Looking back and ahead

Posted on Dec 07 2022 in Decatur County REMC
Brett Abplanalp

Merry Christmas!   It’s just one of the reasons I enjoy the month of December. The great food, the special time with friends and family, and the memories we always make.

Another reason I enjoy the month is it allows time for reflection on this past year. Decatur County REMC had a great 2022. Strategic planning was completed with all employees, our financials continue to be strong, many infrastructure projects geared toward improved reliability were implemented, and our first EV charger was installed, just to name a few highlights. 

Of course, my favorite event always hits the top of the list — your annual meeting. I enjoy visiting and meeting members, discussing challenges and our health for the coming years, and seeing one of the seven cooperative principles in action — Democratic Member Control (your vote).

Your feedback via a survey also helps us to plan a better annual meeting for 2023 and beyond. We received responses from 941 participants who completed the survey. The mix of replies from around our service territory, and the assortment of non-attendee vs. attendee, makes for exceptional feedback. I am thrilled to see the results of what you want, and the opportunities to make your annual meeting even better.

One change we made in 2018, at the request of the membership, was an electronic early voting system. This was a big step, but looking at the data today, it was a step in the right direction. The survey showed 76% of survey respondents were “satisfied” to “very satisfied” with our voting process, with 96% of respondents voting online and by mail (with online growing and mail declining each year). It’s hard to top those numbers, and with so many leading busy lives, this technology makes sure all members voices are heard. It is also nice to know this addresses your requests for convenience, multi-platform voting, security, and a non-biased election.

I am also excited to see our Decatur County REMC staff and our members’ have the same thoughts on going back to an in-person event. Though the drive-thru event worked during the pandemic, we are ready to be back to taking time to visit, hearing and addressing your concerns, and truly thanking you for your membership.  

Even though we legally must hold the annual meeting, we would do it regardless. There is just no substitute for face-to-face engagement time. 

As we round out this year and plan for 2023, know that all of us here at Decatur County REMC have your best interests in mind. Whether discussing fiber, trees, or building work, know you are our top priority with all decision making. I would love to know any thoughts you have for the coming year, so feel free to give me a call so we can discuss.