Council - Special News
Thursday, 02 January 2014 21:17
By Colin Meeks, Council Member
We all love our Co-op, but have you ever found yourself wishing it could be a little different? Are there areas where you think we could improve or be more effective, or other directions you think we should be moving in? Well, now is a good time to stand up and make your voice heard. GreenStar will conduct its annual Council election this spring, which provides an opportunity for you to get involved on a whole different level.
Every year, GreenStar member-owners elect at least five people (more if there are vacancies to fill) to serve on Council. The only requirement is to be a member-owner in good standing (being current on your equity payments and not having violated the Standards of Conduct). You also need a desire to make your Co-op and community a better place and the time and inclination to do so. Each month, the time commitment includes one Council meeting (on the second Tuesday, at 6:30 pm) for three hours, at least one active committee meeting for two hours, and the time to prepare for these meetings. In addition, there are periodic Membership Meetings, trainings, tabling, and special events. A full Council term is three years; those elected to fill vacancies may win terms of one or two years.
In exchange for your service, you are rewarded with a super-worker discount (17.5% off delicious, healthy food and other groceries!), a modest monetary stipend ($600/year) and, most important, the knowledge that you are helping GreenStar to remain the amazing community resource we all rely upon.
Council - Council News
Sunday, 01 December 2013 21:24
By 12th Moon,
Utilizing our newly designated classroom space, in the former Enterprise car rental building, Council held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12 with all fifteen members in attendance. We quickly moved to the first business item on our agenda, the General Manager's (GM's) monthly report. GM Brandon Kane reported that staff are busy constructing next year's stores budget as they prepare for the holiday season. Both the budget structure and operational monitoring procedures are being updated to accommodate our soon-to-be-functional central kitchen and bakery, as well as our renovated Space @ GreenStar. With the bakery vacating the Oasis store and the West-End classroom having moved across the street, plans are being made for the renovations of those two areas. Meanwhile, construction continues on schedule for the kitchen and community spaces in the warehouse building. We are still anticipating that the Space will be ready for the Winter Farmers Market in January, and the kitchen/bakery will be ready for occupancy in February.
Brandon also told us that products certified by the Non-GMO project at both Oasis and the West End have now been labeled. This is an ongoing project as more products become certified. "How Good" labeling has been delayed by a few weeks as we discovered a formatting error on the tags when we began to place them on our shelves.
Brandon next submitted the GM's B.1 3rd Quarter Financial Report, which was referred to our Finance Committee for a report back next month. Our next item was a report back on the GM's Compensation Report. It was found to be complete and submitted on time, and shows our commitment to our employees' benefits.
Council - Council News
Friday, 01 November 2013 14:18
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the "Just Be Cause" Not-for-Profit Development Center at 1013 West MLK/State Street. We're hoping that our meetings will be held on GreenStar property in the future, as Enterprise Rent-a-Car moved to their new location in mid-October, allowing us to transform that building into meeting and classroom space.
General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane presented his monthly GM report as our first item. Brandon informed us of the plans to renovate the former Enterprise building and that the Central Bakery/Kitchen and adjacent community room project are on schedule. The community room should be completed in time for the Winter Farmers Market starting in January and the Bakery/Kitchen should be ready to move into by February. Brandon also told us that the Co-op's Managers and Assistant Managers are preparing to implement Open Book Management (OBM) at GreenStar for 2014. The basic idea behind OBM is to have departments look closely at their contribution to our co-op's success on a regular basis and with a large degree of investment in the outcomes. This kind of staff-driven department management has been gaining momentum in the co-op network on a national level.
Brandon also told us that shelf tags from the Non-GMO project are in place at both stores, and the addition of the How Good shelf tags, as well as a kiosk at the West-End store, is progressing. In addition to the kiosk, which provides additional information on product ratings, there is a downloadable app for smart phones that provides access to the same information.
Council - Council News
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 21:37
By 12th Moon,
Council met at the Human Services Building at 320 West MLK/State St. on Sept. 17, the third Tuesday of the month, because the 10% on the 10th sales day fell on the second Tuesday in September. Our General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane was in Seattle at a national co-op GM conference, so Sara Paulison, Operations Manager, presented Brandon's monthly GM report. We learned that the construction projects at our warehouse property were on schedule and that the Enterprise rental staff plan to move into their new location by mid-October, so we'll be able to use that building for classes and meetings by November. Our newly renovated public gathering area at the north end of the warehouse building should be completed in time for the Winter Farmers Market in January; the central kitchen and bakery should be ready for occupancy by February. With help from P.J. Hoffman, the Business Development Director for the National Cooperative Grocers Association, staff will develop an expansion plan for both the West End and Oasis that will capitalize on the space and capacity gained by the central kitchen/bakery project. The improvements at both stores will happen in early to mid 2014 and are being incorporated into the proposed budget for next year, a year that will also see a living wage increase from $10.70/hr. to $11.80/hr. Brandon also reported that starting in January of 2014 he will institute Open Book Management, a way of involving staff in the Co-op's finances on a much deeper level, which will not only increase transparency but also draw more engagement from all concerned.
