Friday, 28 February 2014 15:55
By 12th Moon,
Council met Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 pm in the Classrooms @ GreenStar for our monthly meeting. After announcements and amending the agenda to include an application for a Member-at-Large seat on one of our committees, we received the monthly General Manager's (GM) report.
Our GM, Brandon Kane, reported that the renovated Space @ GreenStar and the Central Kitchen are on schedule for a mid-March move-in. The Space is currently housing the Winter Farmers Market on Saturdays from 11 to 2, and visitors have been very appreciative of the renovations. We also learned that the National Cooperative Bank closed on a loan to GreenStar and that those funds are now available to us for the renovation projects; further, the process for acquiring all of the licenses and permits for being able to rent out The Space is underway but likely to take some weeks.
Brandon also told us that the placement of How Good product-rating tags at the West-End store is about 25 percent complete, delayed by a busy beginning of the year, and that the change to a U-Pick 10% Off day has made everyone happy and less stressed on the tenth of each month (though I do miss the themed costumes of the staff).
Our next agenda item, which was approved, was a change to our Annual Council Calendar to move all four yearly B.1 quarterly and year-end financial reports back a month. The financial reports prepared for Council have become more detailed and are often difficult to prepare on time for the agenda packet. For the 4th Quarter and Year-End 2013 financial reports, we will have the reports go to our Finance Committee first and then come to Council for a vote, rather than having Council refer the reports to committee and receive them back the following month.
A proposal to amend policy 2.6 "Conditions of Membership" was referred back to our Membership Committee with further amendments suggested after much discussion.
Next came a proposal for GreenStar to join the Business Coalition of Gas-Free Seneca in opposition to the storage of LNG/LPG in abandoned salt caverns under Seneca Lake and the associated transportation and storage infrastructures. Peter Arena of Gas-Free Seneca spoke to the objections to the plans and answered our questions. Council voted to join with the other 180 or so businesses in the coalition.
We next had a discussion about the living-wage increases for 2014 and how they are calculated for different businesses using different models. We then addressed the item added to our agenda earlier, a proposal to appoint Olivia Armstrong as a Member-at-Large on our Membership Committee. Welcome Olivia, and thank you for your service to our co-op.
After our mid-meeting break, we approved the minutes of last month's meeting with some small amendments. The selection of tellers for our spring Council election came next, with six Council members volunteering for the duty. Thanks to you all.
The next agenda item, receiving the data from our Council Self-Assessment Survey, was referred to our Personnel Committee to produce findings to bring back to Council. The data had been collected by our Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) consultant of last year. The next item was a discussion to select the best weekend for our annual retreat with our new 2014 CBLD consultant in October. The 25th won.
A proposal to make some amendments to our election policy came from our Governance Committee. The amendments were discussed and approved. Our final agenda item was our self-monitoring of our compliance with one of our policies, C.1 Governing Style. We found ourselves in compliance for the previous 12 months.
Prior to adjourning the meeting, we discussed the upcoming Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference and the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference, which are both scheduled at the same time this year (June 11-14). A proposal to select some Council Members to attend one or the other conference will come to our March meeting.
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...