The Pioneer Electric Board of Trustees will propose bylaw changes for members to vote upon during the upcoming annual meeting on September 10, 2020. Below is a summarization of the changes proposed; full details of the change will be being mailed directly to cooperative members.
What is a bylaw change?
A change to cooperative bylaws is a change to how Pioneer Electric must conduct formal business with the members of the cooperative. Cooperatives are member-owned; you are the stakeholders. The cooperative bylaws help protect the cooperative members and provide a reference for Pioneer’s board to follow. Changes may be proposed by the Pioneer Electric Board of Trustees but must be approved by a majority vote of the members during the Pioneer Electric Annual Membership Meeting. As a member, you can vote for or against the implementation of these propositions. Questions regarding your board and bylaws may be directed towards the cooperative at 620-356-1211.Proposed changes:
Certificate of Memberships:
Under the current bylaws, new members receive a signed certificate of membership from the board upon starting their service. The proposed changes would remove the requirement of Pioneer Electric to distribute these certificates and all required policies surrounding them.
Why the change?: Removal of the certificate of membership will not affect the membership status of new and current members. The change will provide cooperative staff the flexibility to streamline new membership registration and no longer dedicate time to the maintenance and update of these certificates.
Annual Membership Meeting Date Requirements:
Proposed amendments would remove the requirement that the Pioneer Electric Annual Membership Meeting be held solely during February or March. The proposed changes would extend the time in which the annual meeting could occur to any time between February 1 and October 31 of a given year.
Why the change?: Annual meetings are vital to the cooperative business model. They provide the opportunity for members to conduct vital business. The change will allow Pioneer Electric more time in which to host the annual meeting and the added flexibility to reschedule or adjust the timing of the meeting if needed.
Removal of Proxies and Implementation of Mail Balloting:
The Pioneer Electric Board proposes the removal of voting proxies and the implementation of mail balloting, in addition to in-person voting. This would remove the need for proxies during the election of trustees and in voting on other business items for the cooperative. Mail balloting only will be used in the unusual situation in which the annual meeting, or another business meeting, is unable to be held due to circumstances beyond Pioneer Electric’s control.
Why the change?: The implementation of mail balloting will benefit Pioneer Electric twofold. It will allow members to have their voices fully recognized within the election process by no longer limiting all voting to be conducted, in-person or through proxies, during the annual meeting or other business meetings. Additionally, it will allow Pioneer Electric the ability to conduct vital elections and vote on proposed business during situations in which crises would prevent the Pioneer Electric Annual Membership Meeting or other business meetings from occurring.
Process Changes Board of Trustee Qualifications and Petition and Floor Nominations:
The proposed amendments will enhance verification of qualification requirements for those wishing to serve on the Pioneer Electric Board of Trustees and eliminate nominations made from the floor during the annual meeting. Under the new amendment, nominations by petition must be submitted, to the cooperative, 45 days before the annual meeting. The Pioneer Electric Board of Trustees shall appoint the committee on nominations, not less than 40 days nor more than 70 days before the date of the Pioneer Electric Annual Membership Meeting. The committee shall prepare and post their nominations, at the principal office of Pioneer Electric, at least 20 days before the annual meeting, and members will be notified of all candidates up for consideration at least 20, but no more than 35, days in advance through a mailing.
Why the change?: The changes will provide added clarity concerning qualifications, help in the protection of Pioneer Electric and its members and ensure that those nominated are best able to represent the greater membership. Elimination of nominations from the floor and the submission of petitions 45 days prior to the annual meeting will ensure that all candidates’ qualifications are verified before the meeting and can be thoroughly considered by the entire membership before voting.