Over the next year, the Council will be developing a proposal to make the Co-op’s bylaws much clearer. Look for opportunities to contribute over the next year, and at the 2019 annual meeting.
A fair appraisal of the Co-op’s bylaws is that they are a mess. The structure is illogical, the language in places is difficult to understand, and typos are scattered throughout. In addition, there has been debate in recent years about which major decisions (expansion, bylaw change, etc.) members ought to make through a written ballot, and which ones to make only at a meeting of the members.
Several proposals to amend the voting procedures section of the bylaws have been made since 2014 and voted down or withdrawn, either by the Council itself or the members as a whole. Some of these votes have taken place amidst disagreements about what substantive changes, if any, the amendment would accomplish.
The Council has decided to once more go into the breach and propose a bylaw change to members, and this time to take its time, use a very public process, and take a look at the bylaws as a whole. A committee of seven members, including two Council members, has been appointed and is currently familiarizing itself with the bylaws, their history, and alternatives.
The committee has been charged with simply cleaning up the language and maintaining, to the extent feasible, the intent of the current bylaws. The committee is also flagging potential substantive changes that they may wish to recommend; these would take place in a separate vote.
The committee will decide on the details of a public outreach process over the next few months. In the meantime, the meetings take place in the Co-op conference room, and members are welcome to attend. The normal schedule will be two-hour meetings, twice monthly. The next meeting is Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 4 to 6 pm. You can keep up with the committee’s work, and find the upcoming meeting schedule, on the Council bulletin board near the cash registers and at the Council Resources web page here.
Read the minutes from the October 9 Committee meeting here.
-Carl Etnier, Bylaws Committee chair and outgoing Council member