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.
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 20:52
By 12th Moon,
At its Aug. 9 meeting, Council voted against allowing a member petition to go to a membership vote. The petition, as submitted to Council by member Christopher Jones, read as follows:
Financial Disclosure Bylaw
All shareholders (member-owners) upon written request are to be issued (within a reasonable time period) photo copies of the following financial documents:
1. Tax returns (current year and previous years)
2. Bank Statements (current year) (no account nos.)
3. Payroll Information (position salary amounts of Staff, Managers, Board of directors (w/Stipend amounts, etc.) and any other persons employed by GS Cooperative Market Inc. (individual names withheld)
4. List of current of active shareholders (member-owners) with email address included (shareholders may omit email address if so desired)
5. Receipts (operating expenses, Utilities, monthly rent, mortgage payments, food products, and any other items sold at GS Cooperative Market Inc.
A reasonable fee may be rendered for retrieval and photocopy (or paperless email) of financial documents.
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 16:22
By 12th Moon,
Council met in The Space for our July 12 meeting to, among other things, select a new General Manager for GreenStar after coming together over the weekend to participate in a working retreat, writing new policies using the Policy Governance model adopted by Council last December (see my Council Retreat Report on page 6). I'm pleased to announce that Council has selected Brandon Kane, GreenStar's Store Manager for the past six years and Interim General Manager for the past year, as our new General Manager. See the article on page 1 for more about Brandon and his vision for GreenStar.
We started off our meeting with the monthly report from Brandon. We heard that a new AC unit has been installed on the West-End store, helping our refrigeration units to operate more efficiently and improving the level of comfort for staff and shoppers during the hot summer days we have been experiencing. We also learned that a small reset is planned to improve services at our Oasis store, that the monthly case lot sales will be conducted on the 10th of the month to coincide with the 10% on the 10th sales days, and that both stores are switching from biodegradable shopping bags to ones that are compostable. Brandon also informed us of an ongoing cooperative relationship he has made with the General Manager at Weaver's Way Co-op in the Philadelphia area. They have been working on many projects similar to ours, such as expansion, establishing an affiliate working toward resolving local food justice issues, changing their governance system to Policy Governance and looking to improve the local distribution network of local farm and food production to consumers.
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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
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...