Council - Announcements
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 12:47
The delcared candidates for 2015 GreenStar Council election are: Susan Beckley, Krys Cail, Liz Coakley, Waleter Hollien, Stefen Jirka, Kristen Kaplan, Patrice Lockert-Anthony, Deb Moore, Trisica Munroe, Jan Rhodes-Norman. Council Elecion April 1 - April 30, 2015.
Council - Announcements
Monday, 02 March 2015 00:02
By 12th Moon,
As many in GreenStar's membership have already heard, some member-owners who are part of the local organization Committee for Justice in Palestine (CJP) are in the process of gathering signatures for a petition seeking to bring a referendum before the Co-op's membership for a vote this fall. According to a draft shown to Council representatives, the proposed referendum would ask GreenStar to halt the sale of certain Israeli products that the CJP says are associated with the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Neither GreenStar, its Council, or the Co-op's management is associated with the petition. The Co-op has not endorsed it, nor does the Co-op have a position on the Israel-Palestine issue. A statement from Council regarding this potential referendum can be found at the Member Centers in our stores, and on the Co-op's website.
Since GreenStar's bylaws were adopted in 1984, any Co-op member-owner has had the right to initiate a petition requesting a binding member vote (referendum) on an issue. Council cannot act on a petition until it has received, verified, and reviewed it for minimum valid member signatures and correct form following all rules. Council must then decide whether the petition will go forward for a membership vote. Council may only reject the referendum if it would be in violation of our bylaws, or if it would be fiscally or legally irresponsible.
As a cooperative committed to democratic operation and constructive dialogue among our membership, we have a long history of allowing member-owners to bring their concerns forward, through referendums, tabling at the stores, and other means. Council and staff are bound by our bylaws and policies, and by state and federal laws where they apply.
I hope that an amicable and respectful conversation can come from this dialogue between two groups with differing viewpoints, who both say they wish for peace.
Council - Council News
Sunday, 01 March 2015 00:00
By 12th Moon,
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Council held its regular monthly meeting in the Classrooms @ GreenStar with eleven of thirteen Council Members, four staff members, and five member-owners in attendance. During agenda review, we tabled one item and added another, then moved on to announcements and member comments. A few member-owners shared concerns regarding a petition that is being written and circulated by members of the Central New York Committee for Justice in Palestine (CJP) that would call for a membership vote on a binding referendum calling for GreenStar to stop selling certain products from Israel. Those speaking at our meeting strongly disagreed with the concept and expressed concerns that GreenStar may be negatively affected by CJP tabling in our West-End store.
There has been some misunderstanding by some GreenStar member-owners, who have thought that GreenStar is associated with the CJP petition. Many do not fully understand our referendum process. Our bylaws give member-owners the right to collect signatures on a petition that calls for a member vote on a referendum as long as it follows the rules and forms as prescribed in our policies. Council, by a two-thirds majority vote, can reject a referendum petition after it is received, but only on grounds specified in the bylaws: if it lacks the required number of valid member signatures; if it is not in the form required by Council per Policy 2.7; if its passage would be inconsistent with the bylaws; or if its passage would be legally or fiscally irresponsible. To date, Council has not seen a final version of CJP's petition and we don't expect to receive it until sometime in March or April.
Moving on to our first item of business for the evening, we received the General Manager's (GM) monthly report. Our GM, Brandon Kane, reported that register receipts are now phenol-free, using vitamin-C–based coating instead of BPA or BPS, and that the new Member Deals program is being well received. Staff is currently working on the planning and design of the future Collegetown store, and is upgrading meat and beer refrigeration units in the West-End store. Renovations are being planned for the DeWitt store that include adding a new register at the rear store entrance and, if practical, covering over the stairway to the basement that is in the middle of the store. An exciting, but long-term, project is the redesign of shelf price tags to indicate as much educational information (vegan, gluten-free, local, How Good rating, etc.) about a particular product as possible, as well as update the unit pricing for consistency across departments.
Council - Special News
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 16:39
By Dan Hoffman,
Governance Committee Chair
How often do you have the chance to serve on the board of directors for a $20 million-a-year business, and to be a representative of over 10,000 member-owners of the enterprise?
That's the opportunity coming up soon for GreenStar members, as the Co-op prepares for its 34th annual Council election, in April. To appear on the ballot, a candidate must submit a written Declaration of Candidacy by March 1st. Now is the time to start thinking about whether running for and serving on the Council would be the right thing for you (or someone you know) to do.
