Democracy ruled at OCREA meeting

To the editor:

Democratic member control — it’s one of the hallmarks of electric cooperatives and one of the seven cooperative principles under which the 900-plus electric cooperatives in our country operate. This principal was demonstrated in mid-June at the Ontonagon County REA annual meeting in Chassell.

A number of members at that annual business meeting asked the Ontonagon County REA Board of Directors to consider “redistricting,” so that the cooperative’s seven voting districts had similar numbers of members.

Today, two of the seven districts are considerably larger than the others and that is inconsistent with current provisions in the cooperative’s bylaws.

Shortly after that meeting, Ontonagon requested assistance and support from the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) to develop redistricting options for open discussion with the cooperative’s members and board of directors in the coming months.

Based in Lansing, MECA is the statewide trade association for Michigan’s electric cooperatives.

The MECA’s team and legal counsel will be working with the Ontonagon Board of Directors and management team in the weeks ahead with the goal of having redistricting options for discussion with the board and membership later this summer.

In the interim, please know that the board of directors of Ontonagon County REA is listening to the members and developing redistricting options as suggested by the cooperative’s members at their recent annual meeting in Chassell.

Craig Borr