It’s time to take action! The all-important Special Meeting of EMC members will take place on September 17 at Piedmont Church in Marietta. The Special Meeting is the crucial first step to ensuring fair and open elections of Board members and finally gives us, the members,an opportunity to have our voices heard.
PREVENT SHENANIGANS: Please read the section below on Meeting Details so you know how to make sure your vote is counted.
On August 22, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Stephen Schuster gave his final order on the derivative lawsuit against Cobb EMC. In that order, Cobb EMC must hold a special members meeting to vote on amendments to the EMC bylaws.
We need EVERY member to turn out to vote at this meeting. Members will be voting on two very important issues. First and foremost is the format of elections. TBCE strongly urges a NO vote for mail-in ballots. By voting NO, we will have in-person board elections.
Why vote NO?
Judge Schuster has ruled that Cobb EMC can use unlimited amounts of (our) money to support incumbent board candidates, and a mail-in ballot will be too easy to buy. As Bo Pounds, one of the original plaintiffs who sued Cobb EMC, told the Marietta Daily Journal:
“If you go for mail-in ballots, that’s the kiss of death. They can control the election with mail-in ballots. They don’t care what it costs. They’ve already shown that. They’re using my money against us. They’ll be there for life, and you’ll never get the incumbents out of office.”
Mr. Pounds also pointed out that mail-in ballots down the road could be a good choice, but right now, without restrictions on Cobb EMC funding its own candidates with our money, mail-ins threaten to put a stop to reform at Cobb EMC.
The future of OUR co-op depends on the outcome of the vote! If you want to control your rates, and other EMC decisions, make sure to come out and vote NO, and tell your friends, neighbors and colleagues who are Cobb EMC members just how important this meeting is to the future of our cooperative. Voting NO on mail-in ballots gives us the opportunity to elect accountable leadership when elections start in November.
When and Where:
570 Piedmont Road
Marietta, GA 30066
Registration for the meeting will begin at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day.
The meeting will start at 10:15 a.m. and feature a 20-minute presentation from the lawsuit plaintiffs, a 20 minute follow-up by Cobb EMC’s lawyers and a 5 minute rebuttal by the plaintiffs, followed by up to 90 minutes of public comment period.
The polls will open at approximately 12:30 p.m. and will remain open until 5 p.m. You do not need to attend the 10:15 a.m. meeting to vote, but it is highly recommended!
On the ballot:
You will be voting on two resolutions for changes to the bylaws. Resolution 1 would allow mail-in ballots; remember, TBCE strongly urges a NO vote on Resolution 1.
The second resolution regards retirement compensation for the Board. Cobb EMC recently disclosed on its website that board members currently receive $211,000 in retirement benefits in addition to per diem compensation. We recommend a yes vote on Resolution 2 to keep future compensation to a reasonable level.
Who can vote:
To attend you MUST be one of the following:
1. A member (your name is on the Cobb EMC bill).
2. The spouse or adult child (living in the home) of a member who is designated by proxy to attend. Cobb EMC should mail you a proxy to be filled out by the member before the meeting.
3. An employee of Cobb EMC
A credentialed member of the press can attend the meeting, but can only vote if you’re a member.
There is only one vote per household, even if you have a joint account.
Things to bring with you:
1. Your picture ID
2. A copy of your bill
3. A filled out proxy if applicable.
Conduct at the meeting
1. The judge’s order prohibits wearing any buttons, t-shirts, signs, etc. that express an opinion related to Cobb EMC, the Board of Directors, the elections or even Dwight Brown. Think of it like a regular election where you can’t wear a campaign button into the polls.
2. Please maintain a respectful atmosphere at the meeting. Please do express your opinions during the public comment period provided, but refrain from disruptive behavior.
Remember, the future of Cobb EMC is in our hands. On September 17, let’s do our part to ensure that or cooperative rightfully returns power to the members.