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Elections

Good food needs good leadership!

One of the things that makes the Co-op a unique grocery store is that we are a democratic organization controlled by our members who actively participate in setting our policies and making decisions. Those elected serve as representatives on our Board of Directors and are accountable to the membership. That means that our business is locally owned, locally operated, and locally governed by our community!

North Coast Co-op elections are held annually in the fall to elect new members to our seven-member Board of Directors. Elections can also be held to vote on membership initiatives or amendments to our bylaws. No matter what is on the ballot, member-owners are encouraged to vote!

Thank you to everyone who applied to run for the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is currently reviewing applications and will notify candidates of eligibility on August 31. Voting begins on October 2, and all Co-op members are invited to our Election Kick Off during Arts Alive! on October 6.  

The 2018 Election Timeline

  • June 1: Applications available for two open General Member-Director seats – read the information below or in our Election Brochure to see if you are interested in running for the board.

  • June 7: Meet the Board reception for those interested in candidacy.

  • July 5: Meet the Board reception for those interested in candidacy.

  • July 30: Applications are due.

  • August 31: The Nominating Committee Chair will notify candidates of eligibility.

  • October 2: Elections begin! Candidates running for the Board of Directors are encouraged to campaign during election period by following our Campaigning Guidelines for Candidates.

  • October 6: Election Kick-Off Event – connect with fellow members at a candidate meet-and-greet at Arts Alive! in Eureka.

  • October 21: Annual Membership Celebration & Meeting – candidates will have the opportunity to meet with members and address the membership in attendance.

  • October 24: General election ends – ballot boxes will be picked up from both stores at 9pm.

  • October 25: Ballots are counted – winners and non-winners will be notified

  • October 30: Within 5 days of election closing, the election results, including vote counts per candidate or other ballot item, are announced and posted in all Co-op stores and on the Co-op website

  • November 1: First board meeting for new directors!


About the Board of Directors
North Coast Co-op is a member-owned organization run by a Board of Directors. There are seven board members – five general member-directors and two employee-directors – who are elected for three-year terms. Board members can serve for a total of three consecutive terms. The primary responsibilities of the Board of Directors are to provide overall direction and ensure the long-range security and viability of the Co-op, and to develop policies necessary to carry out the duties of the board and the functions of the cooperative!

Board Candidate Eligibility

  • Is a member of the North Coast Co-op at the time of submitting application for candidacy.

  • Has no record of shoplifting at the North Coast Co-op or has had the right to shop reinstated according to operating procedures.

  • If previously employed by the Co-op, was not fired within the past 12 months.

  • Any actual or potential conflict of interest, including any potential conflict relating to previous employment at the North Coast Co-op, is disclosed and there is no overriding conflict of interest.

  • Any past felony conviction is disclosed and there is no conviction which in the judgement of a reasonable person precludes service on the board.

The Nominating Committee shall use these qualifications to determine whether a candidate is excluded from candidacy. Should the Nominating Committee exclude a candidate, the full board may reconsider the exclusion provided the candidate chooses to contest within 72 hours.

Board of Directors Responsibilities: It is essential that board members be responsible to the membership as a whole. We are looking for persons of good faith and sound judgment willing to work cooperatively within our process and board culture. As a part of their overall responsibilities, all board members must:

  • Commit to a three-year term.

  • Attend monthly board meetings (first Thursday of the month) and other special meetings as they arise. Shall not have three unexcused consecutive absences from regular or special meetings of the board.

  • Serve on the Finance Committee and at least one additional committee of choice.

  • Stay informed about committee matters, prepare well for meetings, review and comment on minutes and reports etc. (10-20 hours per month, monthly stipend provided).

  • Build a working relationship with fellow board members.

  • Disclose social security number, live-scan and other personal documentation to local, state and government agencies, as necessary.

  • A board member has the duty to exercise reasonable care when making decisions for the Co-op. Reasonable care is what an “ordinarily prudent” person in a similar situation would do.

  • A board member must never use information gained through their position for personal gain and must always act in the best interest of the Co-op.

  • A board member must be faithful to the Co-op’s mission. They shouldn’t act in a way that is inconsistent with the Co-op’s goals.

Board Committees: All board members are on the Finance Committee, which meets quarterly, and get to choose the other committee they want to be on. Most other committees meet monthly.

  • Earth Action Committee Discusses environmental and sustainability issues.

  • Finance Committee Reviews and analyzes all financial information to be presented to the board and considers financial motions that ultimately must be approved by the board.

  • Member Action Committee Provides an organized structure for members to come together to communicate their ideas and concerns about the      Co-op.

  • Nominating Committee Recruits and nominates candidates for the board and its committees. Supervises elections and the training and development of leadership in the board and committee members.

  • Policies & Procedures Committee Takes on issues delegated by the board as well as reviews all governing documents including the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Board Policy Manual.


Voting
During the election period, election materials including candidate statements and a ballot are mailed to member-owners. (Be sure to keep your mailing address current by contacting our Membership Coordinator at membership@northcoast.coop, or by calling (707) 822-5947 x 234. You can also update your information by filling out a Request Form at Customer Service.)

Voting can take place in our stores with ballot boxes and election materials available on site. Ballots can also be mailed. More information about voting will be included in the election materials sent to member-owners.

All memberships that are active forty-five (45) days prior to the date of the Annual Membership Meeting are entitled to vote at the meeting or cast a written ballot. In addition to the annual Board of Director elections, member-owners may also vote on membership initiatives or amendments to the articles or bylaws. Quorums for all elections are set forth in North Coast Co-op's Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws, Section IV.

*Employee directors are nominated by their fellow employee member-owners in an election that is separate from the general election. The employee election occurs approximately three months prior to the general election. The employee candidate with the most votes is then placed on the general election ballot for ratification by the membership.