Elections set, board admonished as new day dawns at Cobb EMC

A new day is dawning for Cobb EMC members. After years of disenfranchisement and an endless tunnel of lawsuits, indictments and setbacks, we are poised to revive our democratic rights. On Friday, August 12, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Stephen Schuster announced a Special Meeting and election dates!

On September 17, 2011, 10:15am at Piedmont Church in Marietta members will be voting on the format of elections, which is crucial to ensure that we have fair and open elections. We’ll also vote on a resolution regarding pensions for board members. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and voting will continue until 5 p.m.

Following that meeting, there will be three sets of elections (mark your calendars!):

  • Areas 1, 6, 7, and 10 on November 12, 2011
  • Areas 2, 3 and 9 on February 18, 2012
  • Areas 4, 5, and 8 on May 12, 2012

Like us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and reminders when it’s time to vote!

We would not be so close to bringing open, transparent leadership to Cobb EMC without all of you who have already signed our petition or taken other actions on the campaign. Now it’s time for the big push. Like any election campaign, it’s going to take lots of volunteers to elect accountable candidates. We’ve come so far in the past year, and now we’re so close! Can you help turn your friends, neighbors and colleagues who are Cobb EMC members our to the meeting on the 17th, and to vote?

We need people to make phone calls, knock on doors, help with graphic design, log member information, and host meet-the-candidate events. If you can help, please call Nick at 678-389-8983, email nick@takebackcobbemc.com, or sign up for updates on our homepage and check the “I am interested in volunteering, please contact me” box!

One of the many issues addressed on Friday is that there is no limit on the board’s spending to re-elect its chosen slate (as far as we know, that means to re-elect itself). With rumors that they’ve engaged high-profile campaign consultant Tom Perdue, we know that electing reform candidates to the board will not be easy and the current Board will not surrender without a fight.  Please consider supporting the reform campaign by volunteering, or with a financial contribution. Online giving is coming soon; in the meantime, checks made out to Take Back Cobb EMC may be sent to PO 862222, Marietta GA 30062.

Friday’s announcement came at a hearing in which Judge Schuster forced all 10 Cobb EMC board members to stand for a compliance hearing. He indicated his intent to hold the board accountable at the beginning of the hearing, when he required all the board members, who were scattered about the room, to move to the front row.

Schuster lectured the board for about twelve minutes about its collective effort to stretch out the settlement process and further disenfranchise members. From its attempt to “weasel” around the 2008 legal settlement in order to rehire Dwight Brown and keep him as a consultant, to the Board’s inability to schedule timely elections, Judge Schuster set them in their place. You can read the entire lecture here, courtesy of the MDJ.

Schuster is also requiring Board members to attend monthly meetings in his office with the liquidating trust responsible for shutting down Cobb EMC’s many unsuccessful for-profit subsidiaries. “It’s just so we can all have a full understanding of why, 2 ½ years later, certain things haven’t been liquidated,” Schuster said, with the Board sitting in silence.

A big thank-you to Judge Schuster for his conscientious actions to bring Cobb EMC’s entrenched leadership to justice. And a big thank you to all of you: finally, with your support, we are putting the past behind us and moving forward toward transparency, accountability and responsible leadership to the Board of Directors. The finish line is in sight, and we’ll come out ahead if each of us contributes what we can.

Stay tuned and don’t forget to check the Take Back Cobb EMC website, Facebook and Twitter pages to get the latest information and learn about the best ways to get involved to help elect new and accountable leadership to our EMC.

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