Letters to the Editor
I write regarding the petition process and will try to keep my remarks short.
Here is how I see it:
- The financial cost of running and serving as an AAPG officer is high. I recall at a dinner, one past President explained that if elected, one serves AAPG for somewhere between 5 to 7 years, and only about 1/3 of candidate travel is covered. It became apparent that the financial commitment of serving as AAPG President was an estimated low to middle six figure amount of personal funds. Not many people can afford this, and therefore the pool shrinks. I'm sure for other officers, the amount is less, but not trivial.
- Perhaps AAPG needs to increase travel allowances for candidates, and provide a respectable honorarium to long-serving officers (like presidents) to open up the candidate pool and overcome the current implied, but unstated, financial barrier (commitment).
- The AC appears to function like any nominating committee and slates will vary from year to year, depending on interest and availability. No changes in the current process are needed.
- If a person wants to run as a petition candidate, by all means let them. Their willingness to do so shows a strong commitment to AAPG. The ability to run as a petition candidate speaks to AAPG's openness as a professional society (a huge positive).
I recommend increasing the necessary signatures to at least 100 AAPG members from wherever a petition candidate wants to get them. I think it is both fruitless and petty to impugn any motives ranging from the suspicious to the bizarre, or to imply that a certain region feels neglected in the nomination process.
Remember, petition candidates still must carry a majority of the votes cast by AAPG, and no single region or area has enough members to do that. The only exception is the USA as a country, and past election of International candidates demonstrates that the US AAPG members are fair and willing to consider accomplishment and ability rather than geography or nationality.
To sum it up, I think the raising of the petition candidate issue is minor compared to other needs AAPG should address
I am the former Secretary/Treasurer for the Latin America Region and have been one of the contributors to the Regions Bylaws. I would prefer the name Central and South American Region. The Caribbean is usually silent in the name and the "Region" should never be referred as Caribbean-Latin American Region.
I would recommend having the Caribbean Region become a separate Region because for the several years I served as the Secretary/Treasurer, much effort was spent in trying to get the entire region south of North America to work as a group. It hasn't to date contrary to the information printed by the new President for the Region. The Region as it is defined is too big to manage and my experience reveals that representation also becomes a problem. This issue has been discussed before and with all the hard work done by AAPG I would really wish to see a more efficient system of representation and growth.
So my recommendation is to call the Region Central and South America, and have the Caribbean Region separate. The Delegates Voice stated that the Bylaws list the Latin American Regions as the Mexico, Central America and South America Region. Note that the Caribbean was not mentioned.
Thanks for requesting feedback.