Over the years, you’ve heard me express why and how Decatur County REMC is different – because we’re a cooperative. Our business model sets us apart from other utilities because we adhere to seven guiding cooperative principles that reflect core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness and service to the greater good of the community.
Take Principle #2: Democratic Member Control. Decatur County REMC is a democratic organization controlled by its members, who actively participate in setting direction and policy. The board of directors you elect are accountable to the membership. This is why your annual meeting is so important and why your vote matters.
Actively participating, through items such as surveys, is how we hear you. I’d like to thank all those who completed the annual meeting survey. As I’ve stated before, I love numbers and am always excited to look through these and see how we are doing.
With 88% of members satisfied with the annual meeting and 77% satisfied with the voting process, it’s no wonder our quorum (participation rate), is the highest it’s been (excluding 2020), and continuing to trend upwards. Online voting is increasing while mail-in ballots are decreasing but we still plan to offer multi-platform voting to accommodate all members.
You also want a secure election with multiple ways to vote and we will make sure that continues to happen. Having a third party conduct the voting aligns right with this. While these come with a cost, it’s what you want. Keep in mind this fee isn’t just counting your votes. It’s everything that is required to offer you this service – online and early voting, paper, postage, just to name a few. When members who are elderly or disabled, or those with a schedule conflict can’t attend the meeting, this service allows them to vote and have their voice heard.
Even with spending more money on our voting process with an outside vendor, it is more cost-effective than us trying to complete this in-house. My employees also work hard to reduce costs in other areas, and I’m proud of them as they came in under budget this year. They negotiated pricing, thought outside of the box, and reached other community partners to help. They were dedicated to helping the members and it showed by how successful the event was this year.
With all the feedback and comments, I am excited about next year’s annual meeting and am looking forward to what we will bring to our members. Be sure to save the date – Friday, June 14, 2024 – for your 86th Annual Meeting.
We depend on our members along with the board’s guidance and perspective to help set priorities for the co-op and guide governance decisions. This is what the annual meeting is all about. Our board is the community pulse for the co-op and helps keep us on the right track. We love our community and want to help it thrive. If you share the same commitment and want to contribute to the greater good in a tangible way, I hope you’ll consider running for a board position.
Watch upcoming communications for districts that are seeking nominations and how you can help. As always, don’t hesitate to reach me. I love hearing from you.