janisutter 
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Re: “Fired Boise Co-op Founder/Manager Talks to BW

[This comment has been flagged by the administrator. Please be aware that comments are not fact checked by Boise Weekly and that claims in this comment have not been verified.] This is a new Board of Directors which we the member-owners, have used our vote to one by one replace the old Board of Directors where were mainly handpicked by Ken Kavanagh. I want to tell you a, sorry, long story about the two Boards and why we are at this point. Many years ago there was a Co-op member in Nampa, who had been part of several Boards of Directors and helped many independent Co-ops become strong and successful. This was sort of his hobby. This was the man who threatened the Board with legal action because way back then they weren’t putting notice of their Board meetings in the paper so member-owners could attend. This man stood before the old Board and told them it was very unusual for a Board to not post its meetings, as required by law. He asked why the Co-op had operated over 30 years without a single audit of the books and Ken told him to shut up. He also asked why the Bylaws weren’t available to the member-owners. Ken told him that the Bylaws were protected in the interest of keeping the “competition” from getting at them, you know, the “c o m p e t i t i o n” like there were 4 other Co-ops in town planning to use our Bylaws to commit some kind of nefarious terrorist plot against puppies and Oprah. The man from Nampa told Ken that this was illegal, and he actually sued the Co-op to get a copy of the secret mysterious Bylaws. Then he went to work.

Over many years, the man from Nampa, Charlie I’ll call him, would quietly introduce himself to other members at the store and at Board meetings, taking note of any members at the meetings who asked for accountability, transparency and positive change. They exchanged the Bylaws, read through them and figured out how to use their votes. When a Board is nominated there is typically a list of qualified nominees to vote from. They found out how to nominate their own candidates. They were hearing about Ken's out of control behavior and knew this behavior was being enabled by the old Board all those years. Ken would give the old Board boxes of expensive wine and all sorts of gifts, which is ok I guess since they work for free, but sometimes it seemed really extravagant, and he would stack the Board with people close to him. One time I heard Ken doled out $12,000 of wine or more in one gifting, which we all thought was a bit unusual considering there was reportedly only a 1% profit margin in the Co-op to play with – about $200,000 profit on a typical really busy year provided nothing went wrong which usually happened.

So the new Board was just an idea that member-owners were working on, a hope and an ideal they were working for very patiently. The old Board was filled with Ken’s buddies. They partay-ed together, they noshed and drank a lot of wine together and it was very chummy. They totally enabled Ken, covering for his promiscuous behavior. Hell, Ken, who was married, dated an employee um, I’ll change her name to Ala for around 10 years. They were like a married couple, it was cute. After he dumped Ala she got a small settlement and das boot, and Ken moved on to um, I’ll call her Maly for another 10 year relationship. She too worked at the store and when he dumped her she fought, there were lots of loud arguments everyone heard. He couldn’t get rid of her, she sued him and only dropped it when he paid her off and invented a seat on the Board to placate her: the new “Employee Representative”. Only none of the employees knew they had one, but ok. His ex-lover was now on the Board as part of her settlement. Everyone knew they had been doing the nasty for over a decade, there was absolutely no secret, the point is that Ken stacked the old Board with his picks.

One by one we used our votes to get new outsiders on the Board, outsiders with sterling platinum diamond shiny reputations. That's how Pat Haas got elected - by members who found enough votes just before MIDNIGHT to get him voted in. Ken tried like hell to stop Haas from getting on. Ken sort of knew the end was coming for him I think and I think that’s why he started drinking so much more with all the DUI’s. The new Board members resumes read like a Who's Who of Business Weekly. They didn't owe Ken a damned thing, and they didn't even know who we were, we just sat back and let Ken's normal behavior slowly sink in to them, haha! ROFL! It was sweet irony! This Board is the very first one to hold Ken accountable. Their integrity is legendary, their ethics are legendary, their courage is legendary, their vision is starting out as legendary, they don’t buddy around with each other they don’t owe each other favors, their reps are beyond rock solid and I won't tolerate for one second any idiot disparaging them.

