Democratic member control means you have a strong voice


Last month, I mentioned three of the seven cooperative principles — education, training, and information; concern for community; and democratic member control.

I explained how your cooperative lives out those principles every day. I showed that this magazine is provided to keep you informed and educated on your co-op news, and I described how the co-op shows its concern for our local community by supporting organizations like the Honor Flight for local veterans. I also talked about our members having a say in the co-op by voting in the election to revise the code of regulations.

I think democratic member control is the most important of the seven principles. Democratic member control means the members — part-owners of the co-op like you — actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. This is directly related to our code of regulations revisions. More than 1,200 members participated in that election. Those members played an active role in setting the policies of the cooperative by voting.

By far, the biggest role and responsibility members have is electing the PPEC board of trustees. The cooperative is locally controlled, which means only members, living in the district they represent, can serve on the board.

Board members are elected by you, the members. That’s the very definition of democratic member control. There are no out-of-state stockholders setting policies. Your neighbors and friends serve on the board.

Elections are open to all members who reside in a district up for election. Each year, three of the nine board districts hold trustee elections. Trustees are elected for three-year terms, and elections are held in early March of each year, just prior to the annual meeting. Nominations are simple: Members only need to complete a nomination petition and submit it to the office. The nominating petition must be signed by at least 20 members who also live in the district.

Nominating petitions are now available for the board of trustee elections. The petitions must be completed and returned no later than the close of business on Dec. 19.

Remember: There are two parts to democratic member control. First, members must run for election to the board of trustees, and second, members must participate in the election process by voting.

I encourage all members to take part in the principle of democratic member control. Watch for the election in your district and participate by either seeking election or voting for the trustee who will represent your district on the board.

GEORGE CARTER is CEO/general manager of Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative.

Dec. 19: DEADLINE to submit a petition to run for the Paulding Putnam Electric board of trustees. Download a petition at or stop by our office at 401 McDonald Pike, Paulding, during normal business hours.