October 2016 Welcome from the Editors

Coffee pot from a 1985 Coop Scoop.
Coffee pot from a 1985 Coop Scoop.

Dear Co-op Voice Readers,

We’re giving over our welcome message this month to the upcoming Membership Meeting. We’re even reprinting information (below) you may have already read in an email from Honest Weight. That’s how important we think it is that the word gets out! The events of the last year have made clear the crucial importance of Member participation to the health and direction of our beloved Co-op.

If you are a voting member of Honest Weight, please try to be at St. Sophia’s (440 Whitehall Rd, Albany, NY 12208) on Sunday, October 23rd.

Here’s the schedule:
Meet the Candidates for the GRC elections: 4:30-5:30
Dessert potluck: 5:30-6
Membership Meeting: 6-9.

From the HWFC email of October 3, which included the Membership Meeting Notice, here is additional information about the Membership Meeting:

Please prepare in advance for the proposed bylaws vote. Member-Owners will be making 15 key decisions at this time. To this end, the Bylaws Panel has prepared two documents for you to review, and is providing over a dozen opportunities for asking questions. The documents are available both online (in color) and at the service desk (in black and white).

The first document contains a complete copy of our existing Bylaws, side by side with the proposed Bylaws, and a brief rationale for each change or addition. This shows all of the proposed language in context, which makes subsections much easier to follow. [please call service desk 518-482-2667 for password, if needed].

Seven categories of improvement were identified and will be voted on by category. You will vote FOR that category if you agree that it improves on existing language, strengthens Member-Owner decision authority, and/or clarifies our intentions as a cooperative business. You will vote AGAINST that category if you strongly disagree.

The second document shows those items by category, and identifies eight separate items which will be voted on individually, FOR or AGAINST each item (they have alphabetical markings).

The time to express your concerns is at any of the many Question and Answer (Q&A) Sessions hosted by members of the Bylaws Panel. There will be no amendments from the floor. The January Membership Meeting will address additional proposals and improvements based on comments received at these sessions.

Articles of Incorporation – Par Value

Most frequently, corporate shares are issued with a par value of anywhere from $.01 to $1.00, regardless of the actual value and cost of the share, because the corporation is legally required to have liquid reserves equal to the total par value of all shares. Our par value is currently $100; the Board recommends a change to $1 to maintain financial flexibility.

According to NYS law, par value and refund value are NOT the same!

If or when you redeem your share, you will receive the same refund regardless of this decision. This change to par value is only to the required amount of liquid reserves.

Co-op Voice Readers, part of the meeting on October 23 will be an election to fill three positions on the Governance Review Council, discussed in Stephanie Conde’s piece in this issue. Candidates will be available to talk before the meeting. Check out their applications, and come early to chat with them ahead of time.

We hope to see you there. Let’s keep building our Co-op together- your voice is needed!

Co-op Voice Editors