The meeting began at eleven with well over the required numbers, despite the heat and increasing smoke. In order to have a quorum, 5% of members were required to attend, which meant that 238 Lincoln Electric Cooperative members needed to arrive and register. Most people appeared to be staying in the vehicles, the stands far from full.
In the background, traffic could be heard along with the happy, active sounds of young people playing soccer. The radio broadcasting worked quite well, with speakers quite audible. While some were as easy to hear with the windows rolled down, many did require the assistance of the car radio to be audible from where we were parked.
In the interest of brevity- an interest made more pressing by the heat and smoke, questions were not being addressed. We can expect to find any questions of public interest in a Q/A on the LEC facebook page.
The Election of Trustees went by voice vote- there were no more individuals running than vacancies. This year, voice vote involved car horns in addition to the more conventional verbal response.
While Votes on the proposed By-Laws changes were collected, attendees listened to the Financial Report, the Manager’s Report, Education benefits of Unclaimed Capital Credits, and the results of the prize drawings. The meeting formally ended when the votes were all collected and counted, though departures began after the prize winners were announced.
The financial report was upbeat, noting that LEC’s largest expense remains the cost of power, and that they are showing profits up from the previous year.
The manager’s report, also upbeat, was probably most memorable for the anecdote that LEC’s manager carries a picture of an electrical outlet in his wallet. He did take the time to acknowledge LEC’s employees and remarked that the biggest effect the Corona virus situation has had was the lack of travel -LEC actually saved money.
Prizes, when announced, included gift certificates to Gibbons Garage, Car Jacks, Steins, and Sunflower Moose, among others, in addition to the year’s supply of electricity and truck advertised in the Notice of Annual Meeting.
A summary of the voting
|Proposed By-Laws Change||In Favor||Opposed||Total|
|#1 “This change would enable the board to potentially reduce board expenses while continuing to manage your cooperative in a responsible, sustainable manner” (Board size reduction)||291||59||350|
|#2 “Current By-laws detail how to become a member, but do not clearly define when membership terminates. This is especially important in regards to defining what constitutes an entity to have voting privileges”||331||17||348|
|#3 (Rather than quote the explanation, I’ll quote the text added to the By-laws, which is shorter ) “The Cooperative shall retire capital credits in the manner, method, timing and amount as approved and at the discretion of the Board of Trustees”||279||71||350|
|#4 (Keeps postponing the annual meeting from dissolving the Cooperative, Mail in Voting, Reduces Quorum from 5% to 2%)||276||78||354|
|#5 “Qualifications for trustees needed to be more clearly defined to help protect the cooperative and members”||331||18||349|
*Numbers are what we heard, but it was via radio, and mistakes can happen.