If it seems like Board elections came early this year, it’s because they did! In August 2014, Owners approved a bylaw change that shifted the annual election cycle from August to July thereby enabling Owners to cast their vote at the Annual Meeting & Party (AMP). This change was proposed as a way to include more Owners in the decision-making process, since the AMP is a well-attended event and a great opportunity for Owners to engage with current Board members and Board candidates.
This issue of the Reader contains everything you need to cast your ballot in this year’s election including candidate statements, a ballot, and details on when, where, and how to vote. Ready, set, vote!
WHO: All active Owners can cast a ballot. Both Individual and Household Owners are entitled to one vote.
WHAT: The annual Board election is your opportunity to participate in the democratic governance of your cooperative.
WHEN: The 2015 election period runs from July 1st to July 21st. Paper ballots must be received by 6:00pm on July 21st. Online ballots must be cast by 11:59pm on July 19th.
WHERE: You have several options for casting your ballot:
- In the store: Ballot boxes will be available in both retail locations from 7:30am on July 1st until 6:00pm on July 21st.
- By mail: Use the enclosed envelope or address one to: Owner Vote, WillyStreet Co-op, 1457 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703. Ballots must be received by July 21st at 6:00pm.
- At the Annual Meeting & Party: You can now cast your ballot at the AMP! Bring the ballot found in this issue of the Reader or use one of the ballots provided in the voting area.
- Online: If the Co-op has your email address, you will receive an email with a unique link that you follow to cast your vote. If you do not receive an online ballot via email, you’re either not the primary owner on your account or the Co-op does not have your email address. If you would like to receive your ballot by email next year, please stop by the Customer Service desk at either store and fill out the appropriate form. And don’t forget to cast a paper ballot this year!
WHY: Because Willy Street Grocery Co-op is more than just a grocery store. We are a member-owned and -controlled cooperative, where your voice matters.
A Note on the Projected Loss in FY15
As the Co-op’s Board of Directors, one of our most important roles is to safeguard the financial wellbeing of our Cooperative. Owners entrust us with this responsibility when they elect us, and we take this responsibility very seriously. As Anya stated in her June 2015 General Manager’s report, we are projecting a loss of approximately $600,000 in FY15. Please know that the Board is monitoring the Co-op’s financial situation closely. We are budgeting to break even in FY16, which will require some difficult decisions in order to re-align our expenses with more realistic sales projections. The Board and Management will provide a full financial report and answer Owners’ questions at the Annual Meeting & Party on July 9th. We hope you will come be a part of the conversation and we thank you for your continued support of your Co-op.