Co-op board listens to comment, donation requests

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Herbert Myers, a member-owner in Socorro Electric Cooperative’s District 3, spoke during the public comment section of the Nov. 28 board meeting. He read out a story from the New Mexico Electric Cooperative’s joint publication, Enchantment.

The article, a story by Keven Groenewold, executive vice president of the New Mexico Rural Cooperative Association, talks about how cooperatives are as accountable as any government agencies to the people that they serve and says the trustees have a duty to follow through on the wishes of those who elected them.

“We in Socorro seem to be the exception,” Myers said when he was done reading. “This board seems to have an iron fisted grip.”

Acting Board Chairman David Wade gave Myers a little extra time to speak after his allotted two minutes expired. Then Charlene West said she wanted to speak and turned her two minutes over to Myers, but Wade said that was not allowed.

“Those of us cursed with sincerity expect you to do a better job,” Myers said as he sat down.

Also during the meeting, Socorro High School student and athlete Adam Paz requested a donation to help him go to Australia for a track and field event. In June, Paz is traveling to compete in the triple-jump competition in the Down Under Games.

“Can you sponsor me?” Paz asked the trustees and his mother, Michelle Paz, added Adam’s family and friends have managed to raise $2,500 of the $5,000 goal to get him to the Australian event through various fundraisers, such as a car wash and enchilada dinner.

The board said they would see what they could do for the cause and, since there is still time, vote on it in the December meeting. Trustee Don Walburg added he urges everyone to donate personally as well, as Adam’s cause is a good one. Wade offered to match any donations made by the audience that same day.

Co-op manager Joseph Herrera told the board the city of Socorro was requesting the donation of a bucket truck and two personnel to put up Christmas lights around the city and then to remove them again once the season is over. Co-op attorney Lorna Wiggins added the donation to the city would not be a problem since the city is not a civic organization, which would be forbidden by the bylaws of the co-op.

The board approved the Christmas light donation.

During the manager’s report to the board, Herrera reported the co-op assets as $8,400,595.

He also reported that out of 10,000 mailers sent out to member-owners including a post card for members to return if they are OK with the co-op releasing personal information to “anyone,” 49 postcards were returned to the co-op.

“I think as manager of this co-op I have the authorization to do this (approve sending the postcards),” Herrera said.

Trustee Charles Wagner said he thinks the whole thing was a waste of almost $7,000 of the members’ money to send out the mailers.

Herrera reported there was one major power outage during the month in Catron County because a power substation in Arizona went down and the power had to be redirected through Magdalena. The people in the area of the outage were out of power for about 10 hours.

 

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