Wednesday, 30 December 2009 12:25
Council Authorizes Special Meeting; Addresses Code of Conduct
By 12th Moon,
Council held its December meeting at the Human Services Building on Dec. 15. We heard from Bini Reilly, our General Manager (GM), that our stores are continuing to do very well due to the efforts of our staff and management, that improvements continue to be made to both locations and that there are plans for even more improvements to be made early next year. Bini also announced that GreenStar has received an award from Sustainable Tompkins in recognition of the solar panels newly-installed on our receiving area roof.
A unanimous decision was made by Council to have GreenStar endorse the “Coalition Letter Requesting Governor Paterson to Withdraw the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Oil and Gas Mining” currently posted on the toxicstargeting.com website. This proposal was found to be in keeping with GreenStar’s commitment to ecological responsibility and leadership as there are many questions that still remain regarding the safety concerns and the environmental impact of the newly developed methods for natural gas drilling and extraction, as recent GreenLeaf articles have discussed.
The Personnel Committee brought a proposal to make some changes to our Council Code of Conduct’s Policy #3.12, intended to “improve our ability to work as a group and prevent individual member’s actions and statements from alienating members (including staff and the GM),” by allowing Council the ability to vote to censure or suspend a Councilmember for infractions of our Code of Conduct or for continued disruptions of Council meetings. There were many points for discussion and many ideas regarding our responsibilities as representatives of our member-owners and as co-workers with staff and management. The proposal was sent back to committee to continue working on it before presentation at our January meeting.
Another proposal, this one brought by our Governance and Monitoring Committee, intending to create super-worker positions for Council committees, was sent back for more work also. The intention of the proposal is to create new positions to assist with specified committee tasks (taking minutes, posting notices of meetings, research, drafting of proposals, etc.) under the supervision of the committee Chair. There would also be provisions for the super-worker to work for more than one committee as needed to fulfill their two hour per week commitment. Both this and the previously mentioned proposal are the result of Council looking to improve its process and communications between Council and member-owners, staff and management.
Council authorized a Special Membership Meeting regarding Five-Year Expansion Goals to be held Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6 pm at the Women’s Community Building, with the agenda to be decided by Council at our Jan. 12 meeting. The decision included presenting to the membership for a vote any potential future expansion objectives or goals that could be realized within the next five years. Simply put, we need to solicit the support of our member-owners before we address any of the possible expansion scenarios that we are currently encountering. Please look for more information at the stores and on our web site (www.greenstar.coop), as the proposed voting period would start on Jan. 18.
Finally, though Council and Bini have agreed to an extension of her contract with GreenStar, Bini has made the decision to leave the Co-op as of Feb. 27, 2010. She will continue to assist with continuing store improvement projects and to help with the transition toward a new GM through that date.
By Alexis Alexander,
In October, member-owners have the opportunity to vote on six bylaws changes being proposed by Council. GreenStar's bylaws, the rules that govern the internal management of the Co-op, were originally established when GreenStar was incorporated. According to our bylaws, one of the essential rights of member-owners is the ability to vote on the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement.
Unfortunately, GreenStar, like many co-ops, suffers from very poor voter turnout relative to the number of member-owners. For instance, only 5 percent of member-owners voted in th...