As usual, Board meetings over the last three months have been busy. The board has taken on a variety of important topics relating to our own operations, the broader world, and the interactions between the two.
In July, the board approved a Racial Equity Statement that was developed jointly by a board-management committee. The statement (available in full on our website) notes that “As food cuts across all demographics, so does race,” and states clearly that “North Coast Co-op’s board and management are committed to racial equity and are working towards building a more inclusive organization.” In large part as a reflection of this commitment, the board in August approved a request from a member to post “Justice for Josiah” posters in our store windows.
Sustainability and environmental integrity are always on the minds of board members and management, and the board addressed a number of important environmental issues recently. In July, the board approved the General Manager to sign on to the international statement in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. The board also approved a recommendation from the Earth Action Committee to direct staff to work with the City of Arcata, as appropriate, to help implement the City’s new Zero Waste Action Plan.
The planned remodel of the Eureka store has been a major topic at board meetings for many months. In July, we welcomed Courtney Augustus to the staff to handle communications around the remodel. In September, the board heard that permit applications have now been submitted to the City of Eureka and are expected to be processed quickly. Financing for the project, which was also discussed by the board in its September Executive Session, is shaping up. In fact, some initial work on the remodel is already under way, such as ordering major pieces of equipment. We expect the progress to accelerate very soon.
In August, Nominating Committee Chair Ed Smith reported that current Board Member and Vice President Cheri Strong was the only employee to apply for the employee-director seat up for election this fall (and currently held by Cheri). In September, Ed reported that Cheri had been elected by her fellow employee-members, and will be on the ballot for approval by the general membership. Joining her on the ballot will be James Kloor, current Board Member, and the only person to apply for the general membership seat up for election.
Policies & Procedures
In August, the board adopted new guidelines for best practices for board members requesting information from staff. The guidelines are very general and meant to help board and staff ask themselves questions about what are appropriate conversations and requests from each other. In September, the board reviewed and approved recommended changes to the Board Policy Manual and Bylaws from the Policies & Procedures Committee on a number of topics. The changes bring greater consistency, clarity and appropriateness to descriptions of the roles of Co-op officers (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary) and to policies on insurance, theft prevention, board elections, and other topics.
Health Care for All
In August, the board approved a request from Treasurer Mary Ella Anderson to write a letter to Assemblymember Jim Wood on behalf of the Co-op in support of current efforts to pass a universal single-payer healthcare bill in the California legislature. The board feels strongly that such a system would not only benefit the health of individuals but also the financial health of businesses like the Co-op, for which health care costs can be a major, and often unpredictable, expense.
Attend a Board Meeting!
Members are encouraged to attend board meetings, which are held the first Thursday of every month at 6pm, at the Ten Pin building on the south corner of K and 8th Streets in Arcata. Agendas are posted one week prior to the meeting and can be found in both stores, requested at Customer Service or read online along with past board meeting minutes.