Friday, 31 May 2013 17:16
By 12th Moon,
Council held our regular monthly meeting on May 14 in The Space @ GreenStar with all Council Members attending most of the meeting. Losing no time after the annual Council elections, we had just held our annual Area Supervisors and Council dinner meeting on Friday, May 10, and held our annual retreat with our consultant from Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) all day on Saturday, May 11, with all three newly elected Council Members participating.
After removing two items from our agenda that were not ready for presentation yet, we moved on to receive the General Manager's (GM) monthly report. Brandon Kane, our GM, reported on progress made on the central kitchen and bakery to be constructed in our warehouse building at 700 W. Buffalo Street. He also reported that a new lease agreement had been signed with the developer seeking to build the Collegetown Crossings project (which would include a GreenStar satellite location), contingent on the City's removal of the parking requirements for the project. Brandon further informed us of a consumer product education service that he and Operations Manager Sara Paulison are investigating, provided by a firm entitled How Good (www.howgood.com), and he informed us that managers are looking at the possibility of selling the Ithaca Chai business. He also announced that our tax-exempt affiliate, GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), has hired a new staff support person, Luke Jones, is making progress on a donation drive, is continuing regular community networking dinner meetings, and is planning for an all-day event in the fall.
We next certified the voting results of our April Council elections and referendum vote, with much discussion around how people vote and what we could do in the future to guide members to submit the ballots whole (some members submitted their ballots cut into separate pieces for the various votes: Council, referendum, etc.). Look for the posted voting results at both stores and on our website, www.greenstar.coop. We then seated Patrice Lockert Anthony to fill our one vacant seat. A big welcome and thank you to Patrice and our two other new Council Members, who will be seated at our June 11 meeting, Courtney Mayszak and Scott Morris.
The GM's B.1 First Quarter Financial Report was next received and referred to our Finance Committee for review and a report back to Council at our June meeting. The First Quarter figures look good, with the stores continuing to make improvements.
Next we approved an amended 2013 stores budget. The budget we had approved last December included expenses for the Collegetown store project, which will not be happening this year, and the budget did not accurately reflect the costs associated with the central kitchen/bakery and public meeting space project.
Minutes from four past Council meetings came next on our agenda, and after amending two sets we tabled the rest, asking Council Members to send amendments electronically to our Board Administrator (BA) for inclusion in our June agenda pack. We have a back log of minutes left from a previous BA as well as minutes lost when a previous BA had her backpack and computer stolen from her car.
After our mid-meeting break we next approved, after some amendments, the GM's interpretations for policy B.11 "Education and Outreach." There are a few more sets of interpretations to be brought to Council before we can start a regular schedule of receiving GM Monitoring Reports, which will inform us of the stores' adherence to our policies.
Two Council Members who attended the "It Takes A Region" conference in Saratoga Springs in February gave a presentation of what they learned at the conference, which was organized by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and the Northeast Farm and Food Network.
A report back from an Immediacies Committee meeting held in conjunction with our April 30 Executive Planning Committee meeting came next on the agenda. We then received an application for a Member-at-Large seat on our Expansion Committee and approved the appointment of Peter Tringali. Welcome, Peter, and thank you for your service to our co-op.
Next we reviewed the work we had done over the weekend at our retreat and formed an ad hoc Ends Committee to draft our new Ends Policy, which is the only remaining Policy Governance–style policy to be written. Thanks to the eight Council Members who volunteered for the extra work.
Lastly, we approved sending a fourth Council Member to this year's Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference in Austin, Texas in June. We then adjourned a half-hour early.
By Dan Hoffman,
12th Moon, Kristen Kaplan, Eric Banford, Susan Beckley, Jessica Rossi and Mark Darling finished the counting in just under four hours.
412 Total valid envelopes
21 total invalid = 19- no ID, 1- first of two ballots, 1- no ballot in envelope
Also = 1- name tag, 5- 2 cent slips, 1- Member Labor Request and two wooden nickles.
Two thirds vote required to pass.
Q#1 = PASS
Q#2 = FAIL
Q#3 = PASS
Q#4 = PASS
Q#5 = PASS
Q#6 = PASS
GreenStar member-owners are the only ones who have the power to change the Co-op's bylaws, the organization's most basic and important document. There is an opportunity to do so (or not) during this month — at the Fall Member Meeting, at the stores, or by mail.
GreenStar's Council has established an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee, which started meeting again earlier this year, after being inactive for at least two years. Council had referred a couple of issues to the committee, which identified several more on its own. In August, Council voted (unanimously, except in the case of #2, below) to send the committee's six recommended bylaws amendments to the membership for a YES or NO vote on each of the following questions:
1. Should the Co-op be allowed to use a withdrawing member's refundable equity contribution [which could be up to $90] to pay off any outstanding debt the member has to the Co-op (such as for bad checks)?
2. Should all Council candidates and members be required to satisfy any requirements associated with operational licenses maintained or sought by the Co-op (such as to sell or serve alcohol)?
3. Should Council be allowed to conduct closed executive sessions for two additional topics — possible litigation or contract negotiations?
4. Should the composition of Council's Immediacies Committee be changed to match that described in Council policy, and that of the Executive Planning Committee?
5. Should the use of gender-specific pronouns (such as "he" or "she") be eliminated in the bylaws?
6. Should three "clerical errors" made when the bylaws were amended in 2010 be officially corrected?
Much more information on the proposed amendments, including detailed explanations, pro and con statements and voting instructions, are available in the Fall Member Mailing, which all current members should receive in the mail by October 6. Members can vote up until close of business on Oct. 31 at either store, by mailing in the ballot from the Mailing, or in person at the Fall Member Meeting, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Space.
By Alexis Alexander,
I have woken to a new day, a day when GreenStar's annual Member Meetings and pancakes are defined as pure elegance and inspiration. Surprised?
The morning after our Fall Member Meeting, I'm entranced by the experience of last night. I realize how far GreenStar has come over the years, and how integral and essential a partner we are in the wider regional food movement before us. Our roots as a buying club and grain store have matured into a multimillion-dollar community-based cooperative that affords us the ability, and the responsibility, to bring "real food," as Marketing Manager Joe Romano would say, back to a broader spectrum of our local and regional community. Read more...