REMINDER: Help us change our bylaws!

bylaws listening session sign 2015

A message from Jarrod Stone-Dahl, board president

It’s been a few months since we’ve last checked in and I have to say that good things are happening at our Co-op!

At the board level we’ve seen a very large spike in new owners joining the Co-op. This is a great gauge of the growing interest in the Co-op, but also confidence in our ideals, goals, and direction. As Harold and all the dedicated staff are fine tuning the many details of the new store, the Board has begun to look forward. Before we can move forward, we feel that there are a few lingering details to complete what will complement our new store and help us continue on as a very important part of the Chequamegon Bay area.

One of the things we’ve set as an important step is rewriting, or more specifically rewording, our bylaws. A few months ago the Board created a committee to consider what new bylaws could look like. The committee has come up with a new template and draft. Although most of the information remains the same, it is written in a simpler, more straightforward way.

When we look at what other successful co-ops around the country are doing with their bylaws we’ve noticed a common thread. In the many examples we’ve looked at, the bylaws are written in a very simple and clear way that focuses on member-owner rights and responsibilities. The intent is that they should be easily understood by any reader, and should help all owners participate effectively in cooperative democracy. If you’ve looked at our current bylaws you may come to the conclusion that you’ll need a lawyer to decipher some of the language. The new, re-worded bylaws should help everyone understand what the bylaws are meant to explain. Copies of both versions of the bylaws are available at the links above or for review at the Co-op.

We will be holding two listening sessions for any Co-op owners to attend (see the details in the image above). The intent of these meetings is to give background information and data about what has lead us up to this point. This is a time for owners to participate and give any suggestions as we continue with what we feel is a very important item for the Co-op as it moves forward.

After owner input, the revised bylaws will go for legal review, and then will be sent by mail to all owners eligible to vote on them. We plan on having a vote to accept the new bylaws at our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the CESA 12 building on the corner of Beaser Avenue and Sixth Street West in Ashland. We hope to see you at the bylaws listening session and/or at the Annual Meeting.

Please email Jarrod at board@cheqfood.coop for more information or with any questions. Thanks for helping make this Co-op such a great place.