Tuesday, 03 June 2014 15:35
By 12th Moon,
Council met Tuesday, May 13 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar at 6:30 pm with ten of our thirteen members, five staff members, one member-owner and two Council Members-elect, one of whom was seated later in the evening. During our announcements, we heard of the great success of a Building Bridges event held earlier in the day, with over 200 attendees, at our newly opened Space @ GreenStar. Sadly, we also heard one Council Member, Courtney Mayszak, announce that she would be resigning as of the close of our meeting as she will be out of town for the summer and then will be going to grad school. We took time to thank Courtney for her service; we will miss her input. Council Member Colin Meeks also resigned recently for personal reasons and we wish him well and thank him for his service.
The monthly General Manager's (GM) Report was our first item. GM Brandon Kane informed us that, as the Space and Central Kitchen are successfully being used and the move-in is nearly completed, staff are focusing on the grounds and outside of the building. By now, rental and catering information should be available and publicized. He next told us that GreenStar Community Projects, our tax-exempt affiliate, would be partnering with our Prepared Foods Department to host a fundraising dinner on Friday, June 6 at 6:30 pm in the Space. Brandon said that plans for this summer include repaving the West-End store parking lot, adding new signage to the Space and the Classrooms and landscaping the surrounding areas, and (best of all!) adding a second (much-needed) bathroom to the West-End store.
Brandon also announced that the Annual Report for members was available at the stores and that he was quite pleased to report both that we have significantly reduced our waste and that the sales of local goods in 2013 accounted for 24 percent of total sales. For the complete report online, visit www.greenstar.coop/2013-annual-report. He also informed us that at the National Cooperative Grocers Association's annual meeting in Minnesota, GreenStar received excellence awards for the outstanding financial performances of our Produce and Prepared Foods Departments during the last eight quarters. Congratulations to managers Andrew Hernandez and Erik Lucas!
Next I reported that I received a member-initiated petition for a referendum to change Meat Referendum Part 2, and that our Membership Committee had verified there were 128 current member-owners' signatures on the petition, exceeding the 100 necessary. Council referred the petition to our Governance Committee.
Our next item, which Council approved with some amendments, was a formula for compensating staff who participate in the Open Book Management program, started in the beginning of this year, if financial objectives are surpassed by a set percentage.
We then approved a proposal to amend our agreement with GSCP to offer more member labor as volunteers. We are glad to help support GSCP and the good work they've been doing to gather local food system representatives together for successful networking meetings.
The Head Teller for our recent Council elections presented the Tellers' Report, which Council approved and certified. Welcome to new Council Members Ellen Brown and Sam Fredericks and welcome back former Council Member Bob Rhea and incumbents Jessica Rossi, Chris Negronida, and myself.
Our next item was held in Executive Session as it pertained to real estate negotiations. We then moved to our mid-meeting break before amending and approving our minutes of last month's meeting.
The first item after our break was the seating of Bob Rhea to fill a vacant seat on Council left by Angela Zhang, who had recently resigned. We then had a discussion of the duties of our officers and the timing of our annual officer elections. To allow for more time to explain to our newly elected Council Members and our member-owners what the different officers' duties and responsibilities are, we agreed to include more information about officers in our upcoming orientation session and to postpone the officer elections until our July 8 meeting.
An application to become a member-at-large on our Governance Committee came next. We approved seating Brian Henehan. Welcome, Brian, and thank you for your service to the Co-op.
Council next selected three Council Members to attend Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) workshops to be held in Philadelphia on July 12 this year. One of the workshops, CBLD 101, is a board basics that goes through co-op finances, governance, member outreach, and board member roles and responsibilities; the other is a Leadership workshop.
Our next item was the Monitoring of our own compliance with Policy C.4 "Council Meetings." We found ourselves in compliance with the first five sub-policies describing how our meetings should be conducted, but found ourselves out of compliance with item six: "For more details on decision-making process, see Council Procedures." We are just getting to the task of writing our procedural policies for how we receive monitoring reports from the GM and how we monitor our own compliance.
The last item on our agenda took us into Executive Session again, this time to discuss a personnel issue — the proposed findings from the recent GM Assessment surveys.
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...