3.1: The Co-op shall have one class of Owners. “Owners” in these bylaws is equivalent to and used in place of the term “members” as used in Chapter 185.
3.2: Ownership in the Co-op shall be voluntary and open to any person, household, cooperative or non-profit corporation that wishes to support the Co-op’s activities, intends to use its services, and will accept the responsibilities of Ownership.
3.3: The Co-op shall not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, color, national origin or ancestry, age, physical appearance, sexual orientation, handicap/disability, marital status, familial status, occupation, source of income, arrest record or conviction record, less than honorable discharge, or political beliefs.
3.4: Submitting a completed Ownership application and payment towards a “Fair Share” is required in order to become an Owner. An application for Ownership may be subject to approval by the Board of Directors.
3.5: The “Fair Share” is the dollar amount that is required to purchase an Ownership share. The Board of Directors may make provisions allowing the purchase of this share in installments over time and may allocate a portion of each payment as a non-refundable administrative fee. Any change to the amount of the Fair Share shall be approved by the Owners using the signed ballot process described in Section 4.7.
3.6: An Owner is considered to be current and in good standing if the Owner has made a purchase at least once in the past 12 months and either the Fair Share is paid in full or the required installment payments have been made.
3.7: Ownership may be terminated voluntarily by an Owner at any time upon written notice to the Co-op. Ownership will be considered voluntarily terminated if not kept current.
3.8: Ownership may be terminated involuntarily only for cause by the Board of Directors, provided the accused Owner is first accorded an adequate opportunity to respond to the charges in person or in writing. “For cause” termination must be based upon seriously improper conduct which must include at least one of the following circumstances:
- A willful failure to deal fairly with the Co-op in connection with a matter in which the Owner has a material conflict of interest.
- A violation of criminal law at or in connection with, activities of the Co-op, unless the Owner had reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was lawful or no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful.
- A transaction with the Co-op from which the Owner derived an improper personal benefit.
- Willful misconduct or disruptive behavior on a second occasion after clear written warning that such conduct or behavior could result in loss of Ownership status.
3.9: Upon termination of Ownership, all rights and interests in the Co-op shall cease except for rights to redemption of their Fair Share funds in accordance with these bylaws.
3.10: The balance existing in each Owner’s Fair Share account shall be refunded upon termination of Ownership, within 90 (ninety) days of demand, subject to the Board of Directors determining when money is available for refunds and how much may safely be refunded each fiscal year.
3.11: Ownership rights and interests, including any Fair Share balance, may not be sold, assigned or otherwise transferred in any way to another person or entity except as provided for by the Board of Directors.
3.12: The Board of Directors may establish other categories of patrons (seniors or low income, for example) that may from time to time be extended certain Owner benefits, such as being able to make purchases at Owner prices, without having purchaseda Fair Share, however these designations will not bestow any right to vote or to be elected to the Board.