This installment includes the organization of CREAM – concerned REA members. The October 17 issue of the Mountain Ear includes the first announcement:
The petitions now being circulated by CREAM will not, by and of themselves, remove either the trustees, the attorney, or the manager.
The petitions only call for a special meeting of Lincoln Electric Cooperative members to consider and vote on these issues.
Your attendance at the special meeting is needed if any changes are to be made.
From the October 17, 1988 Mountain Ear column “Hitting the High Points”:
“Does anybody want to know what happened in Lincoln Electric/InterBel’s last secret meeting? Hang in folks, here comes Mike’s unofficial, unauthorized version of the last secret meeting.
Board Chairman Charlie Cope has assured us that the last secret meeting was strictly for the board members – that not even Monk Miller would be there.
That’s a half truth according to my information. True, Monk wasn’t at the meeting. But, from what I hear, the board’s own attorney represented Monk’s interests, made the propositions, and the board members accepted them.
I guess that answers my question of “What do these guys have to hide?” The board of trustees apparently held a secret meeting, without Monk, and waited for the lawyer to tell them how Monk preferred to solve the problem. I guess for a rubber stamp board, that’s taking the bull by both horns. Board members left, sworn to secrecy, and commenting only that their decision “is a positive one, that will really solve the problems now and in the future.”
Let’s look at what’s happening. According to the reports I’ve got on the meeting, the proposal was that Monk should lower his sights a little. Monk wouldn’t have to stick around two years as a consultant to get the 100 Gs. Instead, he’d retire in June and would collect between $45,000 and $50,000 for his unused sick leave. Another report has it that the board will negotiate the leave payment.
Now I understand why Charlie felt they could talk more freely in a secret meeting.
Apparently CREAM’s been effective. Monk’s latest proposal offers to drop the 100 G consultant business, in return for a contract as manager running through 1991. He doesn’t expect a fast answer.
Pages 3 and 4 are identified as “CREAM advertising Page” and copied in their entirety:
Page 6 includes the article “I Sought the List”:
“Last Tuesday, representing a group of Concerned REA Members (CREAM), I requested a list showing names and addresses of all Lincoln Electric members. My reasons were simple: since the manager can use our funds to propagandize his side of the issue to every member, we need to mail the truth to every member.
I walked out without the list. Don Sanders was courteous, but explained that my request had to be presented to the board of trustees. Sanders helped write up the request and promised to present it to the board at it’s next meeting.
That next meeting is tonight. So far, CREAM has been refused the right to communicate their views with fellow Lincoln Electric members. At the very least, CREAM has been delayed for a week with administrative delaying tactics. Don Sanders has been as helpful as he could be, and, I am sure, a lot more cordial than was required.
But I’d like to have a little help tonight. The board meets at 7:30 pm, October 17th at the REA building north of town. If a few members would show up, it might help me get the list.”
Next Installment: Force 9: Strong Gale – Slight structural damage occurs; chimney pots and slates removed