This year promises to be an exciting year for the Co-op; a year of growth and changes.

New site

We are looking forward to the opening of the Downtown store and the many new opportunities and challenges that it will bring. While many residents of the downtown neighborhoods are already Willy Street Co-op Owners and shoppers (indeed this was one of the criteria that we used when selecting the new site), we are anticipating an increasing number of new Owners coming to the Co-op. There is also going to be a large increase in the number of staff members that we employ. Altogether, there will be a lot of new people involved with the Co-op, and we will be doing everything that we can to demonstrate the superiority of the cooperative way of doing business.

This new site will also give us the chance to become more intimately involved in the community—working with the business and neighborhood associations and getting involved in the day-to-day activities of a different part of the city from what we are used to.

New bylaws

It also looks like 2008 will finally be the year of the new bylaws. After many years of effort, including Owner focus groups, Owner informational meetings last summer, and lots of talking, the revised proposal for newly restated bylaws is practically ready. Look out for announcements soon about some more informational meetings, check out the proposed new bylaws on the website, and let us know what you think. This draft of the new bylaws is being prepared by the Board, but you, the Owners, will have the final say on them and will have to approve them in a vote before they can be put into effect.

Owner discount policy

Another issue that will be coming before you some time this year is the Owner discount policy (senior discounts, low income memberships, and such). An ad hoc committee consisting of Owners, Board and staff was meeting last year to discuss the problems and challenges that we are facing with the current policy. Before any changes are made, though, there will be some informational listening sessions held where you can find out more about what might be changed and why.

Become involved

So, be on the watch for these opportunities to become involved and let us know what you think. Remember too that Board meetings are open to any Owners to attend and there is time scheduled at the beginning of every meeting for you to speak to the Board on any governance issues that are of concern to you. There is also an email address (board@willstreet.coop) that goes to all Board members, so you can reach us that way as well.