Tuesday, 01 January 2013 22:30
By 12th Moon,
Council held our monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11 in The Space @ GreenStar with nine of our fifteen members in attendance; evidently we are not immune to the flu and colds of the season.
During announcements we heard of the success of the first of a two-evening event organized by our affiliate GreenStar Community Projects. The events, entitled "Feeding Our Future: Building Community for Food Equity & Sustainability," are networking events designed to bring together as many as seventy-five people from different local organizations concerned with food equity issues. The second evening was held Thursday, Dec. 13. It is hoped these events will lead to more communication between different organizations in Tompkins County.
Our first item of business was the monthly report from our General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane. Brandon reported that the stores did well during the Thanksgiving crunch, even though we sold out of turkeys (for the first time ever) and were in the middle of the fall voting period. He also reported that the construction of a second walk-in refrigeration unit had begun at the West-End store and that research work has started for a feasibility study required by Council prior to getting the go-ahead for construction of a new central kitchen and bakery in our building at 700 West Buffalo Street.
Brandon also reported that Cooperative Development Services (CDS) is continuing to help us develop a 10-year pro forma financial projections for our present stores and all anticipated expansions (kitchen, Collegetown, and West-End store). This work will be a critical tool in evaluating the various components of a multi-year expansion plan. It will also provide us with the information needed to approach lenders for assistance in funding these projects. We should expect to see the results and review the pro forma report this month or next.
Our Finance Committee next presented a Report Back on the GM's B.1 3rd Quarter Financial Report, which was found to be complete and in compliance with all policies and sub-policies therein and recognized the report as showing exemplary performance and higher than expected sales.
We next finalized the 2013 GreenStar Operating and Capital Budgets, which project total sales for the year above $18 million, with almost $300,000 being given as two-percent discounts at the registers and a net profit of around $88,000. We then received the GM's revised Report for Policy B.2 Budget and Planning, which was accepted as submitted on time and in compliance with all associated policies.
Next came the Tellers' Report regarding the vote count for the November membership votes. The proposal to open a second satellite store in Collegetown received 583 Yes and 237 No votes. There were two proposals to initiate a Patronage Dividend (PD) system to replace our current two-percent discount at the registers: the proposal to amend our Bylaws for a PD system received 393 Yes and 403 No votes, and the proposal to set policy for PD received 371 Yes and 447 No votes. The Tellers' Report was certified by Council.
A discussion came next regarding the future archiving of the current GM Job Description as we continue our transition to a Policy Governance system of Board Leadership. Before we archive the job description we want to make sure that all of the requirements that we want to keep from the current version are included in our new policies. We hope to have this process completed for our February Council meeting.
We next amended and approved minutes from both our regular November meeting and our Executive Session portion of that meeting.
Brandon then presented his interpretations, which define the data to be collected and reported on, for another new PG policy, B.5, or Treatment of Customers. The interpretations had gone through initial review by our Governance and Monitoring Committee and they were approved without too many questions or amendments. We have now approved the GM's interpretations for more than half of our new policies that require a GM report.
A discussion and review of a contract with the National Cooperative Grocers Association's Development Cooperative (NCGA/DC) came next. The contract could be for consultants from NCGA/DC to help us with any combination of expansions currently being considered — the central kitchen and bakery, the Collegetown satellite store, and/or a larger West-End store. A representative consultant from NCGA/DC was to be presenting and answering our questions at the meeting, but it was decided that it would be better and more informative if he were present to answer our questions after we receive the ten-year pro forma report mentioned earlier.
Our last item for the evening was held in Executive Session as we finalized our evaluation of our GM and considered amendments to the current contract of employment with Brandon, as it must now match our new PG structure and policies.
By Dan Hoffman,
Governance Committee Chair
That's the opportunity coming up soon for GreenStar members, as the Co-op prepares for its 34th annual Council election, in April. To appear on the ballot, a candidate must submit a written Declaration of Candidacy by March 1. Now is the time ...