Friday, 01 March 2013 16:31
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in The Space @ GreenStar. With twelve of our fourteen members present, we managed to work through our agenda in two hours, getting out an hour earlier than scheduled. Yay.
After some adjustments to the order of our agenda items, in order to allow a few people to leave earlier, we received the General Manager's monthly report. General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane reported that the stores have been busy, with no post-holiday lull as in years past. He also reported that staff are compiling data for production of our Annual Report, completing a small renovation project in the administrative offices, and they completed an annual member survey that all of our members should have received by the middle of February. Brandon also updated us on the progress being made to determine the costs and feasibility of constructing a centralized bakery and kitchen in the center section of our building at 700 West Buffalo Street, and of finishing off the north end of the building for public events. Once this research is completed, we'll be able to make a decision about going ahead with the project. We also learned that our West-End store and our warehouse building are both now receiving 100 percent of their power from certified renewable energy sources.
An update from our tax-exempt affiliate, GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), came next on our agenda. GSCP reported on the successes of last year, the walkathon and associated block party held in September, and the two networking dinners held in November and December. GSCP is planning to host more of these networking events this year, one every other month starting in March. We were also told that GSCP is planning a different kind of fundraising event and community block party for this fall. There was much appreciation expressed over the growth and progress that GSCP has made in the last two years.
Friday, 08 February 2013 16:47
By 12th Moon,
Council met Jan. 8 at 6:30 pm in The Space @ GreenStar for our regular monthly meeting. During our time for announcements we heard that the second evening of the "Feeding Our Future: Building Community for Food Equity & Sustainability," organized by our affiliate GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), was a great success. We hope the two networking events will lead to more communication between different organizations in Tompkins County. To that end, GSCP will be working to organize similar networking events as often as every other month. We also learned that GreenStar had contributed $1,550 to Shaleshock to cover the cost of one of the four buses that took local residents to Albany on Wednesday, Jan. 9 to protest fracking at the annual State of the State address given by Gov. Cuomo. GreenStar also provided goodie bags with snacks and signs for those attending the event.
General Manager Brandon Kane (GM) in his monthly report told us that he expects that 2012 will have been the best year since 2003 in sales and accomplished projects. Brandon outlined our progress transitioning to our new policy governance system, establishing GSCP as a strong organization in our community and actively pursuing several expansion initiatives. The Space @ GreenStar, 700 W. Buffalo St., will house the winter Ithaca Farmers Market each Saturday starting Jan. 12 and lasting through March. The Space will not be rented otherwise while work is being done to establish the needs and viability of constructing a centralized bakery and kitchen as well as a large public assembly area that could hold as many as 300 people.
The next item on our agenda was a proposal to delay presenting to our members for a vote a change to our Capital Contribution structure. This annual member investment is currently $9 plus a $1 processing fee. Earlier we had decided to bring a proposal to members during the spring voting period, but after the results of the vote against patronage dividend and some continued disagreement about how to handle the situation of those members who have reached full equity, we decided to postpone bringing this forward until we did more information sharing with our members.
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 22:30
By 12th Moon,
Council held our monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11 in The Space @ GreenStar with nine of our fifteen members in attendance; evidently we are not immune to the flu and colds of the season.
During announcements we heard of the success of the first of a two-evening event organized by our affiliate GreenStar Community Projects. The events, entitled "Feeding Our Future: Building Community for Food Equity & Sustainability," are networking events designed to bring together as many as seventy-five people from different local organizations concerned with food equity issues. The second evening was held Thursday, Dec. 13. It is hoped these events will lead to more communication between different organizations in Tompkins County.
Our first item of business was the monthly report from our General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane. Brandon reported that the stores did well during the Thanksgiving crunch, even though we sold out of turkeys (for the first time ever) and were in the middle of the fall voting period. He also reported that the construction of a second walk-in refrigeration unit had begun at the West-End store and that research work has started for a feasibility study required by Council prior to getting the go-ahead for construction of a new central kitchen and bakery in our building at 700 West Buffalo Street.
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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,
In October, member-owners have the opportunity to vote on six bylaws changes being proposed by Council. GreenStar's bylaws, the rules that govern the internal management of the Co-op, were originally established when GreenStar was incorporated. According to our bylaws, one of the essential rights of member-owners is the ability to vote on the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement.
Unfortunately, GreenStar, like many co-ops, suffers from very poor voter turnout relative to the number of member-owners. For instance, only 5 percent of member-owners voted in th...