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post #46 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by willis

I should've added that in addition to the 7 people who didn't fit the board criteria, 3 people dropped out (who may or may not have fit the criteria).


I have learned that Anders Ourom was one of those who was nominated and did not drop out. The consultant determined that his qualifications did not meet the board's requirements for this year, and so he was not accepted as a candidate.

Now, Anders is one of the MEC's first members, he has long service on the MEC board (and as a non-management employee), including as president of MEC's board, he is a lawyer, past BCMC president, created the Climbers Access Society, and in general has unchallenged integrity and brains. While on the MEC board he did not shrink from tackling difficult problems that some might choose to ignore.

When I compare his qualifications to candidates who were accepted, it makes me wonder what's going on.

Quote:
quote:I hope resolution 1 fails so that a member resolution can be brought forth next year without 500 signatures so that any member who wishes to do so may run for the board.
Do you mean going back to the Rules as they were prior to the board gaining the power to determine who can run? In the absence of any proof that would be a problem, it would be an excellent idea.

Even if 500 signatures becomes a requirement (and I think the resolution #1 will pass..My guess is 86%, and it requires 75% to pass), it should be possible to organize that many signatures. On the positive side, 500 signatures is itself a message that members mean business.

I'm told that the two resolutions the board suggests that members vote against, were both proposed by a former MEC director.
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post #47 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 02:25 PM
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Yes, the rules should go back to what they were before the board gained the power to determine who can and can't run. This is not a democracy. The board should be held accountable to the members, they shouldn't be dictating the terms of how everything should be run.

It's unbelievable that they would veto such a potential nominee as Anders. Crazy.
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post #48 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Greg1920
I for one care about the direction of the store and like where it is going and so voted yes for resolution 1.
I think you are being a bit short-sighted here. The immediate issue is not the current direction of the store. It is about who chooses that direction now and in the future. The cumulative effect of the recent resolutions is to curtail the ability of members to exercise any control at all. Maybe you can live with that as long as you agree with the current board. In three years you may not agree with the board and you won't be able to do anything about it because of these resolutions.

It's not like a board of directors couldn't screw up being "just a gear store". Corporate boards screw up businesses all the time. That is why they are accountable to shareholders. No corporate board in a widely-held corporation would over get away with what the MEC board is getting away with.

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post #49 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by willis

Yes, the rules should go back to what they were before the board gained the power to determine who can and can't run. This is not a democracy. The board should be held accountable to the members, they shouldn't be dictating the terms of how everything should be run.

It's unbelievable that they would veto such a potential nominee as Anders. Crazy.
Agreed. It's a little bit disgusting that they pre-determined the direction of the co-op by filtering qualified candidates out.

They, in a large sense, took away my vote. I would have voted for Anders.
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post #50 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 06:45 PM
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Here are the revised appointment rules:

11.03 The nominations committee will manage the process for the election of directors and ensure that each election is conducted in accordance with the Act and the Rules, and as such, will be responsible for determining the nominees for director who will be included in, and named in the ballot for, each election of directors. In doing so, the nominations committee will select those nominees who meet the desired qualifications, experience and other attributes for directors, and decline any nominations for nominees who do not meet the desired qualifications, experience and other attributes for directors, as per its authority set out in the Rules and Board policy.

As you can see, the board has enough leeway to essentially put forth anyone they feel like.

For comparison, here is Co-op Principle #2 as stated right on the MEC site (I've added bold type for emphasis):

Democratic Member Control

Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

Is the current board not contravening MEC's own principles?
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post #51 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by willis

Here are the revised appointment rules:

...


Is the current board not contravening MEC's own principles?
You don't have to be polite. I don't think they are promoting the democratic principles. Instead, it they're promoting their own agenda. If not, why is heavy upper level business experience a necessary pre-requisite to run for the board of directors? If someone wants to argue it was not necessary, then they would have to have a good reason why someone as qualified as Anders was not accepted as an electoral candidate for the board of directors.

I know that MEC is balancing a business, but it clearly looks like business is getting in the way of the principles that the co-op should first, and foremost, adhere to so that it supports its member base.

Of course, on the other hand, there are now a lot of members that are not into the old co-op principles. However, I have a feeling that most of them could care less about the vote, and the die-hard members are being misrepresented.

I hope I hear much more about this from you all. I may be wrongly informed, but it surely seems as there is an information vacuum, as someone had just previously suggested. That's too bad. Are we being taken advantage of?

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post #52 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by the743

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by willis

Here are the revised appointment rules:

...


Is the current board not contravening MEC's own principles?
You don't have to be polite. I don't think they are promoting the democratic principles. Instead, it they're promoting their own agenda. If not, why is heavy upper level business experience a necessary pre-requisite to run for the board of directors? If someone wants to argue it was not necessary, then they would have to have a good reason why someone as qualified as Anders was not accepted as an electoral candidate for the board of directors.

I know that MEC is balancing a business, but it clearly looks like business is getting in the way of the principles that the co-op should first, and foremost, adhere to so that it supports its member base.

Of course, on the other hand, there are now a lot of members that are not into the old co-op principles. However, I have a feeling that most of them could care less about the vote, and the die-hard members are being misrepresented.

I hope I hear much more about this from you all. I may be wrongly informed, but it surely seems as there is an information vacuum, as someone had just previously suggested. That's too bad. Are we being taken advantage of?
The function of boards is to provide vision and guidance. While it helps if directors have business experience, it's far more important that directors of a cooperative like MEC have a good grasp of what MEC is, and what MEC is not.

