Friday, 31 May 2013 17:16
By 12th Moon,
Council held our regular monthly meeting on May 14 in The Space @ GreenStar with all Council Members attending most of the meeting. Losing no time after the annual Council elections, we had just held our annual Area Supervisors and Council dinner meeting on Friday, May 10, and held our annual retreat with our consultant from Cooperative Board Leadership Development (CBLD) all day on Saturday, May 11, with all three newly elected Council Members participating.
After removing two items from our agenda that were not ready for presentation yet, we moved on to receive the General Manager's (GM) monthly report. Brandon Kane, our GM, reported on progress made on the central kitchen and bakery to be constructed in our warehouse building at 700 W. Buffalo Street. He also reported that a new lease agreement had been signed with the developer seeking to build the Collegetown Crossings project (which would include a GreenStar satellite location), contingent on the City's removal of the parking requirements for the project. Brandon further informed us of a consumer product education service that he and Operations Manager Sara Paulison are investigating, provided by a firm entitled How Good (www.howgood.com), and he informed us that managers are looking at the possibility of selling the Ithaca Chai business. He also announced that our tax-exempt affiliate, GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), has hired a new staff support person, Luke Jones, is making progress on a donation drive, is continuing regular community networking dinner meetings, and is planning for an all-day event in the fall.
We next certified the voting results of our April Council elections and referendum vote, with much discussion around how people vote and what we could do in the future to guide members to submit the ballots whole (some members submitted their ballots cut into separate pieces for the various votes: Council, referendum, etc.). Look for the posted voting results at both stores and on our website, www.greenstar.coop. We then seated Patrice Lockert Anthony to fill our one vacant seat. A big welcome and thank you to Patrice and our two other new Council Members, who will be seated at our June 11 meeting, Courtney Mayszak and Scott Morris.
Sunday, 05 May 2013 16:58
By 12th Moon,
Council held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 9 in The Space @ GreenStar with twelve of our fourteen members present, and a full agenda.
We received the General Manager's (GM) monthly report first. Brandon Kane, our GM, reported that a few of the managers have spent much time over the past months compiling a feasibility study regarding the proposed project of building a centralized kitchen and bakery, and renovating The Space @ GreenStar to hold public events. This project was presented to Council later in the evening (see below for more).
Brandon also reported that GreenStar Community Projects hosted their third "Feeding our Future" networking event in The Space on Thursday, March 28, with sixty in attendance focused on finding solutions to equitable access in our community's food system. The Winter Farmers Market closed out the season after another great winter at The Space @ GreenStar. Brandon said that the 2012 Annual Report will be available at the Annual Spring Member Meeting and thereafter at both stores.
The GM's report told us that the online Council Policy Book is now up to date, and that GreenStar is collaborating with GIAC and Loaves and Fishes to present the three-part PBS documentary "Race: The Power of an Illusion" for staff and board members on three consecutive weekdays in June.
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 23:49
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on March 12 in The Space @ GreenStar with thirteen of our fourteen members in attendance. We managed to work through a lengthy agenda and still adjourn five minutes early.
During our "announcements" time we heard that GreenStar and Local First Ithaca will be sponsors of two screenings of the documentary film Bag It, which investigates the relationship we have with plastics. There will be a showing of the film at Cornell on Wednesday, April 17 and a showing at Cinemapolis on Sunday, April 21.
Brandon Kane, our General Manager (GM), presented his monthly GM's Report as our first item. Brandon reported that the store managers are looking to enlarge our "Basics" program to include more offerings and that progress is being made on completing a feasibility study regarding the proposed construction of a centralized kitchen and bakery in our warehouse building, which should come to Council next month at our April 9 meeting. The plans also include the finishing of the north end of the building as a large meeting space for our uses and for community events. He also reported that the Board of Zoning Appeals had denied the requested variances to the developer of the proposed Collegetown Crossing project. We're still hoping this project, which would house a GreenStar satellite store, will go forward, as the city could move to remove the minimum parking requirements later this year. We learned that research is being done to evaluate the future use of our small building currently leased by Enterprise car rental, which they will be vacating later this year.
Brandon also reported on three Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. The first was an All Staff meeting held March 26, focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace with facilitation by Dr. Nadia Rubaii, who has done similar workshops through the Human Services Coalition. Second, GreenStar and AFCU staff members participated in a first-round Talking Circle last year, facilitated by the Multicultural Resource Center, and are planning another combined Talking Circle this year. Third, Brandon reported that we are working on collaborating with GIAC in April to host a three-part viewing of Race: The Power of an Illusion, along with facilitated discussions. This is part of a community-wide initiative supported by many organizations, including the Multicultural Resource Center and Coalition: Understanding to Overcome (U2O).
- Council Continues PG Transition; Approves Committee Members; Sets Spring Meetings
- Council Revisits GM Job Description; Seeks Candidates for Spring Council Election
- Council Finalizes 2013 Budgets; Certifies Fall Member Election Results
- Council Hears PG Reports; Approves Co-op Film Donation and Kitchen Consultant
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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
GreenStar 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...