Tuesday, 02 October 2012 22:32
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Sept. 11 in The Space @ GreenStar and went through a long agenda of items in record time, finishing by 9:15! After introducing ourselves and stating our preparedness for the meeting, we heard from a member-owner about her concerns regarding whom to speak with when she has issues at the stores.
Brandon Kane, General Manager (GM), next presented his monthly GM report which updated us on the progress staff has made toward preparing for expansion, including compiling the necessary information to be submitted to our members for the upcoming votes regarding both the leasing of a second satellite store in Collegetown and the proposal to change our current two-percent discount to a Patronage Dividend system. (Information regarding the Patronage Dividend and Collegetown Expansion votes will be mailed or e-mailed, to those who have elected that option, and posted in the stores.)
Brandon also reported that an advisory committee of staff members will be drawing up plans and equipment lists to assess the needs and costs for an expansion project that would give GreenStar a central kitchen and bakery in our building at 700 W. Buffalo Street. In conjunction with the kitchen project, changes to both stores will be planned along with a renovation of The Space @ GreenStar to accommodate larger public events. Because of the work being planned for The Space, we will no longer be accepting requests to rent to the public until after renovations have been made.
Brandon's report showed that both stores are doing well and that we now have 8,700 member-owners, of whom 400 are FLOWER program members. Some staff are participating, with staff members from AFCU, in a series of "Talking Circles" conducted by the Multi-Cultural Resource Center.
The next two items came from our Finance Committee. First, a Report Back on the GM's "B.1 Report," or 2nd Quarter Financial Report, which was determined to be complete and submitted on time and as showing exemplary performance and higher than expected sales growth. The second item submitted for discussion was the first draft of a Council 2013 Budget. The draft will be further discussed at the Finance Committee meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27, and brought back to Council for our Tuesday, Oct. 9 meeting.
An update report came next from our non-profit affiliate, GreenStar Community Projects. Preparations and budgeting for the Sept. 22 Walkathon, festival and Food Justice Summit were GSCP's current focus. While they had raised more money this year than at the same point last year, they were still short of their goals. They projected an exciting day for all who would participate, especially the staff and Council members who would be walking in the Walkathon.
I presented a report back from an Immediacies Committee meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 28, at which we decided the final wording of the Patronage Dividend proposal going to the membership for vote this fall; we also rescheduled the 2012 Fall Membership Meeting from Friday, Oct. 19 to Thursday, Nov. 8 (instead of having a special Membership Meeting at that time). We also proposed that Council postpone the Membership vote and associated mailing regarding proposed changes to our members' Capital Contributions until the Spring 2013 Membership Meeting and revisit the proposal regarding the grandfather clause; and that we schedule both the membership vote regarding a proposed Patronage Dividend system and the membership vote regarding opening a second satellite store in Collegetown for the 2012 Fall Membership Meeting (and an associated absentee voting period from Nov. 1 to 30). Council approved both proposals.
Last month, Council approved asking the membership to vote on whether or not GreenStar should open a second satellite store in Collegetown at 307 College Ave. This month, we approved the wording of the vote, which you should receive, with associated ballots and information, around Nov. 1.
Minutes of our June and July meetings came for amendment and approval next on our agenda. The June minutes were tabled to next month as some attachments were not current, and the July minutes were accepted.
As we're still making the transition to our new Policy Governance style of working with the GM and management, we approved a proposal from our Personnel Committee to conduct an annual GM evaluation using the same process we have been using for a few years. Next year, we hope to be monitoring the store and GM performance through a different system of specific monthly reports, compiling the results over the year. To that end, our next agenda item included three sets of "GM Interpretations," the data that will be submitted in future reports, for three of our new policies that require annual reports. All three sets were approved.
We entered into Executive Session briefly to discuss real estate negotiations.
Our Policy Review Committee brought a proposal for three new Procedural Policies pertaining to member-initiated petitions and votes. The PRC believes new, well-written procedures could result in more clarity and a more "member-friendly" situation, where all the "rules" for each type of member initiative are conveniently collected in one place. Council approved the three new policies and repealed the three corresponding old policies.
Selection of six Councilmembers to perform Teller duties for the upcoming November voting period came next on our agenda. A big thank you to all those who volunteered. Please remember to vote during November and to attend the Fall Membership Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8. Look for other informational Member Forums to be announced on our website and in postings at the stores.
Our last agenda item for the evening, and one that at least three member-owners present were waiting for very patiently, was the selection of two of three applicants to fill two empty Council seats. Council voted to seat both Colin Meeks, a staff member, and Keith Babuszczak. Welcome and thank you for volunteering! Thank you also to Patrice Lockert Anthony for volunteering. Please remember that open Council elections are held every spring.
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...