by Anya Firszt, General Manager
In addition to our business of selling groceries, right now there is a whole lot going on at the Co-op. Over the course of the next several months the membership is being asked to decide on the next fiscal year’s budgets, the Board will continue its work on second store discussions, the Board and management will plan the Annual Membership Meeting, the Board’s Owner Relations Committee will prepare for Board elections, the Board will continue to work on revisions to the current bylaws, and somewhere in there the school year will end and start again.
The proposed Operations and Capital Budgets for next fiscal year (FY2008) are included in this issue of the Reader on pages 6-7, along with a ballot and return postage-paid envelope. The fiscal year ends the Sunday nearest June 30th—which happens to be on July 1st, 2007. The store will close early (7:00pm) to prepare for the annual inventory count and auditor’s fieldwork review.
Annual Membership Meeting (AMM)
The Co-op’s annual owner’s party and business meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 9th. The event serves to meet the requirements as defined in the bylaws for the need to have a bona fide business meeting and it also serves as a reason to throw a party! The event drew over 1,000 people last year—the first AMM held at 1221 in 1999 drew 21 members, not even a quorum. Times have changed!
The business meeting will begin at 6:00pm, lasting about an hour. In that hour, various reports will be made, awards will be presented, there will possibly be an explanation of the proposed bylaw changes, and the last call for Board candidates is made (those Board candidates present are introduced and asked to say why they are running for the Board of Directors). Before and after the business meeting there will be children’s activities, food, and music starting at 4:00pm ending at 9:15pm.
Expenditure of funds
The timing of the newsletter last month did not allow me to include in my report the results of the member vote on the expenditure of funds—the results indicated that the majority of owners are in support of the Board of Directors moving forward with identifying a feasible location for a second retail site. I want to thank all 2,801 of you that voted, which represents 20 percent of the total membership eligible to vote. I particularly appreciated reading the many varied comments that were included in ballots both for and against the vote—those comments will be reviewed to shape future articles and FAQ (frequently asked questions) on the second store.
Additionally, I wanted to offer an apology by way of an explanation for the mechanics of the recent ballot—the ballot was originally designed to be a self-contained unit. The return portion of the ballot was intended to be “postage paid,” but there was a printing error that necessitated the application of 28,000 stickers! This was a regrettable mistake—one I hope never to repeat.
Good Samaritan Award
It is my pleasure to announce that the Co-op received a Good Samaritan Award from the Samaritan Counseling Center for our work supporting members in our community with autism, as well as offering foods for their special dietary needs.
This summer’s early store closings (7:00pm)
New store hours
Over the last six months the management team and staff have grappled with the current store hours. Customer Comments and the most recent Owner Survey requested that we consider staying open later that 9:00pm.
In November, an ad hoc committee of the management team was assigned the task of determining the barriers to extending the store hours and potential solutions to those barriers. Staff contributed input to the extended hours discussion. The committee’s final recommendation was that the store hours be extended to 7:30am to 9:30pm.