Carl Etnier
 
In difficult times, the Co-op needs experienced leaders who know how to disagree without being disagreeable, how to listen to people who have been hurt and take their issues seriously, and who welcome and respond to input from members. I have a track record of doing just that at Hunger Mountain Co-op. 

 I served on the Council from 2016 to 2018. During those years, I promoted transparency of Council activities. Before I was elected, the Council refused to share draft minutes of its meetings before they were approved at the subsequent meeting, a month or more later. And, aside from the minutes, they did not record the meetings in any way. I advocated for sharing of draft minutes and for making and posting audio recordings of the meetings; these became Council practice. 

 After a term on the Council, I continued my service by chairing the Co-op committee that revised the bylaws and brought the revisions to the members for approval in 2022. I’m proud of the open process we used in drafting the revisions. The committee meetings were open to the public, with minutes taken and posted afterwards. We created two drafts of the revisions and submitted each to members for comment, holding many public meetings, tabling events, and one-on-one conversations. When Covid put a kibosh on our plans for an in-person member meeting to approve the revisions in 2020, we waited and built on the Co-op’s success with online annual meetings. At a special online meeting in May 2022, members approved all the provisions that the meeting’s limited time allowed votes on. 

In revising the bylaws, the committee strove to make the Co-op more transparent and responsive to members. We made it easier for members to call a special meeting, for example, with or without the cooperation of the Council. We narrowed the range of issues the Council could discuss in session closed to the public. We eliminated a provision that allowed the Council to kick a member out of the Co-op. We codified transparency of management salaries. And we inserted a provision that directs the Co-op staff to facilitate member-to-member communication, rather than just one-way communication from the Co-op to members. 

 If you want a Council member with proven leadership and successful advocacy for empowering members and making Co-op leadership more transparent, please vote for me in the Council elections. 
 
View Carl's video here.
  

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