‘I’d probably make the same decision’

BRATTLEBORO — An open letter to the shareholders of the Brattleboro Food Co-op and the general community:

Recently, I and another individual resigned from the Board of Directors of the Brattleboro Food Co-op. It was made clear to us that seven of the nine other board members believed that we had violated the board code of conduct and their trust. While we disagreed with the majority of the board, we did not believe we would be able to change their minds.

The immediate issue that led to this rift was a request by some employees to speak with us in confidence, which we honored. We made it clear that we could only listen, that we were present only as individuals, not representing the board, and we listened. We then suggested the employees bring their issues to the board as a whole.

It appears that the majority of the board felt that listening without the board's prior approval was violation of the board's “speak-with-one-voice” policy, despite the employees' request for confidentiality.

If I remained on the board and were approached by an individual or group who wished to share in confidence with me, I would probably make the same decision to listen. Since the majority of the board views this as unacceptable behavior, I found it necessary to resign to preserve my integrity and range of options.

I apologize to those shareholders who placed their faith in me by voting for me last year and regret that I will not complete my term of service on their behalf. I still firmly believe in the co-operative economic model and plan to continue as an active member of the BFC - just in a different role.

Thank you for your support of the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

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