Sunday, 03 June 2012 00:25
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Tuesday, May 8 in The Space @ GreenStar with a full agenda. During our allotted time for opening announcements, I presented to the Chair of our Membership Committee, Ethan Winn, a member-initiated petition that I had recently received for a change to our bylaws. The Membership Committee is charged with receiving member-initiated petitions for referendums or bylaws changes. They then verify signatures as those of current members and evaluate the content of the requested change for legality and adherence to our bylaws and procedures before making a recommendation to Council for action.
Brandon Kane, the General Manager (GM), presented his monthly report next. Brandon reported that both stores are doing well and both are expecting some scheduled projects to be completed soon. Recent new hires have led to a lot of training and adjustments over the past few weeks, but now we have a full management team and some friendly new faces. An exciting improvement planned for the West-End store will result in the loss of our "rain collection system" in the entrance foyer — as the roof leak will be fixed.
Brandon also reported that the Collegetown Crossing developers have been asked to have an independent parking study done to present to the city planning board before it can evaluate the developers' request for a parking variance. We also learned that there may be a local food producer interested in leasing the middle section of our building at 700 West Buffalo Street. Management is also considering the potential value of finishing the north end of the building to better accommodate larger community gatherings. Looking forward, Brandon said that managers were working to craft a policy for small loans to be offered by GreenStar to local food producers (something we have done sporadically in the past) as a way to provide more local offerings to our community and to further a local living economy.
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 11:36
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Tuesday, April 17 in The Space @ GreenStar. We received one member's comments and then moved on to the General Manager's (GM) monthly report. Brandon Kane, GM, was attending a National GM's conference in New Mexico and could not be present, but his report informed us of improvements planned for the air conditioning and a recent reset to accommodate a new hot and cold food bar, both at Oasis. We learned that additional parking, north of The Space, has been cleared for our staff to use on busy days. Improvements have also been made to our waste and recycling practices and we are now obtaining half of our electricity needs from renewable resources. The report showed that our finances are better than budgeted and our membership numbers continue to grow.
We next passed two resolutions: to change the authorizations of managers with access to our bank accounts, due to the hiring of a new Finance Manager; and to have a manager able to make changes when the GM is not available.
Staff have been creating a more informative Annual Report this year that is intended to provide our members with much more information about the good things that GreenStar is doing in our community and within the co-op world nationally. Rather than the usual four-page report, this year's plan is to produce a much longer piece, which will also cost more than had been budgeted for. A proposal was approved to go ahead with the longer report, which will better inform our members and also solicit email addresses, allowing future reports to be sent out electronically to save paper and mailing costs.
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By D.E. Bentley
Joining is, without a doubt, a means to an end. People in their earliest incarnations joined to survive. It didn't take long for humans to figure out that it was much easier to fight ferocious beasts or gather food and other resources when they joined together to form a band of people. That said, some people, myself included, are not, by nature, joiners. But, as with all rules, there are exceptions. One notable exception has been my decision to join GreenStar and, for the past year, serve as an at-large member on the Governance Committee....