Monday, 01 February 2010 09:08
Council Discusses Special Meetings, Elections, Interim GM Plan
By 12th Moon,
Special Membership Meetings, upcoming Council elections and proposed changes to our Code of Conduct for Councilmembers were among the topics discussed at Council’s Jan. 12 meeting.
Council decided to hold a Special Membership Meeting sometime in March to further discuss our members’ thoughts regarding future expansion goals. A decision had been made at our December meeting to hold a Special Membership Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to discuss different possible expansion directions that GreenStar could pursue. That meeting date has been rescheduled for mid-March. Many concepts of GreenStar’s future have been visualized over the years, and a successful second store, Oasis, has been realized, but recent changes in the general state of the economy are presenting new directions for the Co-op to consider. We are still formulating discussion topics, both specific and general, to help us shape the path the Co-op will take toward manifesting our shared goals and values. Please join your fellow members and participate in the discussions that will help create our plans for the future of GreenStar.
Recruitment strategies for candidates for the annual Council elections traditionally held in April, as well as for a new Council Secretary, were topics that led to an open discussion of how to solicit our fellow members’ help and expertise to help govern and lead this local community co-op successfully forward as an example of the cooperative spirit in action.
We are in need of a Secretary to back up our Board Administrator by taking and reviewing minutes of our meetings, and by helping with other administrative tasks. In this year’s upcoming Council elections, we will be looking to fill ten seats, a record number. Members who would like to serve our co-op by functioning in this important role should submit a statement of candidacy form, available at the Customer Service desk at the West-End store, by March 1, to be published in our Spring Mailing. (For more information on running for Council, see the ad on page 7 of February's GreenLeaf.)
In other business, Council received the General Manager’s Annual Asset Protection Report and referred it to our Finance Committee for review. This report assures that GreenStar has appropriate insurance in place and has taken the necessary steps to safeguard our co-op’s assets. We also passed a proposal that creates super-worker positions to take minutes and assist our committees with their workloads in other administrative ways. (Please see the ad on page 6.) For the second time, a proposal to revise our Council Code of Conduct was presented to Council, and after much discussion and many suggestions it was again sent back to the Personnel Committee for final vetting.
The GMSC, General Manager Search Committee, reported to Council on the progress made toward finding General Manager (GM) candidates to present to our members, staff and Council for consideration. The GMSC has received some dozen applications and is hoping to conduct initial interviews by the middle of February. Recognizing that the holiday season is a very busy time in the co-op world, we have extended our advertising into new venues and for an additional month to capture a larger pool of applicants. Knowing that our current GM, Bini Reilly, will be leaving us prior to the hiring of a new GM, we have been preparing for an interim period with Store Manager Brandon Kane fulfilling many of the GM’s responsibilities. Understanding that additional responsibilities will be assumed by Brandon and other members of management, Council will be reducing the number of reports that it usually requires. We will also be meeting with managers to take their suggestions and assure their readiness to progress with their 2010 Workplan and all associated projects.
Change is the new norm, as internal and external shifts and changes continue, and it is very satisfying for me to be able to tell you how well our co-op is doing financially, as well as how well our staff is rising to the occasion. Staff and Council both have been working hard to communicate better and realize our common goals for our common good and our shared community.
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...