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.
We next received the GM's annual Compensation Report for referral to our Personnel Committee for review and a future Report Back. Our Living Wage commitment will raise the base pay rate at GreenStar from $10.70 an hour to $11.80 an hour in 2014, while we will continue to offer our generous benefits package.
We next we received a Report Back from our Finance Committee regarding their review of the GM's 2nd Quarter Financial Report, and we approved the GM's B.1 2nd Quarter Financial Monitoring Report as being submitted on time, complete, and in compliance with our policies.
We tabled our next item, a proposal to purchase a $7,000 share in the National Cooperative Bank (NCB), to our November meeting as information that we had requested from NCB was not yet available. Instead we discussed and approved having the GM terminate an agreement with the National Cooperative Grocers Association's Development Cooperative (NCGA/DC) to assist us in our planning for the Central Bakery/Kitchen, a new satellite store in Collegetown, and an expanded West-End store. NCGA/DC has been of assistance but with the uncertainty of the Collegetown and West-End projects, as well as the upcoming completion of our Bakery/Kitchen and community room, we no longer see a need for their help until another expansion opportunity opens up.
The 2014 Council Budget came next on our agenda for the evening. We approved an amended version of our budget as presented last month and continue our commitment to our own training and education as well as to taking responsibility for more of the costs associated with our Membership meetings.
The last item prior to our break was our monitoring of policy D.1 Unity of Control. Ffter checking in with Brandon for his opinion, we found ourselves in compliance with the policy, which outlines who has the authority to direct the GM.
After our mid-meeting break we approved amended minutes of our last meeting and moved on to the task of selecting a Council Member to serve on the GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP) Board of Directors. Dan Hoffman will continue for another three-year term, filling the one seat on the GSCP Board that's reserved for an appointee of Council.
We next reviewed and discussed two sets of Council Expectation lists prepared by our Personnel Committee. One list outlines the expectations of individual Council Members and the other list outlines expectations for Council as a whole. The lists are extensive and generated much discussion that the Personnel Committee will take into account as they amend the lists to bring back to our November meeting.
Next, we approved the appointment of Domenic Gagliamo for a Member-at-Large seat on our Membership Committee. Welcome, Domenic, and thank you for your service to our co-op.
An item from last month's meeting that had been tabled came back for approval, regarding Policy C.8 Governance Investment, specifically the part about Council Compensation. The proposed amendments to our policy would put the compensation outline into C.8, a new Policy Governance style policy, as well as repeal the old policy 3.18 Monetary Compensation, and would add further attendance requirements. After much discussion and many amendments, the proposal was approved.
Our last agenda item of the evening was a proposal to join the Cooperative Development Services/Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CDS/CBLD) program for 2014. This will be the third year of our participation, which includes a retreat with our CBLD consultant, "Board Basics," an all-day workshop, Leadership Trainings, Cooperative Café-style Strategic Seminars, and ongoing consultation and assistance with our own development. The proposal was approved and we ended the meeting a few minutes 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
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...