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GENERAL MANAGER'S REPORT
Business Matters
 

Board of Directors
Thank you for your participation in the annual Board of Directors election—voting is your right and responsibility and offers you an in to the governance of the organization. The Board had four open seats to fill; welcome to the newly elected Board of Director members Kathleen Doherty, Jay Denovo, Doug Johnson, and Renée Lauber. There were 719 ballots cast, 615 valid and 104 invalid.

As a side note, invalid ballots usually mean a member has let their membership lapse by not being current with membership equity (Fair Share) or by not purchasing goods and services in the prior calendar year as defined by our bylaws. Additionally, a ballot is invalid if a member does not complete the ballot following the instructions; for example, voting but not signing or including a member number on ballot, or for voting for too many candidates.

Downtown retail
The lease for Metropolitan Place II was signed last month—negotiations for the lease between the Co-op and the developer took five months and according to my records 311 emails between no less than 11 parties. Congratulations to the group that drafted, edited, and reviewed the document.

Another group, averaging 13 in scope, has been involved in plan review and design development for the build-out construction of the retail space. There are 223 emails in my in-box from various members of this group—and we have not completed this phase of the project. Additionally, we have exercised our option for basement office space and retail located at east end of building.

As this goes to press, we are in the process of finalizing the plans to support the build-out—this means loading dock, entrance, store layout, equipment, refrigeration, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC contracts are being reviewed. All of these numbers need to be finalized to complete the project. We will be financing the project from our accumulated cash balance, bank loans, and the issuance of owner bonds. Stay tuned for further developments.

Q: Is the Co-op not-for-profit?
A: The Willy Street Co-op is a for-profit corporation subject to federal income tax, yet not subject to state income tax, as we are exempt per section 185 of State Statutes.

The other day I was asked by member if we were a not-for-profit organization—and I said we are a for-profit organization. The Co-op pays federal income tax in a given year where income (profit) is earned. She voiced her concern that this is not posted anywhere in the store, and how are owners or prospective owners to know if management doesn’t do a better job at educating them about this fact. Thank you for this comment, and in the future we will work to make this information better known, for example in the owner brochure simply state Willy Street Co-op is a for-profit organization. Over the years, there have been newsletter, Board and committee reports that have included this information, but not knowing where to look, it may not have been obvious.