Co-op argues over time

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After some debate, the Socorro Electric Cooperative trustees voted to hold this year’s annual meeting on May 18, with registration beginning at 1 p.m.

Trustee Leo Cordova initially moved to set the meeting for 5 p.m. May 15 and was seconded by Don Wolberg.

District 5 Trustee Anne Dorough said having the annual meeting at 5 in the afternoon will put a real burden on the people of District 5.

Trustee Charlie Wagner spoke up in support of Dorough’s point.

“As you know, District 5 starts at the county line and goes to the Arizona state line,” Wagner said. “That makes for a trip in excess of 150 miles for some people.

“I recognize that this motion is being made to discourage those people from participating because they did, in their district meeting, propose many changes to the bylaws.”

Wagner also said the proposed time is in violation of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code because the co-op is supposed to be democratically controlled by the members.

Trustee Precilla Maulden asked if the date proposed was a Saturday and was told it was a Wednesday.

“We all work, we can’t be here at 5 o’clock,” Maulden said, and asked if the motion could be amended to have the meeting on Saturday.

Trustee David Wade suggested everyone could take off an hour early from work and Maulden said she already takes off enough time as it is.

Board Chairman Luis Aguilar asked for the board members to keep some decorum in the proceedings.

“We have always held annual members meetings on Saturday,” Wagner said. “That makes a lot of sense to me because if you want a good turn out of the people who own this co-op, then I think that we have to stick to the Saturday part.”

Maulden said she would like to amend the motion in order to have registration at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, for voting and then the meeting can start at 5.

Dorough seconded the motion.

Wade said his district, District 4, meeting was held on a Saturday and it wasn’t very good for the people of the district. He said 42 people told him they missed the meeting because they were at the Albuquerque balloon fiesta.

“Saturday is a bad day,” he said. “A lot of people told me so.”

He said his district will not meet on Saturdays anymore.

Three trustees, Wagner, Dorough and Maulden, voted for the amendment to have the meeting on Saturday. Three trustees, Wade, Cordova and Wolberg, voted against, leaving the chairman with a tie-breaker vote.

“We have a tie and I have a good feeling we would do better Saturday, May 18,” Aguilar said. “So I will vote we have it May the 18.”

Registration at the annual meeting will open at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Finley Gym in Socorro.