Tuesday, 03 June 2014 15:35
By 12th Moon,
Council met Tuesday, May 13 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar at 6:30 pm with ten of our thirteen members, five staff members, one member-owner and two Council Members-elect, one of whom was seated later in the evening. During our announcements, we heard of the great success of a Building Bridges event held earlier in the day, with over 200 attendees, at our newly opened Space @ GreenStar. Sadly, we also heard one Council Member, Courtney Mayszak, announce that she would be resigning as of the close of our meeting as she will be out of town for the summer and then will be going to grad school. We took time to thank Courtney for her service; we will miss her input. Council Member Colin Meeks also resigned recently for personal reasons and we wish him well and thank him for his service.
The monthly General Manager's (GM) Report was our first item. GM Brandon Kane informed us that, as the Space and Central Kitchen are successfully being used and the move-in is nearly completed, staff are focusing on the grounds and outside of the building. By now, rental and catering information should be available and publicized. He next told us that GreenStar Community Projects, our tax-exempt affiliate, would be partnering with our Prepared Foods Department to host a fundraising dinner on Friday, June 6 at 6:30 pm in the Space. Brandon said that plans for this summer include repaving the West-End store parking lot, adding new signage to the Space and the Classrooms and landscaping the surrounding areas, and (best of all!) adding a second (much-needed) bathroom to the West-End store.
Brandon also announced that the Annual Report for members was available at the stores and that he was quite pleased to report both that we have significantly reduced our waste and that the sales of local goods in 2013 accounted for 24 percent of total sales. For the complete report online, visit www.greenstar.coop/2013-annual-report. He also informed us that at the National Cooperative Grocers Association's annual meeting in Minnesota, GreenStar received excellence awards for the outstanding financial performances of our Produce and Prepared Foods Departments during the last eight quarters. Congratulations to managers Andrew Hernandez and Erik Lucas!
Next I reported that I received a member-initiated petition for a referendum to change Meat Referendum Part 2, and that our Membership Committee had verified there were 128 current member-owners' signatures on the petition, exceeding the 100 necessary. Council referred the petition to our Governance Committee.
Our next item, which Council approved with some amendments, was a formula for compensating staff who participate in the Open Book Management program, started in the beginning of this year, if financial objectives are surpassed by a set percentage.
We then approved a proposal to amend our agreement with GSCP to offer more member labor as volunteers. We are glad to help support GSCP and the good work they've been doing to gather local food system representatives together for successful networking meetings.
The Head Teller for our recent Council elections presented the Tellers' Report, which Council approved and certified. Welcome to new Council Members Ellen Brown and Sam Fredericks and welcome back former Council Member Bob Rhea and incumbents Jessica Rossi, Chris Negronida, and myself.
Our next item was held in Executive Session as it pertained to real estate negotiations. We then moved to our mid-meeting break before amending and approving our minutes of last month's meeting.
The first item after our break was the seating of Bob Rhea to fill a vacant seat on Council left by Angela Zhang, who had recently resigned. We then had a discussion of the duties of our officers and the timing of our annual officer elections. To allow for more time to explain to our newly elected Council Members and our member-owners what the different officers' duties and responsibilities are, we agreed to include more information about officers in our upcoming orientation session and to postpone the officer elections until our July 8 meeting.
An application to become a member-at-large on our Governance Committee came next. We approved seating Brian Henehan. Welcome, Brian, and thank you for your service to the Co-op.
Council next selected three Council Members to attend Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) workshops to be held in Philadelphia on July 12 this year. One of the workshops, CBLD 101, is a board basics that goes through co-op finances, governance, member outreach, and board member roles and responsibilities; the other is a Leadership workshop.
Our next item was the Monitoring of our own compliance with Policy C.4 "Council Meetings." We found ourselves in compliance with the first five sub-policies describing how our meetings should be conducted, but found ourselves out of compliance with item six: "For more details on decision-making process, see Council Procedures." We are just getting to the task of writing our procedural policies for how we receive monitoring reports from the GM and how we monitor our own compliance.
The last item on our agenda took us into Executive Session again, this time to discuss a personnel issue — the proposed findings from the recent GM Assessment surveys.
By Dan Hoffman,
Member, Bylaws Review Committee
There could be some changes in store for GreenStar's bylaws — but only if enough member-owners vote in October, and only if a "super majority" of them (two-thirds) vote to make the changes. The Co-op's Council will decide at its Aug. 11 meeting which proposed bylaws amendments will be sent to the membership this year.
A group's bylaws are like a City's charter or a state's constitution — containing the most basic values and rules by which it is to be guided and governed. It's considered a "best practice" for organizations such as GreenStar to review their bylaws regularly, and to propose and adopt changes as needed. GreenStar has an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee (BRC) for that purpose. After being dormant for a couple of years, it was reactivated in March to consider bylaws changes that might be proposed in the fall of 2015, and beyond.
Currently, the committee includes four Council members (12th Moon, who chairs it, Patrice Lockert Anthony, Kristen Kaplan, and yours truly), two staff members appointed by the General Manager (Human Resources Manager Michael Hoysic and Membership Manager Alexis Alexander), and at-large member Jenny Caldwell. (Two at-large seats remain unfilled. If you think you might be interested, please fill out and submit an application — available at the stores or at www.greenstar.coop.)
Out of 581 total ballots, 49 were invalid (39 no ID at all, 1 voted for 10, 1 second ballot, 2 not members and 5 came late in the mail). 532 Valid ballots - less one empty envelope
Elected for 3 year terms:
1- Liz Coakley = 407
2- Trisica Munroe = 391
3- Jan Rhodes Norman = 362
4- Krys Cail = 351
5- Stefan Jirka = 337
For a one year terms:
6- Susan Beckley = 335
7/8-- Eric Banford = 329
7/8 - Patrice Anthony =329
9- Kristen Kaplan = 291
10- Walter Hollien = 216
11- Deborah Moore = 122
Special thanks to Laura Buttenbaum, Ellen Brown and Brian Henehan.
By Alexis Alexander,
As students return to Ithaca in late August, GreenStar will be hosting a two-week extravaganza of celebration and education. Two exciting celebratory events are planned, along with two opportunities for members and nonmembers to learn more about co-ops, including the history of the cooperative movement and its impact on local and global communities.
Topping the list of events to watch for is a performance by the amazing hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, who will be playing at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the newly renovated Ithaca Commons on Thur...