Tuesday, 03 July 2012 16:44
By 12th Moon,
Council met on June 12 in The Space @ GreenStar, and with an already-packed agenda we added two short timely items, tabled two to our July meeting, and managed to get through the rest of the items on time.
During his monthly report General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane reported that the stores are very busy and doing well. Activities during June included: a June 6 visit from Michael Shuman, Research and Public Policy Director for BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies); the annual GIAC fest on June 9, at which GreenStar tabled, provided volunteer labor and sold food from our Deli; Taste of the Nation on June 19, where Deli Manager Erik Lucas represented GreenStar as a featured chef; Juneteenth, at the Southside Community Center on June 23, at which GreenStar tabled and provided volunteer labor; and the Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference in Philadelphia in late June, attended by five staff and five Council members.
Brandon also reported that, in May, five staff members attended the Undoing Racism workshop led by David Billings and sponsored by the Multicultural Resource Center. This furthers our commitment to staff training related to diversity and inclusion. Also, staff members and I, as Council President, met with community leaders at GIAC in May as part of our quarterly commitment to discussing our efforts to continually develop our cultural competency.
After the GM's report we quickly approved the two items added to our evening's agenda: first, a shift of budgeted monies from lines in the capital budget to different lines, and, secondly, the payment of $75 for me to attend the Michael Shuman workshop previously mentioned.
We next approved a lease with Tompkins County Trust Company for approximately 30 parking spaces across Buffalo Street from our West-End store. We then approved a $1,000 contribution to the Howard Bowers Fund to be delivered during the CCMA conference (for more information see www.cgin.coop/public/food-coop-info/howard-bowers-fund).
Our Finance Committee presented a report back on the GM's First Quarter Financial Report, finding it to be complete, delivered on time and showing exemplary performance by staff.
Our next item, which was a little embarrassing, was a correction to the specific wording in a bylaws change passed by members in October of 2010. Even though the section of our bylaws was clearly identifiable as regarding bylaws changes, and it was presented for a vote as regarding bylaws changes, we had missed a clerical error in the last reference of the text to a "referendum" change. We decided that it was an obvious clerical error, and that the vote was clearly identified as pertaining to the bylaws amendment section of our bylaws, so we authorized that it be corrected.
At our May meeting a petition from a member regarding a membership vote requesting bylaws changes was received and referred to our Membership Committee for review. The following proposal was unanimously approved by Council:
PROPOSED, that Council find that the petition seeking a Membership vote on certain, proposed amendments to the GreenStar Bylaws, submitted by Christopher Jones on April 30, 2012, does not meet the requirements for a valid petition, on the following grounds, and therefore the proposed amendments it contains will not be put to a Membership vote:
• The petition does not contain the minimum number of verifiable signatures (100) required by the Bylaws.
• No member numbers were included, which is a requirement of the form prescribed by Council (in Policy 2.7).
• Furthermore, the rules and the petition form prescribed by Council were not adhered to in several other aspects (including the title and text of the petition, and the requirement that the proposed amendment, if approved, leave the Bylaws "internally consistent").
An application from member Luke Jones for appointment to an at-large member seat on the Governance & Monitoring Committee was approved for a term to run through July 2013. Welcome, Luke, and thanks for helping us serve our membership in this way. We next approved amended minutes of our March and May meetings.
June is the beginning of the Council calendar year, so at this meeting new Council members are seated and officer elections held. We said goodbye and thank you to SunShine Huntone, welcomed returning Council members Jan Rhodes Norman and Mark Lenzenweger and welcomed new Council members Britton Dougherty, Ramish McBride, Jihong (Angela) Zhang and Eric Banford. Officers elected for the 2012-2013 year were: President, 12th Moon; Vice President, Tara Gross; Treasurer, Chris Negronida; and Secretary, Jessica Rossi.
After our mid-meeting break we received the GM's second set of policy interpretations along with his first set of interpretations amended as per feedback at our May meeting. These help to set the protocol that will be used when he submits reports for our new Policy Governance policies. Brandon also submitted his first two Monitoring Policy reports, even though the interpretations had not yet been fully approved, because Council's previously approved annual calendar called for these to be submitted at our June meeting. As the lengthy discussions regarding the interpretations are very important, ensuring agreement between Council and the GM on what data we expect to have reported, we just did not have enough time to receive his reports, nor the first Council report which was also submitted for the June meeting; therefore, the reports were tabled until our July meeting.
Attendees to an all-day Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) 101 orientation training were selected from our newly seated members. Britton and Angela will be going to Baltimore for the trainings and the opportunity to meet and share with other co-op board members.
Lastly, we tabled an open discussion regarding our expectations of Council members and sent it to our Executive Planning Committee meeting on June 26.
A closing thought: I attended the CCMA conference with nine other staff and Council members. The conference and my fellow travelers were totally awesome, and exceptional representatives of GreenStar to the national cooperative community. During the conference, I received much praise and appreciation for all of the good work being done by GreenStar, as well as for the representatives we sent to Philadelphia. We were also highlighted in the Keynote Address given by GreenStar member-owner Marion Nestle. Thank you deeply, my fellow travelers, for being such a great crew and great representatives of our co-op.
By Dan Hoffman,
GreenStar's plans to open a third store, in Collegetown, hit a big bump last month, when the City's Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) denied a set of variances sought by the property's owners, throwing the future of their project into limbo. The new store won approval from the Co-op's Membership last year, but the lease for the space was contingent upon the developer's securing the variances by March.
The Co-op's serious exploration of the idea of a new store in Collegetown began in 2011, when Josh Lower — who, with his father, Bill, own...