Friday, May 27, 2011

Peninsula Coop Election

Voting has started for the board of directors of the Peninsula Coop.   It is once again a very fractured race with a slate of six incumbents candidates and the opposition Co-op Action Network.    The election this time includes electing directors to a three year term and a one year term as the 2009 election results were overturned.

Running for a Three Year Term - Three to be Elected
  • Alicia Cormier - Co-op Action Network
  • Gordon Denford - Endorsed by nominating committee - Incumbent
  • Mel Hernblad - Endorsed by nominating committee - Incumbent
  • Patti Hunter - Endorsed by nominating committee - Incumbent
  • Cathy McIntyre - Endorsed by nominating committee
  • Bejay Mills - Co-op Action Network
  • Jeanette Sheehy - Co-op Action Network
Running for a One Year Term - Three to be Elected
  • Bruce Clow - Endorsed by nominating committee
  • Mike Fecteau - Endorsed by nominating committee - Incumbent
  • Ron Gaudet - Endorsed by nominating committee - Incumbent and current President
  • Greg Lyon - Co-op Action Network
  • Cathie Ounsted - Endorsed by nominating committee - Incumbent
  • Mike Romaine - Endorsed by nominating committee
  • Ralph Sketchley - Co-op Action Network
The nominating committee endorsed nine candidates for six positions, so not all the ones endorsed by the nominating committee will be elected.   The role of the nominating committee is to assess the candidates and make recommendations on which of the candidates they committee thinks have the skill set to be on the board of directors.

I am not surprised that none of the Co-op Action Network candidates were endorsed.

In the last couple of elections the results have been about 75% for the establishment and 25% for the opposition.   Voter turn out is a pathetically low.   Only about 1-2% of Peninsula Coop members vote in the elections.   I suspect many of the people that will vote are staff of the Coop.

How will I vote?   I have no idea, I am less than impressed with the sitting board, but opposition leave me with no faith that they have an interest in running the Coop for the benefit of the members.   Their campaign feels like an ideological campaign without any consideration of the economic realities of the business.

I may vote for Cathie McIntrye, Bruce Clow and Mike Romaine for the board.   Two of the are not part of either side but all three have been vetted by the nominating committee and found to have the skills needed to be effective members of the board.

Below is an email I got from the Co-op Action Network

Voting started on Wednesday and it’s time to elect a new Board at Peninsula Co-op!

With your vote, we can create a more innovative Co-op that provides even better returns to its members with new services, democratic accountability, greater community investment and increased support for local farms and local food.

We need a new board who will offer:

Good governance and improved membership engagement
Greater support of local food and farmers
New ideas that will further the social and economic development of our region
A new grocery model, one that serves all members in Southern Vancouver Island

The following candidates are running independently and are endorsed by the Co-op Action Network:

Jeanette Sheehy - 3 year term
Alicia Cormier - 3 year term
Bejay Mills - 3 year term
Mike Romaine - 1 year term
Greg Lyon - 1 year term
Bruce Clow - 1 year term

Sadly, due to a technicality with his nomination form Jack Thronburg has been disqualified from running this year.

This year only cardholders may vote and you must bring photo ID with you when you pick up your ballot. Any questions about proxy votes should be directed to the Co-op 250-652-1188.

Voting takes place between May 25th to June 8th 10 am – 6pm at the following Co-op locations:
Food Store - 2132 Keating X Rd.
Brentwood Gas Centre - 6739 West Saanich Rd.
Pat Bay Gas Centre - 6429 Pat Bay Hwy.
Wilkinson Gas Centre - 4140 Wilkinson Rd.
Royal Oak Gas Centre - 4472 West Saanich Rd.
Goldstream Gas Centre - 894 Goldstream Ave.
Millstream Gas Centre - 2320 Millstream Ave.
Mill Bay Gas Centre - 805 Deloume Rd.
Duncan Gas Centre - 1007 Canada Ave.
Cardlock/Home Heating office - 6764 Oldfield Rd.

How to help the campaign to elect these candidates:

1) Vote for these six candidates
2) Tell everyone you know to vote for these six people
3) Volunteer an hour or two of your time this week and next– it’s fun and flexible (call Jeanette at 250-514-0428)
4) Distribute this notice far and wide (online and printed version) to your network!

Thank you for your support!
Co-op Action Network
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