Marilyn Chase


from Marilyn Chase, Council President

GreenStar Council News for February 2021

Volunteer on a Council Committee

In January’s Council News article, I made an appeal to consider running for Council. If you have some interest, but are undecided and would like a deeper understanding before you commit, serving as a member-at-large on a Committee is one of the best ways to become familiar with the work of Council.

The Membership Engagement Committee, which currently has three open seats for members-at-large, oversees the recruitment of Council and Committee members, and facilitates a meaningful connection between Council and the membership of the Cooperative.

The Finance Committee, which currently has one open seat for a member-at-large, provides oversight to ensure the Cooperative’s financial health and asset protection, monitors the financial strategies of the Cooperative, and oversees its investment options.

The ad-hoc Personnel Committee, which currently has one open seat for a member at large, facilitates Council’s monitoring and evaluation of the GM’s performance and the GM’s annual report on staff treatment and compensation.

The Governance Committee ensures the functioning and efficacy of the Cooperative’s governing structure and policies, and facilitates effective working relationships among Council members. There are currently no open seats on this committee, but members are also welcome to attend committee meetings to learn more.

Committee meetings are held online and take place as needed (typically once per month, sometimes less). As a committee member, you will have the opportunity to offer your ideas and share your skills with Council by assisting in carrying out the work of Council.

If you would like more information about Council’s committees and the process to apply, or if you have questions you would like to ask – please send us an email at council@greenstar.coop. If you would prefer to have a conversation, we would be happy to schedule some time to talk!

Please consider becoming actively involved in the governance of our beloved co-op. We are 12,000 members strong and all of our voices are important, let’s hear yours!

Highlights from the February Council Meeting

Council is pleased to announce that our General Manager, Brandon Kane has accepted a new three year employment contract. He has been our GM since 2011 and continues to excel in his position. He has developed a supportive, productive management team who have successfully navigated unprecedented challenges while creating a safe working and shopping environment.

Last fall the Personnel Committee conducted a thorough review of the charges of the Staff Advisory Board, and assessment of its performance. It was noted that Council established a policy that focused Staff Advisory Board priorities more on process than achievement. The many requirements addressing details such as election security, an elaborate system of representation for different types of staff, and an extremely complicated proposal submission process for changes to personnel policy. The Personnel Committee concluded that the requirements did not seem to result in the successful implementation of Council’s concept for the Staff Advisory Board. At its February meeting, Council repealed the Staff Advisory Board (SAB) policy and removed it from the Official Personnel Policy. GreenStar’s new Human Resources director has worked with her team to develop myriad avenues for staff communication, including opportunities to provide feedback and input on issues concerning staff.

Council approved other policy amendments and proposals, including:

  • Monitored Policy B.2 Planning and Budgeting, finding it in compliance except the policy summary statement and sub-policies 1.a and 1.c. Noncompliance on those subpolices was due to the financial stressors resulting from the pandemic. A reasonable plan is in place to bring the Policy back into compliance
  • Approved new member petition forms, which can be accessed online or printed.
  • Granted a 3-month leave of absence to Council’s Vice President, Kara Cusolito. She is expecting her first child later this month.
  • Approved the cost of sending 9 Council members to the two day training course, “Excellence in Member-Centric Governance and Management,” offered by Saint Mary University.

You can find details on these items by reviewing the February Council Agenda, available on the GreenStar.coop website. Minutes are posted to the website upon approval from Council. 

Next Council Meeting:

Tuesday, March 9th, beginning at 6:30pm — Member-Owners are always welcome!