Save the Co-op
Thank you for writing about the chaos in the North Coast Co-op. Members and non-members can expect very troubled waters ahead. Members must pay attention to the actions of the Board of Directors and the financial statements being presented.
The current board and management took over a Co-op with substantial cash reserves which are now depleted, at least partly due to a failed deli remodel at the Eureka store. Now the general manager is borrowing money to keep the doors open. There is talk of entailing the Arcata store, which the Co-op owns free and clear, to provide more operating capital for the next six months.
It is widely believed that long-term employees are being fired and replaced. Hours and services are being cut. Lawsuits for labor violations are anticipated. Most troubling, the board itself is split, with some wanting to move on and others wanting to find out where the money went.
Unanimous votes are not being cast on important issues and no efforts are being made to resolve questions cooperatively or respectfully.
Both the Eureka and the Arcata stores are vital social and economic components of the local economy. If the stores fail, as some think likely, there will be a big gaping hole in the local food system.
To prevent this loss, more members need to attend meetings, ask questions and get involved to assure that justice prevails. Only the members have the power to save the Co-op.
Mary Ella Anderson
Dissenting Boardmember, North Coast Co-op
A compassionate community
I continue to be amazed that friends, family and other visitors to Arcata do not experience life in the same ways we do (“Arcata’s a hot mess,” Nov. 14, 2018). It seems they live in some sanitized place where neighbors do not suffer. They do not see poor people, or those who are homeless or mentally ill.
Fortunately, Arcata’s eyes and hearts are wide open. Generous people share time, food and resources to offer meals, housing, friendship, and the dignity of recognition. Area churches shelter the vulnerable ones when the weather turns deadly. Food for People (foodforpeople.org) feeds elders and children. Arcata House Partnership (arcatahouse.org) finds apartments and shelters for those with mental or physical handicaps or families trying to rebuild their lives after the trauma of losing jobs and housing.
Because I know these things, no one can shame me by labeling my town “a hot mess.” I am grateful to be part of a compassionate community. I am proud to live here.