Letter: About the issues at GIRO

Monday, August 19 2013

While there are no doubt issues at GIRO, it is a poor reflection on those who send “hate” emails to GIRO board members. Remember the board members are volunteers doing a job no one else has wanted to do. This kind of bullying of board members and their families by phone calls and emails is just plain wrong.

Remember also that a board of eight or nine people works by consensus. That means that what action is taken is decided by the majority. If someone cannot abide by the majority’s decisions repeatedly and is constantly at odds with other board members, then a non-confidence vote is in order.

And honestly, I don’t get the noise being made about pricing. I know of no other thrift store type outlet where you can buy a toaster for $3 and jeans for $2 or $3. To suggest that GIRO is working towards a Value Village-type model is ridiculous.

I personally have seen GIRO giving materials and support to various community organizations. If someone is in need, necessities are given.

As a volunteer for four years at GIRO, I have enjoyed working with the staff and at no time have I felt unwelcome. Volunteers are always welcome if they are willing to come and learn on non-GIRO days. It’s just too busy to train volunteers on GIRO days.

As for the necessary part-time staff: From what I’ve seen, they’re a much needed part of the team. Us volunteers aren’t obliged to be there day in day out and sometimes we have other obligations. The part-time staff make sure that things get done as needed. Also sometimes we need men with strong backs to do the literal heavy lifting.

On an island with limited job opportunities, I think that it is a good thing that GIRO is able to offer at least some part-time employment.

GIRO has grown as has the population of the island over the last 23 years. Change is an inevitable part of growth and I think that GIRO has changed and grown with the times.

Celebrate it. Become a member ($2) if you aren’t already and come to the meeting to add your voice respectfully to the debate. Be part of the change or support your elected board members doing the job you elected them to do.


~ Neila Coe