Thursday, 03 April 2014 18:47
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 11 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar, with twelve of fourteen Council Members, five employees, and one member-owner present. Council has had a full contingent of fifteen members until recently, when Angela Zhang resigned for personal reasons. We will miss her contributions to Council, but as you will read later she has applied for a Member-at-Large seat on our Finance Committee, where she has served for the last two years.
After agenda review and announcements we received the General Manager's monthly report from our GM, Brandon Kane. Brandon informed us of the schedule for the transition to the new central kitchen facility. We have received the Certificate of Occupancy for the building, and staff will be training on new equipment, then moving into the new space very soon. We expect that obtaining the needed licensing for the Community Room/Space @ GreenStar will take a few more weeks. By May we should be able to rent the Space out for events. Brandon also reported that the work being done by staff doesn't stop there, as plans are being made for renovating the Classrooms and then reconfiguring the Dewitt Mall store and the Deli/former classroom area of the West-End store.
Brandon updated us on the Open Book Management implementation progress. He reported that staff members across departments are engaged in the necessary financial training, and the weekly meetings have fostered a positive understanding of the relationship between departments and of their labor and financial differences. The report also showed the continuing success of the FLOWER program and the well-received U-Pick 10% Off member appreciation day.
We next received the GM's B.1 4th Quarter and Year-End 2013 Financial report. We accepted the report as being in compliance with policy. The report showed that GreenStar is healthy and stable even with all of the renovations, kitchen design, and furnishing expenses. We ended 2013 with gross sales of $18.25 million. Job well done, staff.
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.
Monday, 03 February 2014 00:11
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Tuesday, Jan. 14 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar for our first meeting of the year, with 12 of our 15 members, a number of Co-op staff, and three visitors in attendance. We heard that GreenStar had contributed one of four buses that took community members to Albany for the governor's State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 8, to express their desire to continue a moratorium on hydrofracking in New York. This and other community donations made it possible for almost 70 high school students from New Roots and LACS to attend the rally. We received much appreciation from the rally participants and the schools.
Brandon Kane, our General Manager (GM), presented the first item of business, his monthly report. Brandon informed us that total gross sales for last year were above $18 million for both stores combined. We also learned that the renovated community space and central kitchen projects are on schedule with the hopes to have them fully functional by the end of March. Brandon reported that member feedback about the switch to a "U-Pick 10% Off" day from the "10% on the 10th" sales day has been overwhelmingly positive. He also reported that staff will start utilizing an Open Book Management process this year, which will give more ownership to staff over the performance of their departments. Brandon also informed us that the Living Wage adjustment for this year brought the Co-op's lowest-level pay rate to $11.80 an hour.
The next item on our agenda set the date for our Annual Spring Membership Meeting, which will be held Friday, April 25 in the Space @ GreenStar, with the introduction of Council candidates and other presentations. We then approved holding a Member Forum/Open Mic meeting, as an opportunity for members to express their concerns, ideas, and suggestions, for Thursday, April 10, also at the Space. We then approved the Council content for the Spring Member Mailing.
- Council Approves Stores Budget; Approves Final Policy Governance Policy
- Council Approves Matching Funds for GSCP; Certifies Equity Refund Vote Results
- Council Approves 2014 Council Budget; Appoints Member to Serve on GSCP Board
- Council Finalizes Wording of Bylaws Change for Membership Vote; Cast Your Vote this Month
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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...