GM Notes 8.26.15

General MeetingWed., Aug 26:  7.30 - 9.30pm The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn Facilitator:  Kate Krauss Minute-taker: Keith

Minute-takers - please see link to secretary responsibilities.

Directors in attendance:


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).

Next General Meeting is September 23, 7:30 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda? Please email

Welcome/Orientation 7:30-7:40PM (10 min.) (DK Holland)

Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the General Meeting. Questions welcomed!

Consent agenda: 7:40-7:45 (5 mins)

A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can to pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting. Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

  • Ratify minutes from previous GM (please read beforehand on the Website) - Unanimously approved
  • Ratify membership vote re: beer/wine license-approved 11 yes 2 absentions
  • Change Parental leave from 3 to 6 months (per parent)

1 parent 6 mos, 2 parents 1 year- approved 9 yes 4 absenttions

Finance and Membership Reports 7:45-7:55 (10 min) (Chad Donnick & Julia Flath)

  • Current number of working members-1440 members up from 1404,  315 active down from 323
  • Number of new members in August - no rep so data not available
  • Number of exiting members waiting for investment returns
  • Monthly finance report

Committee Reports & Projects (50 mins) 7:55 - 8:45

  • Finance (5 mins)-Financial Reporting is getting caught up. Real financial statements in  process; working on acquiring bookkeeper; Working on revel and merchanidse-reduce level of budget for merch to $6,00- per week; Revel-Unable to check margins; Project management-figure out our level of performance as a store; Spreadsheet extablished so we can see a picture of the projects health; Established co-op space for doing coop work in the store Mon 6:0-8:30
    • Update on initiatives + call for help-

Merchandising (5 mins)-Working with finance on remaining within budget guidelines of $6,000 budget. Still working on getting this process working spooking. Entering costs into Revel:; losing members-looking for new members

  • Update on initiatives + call for help
  • Membership/Outreach/Marketing (20 mins)
    • Fall membership campaign, including expanded summer hours + change in new member process-flyers-trying door-to-door-can use help-will have packets of flyers with a map for 20 minute delivery sessions; Signage on back of building; Open shopping ays drive both membership and sales;
    • Other initiatives-mbrshp incentives-nees a leader; Pierre has agreed to help on crowd-fnding; Needs a co-cochair; Suggestions: Paint the store; open the back office space for meetings to community groups; script for front desk people; sensitivity training; Membership drive with goals each active member bring in one new member; crowdfunding; put a list of incentives to choose from for the next gm along with plus and minuses.
  • Membership/Structure/Staffing (20 mins) People operations projects Megan and Member Labor -analysis of ours it tasks to run the coop-streamline communications and minimize overlap. GM decision vs Board Decision; what about store hours, bringing children;  Set up process-Owner-Sponsor-Participant model-Owner has most info, sponsor add’l info, participant-info adn or time to contribute; Decision making process-who the most info; Looking at board and committees; Personnel Management; Community- lots of crossover between different committees
  • Looking out for one another; more encouraging;; Filling out actions so that people can plug in fill in; how to we get people to get more people active
    • Structure Project
    • Shift planning
    • selling a vision and a brand.
    • Elections postponed until November-12 yes 1 abstention

Optimization & Planning next steps (15 mins) 8:45 - 9:00 (Kate Krauss)

Decide process for coordinating projects moving forward, including specific point person(s). Decide on structure for meetings - every two weeks? Monthly? Part of GM?

Evaluating our Landlord’s request for more rent and/or access to expansion space (15 mins) 9:00 - 9:15 (DK Holland)

Approved unanimous.

Discussion and vote on proposal for landlord in response to their request. See below for background.

Open Forum/Parking Lot 9:15 - 9:25PM (10 min) (Kate Krauss)

Review of items “parked” during meeting and space for discussion/comments on topics not on the main agenda. Items will require more time to discuss may be included as future agenda items.


BRAVO to SEAN Closing (5 min)

Board review/approval:  Board reviews votes at the end of each GM (Notetaker, 5 min)

  • Board approved on 8/12/15 PSFC loan agreement via email (7 yes)
  • Board elected on 8/12/15 Sean Mullane to be Secretary via email (6 yes)

Landlord/lease background

Our landlord gave us a great deal on rent when we signed a five year lease in 2010. Our rent started at $2,500/mo (for 2,600 feet), with a modest  annual increase of only 0.05% ($15/mo. In addition we pay we pay a quarter of the property taxes (about $450/mo), which appears to be less than our proportionate share for the entire property.

Our lease expires December 1, and includes a five year renew at our current rent. However, our landlord has pleaded hardship and retail rents in the neighborhood are now substantially higher than our rent by three times or more.  As we seek to be fair and maintain good relations with our landlord, it is important to note that their goodwill will be needed to advance future lease renewals beyond the next five years. Our landlords are sympathetic, and they see our coop as a means to help the community and indeed the Co-op strives to be a good community member

The Collymores have asked us to either pay significantly more rent or give back a portion of the expansion space. Given the Coop’s current financial condition, any increase in rent is a detrimental hardship and not achievable at this time or in the foreseeable future.

We would like to vote to on submitting the following proposal to the landlord:  

The Co-op will give back half of the expansion space (we will explore which half) and renew our lease for five years at the rent stated under the current lease for the remaining occupied space, and negotiate terms for an additional five year renewal period through 2025.

In addition, the Collymores will be building on a small space to the back of the building in a year and they have offered us that space, which we will negotiate separately.