Friday, 01 March 2013 16:31
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in The Space @ GreenStar. With twelve of our fourteen members present, we managed to work through our agenda in two hours, getting out an hour earlier than scheduled. Yay.
After some adjustments to the order of our agenda items, in order to allow a few people to leave earlier, we received the General Manager's monthly report. General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane reported that the stores have been busy, with no post-holiday lull as in years past. He also reported that staff are compiling data for production of our Annual Report, completing a small renovation project in the administrative offices, and they completed an annual member survey that all of our members should have received by the middle of February. Brandon also updated us on the progress being made to determine the costs and feasibility of constructing a centralized bakery and kitchen in the center section of our building at 700 West Buffalo Street, and of finishing off the north end of the building for public events. Once this research is completed, we'll be able to make a decision about going ahead with the project. We also learned that our West-End store and our warehouse building are both now receiving 100 percent of their power from certified renewable energy sources.
An update from our tax-exempt affiliate, GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), came next on our agenda. GSCP reported on the successes of last year, the walkathon and associated block party held in September, and the two networking dinners held in November and December. GSCP is planning to host more of these networking events this year, one every other month starting in March. We were also told that GSCP is planning a different kind of fundraising event and community block party for this fall. There was much appreciation expressed over the growth and progress that GSCP has made in the last two years.
Continuing the work of transitioning to our new Policy Governance system, we first received another set of interpretations from our GM. This month we reviewed the data sets that will be used when Brandon reports on policy B.6 "Staff Treatment and Compensation." The interpretations had already been reviewed by our Governance and Monitoring Committee, and they easily passed the Council vote. We amended policy C.7 "Council Committees" to include updated language incorporated from three of our old policies, and we concurrently repealed policies 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3, our old committee policies. We also renamed our Governance and Monitoring Committee to Governance Committee.
Minutes of our January regular session meeting were next amended and approved, and then we approved two new members-at-large for two of our committees. Thank you for serving, and welcome to Mark Darling, appointed to the Expansion Committee, and Kate Day Roosma, appointed to the Membership Committee.
Our next agenda item contained three proposals, which we read through, discussed, and approved. The Annual Spring Membership meeting will be held on Friday, April 19 in The Space @ GreenStar, starting at 5:30 pm. The Spring Member Mailing will contain reports from the GM, President, and Treasurer, Council candidate statements and ballots, as well as ballots and information with pro and con statements regarding a member-initiated petition to remove our current policy 16.1, "Meat Referendum #2." Lastly, there will be two Member Forums to be held on Tuesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in The Space @ GreenStar. These will function both as "open mic" time for members to voice concerns and share ideas, and as times for an informational discussion of the referendum vote. Please look for more information in announcements in the GreenLeaf, the stores, and on this website.
Next we selected tellers to count the ballots and oversee the voting areas at the stores for the spring voting period, April 1 though 30. Volunteers to serve as tellers were Darlene Bentley, a member-at-large on our Governance Committee, and five Council members, Kash Iraggi, Melissa Blake, Britton Dougherty, Chris Negronida, and I. All were approved.
Minutes of an Executive Session Council meeting on Jan. 8 were approved in Executive Session prior to our break.
After our break we made group decisions about specific answers to questions on a survey conducted by the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) in preparation for a conference on April 14 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The conference will be the first to bring GM's and Board Presidents together from co-ops across the country, with a focus on building a strong future in our communities. The request from NCGA was to answer the questions for our co-op as a group process, which went very well. Brandon and I will be attending the conference and hope to bring back new ideas and experiences. NCGA will pay for our hotel rooms and travel expenses and charges no registration fee for this conference.
Lastly, we selected Council attendees to a one-day Strategic Seminar about growing co-ops in many different ways, specifically looking toward having the best impact on our local communities, in Brattleboro, Vermont on March 16. The seminar is part of our training package with Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) services. Jan Rhodes Norman and I were selected from Council and we expect two or three staff members to join us for the seminar.
We then ended our February meeting at 8:25 pm, a record in getting out early! Thank you all.
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...