Secrecy at HWFC?

Submitted by Julie Harrell

Hello members, thank you for being on this wonderful forum. Laura’s brilliant post alerted me to the fact that we have yet another secret letter (to a public agency!).

I have submitted another DOL FOIL request for this “secret” letter. Copies are not available for members? And why not?

From Laura’s post:

“Given the text of the first secret letter, authorized by the board and hand-couried to the NYS DOL on October 26, 2015 – which ignored the existence of member-owners and made clear management & board intent to (secretly) work together to end member-labor at HWFC – it came as an utter shock to learn at the Board meeting on December 15, 2015, that a second secret letter had been sent to the NYS DOL, instructing them to disallow any other parties – save the board’s two legal teams and invited guest – wishing to participate in any upcoming meetings between HWFC and the NYS DOL! (Copies of this secret letter are not available. We may need to FOIL NYS DOL yet again.)

Twice, now, the (former) board, or its executive committee, has, in secret, utilized an outside regulatory agency – the NYS DOL – as a sneak thief would use a crowbar: attempting to strategically leverage and pry rightful ownership of the food co-operative corporation from the member-owners’ hands.”

I expect my FOIL request to be quickly satisfied and I will share the letter on this forum. Let’s vote these people out at our next Membership meeting. I’ve had enough. How about you?

Julie Harrell


16 thoughts on “Secrecy at HWFC?

  1. Julie, I want to flag that this post plays close to the line of an ad hominem attack against Deb. There is absolutely no problem with speaking critically of her actions or asking questions about possible actions – it’s just when it starts to sound like it’s more about what kind of person she is instead of what she did, that gets into problematic territory. Asking you and everyone to please be mindful of that line going forward.


      1. In response to your question, “our illustriously secretive former Board president” was the phrase that struck me as on the edge.

        And — this part isn’t a personal attack issue exactly, but played in — “Why is this person or persons trying to undermine the coop” implies certainty that someone’s motive is to undermine the coop. That’s conjecture. That actions have been taken that would lead to the undermining of member-owner governance at the coop is not conjecture, that’s pretty clear. But we may still just be dealing with a bunch of basically well-intentioned people trying to do what’s best for the coop, just with hugely different ideas of what that means. And if the people who have been taking these harmful actions have been doing so with the intention of protecting the coop from harm, it only makes things more tangled and acrimonious to accuse them of trying to undermine the coop.

        I think if we just stick to actions and avoid trying to guess at motives, we’ll still have plenty to talk about.

        Rebecca Tell

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Leslie


      Do you so easily separate a person’s actions and choices from who they are as a person? Our actions and choices reflect our values and largely define us. One can’t behave unethically and then expect to be thought of as an ethical person. What Deb did in her position DOES say a lot about the person that she is. And I agree with Julie. Members are trying to get to the bottom of all this, and it must be discussed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ron

        Going to repeat myself, Dennis must go…That she seems to be taking her measly percentage of the vote, 37% as a mandate to continue serving often secretly rather than for what is really was and is, a massive vote of no confidence, says all one needs to know about Ms. Dennis


      2. Sue Longtin

        Well, I agree, Ron but I don’t remember that the bylaws permit us to remove board members except through the course we have followed.


      3. Ron

        I hoped that those who received a vote of no confidence would do the right thing and resign. Apparently, they aren’t made of such moral stuff. One wonders, in fact, what moral stuff they are made of? Power good? Absolute power even better? Praise mammon?

        Note that not one of them has offered a written justification to my knowledge as to why they should remain Board members despite having their arses kicked in the recall election. It is almost Nixonesque save that Tricky Dicky actually resigned after it became clear that the Congress was going to kick his arse.


    1. Thank you, I stand corrected. Not she, they. Hopefully this latest DOL letter will have signatures from those who created it, not the attorneys who are their representatives. Attorneys paid for by Honest Weight. BTW I keep wondering how much has been spent on legal fees for 2015? That question still lingers on my mind. Jules


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s