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,
Member, Bylaws Review Committee
There could be some changes in store for GreenStar's bylaws — but only if enough member-owners vote in October, and only if a "super majority" of them (two-thirds) vote to make the changes. The Co-op's Council will decide at its Aug. 11 meeting which proposed bylaws amendments will be sent to the membership this year.
A group's bylaws are like a City's charter or a state's constitution — containing the most basic values and rules by which it is to be guided and governed. It's considered a "best practice" for organizations such as GreenStar to review their bylaws regularly, and to propose and adopt changes as needed. GreenStar has an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee (BRC) for that purpose. After being dormant for a couple of years, it was reactivated in March to consider bylaws changes that might be proposed in the fall of 2015, and beyond.
Currently, the committee includes four Council members (12th Moon, who chairs it, Patrice Lockert Anthony, Kristen Kaplan, and yours truly), two staff members appointed by the General Manager (Human Resources Manager Michael Hoysic and Membership Manager Alexis Alexander), and at-large member Jenny Caldwell. (Two at-large seats remain unfilled. If you think you might be interested, please fill out and submit an application — available at the stores or at www.greenstar.coop.)
Out of 581 total ballots, 49 were invalid (39 no ID at all, 1 voted for 10, 1 second ballot, 2 not members and 5 came late in the mail). 532 Valid ballots - less one empty envelope
Elected for 3 year terms:
1- Liz Coakley = 407
2- Trisica Munroe = 391
3- Jan Rhodes Norman = 362
4- Krys Cail = 351
5- Stefan Jirka = 337
For a one year terms:
6- Susan Beckley = 335
7/8-- Eric Banford = 329
7/8 - Patrice Anthony =329
9- Kristen Kaplan = 291
10- Walter Hollien = 216
11- Deborah Moore = 122
Special thanks to Laura Buttenbaum, Ellen Brown and Brian Henehan.
By Alexis Alexander,
As students return to Ithaca in late August, GreenStar will be hosting a two-week extravaganza of celebration and education. Two exciting celebratory events are planned, along with two opportunities for members and nonmembers to learn more about co-ops, including the history of the cooperative movement and its impact on local and global communities.
Topping the list of events to watch for is a performance by the amazing hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, who will be playing at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the newly renovated Ithaca Commons on Thur...