Every month, CEO/General Manager Tony Mallory has a message for our members in Your Co-op Connection in Rural Missouri.
Vote "YES" on Proposition A
I’ve heard it said that August is the bridge between summer and autumn – between how the year has been and how the year will end. That seems about right.
So far this year, things at your co-op have been going really well. And, of course, it’s our hope for that success to continue.
In a bit of a return-to-normal, my August column in this newsletter is focused on our upcoming annual meeting of members. I’m happy to be able to invite you to the gathering, especially after the past few years of pandemic-related restrictions and hesitations about such events. Watch your September Rural Missouri for all the specifics about the Sept. 13 meeting.
Elsewhere in this newsletter, you can find all the details about how you can participate in the director election during our early-voting period that starts this month. New this year will be your ability to vote on an important bylaw proposal, something that previously could be acted upon only by the members attending in person on the day of the meeting.
How is this possible now? Thanks to you!
Last year, members at our annual meeting approved a bylaw amendment designed to, among other things, permit voting on bylaw proposals via mail-in or electronic voting. Thanks to our supportive membership, even more members now can be actively involved in setting the direction for our co-op.
We saw a record number of members cast ballots in last year’s director election. It was clear that our robust early-voting options (mail-in, web-based and through our
SmartHub account-maintenance app) were meeting members’ needs. Not everyone can attend a daytime meeting midweek, but everyone can vote!
This proactive member-engagement voting initiative was made possible, again, thanks to the support of our members. Bylaws governing voting methods had been updated several years prior to the pandemic. We already had the flexibility we needed to navigate the rough waters of the COVID-19 years.
This year, we’re looking for more member support for another proactive initiative related to our bylaws.
As you may have noticed in previous years, board candidate campaigning has increased. Yard signs and print ads are common in contested races. These efforts are designed to gain your attention and support. But we know that such campaigning costs money.
We think you, the voting members, deserve to know where that money is coming from.
Is the director candidate self-funding his or her campaign? Or is someone, or some organization or outside influencer, contributing? The bylaw proposition you’ll see on your ballot this year will require that all director candidates fully disclose any and all sources of funds, financial benefits or contributions to their campaigns.
With this transparency requirement in place, voters will be able to decide which candidates have the right local focus. It’s entirely appropriate that this not-for-profit cooperative tailor our efforts and initiatives to serve the needs of our local communities, our region and our state. Directors must have that same undivided focus.
Now, Crawford Electric has never had any issue or concern about campaign contributions in the past. This proposition is simply another example of your co-op leaders thinking strategically and being proactive to protect our members’ local control. I urge you to vote “YES” on Proposition A.
So, as we enter August – summer’s last stand – let’s actively participate in ensuring effective, member-focused governance. Vote!
I look forward to bridging the gap to the end of the year with another outstanding election turnout. And I hope to see you at annual meeting on Sept. 13.