Monday, 03 February 2014 00:11
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Tuesday, Jan. 14 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar for our first meeting of the year, with 12 of our 15 members, a number of Co-op staff, and three visitors in attendance. We heard that GreenStar had contributed one of four buses that took community members to Albany for the governor's State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 8, to express their desire to continue a moratorium on hydrofracking in New York. This and other community donations made it possible for almost 70 high school students from New Roots and LACS to attend the rally. We received much appreciation from the rally participants and the schools.
Brandon Kane, our General Manager (GM), presented the first item of business, his monthly report. Brandon informed us that total gross sales for last year were above $18 million for both stores combined. We also learned that the renovated community space and central kitchen projects are on schedule with the hopes to have them fully functional by the end of March. Brandon reported that member feedback about the switch to a "U-Pick 10% Off" day from the "10% on the 10th" sales day has been overwhelmingly positive. He also reported that staff will start utilizing an Open Book Management process this year, which will give more ownership to staff over the performance of their departments. Brandon also informed us that the Living Wage adjustment for this year brought the Co-op's lowest-level pay rate to $11.80 an hour.
The next item on our agenda set the date for our Annual Spring Membership Meeting, which will be held Friday, April 25 in the Space @ GreenStar, with the introduction of Council candidates and other presentations. We then approved holding a Member Forum/Open Mic meeting, as an opportunity for members to express their concerns, ideas, and suggestions, for Thursday, April 10, also at the Space. We then approved the Council content for the Spring Member Mailing.
We next approved a proposal that in part said: "Consistent with its previous position in opposition to hydrofracking in New York State, the Council supports the efforts of the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield (and others) to use the power of home rule to prohibit hydrofracking within their municipalities, and therefore agrees that GreenStar Cooperative Market, Inc., may be listed as a "friend of the court" (amicus curiae) in support of the defendant towns."
Our next agenda item, an executive session item regarding an individual, was tabled until the end of the meeting so that we wouldn't have to ask our visitors to leave until the end. We then approved amended minutes of our December meeting and approved minutes of a December executive session without amendments.
Our Governance Committee brought an application from a member to be seated as a Member-at-Large on our Personnel Committee, which we approved. Welcome to Marie Benner-Rhoades, and thank you for your service to our co-op.
The next agenda item, receiving results of our Council Self-Assessment Survey, was tabled until next month as the survey had not yet been completed by everyone.
Results of an annual staff survey were distributed and referred to our Personnel Committee for review. Survey result comparisons and an associated monitoring report from the GM should come in October.
After our mid-meeting break, we selected attendees to a Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) "Co-op Café" seminar in Keene, New Hampshire. We decided to send as many as four Council members and two committee Members-at-Large. The Co-op Cafés represent a great opportunity for board and staff members to meet others from northeast co-ops and to compare notes, make friends, and network.
We then monitored our own compliance with two of our policies, C.0 "Council Global Commitment" and D.0 "Global Council Management Connection." We found ourselves in compliance with both policies.
Our next item was a proposal to join the list of local businesses that are opposed to a LPG/LNG storage facility to be constructed utilizing existing excavated salt caverns under Seneca Lake. The proposal drew much discussion with many questions as to the direct and associated dangers or problems perceived around such a development. Next month, we will further discuss the issue and hope to have more information presented to support our signing on against this storage and associated processing and transporting of gas from local wells.
For our last item, which had been tabled earlier in the meeting, we entered Executive Session to discuss a personnel issue.
And then, in a notable exception to the norm, we adjourned our meeting at 8:31 — yes, Eight Thirty-One — rather than the scheduled 9:30.
Thank you all for a proficient and productive meeting again. "GreenStar Rocks" because of you all: Council, staff, member-owners, and the Greater Ithaca population.
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...