Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2022 Vision - Open Owners' Session At Board Meeting

So. I heard from Snüff Shöck/Neil (one of my immediate work-mates, and one of the good co-operators), who heard it from Amy Lorang (WSM Elections Committee Chair, and another of the good co-operators), that at around 6.00pm this evening, Wednesday, November 28, the WSM Board, before its regular monthly meeting, will be holding an open session to allow all owners to offer input on WSM's 2022 Vision.

Blimey. Where to start?

First, I cannot attend. On such short notice, I already have plans. And with the infrequency of those, I don't intend to cancel. In any event, I've not made any secret of my views on what would be my preferred 2022 Vision for our co-op, as opposed to building more stores, and getting ever bigger.

However, I would urge as many owners reading this Note as possible to attend. Again, I take the view that defining the common needs of our co-op should actually look like owners telling the Board what to do. Not the other way round. But, in the regrettable absence of that approach, when the Board seeks our input, we need to give it.

For anyone attending, I would ask that someone re-raise my suggestion that we hold workshops on a Monday evening at Panzanella, to give we owners a more realistic and comprehensive opportunity to be setting the goals for our co-op. Did that idea just die?

Now. To the wider questions. Um. Why are we learning about this, in an 'ad hoc' fashion, one day before it is taking place? It doesn't exactly scream of a Board that desires participatory democracy.

And let's get this clear. This is not the fault of our excellent Owner Services Co-ordinator, Brenda Camp, who does a superb job. It is the task of the Board to promote democracy in our co-op.

And I believe they are failing in this task. The most striking demonstration of the apathy the Board has engendered in our co-op is the fact that the last two Elections for Board Director have been uncontested.

This is not because we owners feel that the Board and the WSM corporate office are doing a great job. It is because their negative attitude towards inclusion has frankly sapped the energy of too many owners.

There are a multitude of ways that the Board can enhance participatory democracy in our co-op. I know. I contributed in the WSM Task Force that discussed these matters, back in 2008, and which led to the formation of the Elections Committee.

Hmm. Maybe it's time I dusted off my newly re-minted worker-ownership, and considered standing for the Board again ... ??