The June Board meeting was very positive and productive. It is so rewarding to work with such a diverse and thoughtful group of people committed to serving our member-owners, the community, and the environment. If you have not attended a North Coast Co-op board of directors meeting in a while, I will take some time now to catch you up!
Within the past year and a half, a lot of positive changes have occurred to help the board and staff continue to follow our mission and lead the way as a grocery retailer on the North Coast. Last year the board re-activated the Member Action Committee (MAC) to help member-owners bring their ideas to the board for action. In addition, the board developed the Policies & Procedures Committee (PPC) to tackle the burdensome task of bringing Co-op bylaws and other policies up-to-date. This year the board formed the Earth Action Committee (EAC) to drive actions relevant to the environment, and lastly the board has approved the BIG Ideas meeting. The new Big Ideas Gathering (BIG) is an attempt by the Board to focus on the big picture, assess how well the Co-op is living up to the Cooperative Principles and values, and to our commitment to the “triple bottom line” of social, environmental and financial well-being.
Now, I’ll continue to summarize the June board meeting.
Board Secretary and Chair of the Policies & Procedures Committee, Colin Fiske, reviewed the proposed bylaws additions which will include a definition of what a Fair Share membership is. I reminded everyone that there will be no proposed change in Fair Share level. By including a definition of Fair Share membership in the bylaws the document will now be aligned with what is already in practice.
The following motions were made and passed:
- Support of the Driscoll boycott;
- Recommendation that there be an operational policy for employee training for inquiring about options and prices for all grab-and-go disposable packaging options including consumer-compostable packages;
- Recommendation that there be an operational policy for incentivized shopper purchase and use of durable containers;
- Recommendation that the fiscal year 2017 budget revisions allows for the purchase of compostable containers, marketing funds for Co-op logo durable containers, and contracting with an outside advisor (such as Zero-Waste Humboldt); and
- C share dividend rate (whole shares) to continue current interest rate of 2.00% APR for quarter ending September 24, 2016.
After all our committees reported, Interim General Manager Ron Sharp presented his report. Here are some highlights:
- Staff is working to update our registers so that it will be possible for senior member-owners to take a 5% discount on Senior Day and the once a month 5% Member-owner Discount in the same purchase. So for one Tuesday a month it will be possible for a senior member-owner to “stack” their discount.
- Staff will clearly communicate with member-owners that the yearly $50 minimum purchase requirement is a reminder; member-owners are not automatically getting kicked out of membership for lesser patronage. And, member-owners who are not California residents still need to close their membership, regardless of patronage, due to our securities regulations.
- Staff continues to research the best way to provide electric car charging stations.
General Manager Search update: The board of directors is grateful to staff for continuing to pursue the Co-op’s mission, and for the leadership Interim General Manager Ron Sharp has provided during the past few months while the board continues the national search for a permanent General Manager. The board intends to fill the General Manager position by this fall.