Who should be on the Board?

Submitted by Rebecca Tell, member worker

On November 30 at the Special Membership Meeting, we will be voting on who should be on the Board.  Two seats vacated by resignations will be filled (one currently empty, one temporarily occupied by appointee John Serio)  and there will be a vote on whether each existing Board member should be removed, and what candidates will replace them if so.

That’s a lot of people to evaluate: all the existing Board members and enough candidates to fill all the seats.

For new candidates, statements are required and will be posted on the Honest Weight website, where you can also find an application form if you’d like to run.  (Note: A number of candidates have agreed to run whose statements are not yet posted, so don’t panic if you only see a couple statements online so far!)  The deadline to submit the application is 11/25 at 5pm, but completing it sooner is highly recommended.  There will be Meet the Candidates events at the coop on Saturday 11/21 from 11am to 1pm and on Sunday 11/29 from 1-3pm, and one at St. Sophia Church on 11/30 at 4:30pm, immediately before the Special Membership Meeting.

And then there is the question of how we evaluate the merits of the folks who are currently on the Board.  There have been many “Ask the Board” sessions, regular Board meetings, and several messages from the Board collectively sent out by email in the Inside Scoop.  We have been told that the next Inside Scoop will include direct responses to the charges against them in the members’ petition.  So we’ll have that information to work with.

But in all of those contexts, Board members have been expected to speak in their official capacity and representing the Board.  Those channels have not allowed any opportunity for an individual Board member to communicate to the Members how he or she personally relates to recent events, or how he or she could imagine acting as part of a new Board with a new mandate from the Members.  I would like to hear this, from any Board member who would like to share it.  So I’m issuing an open invitation: please submit a post here on this site!  It would help us a great deal to figure out whether we could count on you as part of a good, revised team going forward.

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22 thoughts on “Who should be on the Board?

  1. C00p Member

    This is a sad time. The fact that a small group of people is undoing all the hard work that went into the last elections does not seem democratic at all but more like a Coup d’état by a select group of elitist members. This is short sighted and nothing on this website has any concrete plan as to where we are going. I think this is hugely irresponsible and worry about our future for members, staff, community member, farmers who rely on us, and the mission. If this much time and energy went into education and outreach maybe we’d actually be fulfilling our mission.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Ron

        but not in the way you are using it. The coup, as the letter to the DOL makes clear, is being done by the powers that be and benefits them and is about as democratic as Wall Street.

        Like

    1. Whats more is that the petitioners were donating member hours to shareholders to empower them to vote for their agenda. These are the same people who say they are against opening voting to ALL shareholders. Seems like a perfect example hypocrisy to me! When you’ve got real life convicts like Republican Thomas Spargo and the Dishonorable Practically-A-Republican Kate Doyle trying to get on your board, you KNOW theres something shady happening. http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/High-court-Remove-Albany-County-judge-5581406.php#photo-6516372

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Whats more is that the petitioners were donating member hours to shareholders to empower them to vote for their agenda. These are the same people who say they are against opening voting to ALL shareholders. Seems like a perfect example hypocrisy to me! When you’ve got real life convicts like Republican Thomas Spargo and the Dishonorable Practically-A-Republican Kate Doyle trying to get on your board, you KNOW theres something shady happening. http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/High-court-Remove-Albany-County-judge-5581406.php#photo-6516372

      Like

      1. Ron

        1. Member workers or shareholders, to use your term have long been able to “donate” member hours.

        2. Everyone has skeletons in the closet don’t they. The issue is not character. It is whether what a person is saying is true or not. Kate Doyle is offering valid refutations of the Boards fallacious contention that the Coop is illegal. It is fallacious since there is no legal precedent. It is also worth remembering that the Board (or really some of its members) are pushing an agenda that originates with the National Cooperative Grocers Association and CDS consultants, two corporate types.

        3. Unlike the situation with the Board’s diktat ending member work which allowed NO voting, you can actually vote for this “agenda”.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Susan Longtin

      I don’t see it like that. I see that people have been undoing the work we did in the past making Honest Weight a great organization. This has been a long time coming but is coming to a head now and I firmly believe that when it’s done, our dear Co-op will be great once again. This “small group of people” has been doing a great job. I am one of them and have been saying for 15 or more years that much of the Powers at the Co-op have heads bloated with power and this power is away from the membership. We need to take it back.

      Like

  2. Ron

    In my opinion Ned Depew is the only person who should definitely be retained on the Board. I know of Ned’s struggles to keep the “coop” a coop, I saw how other members of the Board, particularly the corporate clique of Kuchera, Fry, and Hartmark, bullied him. I know about the secret meeting from which Ned was “excused” (Fry’s words) as though his mum had excused him from gym class.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Colleen Putnam

    Dear Coop Member,

    Thank you for for your voice! I’ve been feeling like a lone dissenter here and in meetings on this “process” of disagreement that is taking place. And, I’m even more encouraged that your comment has garnered two “likes” (I’ll make it three once I figure out how!). It is very sad and terribly undemocratic in the purest sense — the vote, our voice! Our votes from the April election become meaningless. That should NEVER be taken lightly. Too many have struggled and sacrificed for that right.

    My view – this could have been handled more diplomatically and cooperatively. The air in the store that used to be pleasant and inviting is now tense and filled with fear and anger.

    Colleen (not alone)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan Longtin

      It could probably have been handled better given time. There wasn’t time. In addition, the “withholding information” and other things that were going on was just disgusting to me and I wanted it to happen fast. Others agreed with me. I joined a Co-op 30+ years ago that belonged to the people and it will again.

      Like

  4. Ron

    This site doesn’t appear to be an exclusive web club since staff and other interested observers seem to be able to come here and post. Perhaps this is too democratic for some.

    Have I been to board meetings? Yup. You can read my description of a visit to one at my blog. It was fascinating. While one Board member was talking other Board members and members of the LT were playing with their smart phones and iPads. It was rather like teaching a class to college students.

    Like

    1. Ron

      Personally I like the democracy here particularly when compared with the Board’s diktats, diktats issues without any “owner” vote whatsoever. Feel free to disagree.

      Like

  5. Steve Young

    Coop member,

    First, please identify yourself. Without knowing who you are, how can we trust your motives?

    Second, I have posted a long response to you on the “Board’s Letter to the DOL” topic. Please read it there.

    Thank you,

    Steve Young

    Like

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