Co-op lacks transparency | Letter

To community conscious consumers:

Please pay attention to the upcoming SJI Food Co-op annual meeting Monday, March 21 at 5:30 pm at Brickworks. At this meeting the by-laws may be ratified, and an election of new board members will be initiated (the election lasts for a week), and I have a solid suggestion for a new board member…

The Co-op’s notification of the bylaw changes came within the meeting announcement emailed to the membership on March 12, but surprisingly there was no attached copy of the proposed bylaw changes. While a copy could be requested by emailing the board, it indicates a lack of transparency to require the extra step of asking for a copy, when one could simply be attached to the email. And while there were descriptions of what the bylaw changes would be, no actual language was attached, and there was no mention of the proposed change to the mission statement; again, transparency is lacking.

When a member requests to review minutes of the co-op’s past meetings, the minutes will not be emailed; rather the member is offered to come to the co-op office and review the minutes under supervision. These are minutes of a member-owned cooperative, in which a member has every right to review these documents—they should be posted for unsolicited member review in the first place!

These are just a few of the many examples of lack of transparency. The co-op board consists of good people who want to make a positive difference for the co-op, but I feel are lacking in their fiduciary responsibilities to their fellow co-op members. Information flow is restricted, the committees are vacant, and new ideas are met with apprehension.

I urge co-op members to vote for Maureen Marinkovich as a board member of the SJI Food Co-op. Maureen is a founding co-op member who seeks to encourage more community involvement on the board, develop a five-year strategic plan (there currently isn’t one), and create a transparent board and co-op. Maureen’s campaign statement can be viewed at, along with a copy of the proposed by-laws (I requested a copy, and Maureen posted it on our web page for easy accessibility).

Matt Marinkovich

San Juan island