June 8, 2021 at 11:10 am #11777Gary SeldonParticipant
I’ve gratitude to share, and I have process requests.
Echoing words from the member approved McCusker’s Decision-Making Process Resolution, I express my gratitude and offer my deep thanks to all involved, for all your efforts to bridge the contradictions between actualizing the high democratic member involvement ideals we aspire to, and the choices forced on us in order to successfully navigate the nasty waters of our current economic system. (And OMG, doing so during a pandemic!)
Please give the McCDMP Resolution (below) a good read, including the preamble/introduction. It’s carefully crafted words seem especially relevant in our current situation.
At this time I have three process requests about how we approach the Atlas Farm decisions. These requests are about governance decisions about Atlas Farm matters, not about operational matters.
1.) WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?
Please provide the membership a complete description of what is under consideration, and all related documentation. Time to digest/consider this info prior to the 6/15 Atlas Farm Partnership Member Forum could help create better, more informed discussions. This could be posted on our website’s Member Forum, as this communication is.
2.) EVERYTHING OPEN – NO EXECUTIVE SESSIONS PLEASE
From here on forward, please hold all discussions in an open setting, that way all interested members will have access. Also, please make all documentation available to any member.
3.) MOMENTOUS DECISION – MEMBERS VOTE
From here on forward, please hold all Atlas Farm related matter votes at open Board Meetings. That way any member who so chooses will be able to participate in decision making. Please do so only after announcing the vote in advance, at a minimum after including the agenda item on a posted Board Meeting Agenda.
Sincerely, loving and loyal to my Co-op, Gary Seldon
McCuskerʼs Decision-Making Process Resolution
Dear Co-op Member,
While we as co-op members are pleased (some of us quite pleased) with the purchase of McCuskerʼs Market, we are concerned about how the decision was made. On August 1, 2007 the Board of Directors made the decision and sent members a mailing announcing the decision and “…three member informational forums, … to outline details…(and to)…discuss the plans…” prior to the anticipated closing on August 24th. Despite communication with the membership through surveys and forums over a period of several years, we raise the question as to whether it would have been more in keeping with our values for such a major decision to be made by the membership. We offer what essentially is a non-binding resolution, with the intention of helping the co-op community reflect on the issues involved, and producing an outcome that leaves us stronger, with more clarity about making big decisions in the future.
Part of our concern has to do with our desire to maintain as direct and participatory a democracy as we can at the co-op. In the past, major decisions have been made after committee or Board of Director preparation in an open process, inclusive of the membership. We understand it is common for the sale of a business to be conducted in private or in secrecy. We think this exposes some inherent contradictions between the prevalent economic model and the strong democratic ideals to which the co-op aspires. These contradictions have often been present in our dealings. We deeply appreciate board and staff members in their struggles to bridge these contradictions. So we intentionally use non-binding language, not wanting to restrict the board. Instead, we mean to offer guidance, kind guidance, a directional arrow of sorts.
Here is the resolution:
“In the interest of furthering participatory democracy, we strongly recommend that momentous decisions, such as the buying of a building or adding a store, be made in as open, democratic, and transparent a way as possible, such as at a Membership Meeting.”
Sincerely, loyal Franklin Community Co-operative members;June 11, 2021 at 10:48 am #11805George TouloumtzisParticipant
I’m responding per the delegation of Board President Margaret Cooley.
Thanks for writing to your Board representatives — we value member-owner input.
To your specific points:
1) WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?
By tomorrow (Saturday) relevant info will be posted on the Member Forum on the FCC website, to allow those interested to do some preparation in advance of Tuesday’s virtual (Zoom) forum.
2) EVERYTHING OPEN — NO EXECUTIVE SESSIONS PLEASE
The Board is being mindful about what can be discussed in open vs. executive session. At the Board meeting this past Wednesday, for example, we had some open session discussion regarding Atlas (which will be captured in the minutes), with some still-confidential details being addressed in executive session.
3) MOMENTOUS DECISIONS — MEMBERS VOTE
Any upcoming vote(s) re Atlas will be clearly identified in the Board meeting agenda. The intended goal/outcome of the agenda item, such as a decision (as compared with discussion) will be clearly labeled in the “goal/outcome” column.
FCC Board VP
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