Democracy is at the heart of your co-op

George Carter

One of the seven cooperative principles is democratic member control. Simply put, this means the cooperative members elect the board of trustees, who then guide the direction of the cooperative. This issue of the magazine contains the official announcement of our board elections, which will be held prior to the 2018 annual membership meeting.

Cooperatives differ from other utilities in that the board members must all be members of the cooperative and must be elected by their neighbors and friends. Members can seek board positions, and only members vote to elect their board representative. No other utility model functions this way, and it ensures your cooperative is member-controlled. In this way, it is truly neighbors serving neighbors.

Each year, three of the nine board districts are up for election. This year, the districts are:

District 3 — Paulding County, Ohio — townships of Carryall, Crane, Benton, and Harrison

District 7 — Putnam County, Ohio — townships of Monroe, Palmer, Liberty, and Greensburg

District 8 — Putnam County, Ohio — townships of Perry, Jackson, Monterey, and Jennings; also Allen County, Ohio — township of Marion

All members residing in those districts may be eligible to seek election for the board. The election process is very simple: Complete and submit a nominating petition by the deadline of Dec. 15, 2017. Nominating petitions are available upon request or may be downloaded from the cooperative’s website at If you are interested in seeking a board position, please refer to the website for additional information.

Democratic member control is a key cooperative principle and allows all members to have a voice in the cooperative. See the official notice of election on page 6, and please participate in the election process either by running for the board or voting in the upcoming board election.