Tuesday, 03 January 2012 17:20
By 12th Moon,
Meeting in The Space, Council held its Dec. 13 meeting with all Council members present. Receiving the monthly General Manager's (GM) Report as our first item of business, we learned that AFCU and GreenStar staff will be working together to spread the good word about the cooperative way of doing business and helping your community during 2012, deemed the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations. Brandon Kane, our GM, also reported that staff at both stores have handled an immense amount of seasonal business and that sales at and membership in our Co-op continue to grow. We learned of physical improvements at Oasis and the West-End's outside storage area, as well as forthcoming new entrance doors at the West-End store. Brandon reported that The Space is being utilized for many community arts and entertainment events, various meetings and this winter's Ithaca Farmers Market during the months of January and February.
Next, Alexis Alexander, Membership Manager, and Asha Sanaker, Finance Manager, provided Council with a report concerning the recent Focus Group Dinners held with members to invite feedback regarding possible changes to our membership equity contributions. Two dinners were conducted with a total of 20 randomly selected GreenStar members to openly discuss their feelings and impressions regarding possible changes to our equity contribution or time frame, as well as to discuss other Co-op plans for the future. The five-page report was very informative and warrants continuing these dinners to gather more of our members' ideas and impressions about the Co-op's direction and development.
Thursday, 01 December 2011 18:22
By 12th Moon,
Council met in The Space on Election Day, Nov. 8, for our regular meeting. We moved quickly into our monthly report from General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane. During Brandon's report we heard that Oasis will be getting some additional equipment to add space for grab-and-go Deli foods between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There was concern expressed for the continuing congestion in our West-End store parking lot, where signs were recently added directing traffic flow to help make the lot safer for our shoppers. Brandon also reported that our efforts to accept donations at the registers in our stores yielded over $4,400 for victims of the Southern Tier flooding this October.
This fall has been especially busy with all of the events in October — a Member Forum, the Fall Membership Meeting, an All Staff Meeting, the GreenStar Community Projects Food Justice Summit, the Annual Kids' Halloween Party and a lecture and workshop by Michael Shuman of BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies), co-sponsored by GreenStar and Local First Ithaca. With all that behind us, we now move into the holiday season.
Thursday, 03 November 2011 02:39
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Tuesday, Oct. 11 in The Space with three member-owners in attendance, two of whom are applying to be appointed to Council. We started the meeting seven minutes late as we awaited the mandatory minimum number of Council members needed to reach quorum. During the time allotted for announcements, we were encouraged to table in the stores regarding a few upcoming October events and member-related issues, including supporting the proposed bylaws changes that Council has recommended (or presented as in the case of one set) to our membership for a vote from Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, and receiving member feedback prior to a possible membership vote in the spring to increase our member equity contribution and change the time frame for arriving at full equity.
The monthly General Manager (GM) report came next and we learned that not only that the stores are both performing above budgeted expectations, but that the West-End store actually broke a new record by having over three hundred thousand dollars of sales in the thirty-sixth week of the year. Managers and staff are busy making preparations for the holiday season soon upon us and working to finalize the stores' operational budgets for 2012. It was also reported that we are seeing very positive results from our participation at the Farmers' Market at Cornell, as well as through our FLOWER discount program (both resulting in increased new memberships), and through continuing discussions we've been having with leaders of our community from GIAC, the Southside Community Center and the Multi-Cultural Resource Center to better serve our shared goals of a more diverse and equitable culture with healthy food available to and affordable for all people in our community.
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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...