I was elected to the Board of Directors nearly 17 years ago and have continuously served in this capacity. I have served on the board longer than any other elected member. I am also a member of the chair committee and have been so throughout my service on the Board.
“Our Board of Directors is not a typical Board. It was required by state law that the Coop have a Board of Directors. As a co-operative we liked our town hall style of governance, that every member has a say, every member has a vote. We wanted to continue that tradition. The Coop’s attorney at that time came up with the idea that the Board should take the advice of the members on all subjects as a means of limiting the powers of the Board. It was written into our By-Laws; most of the Board Members that we’ve had since the Board was instituted decades ago have accepted this policy.”
“I take the mandate to trust the membership and take their advice as a sacred duty. It’s not my opinion, or my position on an issue that is important. It is vital that I respect and trust the voice of the membership. The membership guides my vote.”
I wrote those words three years ago in my bid for candidacy letter. I take the opportunity to state that again. These last three years have been the most challenging for me as a Board Member and most dangerous for our form of governance and possibly the Coop in General. We had to do things as a Board that we had never done. We never meet outside of the General Meeting. During the beginning of COVID so much changed for the Coop and we were in uncharted territory. We got advice from our general Counsel. We not only had to meet but we did so every week for hours! It was exhausting. We wanted the membership to have their voice, to weigh in and decide the direction that we would go as a co-operative. It is in crisis times like those that we could have lost what we had worked over 50 years to protect.
I was so proud and honored to be with that group of Board members: Bill P, Allen Z., Rachel A., Sukey T. and Joe H. We went through that fire and kept our word, our promise to the membership.
I ask for your vote one last time. I hope that more members will step up and choose to participate in our form of governance. It’s easier now to come to our meetings, they are on zoom! All the Coop laws are made here. I also hope that those that really understand our kind of Board will consider running next time we have an opening.
I love the Coop and hope that it exists for generations to come!
March 1, 2022