan shares, "I agree with Marabel, and Tim, just this morning I referred a newcomer to the etiquette page because she wondered if she had crossed the line - only it's blank, so I referred her to the behavior page. Just now I noticed someone corrected the person who was sharing's spelling...stuff like that can really hurt someone's feelings, especially if they can't spell well. So guidelines that are more detailed would be helpful."

Cudbme takes the floor. "I just want to share that although there are places that good guidelines are required..."

Tim interrupts, "All are welcome to join the Website Committee!"

Cudbme continues, "Thanks, Tim...I just wondered about what the prevailing guideline should be, whether by the law of guidelines, or by the spirit of good intents."

Ket says, "I agree."

Tim notes, "Guidelines and etiquette are different. Guidelines may get you warned/banned. Etiquette is simply that - yet VERY important."

"Good point as well Tim," replies Cudbme.

Circe notes, "Is interested in the Website Committee". Tim jokes, "Signs Susan up (press hard - five copies)".

Marabel smiles, "Come on board".

Steve asks, "Cud, done?"

Cudbme continues, "Ok, well...let me listen further and discharge and further disruption for now. Enough with computer hanging up here. Yea Steve, done."

TimF moves to adjourn the meeting. Steve looks for a second. Marabel seconds.

"Thanks, meeting adjourned. Let's close with a prayer. Who will lead us?" asks Steve.

Tim and Ket both raise their hands, and Tim yields to Ket.

Ket asks, "The 7th Tradition - can we call another meeting before the next business meeting?"

Tim replies to Ket, "Any specific Meeting may do that, but we conduct monthly business meetings on the 15th of every month for our group conscience."

Steve answers Ket, "Let's discuss this informally after our prayer, shall we?"

Tim then closes the meeting at 11:44 PM EST with the following prayer from page 86 of the AA Big Book:

God,
Direct my thinking today so that it be empty of self-pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and fear.
Forgive me where I have been resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid today.
Inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions.
Help me to relax and take it easy.
Free me from doubt and indecision.
Guide me through this day and show me my next step and what I need to do to take care of any problems.
Help me to not keep anything to myself but to discuss it all openly with another person.
Show me where I owe an apology and help me make it.
Help me to be kind and loving to all people.
Use me in the mainstream of life.
Free me of worry, remorse or morbid (sick) reflections.
I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service and usefulness to you and my fellow mankind.
In the spirit of the steps I pray,
AMEN.

These are my last minutes, for sure. Thanks all for allowing me to serve.

Repectfully submitted,
Marabel, Outgoing Secretary
#SLAA Online Group