Our next item was a revised GM's B.1 1st Quarter Financial report, which was necessitated by the discovery of a mistaken inventory count from the 1st quarter. The report was approved and we next received the GM's B.1 2nd Quarter Financial report, which was accepted and referred to our Finance Committee for review and a report back to Council at our October meeting.
A proposal to use $7,000 of the Co-op's savings to purchase a share in the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) was tabled until next month after many questions were raised. Staff was asked to provide more rationale and more background. NCB has already agreed to loan us as much as $700,000 to complete the central kitchen/bakery project if needed.
Council - Special News
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:47
Proposed Bylaws Amendments (That Would Make Member-Owner Capital Contributions Refundable)
Should Article V ("Membership") of the Bylaws of GreenStar Cooperative Market be amended as shown below, in order to make required capital contributions from member-owners refundable (subject to the conditions described in section V.C.4)?
[NOTE: existing language proposed to be deleted is stricken; language proposed to be added is bolded & underlined.]
C. Capital Contributions by Members-Owners ...
4. Provided that doing so will not substantially jeopardize the cooperative's ability to meet its capital needs as may be determined in the sole discretion of Council and according to fiscally prudent standards established by the Council, the cooperative shall, upon request, refund the annual or special capital contributions that were made by a qualified "withdrawing member-owner," subject to the conditions set forth in this section. A withdrawing member-owner is one who, in writing, has relinquished membership, or whose membership has been terminated for failure to meet the conditions of membership, or who has died. To qualify for such as refund, a withdrawing member-owner (or the representative of a deceased member-owner's estate) must first submit to the cooperative a written request for a refund. Any refund shall not exceed the original amount paid by the member-owner, and shall not include interest or dividend of any kind. The cooperative may deduct from any such refund any debt the member-owner owes to the cooperative. All required capital contributions shall be non-refundable, except Iin the event of dissolution of the cooperative, in which case member capital shall be refunded in accordance with Section XV.C.2 of these Bylaws.
E. Suspension, Relinquishment and Termination of Membership
1. Any member A member-owner may voluntarily relinquish his or her that person's membership by submitting a written resignation to the cooperative and returning his or her membership/renewal certificate(s).
2. Failure to meet the conditions of membership,including make timely payment of any required capital contribution shall constitute forfeiture result in suspension of membership, and/or grounds for termination of membership and all related benefits, until such contribution is made, unless the Council establishes a general deadline for delayed payment of such contributions and the member-owner in question fails to meet any such deadline, which failure shall result in automatic termination of that membership.
3. Furthermore, tThe Council may terminate a membership, only for cause, for failure to comply with any other condition of membership, after a hearing to which the member-owner in question has been duly invited upon at least one week's notice, and a two-thirds majority vote by the Council.
4. Membership is deemed terminated upon the death of a member-owner.
5. Reapplication for membership after a membership has been relinquished or terminated, and a capital contribution has been refunded, shall be subject to full repayment of the refund proceeds and a reasonable reprocessing fee, if any.
6. If termination was involuntary (other than failure to make a required capital contribution), the reapplication must be approved by the Council.
all voting materials.
Member-owners should have control over their investment
Pro Statement by Keith Babuszczak, Membership Committee Chair
GreenStar, and all cooperatives, are democratic organizations made up of those who voluntarily join together to support each other and a variety of greater causes. These values were held by the Rochdale Pioneers and are written into the first principle of the International Co-operative Alliance: "voluntary and open membership."
The bylaws change up for a vote throughout October, (ballot and text on p. 6-7), would enable member-owners, when
they choose to leave, to receive a refund of the equity they paid into the cooperative following specific guidelines and only if refunding the money will not put GreenStar in financial risk. Member-owners will not be able to repeatedly leave and join again without paying back their full divestment.
As member-owners, we did more than just join GreenStar. We examined our consciences and resources, and invested in the cooperative. Member-owners should have control over their investment. This should include being able to voluntarily withdraw their investment and ownership stake. There are many reasons member-owners may wish to divest; for example, they may
move and want to invest in a local cooperative elsewhere.
GreenStar enjoys many benefits from the federal and state government. By allowing refundable equity when member-owners choose to leave our co-op, we ensure that we are aligned to various statutes and best practices of cooperatives.
In drafting this change, we researched cooperatives and support organizations throughout the state and nationally. We also got advice from a lawyer who works closely with cooperatives.
Refundable equity follows best practices of cooperatives and promotes voluntary and open membership in GreenStar. We ask that you approve these changes.
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