This new Board has the best interests of the 40,000 member-OWNERS in mind. Ken didn't own the store and his army of naive bagboys he's been galvanizing with such horrid slanderous rhetoric of the Board, well they are ignorant. "Board of Directors? What's that?" Welcome to reality boys, Ken had bosses who want to represent their bosses - all 40,000 of them, with as much professional integrity as they possibly can. By know we’ve all heard that reportedly, Ken got caught on film fixing the books and tried to blame a number of very high ranking managers, including his own HR manager for being involved in this plot. He reportedly tried to fire a great number of employees all within a week to cover up his wicked machinations, and he tried to fire the new Board members we had worked so hard to nominate. Too bad he had no authority to fire his bosses. Ken is, well, it's a bit beyond his ken, these things called rules, regulations, laws, statutes, ordinances and such. I bet he is reading the Bylaws in detail for the very first time.

This new improved Board of Directors needs to get some interim members to fill it out, and schedule a Board election in two months. In the meantime, they should slap a restraining order on Kavanagh to keep him from disrupting the store; he's been out front accosting customers and asking them to give him their proxy vote. The Board has released a statement in the Co-op and I presume now to the public on the website that this meeting on the 24th was called by Ken who put an ad in the paper after he was fired. It's not a Board meeting. Any vote is null and void. There are specific rules in the Bylaws for how the Board has to call a meeting, the Board has to post it in the paper and on the website in a certain way and for a certain amount of time, but leave it to Ken to just make it up as he goes as always. However, the Board has bravely volunteered to be there to explain what they legally can say and answer what questions they can. I'm betting they will go into detail about how much they love the Co-op and its employees and its culture and its history. That's why they serve on the Board. For FREE. They aint getting any kickbacks from Ken like the previous old Boards were.

I'm betting they also lay out their vision for the future as well, and give an update on the head-hunters they paid to find a wonderful professional hip replacement for the posish of GM who will be required to greet his/her staff on the first day wearing a t-shirt saying “I Inhaled”. Hazing, you know. Gary Lyons is only serving as temporary acting GM. Pat Haas is only serving as temporary acting Chair of the Board. They aren't trying to work some scam to enrich themselves, in fact I imagine this has been one huge headache for them and I for one think if they can get through it as wonderfully and professionally as they have so far, with as much courage and aplomb, they deserve mad kudos in the Business community at large. Being the beginnings of the first (ahem) legitimate (cough cough) Board of Directors of a Co-op where Ken the ass-pinching deposit draining harem having tyrant has been running amuck like Hugh Hefner in the Playboy mansion all these years, well, it must be rather like herding cats.

We put them up to this when we voted for them, and each one we put on the Board was one step further towards toppling Ken Kavanagh’s absolute iron-fist control of the Co-op which in fact belonged to us, not him but us. WE ARE THE OWNERS OF THE CO-OP, NOT KEN. And now we are giving the Co-op to all of the members, all 40,000 of them who actually own it. What is 40,000 X $60? It is $2.4 MILLION dollars. That is what you paid for the non-profit Co-op with your membership fees. You also continue to support your investment with your continued patronage and to every punk who suggested a “boycott” of the Co-op I say to you, punks, Psssshaw. And again I say to you, Pssshaw you punks. Stop calling it your store and worrying about what you think of us and realize the Co-op belongs to all of us and start worrying about what we think of you! Are you feeling us yet?

Stand behind Lyons, Haas, and the rest of the new Board. Go to the website and you’ll see they were only elected recently. They are the good guys here and didn't ask for this drama. In fact if Ken hadn't tried to fire them hahaha and all of those other managers they wouldn’t have taken his keys and had him clean out his desk so summarily. The succession planning involved a lavish fete for his retirement party, a real send-off. Ken would have been a rock-star, but he had to go and mess it up. In fact, the Board hasn't said anything controversial or dramatic. They aren't contributing to any of this and I'm sure they would just love for it to die down, but in the meantime, Ken has been threatening to take over the Board again, stack it with his homies, his wenches and his lackeys who were just as enabling and as permissive as those other old pseudo-Boards all those previous years, and oh yah, Kavanagh has reportedly given quite the list of employees he wants to fire should he return.

