Wednesday, 03 June 2015 01:50
By 12th Moon,
Council met Tuesday, May 12 at the Classrooms @ GreenStar for our monthly meeting with all thirteen Council Members, two newly elected but not-yet-seated Council Members, five staff members, and a number of member-owners interested in a member-initiated petition to conduct a referendum vote regarding having GreenStar halt the sale of certain products from Israel and/or from specific companies associated with the conflict in Gaza and the West Bank (see below and Council's Message to Membership on this page for more on this).
After our introductions and statement of preparedness, we made an agenda amendment to add an item to our agenda for the evening, and then heard announcements. We then heard comments from a few members relevant to the petition.
The General Manager's (GM) monthly report came as our first order of business. Our GM, Brandon Kane, reported that the improvements at the DeWitt location, covering the stairway to the basement and opening up floor space as a result, have been very well received by members and staff alike. Brandon reported that Erik Amos, our new Finance Manager, and Matt McLaren, our new Central Kitchen Manager, are now familiar with their new positions and have been incorporated into the Area Supervisors Team. Brandon informed us that he had been asked to be part of a panel presentation at next month's annual national Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference. This will be the third year in a row that GreenStar has been asked to present at the CCMA conference; we must be doing something well. Brandon will be presenting our Fresh Local Organic Within Everyone's Reach (FLOWER) program and speaking about our diversity and inclusion efforts.
Friday, 01 May 2015 21:33
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on April 14 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar with eleven of fourteen Council Members, three staff, and three Council candidates in attendance. After introductions, Council Members' statements of preparedness, and announcements, we moved to our first item of business: the General Manager's (GM) monthly report.
GM Brandon Kane reported that the Member Deals program is being well received by members and the addition of Flash Sales, offering reduced prices on items until supply runs out, has extended our ability to offer even better deals.
Brandon expects the closing documents for a loan from the Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) to be ready for our May Council meeting. We're borrowing from CFNE to outfit the Collegetown store with needed equipment and fixtures. Brandon also reported that investigations were initiated to determine if we could refinance the annex building and install a large array of solar panels on the roof. After eleven years at the DeWitt location, the enclosure over the stairway to the basement was removed, and a register relocated to the rear entrance into the mall. This should improve the flow of customers, offer a little more floor space, and add security and convenience to the rear entrance.
Council Meeting Report: Council Approves Amended Collegetown Lease, Authorizes Funds for Solar Array
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 22:20
By 12th Moon,
Council held our regular meeting on March 10 at 6:30 pm in The Classrooms @ GreenStar with twelve of fourteen Council Members, five staff members, and seven member-owners present. After introductions, a statement of preparedness by Council Members, and announcements, we heard from a few of the member-owners present. Concern was voiced regarding a proposed petition that would ask for a binding referendum vote by our member-owners. The referendum would, if passed, require GreenStar to stop selling certain products from Israel or companies the petitioners say benefit from but harm Palestinians. For more information, see my article and separate statement in the March GreenLeaf, or a statement by Council posted at both stores' Member Centers.
General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane brought the first agenda item of the evening, the monthly GM's Report. Brandon reported that continued cold and snowy weather led to a slow start for the year, much like last year, while staff have been tweaking the newly introduced Member Deals program. Brandon also reported that he will be presenting at a Co-op Café event in March and at the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference in Boise, Idaho in June. It is an honor that GreenStar has been asked to present at the last three CCMA conferences; we must be doing something right. He told us to expect final designs for the Collegetown store equipment and layout to be completed soon, as well as a Member Survey that ends April 1, no fooling. He and the Facilities Manager have been receiving quotes to have a large array of photovoltaic panels mounted on our annex building roof. More will be heard later regarding the proposed project. At our DeWitt location, a register is being moved to the rear entrance and the stairway to the basement will be covered over, opening the center of the store. Brandon also reported that a new Finance Manager has been hired to replace Joe Marraffino, who is headed to the Democracy at Work Institute to work as their Rural Cooperative Developer for the Northeast. Many thanks to Joe for some great reworking of our financial reports to Council — we wish you the best. Welcome to new Finance Manager Erik Amos, who comes to GreenStar after five years of supporting Wheatsville Food Coop in Austin, Texas in their reporting, data integrity, and information technology needs. Erik, it's great to have you increase your commitment to our co-op, and congratulations.
- Council Meeting Report: Council Appoints New Member; Selects Tellers for April Election
- Council Meeting Report: Council Appoints New Member; Approves Hiring Collegetown Consultant
- Council Meeting Report: Council Seeks Candidates for April Elections; Approves 2015 Budget
- Council Meeting Report: Meat Referendum Vote Certified, Stores' Budget Discussed
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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
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...