TALES FROM THE COOP

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GEEKS AND GOVERNANCE

No heads were broken at tonight's monthly Park Slope Food Coop General Meeting, which I attended because I have no life.

Whether to convert a programmer from freelance consultant to salaried staff was the first order o' business. The current programmer wants to become a full staff member to get benefits. The coordinators like his work and don't want to lose him, knowing how hard it is for a new programmer to inherit a previous one's work if this guy quits. The usual anti-coordinator suspicion challenged this motion. The rebel Democracy Initiative Groupies and a newbie attendee asked why the post had not been competitively advertised, with sensitivity to race, gender, and astrological sign. They did not accept the coordinators' claim that the programmer had specialized skills and unique coop experience that are hard to replace via help-wanted ads. DIG de facto leader Stewart Martin voiced financial and procedural concerns, but his emotional howl at coordinator Joe Holtz, for which he later apologized, revealed personal animosity, although that nattering, evasive, disingenuous coordinator can be well worth howling at. The motion was passed.

The second item was to shrink the required size of the Governance Referendum Committee. That committee is a mostly DIG group to propose new ways of disemboweling the coordinators -- whoops, I mean, running the coop. But it seems that not even enough DIGers are coming forward to be elected to the group. Stewart, speaking for his supposedly teeming yet oddly hidden masses who want to reenact the French revolution against the Sun King, proposed shrinking the group to give it a better chance of existing for the upcoming elections. After much bickering it passed overwhelmingly, which surprised the shit out of me. Few people dig DIG. But it's politically sticky to oppose a critical group. Maybe it'll keep the DIGgers focused.

The third item was ignored due to the lateness of the hour and an overwhelming lack of interest.

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jkarpf@echonyc.com