Along with its regular business the last few meetings, the Board has also been spending a lot of time reviewing a draft version of new bylaws for the Co-op. You are probably tired of hearing every few months about how the Board is working on this revision of the bylaws and you would probably also like to actually see something of this years-long effort. Well, we would like to get this process wrapped up soon too, but as you can imagine, changing the bylaws is a very important undertaking that goes to the core of how we conduct our business and it isn’t something to be taken on lightly. We are getting to the point, though, where we will be able to start talking in specifics about some of the recommendations that we will be making to you.
How the process began
We began this process with an ad hoc committee of Board members, employees and a few other volunteers. The committee spent a long time researching and talking about what kinds of things need to be covered by bylaws and looking at the bylaws of other co-ops. We talked about what is in our current bylaws and about whether there might be anything in them that could stand to be improved or updated, or if there was anything that might prove too cumbersome if we were to open another store or if we gained a lot of new owners. We also talked about the qualities that were key to what the Co-op is that we would want to make sure were left alone or strengthened in any new version of the bylaws. The committee organized several focus groups of interested owners to give us feedback on some of the issues we were considering and prepared some recommendations for the Board. The Board has debated lots of possibilities and has finally arrived at a draft that is almost ready.
Owner review and comments
The next step will be for you, the owners, to review and comment on what the Board has prepared and then at the end of this process there will be a vote for you to adopt or reject these new bylaws. Look for articles in the next few newsletters talking about the proposed changes. We will be scheduling some informational meetings for you to come to and ask questions and discuss the proposals. We will also make the opportunity available for you to publish comments about the proposals on the website and in the store for everyone else to read. After listening to this feedback from you, the Board will revisit the draft proposal and make a final recommendation to you, the owners, for you to vote on.
What the bylaws are
The bylaws are the fundamental rules that we all as the joint owners of this business set for how the Co-op is to be run. It is very important for us to get them right so please let us know what you think about them.