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.
Saturday, 01 October 2011 22:55
By 12th Moon,
Meeting in "The Space" on Sept. 13, Council approved eight items from our agenda, six unanimously, and tabled another two items, one for clarification and one because of a lack of time. As was noted while we considered a draft of the Council 2012 budget, it has been a great assistance to have our own location available for our Council, committee and membership meetings, providing adequate parking, consistency of location and an estimated savings of a thousand dollars just for room rentals.
Our General Manager (GM), Brandon Kane, was away attending a national GM meeting in Massachusetts, but his monthly report showed the stores doing well, with Oasis recording an impressive customer count that approached half that seen at the West-End store for one week as students returned. It was noted that our staff performed exceedingly well during a viral attack to our main computers, which disabled our discount system at the registers and generally wreaked havoc for two days. Many thanks to all of our customers who took the inconveniences well, to our great Customer Service staff and especially to Jeremy and Jonathan, our Information Services troopers, for a couple of way long hard days.
In preparation for fulfilling our goal of expanding our main store to a larger one owned and built by us, we next discussed contract negotiations with the National Cooperative Grocers Association Development Cooperative (NCGA/DC). Unfortunately, negotiations regarding an agreement with NCGA/DC to assist us with all phases of our expansion projects had not been resolved in time for our meeting (for further information please see the Council News column in September's GreenLeaf). A major expansion project will take us years to complete, and a certain urgency exists to get the process started before current opportunities change. To that end I will be calling for an Immediacies Committee meeting in conjunction with our regularly scheduled Executive Planning Committee meeting in September with the hopes that our questions will have been answered and negotiations resolved.
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 19:54
By 12th Moon,
Meeting in The Space on Tuesday, Aug. 9, with all fourteen members present, Council worked through a long list of agenda items, usually voting unanimously. This was the last meeting for both Victoria Demchak and Aaron Nichols, who are relocating to Portland, OR, and with much thanks and appreciation we recognized them for their service to our co-op during their tenure and wished them well in their travels and new environment. (Council now has three open seats that could be filled by Council appointment; see ad on p. 5.)
Through a national cooperative connection, some of us had learned that earlier that morning a tragic event happened at the Brattleboro Food Co-op in Brattleboro, VT. Their Store Manager, Michael Martin, whom some of us remember from the national Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference this year, was shot to death by a coworker at the co-op. Council and staff members present spent a few minutes in silent meditation sending healing energy and love to our sister co-op and the whole Brattleboro community. I ask that you also take a moment to send positive thoughts for their healing.
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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...