February 2006

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Customer Comments

General Manager's Report

Bylaw Committee

Board Report: Audit, Sales, Nominations, and More

Produce News

Grocery News

Deli News

Book News

Specials Information

Floral News

Producer Profile: Willy Street Co-op Off Site Kitchen

Healthy Convenience Foods

Making the Switch to a Whole Foods-Vegetarian Diet

Recipes & Drink Recommendations


Community Calendar


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General Manager's Report

Planning the Year

by Anya Firszt, General Manager

Annual planning

The current fiscal year was shortened to three quarters versus four quarters to adjust for the change in the fiscal year from the Sunday nearest September 30th to the Sunday nearest June 30th. The FY2006 first quarter financials are now complete and it is time to start the budgeting process for the next fiscal year. It has been a challenge for me to budget six months in advance of the beginning of the fiscal year to accommodate the approval process, knowing that by the time the new fiscal year begins the budgeted assumptions are wrong or off enough to be a drag. Ideally the budget needs to be approved before the beginning of the next fiscal year, which would be in at least June if not May 2006.

Once the current year has ended the process returns to the same timing as previously and will not seem as convoluted. Unless of course, the Board proposes to the membership a change in the bylaw that at present dictates the budget approval process. I maybe going out on a limb by writing this, but I believe wholeheartedly that the membership elects the Board to do exactly this kind of work for the Co-op—and that the Board should be empowered by the membership to review and approve the budget. As a manager it is my firm belief that requiring the membership to approve the budget is a detriment to the organization due to the fact that the growing complexity of expanding operations does not allow for timely decision-making. The Board has no recommendations at this time to make to the membership proposing any bylaw amendments—but in case the opportunity presents itself, you know my opinion on this one. I digress.

The Board member election process and timing will remain the same—candidates that desire to run for the for the Board are asked to submit a letter of interest to the Board Nominations Committee and make a statement at the Annual Membership Meeting. The Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for August 10th. The Board election will be held in September, and at a special membership meeting scheduled for September 18th, ballots will be verified and counted, and the newly elected Board members will be announced.

FY2007 will begin under the current Board unless there is an unforeseen resignation between now and then, which means the open Board seats will be filled after the new fiscal year begins. This process will not change in future years—and is certainly something to think about.

FY2005 Annual Report

Members can expect two mailings from the Co-op this month—the Reader and the Annual Report. The Annual Report will include previous fiscal year financial highlights, and various reports and lists of last year’s accomplishments for you to review.

Farmer appreciation dinner

The idea to honor and thank our local farmers and food producers and their families came from the produce staff four years ago—again this year we have planned a family-style dinner to celebrate 53 local producers.

Store closing early

The store will close at 7:00 pm on Monday, February 13th for our annual staff party. It is not our desire to inconvenience anyone with this change in routine store hours, and we will do our level best to inform you through the Reader, in-store signage and register receipt reminders—those of you later night Monday shoppers, plan ahead!