Friday, 15 April 2011 21:00
Council Encourages Members to Vote; Proposes Letter Against Hydrofracking
By 12th Moon,
On March 8, we held our first Council meeting in The Space @ GreenStar. "The Space" is the name given to the north end of our building at 700 West Buffalo Street, which has already been used for some musical events, our kids' Halloween party and a photography exhibit, and will be the location of our Annual Spring Membership Meeting this year on April 22, and our first case lot sales, to begin Saturday, April 2.
We moved quickly through most agenda items with time to discuss topics that we have been working on for some time. The monthly report from Interim General Manager (IGM) Brandon Kane showed a respectable growth in sales compared to last year. Brandon informed us of the case lot sales and plans to install a reusable bag drop-off and pick-up area in the entrance to the West-End store. Included in the report was an extensive review of the effects of our newly established FLOWER discount program, which has been a great success. Our Finance Committee approved the IGM's 4th Quarter and Year-End 2010 Financial Report and concluded it was complete and on time.
The 2011 Council Elections are being held through the month of April. Please vote for the candidates of your choice to represent you on Council, our governing board of directors. Remember to review all candidate statements and the information posted at the Member Centers in both stores, in your Spring Member Mailing and on our web site. Six Council members were appointed as tellers to oversee the election and count the ballots.
Last fall, Council submitted various "sets" of proposed Bylaws amendments to the Membership, for a binding vote. A typographical error was found in Set #4, which asked: "Should Section VII, D.1 be changed to read: 'The quorum for Membership Meetings shall be 40 200 members in good standing...'" then later referenced a "quorum of 100 members." The Bylaws Review Committee (BRC) determined that the first question clearly indicated the intention to change the quorum to 200, while the later mention of the quorum was referential and incidental only, not substantive. Therefore, the BRC proposed that Council correct the error, and after some discussion Council approved the correction.
At our February meeting our Personnel Committee and GM Search Committee asked Council to consider a Transitional Summary GM Job Description to be used for advertising and recruitment purposes in our ongoing search for a GM. Councilmembers had suggested some changes, and referred the summary back to the committees to rework, which they did. Changes from the existing job description include using the title "General Manager/CEO Transitional Summary Job Description," verbiage to identify that we are converting our governance system to one derived from the Policy Governance model during 2011, and a revised list of "recommended" experiences to replace the earlier list of "qualifications." The proposed summary job description was approved.
After our mid-meeting break, we approved amended minutes of both our January and February Council meetings, and our Governance and Monitoring Committee presented an application for a Member-at-Large seat on our Membership Committee, which Council approved. We welcome cooperator Jay Sletson to the committee.
A proposed letter to New York state lawmakers in support of a ban on "hydrofracking," or hydraulic fracturing of natural gas in our state was discussed next. In recognition of the potential dangers associated with this form of drilling for natural gas, Council wishes to make a statement in support of protecting our environment, our drinking water, and locally-grown and produced foods. We expect to vote on the final wording of this letter at our April 12 meeting. (See draft of the letter below.)
The subject of additional compensation to the super-worker discount that Councilmembers currently earn for their service to GreenStar, led to many questions and suggestions, such as requiring that Council compensation be commensurate with an individual's committee commitments and their attendance record. This was but the first of what will probably be many discussions regarding Council compensation since the membership authorized additional Council compensation in last October's bylaws vote.
Lastly, we discussed our goals for our governance changes this year, how best to work with the Cooperative Development Services governance consultants we contracted with for 2011, and our timeline for implementing the shift to a Policy Governance system. To this end we scheduled a Special Council meeting for March 15.
By D.E. Bentley
Joining is, without a doubt, a means to an end. People in their earliest incarnations joined to survive. It didn't take long for humans to figure out that it was much easier to fight ferocious beasts or gather food and other resources when they joined together to form a band of people. That said, some people, myself included, are not, by nature, joiners. But, as with all rules, there are exceptions. One notable exception has been my decision to join GreenStar and, for the past year, serve as an at-large member on the Governance Committee....