The Saga of the Open Meetings Bylaw Amendment

On June 27, 2018 PVEC Member Voices submitted a draft amendment to the bylaws stating that meetings will be open to members without request and that meetings included time for member-owners to speak. Included in the amendment was a provision for member notification of meetings, times and places. This amendment clarified Article V of the bylaws to better support and actively engage member-owner community of the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative.

PVEC Member Voices requested the amendment be included in the notification of this year’s Annual Meeting for vote, the only stipulation for a vote to occur at the meeting.  We followed the bylaws set forth to submit amendments.  However, the current Board of Directors chose not to include the amendment with the notification of the Annual Meeting.

In order to effectively participate in the decision-making process of our cooperative, member-owners  must be knowledgeable about the decisions being made by the board of directors.  Meeting times, places, meeting minutes, and meeting agendas were not available to member-owners on the website, billing, or in publications until recently. There is currently NO accessibility to prior meeting minutes that are public.

These practices discourage member-owner participation, and severely limit every member-owner’s ability to effectively ensure their elected representatives are voting in such a way that adequately represents member-owner values, concerns and true visions for their cooperative.

Up until the August 2018 meeting of the Board of Directors, all Board meetings had been closed to member-owners.  The Board changed their policy sometime between the June 2018 and August 2018 meetings, then stated in the Claiborne Progress that meetings had always been open to member-owners.  This is simply UNTRUE!  The Board may change this policy back at any time!  The only way to ensure that members are notified of Board meetings and allowed to attend is to amend our bylaws!

Left with no other choice, PVEC Member Voices made a motion to submit the amendment at the 2018 Annual Meeting, with the vote to occur 2019 Annual Meeting.  It is important that you be at the 2019 Annual Meeting to vote for the Open Meetings Amendment!

Learn more about bylaws, amendments, and policies.