There are 15 seats on Council, and the staggered terms of elected directors are normally 3 three years, so at least 5 five seats are open each year (for incumbents or newcomers to vie for). Due to an unusually high number of resignations (5five) from Council Members since the 2014 election, a whopping 9 (nine (!) seats will be filled in this year's election. The only time since the Council was created that there were more seats to be filled was in 2010, when 10 slots were available. This year, the top 5 five vote-getters will win 3-year terms, while the next 4 four will earn one1-year terms.
You may ask: What are the benefits of being serving on the Council? There are quite a few.
You will receive a super worker discount: 17.5% percent off most items you buy at GreenStar, for you and your partner (or, another single-adult household you designate).
You will receive a modest monetary stipend (between $600 and $1,800/year, depending on whether or not you're a committee chair or the President.), assuming your attendance is regular.
You will learn more than you can imagine about governing the Co-op, business finances, running effective meetings, cooperatives in general, etc. As a result of the experience, you' will be better equipped to serve in other leadership positions. One former Council member Member became Mayor of Ithaca; another went on to work for the White House.
You will get to meet, know, and work with many other involved, dedicated GreenStar leaders, staff, and members. You will make new friends.
You will be helping to maintain and improve an important, democratic, community-controlled institution that has survived, grown, and evolved for more than 4 four decades.
Serving on the Council is also a serious responsibility. You are expected to attend Council meetings (at least one three-hour-long meeting perce a month, for approximately 3 hours); serve on at least one committee (most Council Mmembers are on more than one; most committees meet at least once a month); attend Membership meetings and forums, and other Co-op events; take part in orientation sessions and other training opportunities; prepare for meetings and decisions, by checking email regularly and reviewing reports and agenda materials; become familiar with the Co-op's bylaws, policies, and decision-making procedures; maintain strict confidentiality when necessary; and treat your colleagues respectfully.
In 2014, as GreenStar applied for a license to serve alcohol at The Space, and to renew its liquor license for the West- End store. T, the Co-op was subjected to stricter scrutiny than in the past, and became aware of criteria all Council members Members must meet, in order for the Co-op to maintain these and other operational licenses (such as for food processing). As a result, Council has decided to ask all candidates for election or appointment to Council to indicate in writing whether they will be able to satisfy all these requirements, which include the following:
- not engaged in any other alcohol-related business;
- no convictions for felonies or alcohol or prostitution-related offenses (unless expunged);
- US citizenship or permanent resident alien status;
- over 21 years of age (by the time one is seated on Council);
- not a police officer; and
- no revocation of previously-held liquor license or violation of NYS liquor law (in past 2 two years).
The 2015 Declaration of Candidacy forms (which include several other questions candidates are requested to answer) will also be available by Jan. 7 at the stores. Prospective candidates are encouraged to attend a Council meeting, to see what they would be getting themselves into prior to the elections. Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month (e.g., January 13th and February 10th), at 6:30 pm, in GreenStar's Classroomthe Classrooms @ GreenStar building (across Buffalo Street from the West End store).
Another In addition to attending a meeting or two, another good idea way to get a sense for what Council service entails is to speak directly to a current Council memberMember. In January and February, look for Council members Members tabling at the stores, at various times, with an "Ask Me About about Running for Council" banner. They will be prepared to discuss what being on Council is like, and to answer your questions. You can also submit your queries to GreenStar's Council.
Is this the time for you to serve your Co-op in this rewarding but challenging way? Please give it some thought - — before March 1st.
Council - Council News
Sunday, 01 February 2015 20:47
By 12th Moon,
Council held the first meeting of the new year on Jan. 13 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar with eleven of twelve Council Members, four staff members, and four member-owners in attendance. During announcements it was reported that Council Member Keith Babuszczak had resigned since our last meeting as he has moved from the area, and a Member-at-Large on our Personnel Committee resigned because of family and work responsibilities. Appreciations to you both for your input and service to our Co-op — we wish you the best.
Our first agenda item came from our General Manager (GM), Brandon Kane, presenting the monthly GM Report. In the report, Brandon gave an overview of the ups and downs experienced during 2014 and then an outline of plans for the year ahead. With all of the construction projects of last year behind us — creating our central kitchen, catering department, and a large gathering space, repaving the parking lots, and adding a second restroom to the West-End store — the focus this coming year will be on planning and preparations for a Collegetown store.
The second item on the agenda — proposed amendments to our Collegetown location lease — was first moved toward the end of the meeting and then referred to an Immediacies Committee meeting called to coincide with the Executive Planning Committee's regular monthly meeting on Jan. 27. The amendments were necessitated by changes in the building design and an unresolved location for refrigeration compressors. Once the compressors have a home, we should be able to move forward.
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