Now is the time for member-owners to stand up and be member-owners. YOU own that Co-op. It belongs to YOU. Ken changed the Bylaws so that the profit from the Co-op was given to charity instead of being returned to the owners, like REI does. That's ok, if that's what you want. What do you want you owners of the Co-op? Would you like to be involved and have a say in where your charity money goes? Maybe you want some of the profit returned to you, like REI? Maybe you would like Co-op stalwarts who worked there 20 years or more to have a retirement plan with at least Dental and life-time free membership? Can their hard-working wonderful employees get a real merit based pay system? An equal balance of male and female managers? Would you like a satellite store in Meridian perhaps, or Sun-Valley? How about your very own pony? Everything is on the table now that you have finally wrestled control of YOUR CO-OP away from the guy who has been pretending he owned it all of these years.

There may be a few Board spots to fill. If you have a sterling professional reputation, or if you know someone who does and has experience with Boards and/or Co-ops/Grocery/Retail etc and are willing to work for free under the current duress, then there has never been a better time to contact one of the Board members and drop that name. Those of you Ken rode off, who he treated like a dog as you disappeared without a trace leaving only his slander to suggest as to why, please come back and at least say hello. We miss you. You are still part of the family. And if you pass Ken Kavanagh in the street you might say: Hi there. I’m a human being. What are you? Show that guy no mercy, he may have done kind things for a few friends of his but he has shown many others cruelty and Karma rules. It may be late if you aren’t spiritually pure enough to warrant instant Karma, but Karma catches up with everyone in the end. And this is the end, the end of one party, a sort of Dionysian thing with Ken as Pan, and it’s the beginning of a new party, one involving all of the member-owners, all employees instead of just a few and yes, I heard God will be there too. She mixes a great margarita, and wants the Co-op to put Solar panels on the roof. PEACE! Long live the Boise Co-op!

Posted by janisutter on 01/19/2011 at 10:29 PM

Re: “Fired Boise Co-op Founder/Manager Talks to BW

LOL! Yah let's call a meeting under the pretense of doing what's best for the Co-op and ask for all of Kavanagh's victims over the years to give their stories before a slew of piranah-hungry attorneys. Dragging the Co-op into an unwinnable class-action lawsuit helps our store exactly how? Where were you and the rest of your whiney bong smoking friends when KK was answering to all of these allegations during the all of the emergency Board meetings during December 2010? Where were you then? If Kavanagh claims surprise at the way he was fired it's all just an act. He knew he was on the way out. We all did, at least those of us who bothered to attend the meetings. I think we can all agree that the Boise Co-op is a victim of its own success. There are too many people who shop there now, the parking lot is too full and Ken should have opened a satelite store in Meridian years ago. What is it to me if you boycott the Co-op? You would be doing us all a favor. The only employees who wonder if they are the next to get fired are the ones who were giving bj's to the boss. If you were one of his bimbos you had BETTER be sweating now lol! The rest of them knew this was coming a long time back. Their jobs are secure and the Board isn't going to change the Co-op into Whole-Foods, even though most of what they stock is ordered from a Whole-Foods supplier already dot dot dot

Posted by janisutter on 01/15/2011 at 8:31 PM

Re: “Fired Boise Co-op Founder/Manager Talks to BW

Well, they can vote but since the Board never called for this meeting such a vote means exactly nothing. Kavanagh called the meeting himself when he knew he was about to get canned. He also understands that if you are calling for a removal of an entire Board of Directors, by law you have to mail out a mailer to every single one of the member-owners and allow them all to vote. You can't just put an ad in the paper posing as the President of a corporation you just got fired from - that is illegal. Also, by the Co-op's own By-laws you would need a 50% vote to pull this off - that is 20,000 people. They don't have to be there in person, they could do it by proxy but Kavanagh has no authority to call for such a meeting or any kind of vote. Only the Board of Directors does, and until they put an ad in the paper for their next Board meeting, any kind of "vote" Kavanagh's bong smoking sycophants pull off is null and void. Ken could call a meeting to vote him as King of the World but it's still just a bunch of hippies bitching about something they can't do a damned thing to change. He got fired. Get over it. STFU and move on.