Of course, part of what MEC is, is a (democratic) cooperative. It is essential to have directors who know and encourage what that means, and know and discourage what it doesn't mean. It's pretty obvious what's going on at MEC.

It is not the responsibility of the board to conduct the day-to-day business of the organization. The board is charged with employing a general manager or CEO who is responsible for that.

A board desperate to load itself with business-oriented members strongly suggests either that the board is overly involved in hands-on management, or more likely that the organization's management is short on business expertise. It can also be a cover for getting rid of those pesky few who concern themselves with messy concepts like member rights and democracy.

Anders has proven in the past, within the scope of what directors are supposed to be, as perfect a director of MEC as anyone could be. Again, comparing his qualifications to those running easily reveals the real game going on here.

It would be extremely interesting to hear from other nominees who did not make it through the board's screening process. Anyone know Heath Johnson in Moncton?
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post #53 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 07:57 PM
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The deck is heavily stacked in favor of the board:

1. The board can determine who the members can elect to be directors.

2. The board can by majority vote eject any director from the board.

3. The board prevents candidates from associating with or being critical of each other.

4. The board requires that all email communications between candidates and members be reviewed by MEC staff and the board.

5. The board places all sorts of restrictions on candidates' information.

6. The board can decide which resolutions are and are not presented to the members.

7. The board has full control over the text associated with resolutions and typically provides shamefully unbalanced comments.

8. The board board doesn't have to disclose to the members anything about rejected candidates and resolutions, or member grievances.

9. The board has prior access to resolutions from members while members have nothing about the board's resolutions until voting starts.

10. The board can easily manipulate the system to determine board remuneration (pay).

This is not a complete list of aspects of MEC's crippled democracy, and does not include additional measures in this year's Resolution #1.

Some argue that these powers are important to keep a small group with an undesirable agenda from capturing control of MEC. A few simple questions for them:

Are undesirable agendas historically more consistent with enhancing member/owner power, or taking it away?
Are undesirable agendas typically associated with those in control who concentrate more power in their own hands or who devolve power?
Do small interest groups typically invoke fears of takeover by unspecified other small interest groups so the member/owners allow them to concentrate power in their hands?
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post #54 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:26 PM
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Stinks worse than an outhouse in a forest service campground during grad week. I've sat on a university board and the people who where deemed to be on that board knew squat about the business. That's why you hire good managers and accountants. MEC is turning into a turnip bus CO-OP. Where everyone will be taken for a ride. I would (not really) like to see the finacial statement on the board members finaces, and past spending on the board. I get the feeling it's going to start to stink as in Red Cross etc. They will start to let you only see what they want you to see. Steaming pile of poo old boy.
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post #55 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 07:52 AM
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Is it just me, or is Special Resolution #3 unlikely to make any difference?
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post #56 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 11:25 AM
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Often boards evolve less seemingly democratic rules out of necessity due to trials of their past. Examples like cronic infighting between members, total incompetence of elected members, and low attendance can cripple decision making which in the end hurts everyone.

The trouble with selecting business types to run the co-op is that they run it like a business rather than considering what is best for the members. The members want good reliable gear at a reasonable price to enjoy their preferred activities...they don't want to see their selection diminish because the business oriented board and directors feel that stocking poodle walking yoga pants is better for profit.
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post #57 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by troutbreath

I would (not really) like to see the finacial statement on the board members finaces, and past spending on the board.
I do not know if the financial information of board members is included somewhere in here, but MEC does have publicly available financial statements if anyone is interested.

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ContentPrimary...Statements.jsp
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post #58 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 01:06 PM
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Here's the old nomination rules before the change this year for anyone interested. This is what grassroots campaign should aim for again in the next board election. If the board had a slate of candidates they wanted to see elected they still had the ability to nominate people so I don't see what the problem was.


11. Appointment and duties of the nominations committee

11.01 The directors must appoint a nominations committee.
11.02 The nominations committee must:
a) receive the nominations of candidates,
b) ensure that the number of candidates at least equals the expected number of vacant positions as determined by Rule 10.06,
c) inform the election auditor of the names of all candidates immediately after the close of nominations, and
d) designate a representative to attend any drawing of lots.
11.03 The nominations committee may nominate candidates.
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post #59 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 01:10 PM
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I too was very disappointed with the list of current candidates[V] and did not bother to vote.

Unfortunately, I was out of the country and missed the 2012 vote and resolution which brought in the pre-screening of candidates. This was a disappointing development - and one which reduces individual member input (and ultimately their interest and involvement, so the Board gets its way.

As noted earlier, members can vote with their wallets. MEC is still a source for a lot of things but it is just one of many sources now.

When MEC begins to sell automobile tires the transition will be complete.
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post #60 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Bluefoot



When MEC begins to sell automobile tires the transition will be complete.
Since some amusement is in order in this unpleasant matter....

I worked in MEC's mail order dept. long ago when MEC was in the building on Fir Street where Reckless Cycles is now. At the time, Mail Order was a room with a door and large glass windows onto the sales floor.

The door to Mail Order always had a sign saying that over the door. One time we replaced it with a sign that said: "Mail Order and Mercedes Parts". We actually had people ask if we really did sell Mercedes parts, since they had one and were hoping for a cheaper source.

We also put a box of green garbage bags on a display with a sign saying "Glad Anoraks".
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