Blog ›

2018 Board of Directors election and Bylaws changes results!

Welcome to our new and returning Board members!
The results of our election, including our first-ever electronic ballots, are as follows:
Desdra Dawning
Jim Hutcheon
Frederick Jack Meldicott
Mel Bilodeau

Bylaw change results are in!

The Board and staff proposed changes to four sections of the organization’s bylaws, and the membership approved all of those changes. Several changes were related to updating language to reflect current practices, such as referring to membership investments as equity instead of dues, and including national origin and immigration status as protected classes. We also updated language around our financial audits and reviews, as well as member markups to ensure clarity.

Other sections around membership have been altered slightly, and there have been questions about how to interpret the changes. Two sections were worked on that affect membership practices, the fee description and active member status. There were a couple of goals in mind with these changes, one of them being the ability to remove long term inactive members from our records. Many of these records belong to folks who are no longer shopping at the Co-op or no longer wish to be part of our record keeping, for whatever reason, and we needed our bylaws to allow the practice of fully removing records at some point, determined in another section, to be after 6 years of inactivity.

The second goal of our membership changes was to allow “contact information” as a requirement of active membership instead of “address.” This change enables members and our membership system to use an email address as current contact information, instead of a postal mailing address, if that is what the member desires, and still maintain active membership. Our bylaws still require us to notify members of the Annual Membership Meeting each year, so one of these contact points must be maintained to ensure active membership status.

What other ways can a member ensure they remain active in our system? The new language is as follows:

Paragraph 3. Member Status
An active member maintains current contact information on file and keeps current in their equity. An active member becomes an inactive member if they;

1. fail to make timely equity payments; or
2. fail to maintain current contact information on file for one year; or
3. fail to renew a Cooperative Access Membership; or
4. fail to interact with the Co-op for a period of six years or more. Interacting can be responding to a communication from the Co-op, voting in the annual election or shopping at the Co-op; or
5. request inactive status

This new language means that members can more easily maintain active status and responds to requests we’ve had over the years from members who find their records inactive after moving or experiencing homelessness. Some members have been concerned about those who move away, or stop shopping for some time, and then return to the Co-op. Our bylaws changes still allow members to maintain their active status from afar, by responding to a communication from us, or by voting in the annual elections.

We think these changes will be beneficial to the organization at large, saving us money and time by keeping our records more accurate, and allowing members more flexibility in communicating with the Co-op.

As always, if you have questions about your membership or other Co-op changes, contact us here or ask at one of the stores.