GM Notes 7.22.15

General Meeting Wed., July  22:  7.30 - 9.30pm

The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn


Facilitator:  Russ Ross

Note-taker: Jeannie

Timekeeper: DK

Print Agendas: Russ Ross


Directors in attendance: Russ, DK, Jeannie, Keith, Renee

Absent: Hillary, Allison, Sean


Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 3 times a year).

Welcome/Orientation 7:30-7:35PM (5 min.) Welcome and explanation of what/who/why the Co-op is. Please ask questions!


Approve Minutes (1 min.) from previous GM (please read beforehand on the Website) Amend or approve.


Facilitator, Secretary and Timekeeper Choices and Approval (1 min.) Facilitator will conduct meeting fairly and impartially, ensure that any meeting rules are followed, and will keep meeting to agenda. Secretary will take meeting minutes (which will be posted on the Website prior to next GM). Timekeeper will keep the meeting on schedule.


Presentation of Main Agenda and Pending Agenda Queue (1 min.) Main Agenda is prepared by the Directors based on member submissions and discussions, and published to members in advance of general meeting on the Website and through the Newsletter.

Finance and Membership Reports 7:40-7:55PM (15 min) Up to date information about the Co-op (Finance and Membership Committees)  


  • 285 active members last month / hovering around 300 active / we need 380 members to be fully staffed.



MAIN AGENDA 7:55-9:20PM (85 min)


  • Finance Situation: (Finance, 15 min) Providing details on the Co-op’s negative cash flow and opening a dialogue in advance of a dedicated meeting to discuss the viability of our business model.
  • Average weekly basket size = $43 we need $50 to maintain store (based on XX members)
  • Expenses: spending more than we are bringing in.
  • 10K in non inventory
  • 1K variable
  • 34K on inventory
  • Sales average = 40K per month
  • Loss = 2K per month



      • Issues:
        • 20K of original cash reserves has been spent
        • we are 2 weeks behind in vendor payment
        • we are behind in loan interest to some lenders. we are paying annual fees only
        • there is a moratorium on refunds for member investments
      • Possible solutions:
        • Revel to help merchandising with buying
        • let members pay a higher fee
        • A separate meeting will take place with finance, PSFC, and the board
    • PSFC loan update (Renée, 5 min)
      • Loan is possible….PSFC loan committee will get back to us shortly.
      • Renée is the main liaison for PSFC and will connect Finance with PSFC.
    • General Leave Adjustment (Russ, 5 Min): Vote to lower the General Leave Minimum from 12 weeks to 8 weeks. Motion seconded by DK
      • Vote approved. Move to make it a minimum  of 2 months
      • No one opposes the movement /  1 abstain / 19 yes


  • Vote to approve the Store Coordinator as an ex officio member of the board (DK, 5 min)


      • Vote approved. Lauryl Berger-Chun is an ex officio member of the board with voting rights (this position is an addition to the 9 board members)
      • Motion has been seconded by Jeannie
      • 19 yes / 0 abstain / 0 reject
    • Friday/Summer Shopping Update (Renée, 5 min)
      • Can open Mon/Wed at noon if we want, Lauryl can handle the additional hours on her own or with current staffing as she believes it will be slow (can reasses in the Fall when sales and shopping pick up again).
      • Do not have enough staffing to open on Fridays, particularly with opening and closing shifts on Sats consistently not filled.
      • There are general concerns with how we use Lauryl’s hours & addressing this now in our current financial state.


  • Vote approved. to open 12PM Monday & Wednesday which Lauryl has agreed to staff for the summer til’ labor day. Second the movement via Keith


        • Movement to vote via Matt /
        • 12 yes / 5 no / none abstain
    • Childcare/Parental Relief (DK/Russ, 15 min)  There’s been some interesting comments from the survey, so rather than offer them summer leave maybe we work on better options for parents?


  • Vote approved online (48 responses, of which 69% agreed “Do you support the idea of allowing member-owners who take care of their kids, while out of school for summer, to shop without fulfilling the 2.5 hour work commitment?”


      • We need to pay more attention to parents needs. Families spend more money at the Co-op.
      • Some suggestions from the survey are:
        • Members organize a childcare swap (would need dedicated member to lead this)
        • Encourage parents to do tasks from home
          • There may not be enough home positions available
          • Skill sets are not always there
        • Parents can have summer off IF they bank hours throughout school year
        • Q: Is “parents summer” relief for all parents or do they need to go through MRC? What is the age range for children for parents to be accepted for this “relief”?
        • Could those that have a surplus of hours donate some of their hours to parents for the summer?
        • Over the summer, you pay $40 to get out of your shift!.


  • Action Item: Have a day within the cycle to bring your child in & make one shift a child care shift.


        • Parents to organize
        • Waivers should be created by parents

Emily agreed to take on organizing a ‘Parents work day’ with daycare at the store run by parents (who sign a waiver)

  • Revision of Board Leadership Roles and Responsibilities (DK/All, 10 min) We are required by NYS law to have a conventional hierarchical Pres, VP, etc structure. But should we change the practical way we operate? Let’s start a dialogue now so we can resolve by September.
    • Should we rename the board structure so that not one / two individual becomes fully responsible (ie 2 co chairs could set the agenda)
    • Should define the buckets of responsibility within the board.
    • Revision of Directors’ Roles and Responsibilities (Renee/All, 20 min)  With the upcoming Directors elections in Sept, we need to start looking for new Directors.  We therefore need to review and update the Director responsibilities and continue our discussion about the structure of the board to share with the new potential candidates.


  • Vote approved Board member takes a leave of absence if they do not find a co-chair for their prior committee responsibility within 6 months of being elected (16 yes / 1 no)


    • If a Director cannot attend to the Board, it’s requested that they ask a rep from the committee which they are a liaison for to attend in their place.
    • There should be a more define definition of what are the responsibility of the board.
    • HR to write up a proper job description
  • Board review/approval:  Board reviews votes at the end of each GM and approves at the end of the mtg, as per legal requirement (Notetaker, 5 min)


OPEN FORUM 9:20 - 9:25PM (5 min)

Brief comments on topics not on the Main Agenda but relevant to the Co-op. Items that will require more time to discuss may be submitted as future agenda items.

  • Finance needs financial answers from each committee. Finance to email each respective board members.
  • Is everyone clear our financial situation? Yes.


CLOSING 9:25 - 9:30PM (5 min)


Next General Meeting is Wed., Aug 26 - 7:30-9:30pm at the Co-op.


Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda? Please email (work credit applies!)


*Note: Minute-takers - please see link to secretary responsibilities.


Next month:

  • Debop Presentation (Debop, 15 min)  Hear what Design/Build and Ops (DeBop) is up to.

Project Management Tools/Ideas (Russ/Chad, 10 Min): Communication across committees and within the board can be problematic so we’re looking into options the Co-op can use to streamline how we manage our work.