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Posted by janisutter on 01/15/2011 at 6:29 PM

Re: “Fired Boise Co-op Founder/Manager Talks to BW

[This comment has been flagged by the administrator. Please be aware that comments are not fact checked by Boise Weekly and that claims in this comment have not been verified.] You never attended a single Board meeting did you? For every histrionic pathchouli-abusing drama queen who wants to defend that old pervert's wounded integrity there are thousands of "Members" who have been calling for him to be fired for years. He helped appoint that very Board and they heard and saw so many egregious crimes on the part of Kavanagh over the years he gave them no choice but to fire his pervy ass for cooking the books to cover up moniez he was stealing to pay for his affairs and his many settlements of sexual harassment lawsuits. I personally would appreciate it very much if you discontinued shopping at the Co-op. That would be one less stupid hippie taking up the precious few parking spots or clogging up the busy aisles there. We, the real member-owners, know that the Boise Co-op is going to be a great place to shop long after Ken and his blubbering sycophants are long gone. Good riddance to the lot of you! Long live the Boise Co-op! I bet that Board will fix a lot of longstanding problems and make the Co-op even better and it won't be much more corporate than it is right now. Now step away from the bong, take a deep breath and relax....

Posted by janisutter on 01/15/2011 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Boise Co-op Board: We Want to Move Forward.

Um, Ken Kavanagh never did a damned thing around that Co-op. He didn't found it, he was just a punk they hired in 73 to stock shelves. He didn't make it into the success it is today. But he will sure take credit for it when idiots try and give it to him. He is a sexual pervert who preys on vulnerable female employees and offers them cash in exchange for sex. This is illegal. He paid off countless sexual harassment lawsuits over the years out of the general fund. How can a President or General Manager use Co-op funds to settle litigation against him personally? That is illegal. He got fired because he tried to fire accountants and bookkeepers and HR managers for not agreeing to cook the books and cover up these many pay-offs. When the Board caught him on film altering the books it was all over. He most certainly did NOT build the Co-op into it's present awesomeness, that was the many employees and he needed to be fired years ago for sexual harassment. We who still work in the Co-op and have been struggling with his behavior for years really hope he forms a new Co-op and takes all of these whiners with him. Ken treated people like dogs all the time. He fired my boyfriend for telling him to keep his hands off of me and threatened to fire me too. I hate his guts and many employees that work there now and have worked there in the past hate him too. It was his own Karma that got him fired and now we have to clean up his mess one more time...

Posted by janisutter on 01/15/2011 at 1:44 PM

Re: “Fired Boise Co-op Founder/Manager Talks to BW

[This comment has been flagged by the administrator. Please be aware that comments are not fact checked by Boise Weekly and that claims in this comment have not been verified.] Ken is lying. Years of sexual harassment lawsuits against the uninsured co-op led to many settlements, on average two per year. He had to pay for them somehow and he also apparently liked to help himself to free cash. The accountant couldn't cover it up any more, the Board had a few emergency meetings about three weeks ago and Ken tried to blame her for stealing the money. She kept good books though and the Board started an investigation, actually catching Ken on film sneaking in and altering the books. He tried to fire anybody involved in the investigation including book-keepers, HR manager and the Board of Directors for daring to stand up to him. Ken is very notorious for having many mistresses, girlfriends etc. We always called them the "harem". The co-op just couldn't cover up for him anymore. The store isn't going to change, Ken never really did that much around there and always took credit for things he had nothing to do with. Change is hard, but give it two weeks and it will all get better you bunch of loveable drama-queen hippies. I know people who were there at the beginning of the co-op like Ken, and from what they say back in 1973 he was just another zit-faced kid doing what he was told, but now he has this whole story fabricated that it was all him who begat this or that. LIER! BTW - Ken fired thousands of people over the years without giving them the time of day. For him to complain about how he got fired is the height of arrogance. Unless you were one of his many girlfriends, he treated people like dogs all the time so he can go to hell with his weakazz lies.

Posted by janisutter on 01/14/2011 at 9:14 PM

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