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,
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
GreenStar 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...