KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – Clay Electric Cooperative’s members voted to elect four members to the board of trustees during the co-op’s 74th annual meeting on Thursday, March 22. Members who attended the meeting at the cooperative’s central office also approved two amendments to Clay Electric’s bylaws.
Susan Reeves, the incumbent for District 3, was re-elected. She defeated Clint Blankenship. Dewitt Hersey defeated David Hamilton for the District 5 seat after Robert Mullins decided not to seek re-election. The incumbent trustee for District 7, John Henry Whitehead, was elected to his third term. Jo Ann R. Smith was elected to the remaining one-year term for District 8. Smith’s husband, Cedrick, had held that seat for 31 years until his death last fall.
Members approved two amendments to the cooperative’s bylaws. The proposed amendments were shared with members in the March Kilowatt newsletter. The amendments improve and clarify the bylaws which govern the cooperative’s many activities as a not-for-profit member-owned electric utility. The first amendment stipulated that a candidate for trustee is not to be related to a current trustee or employee of the cooperative. The second amendment updates the nomination procedures and removes the five-minute minimum requirement for leaving the floor open for nominations at district meetings.
The co-op estimated that approximately 3,000 people attended this year’s annual meeting. Members who attended the day-long annual meeting also had opportunities to participate in several health screenings offered at a health fair, visit a variety of energy exhibits, listen to music by Back from the Brink, and hear the humor of entertainer Mike Snider. The winner of the grand prize, a 2006 Chevrolet Colorado truck, was Debbie Lazic of Keystone Heights. The co-op gives away a used truck during the annual meeting each year.
During the afternoon business session, General Manager/CEO Ricky Davis and Board President Laura Dean spoke to the annual meeting crowd about the co-op’s accomplishments in 2011, as well as the hard work and dedication of the co-op’s employees. Davis told members Clay’s rates remain lower than many neighboring utilities and lower than all but one of the 15 electric co-ops around the state.
As for power cost through the remainder of 2012, Davis told members, “Right now, things are looking very good. We’re expecting our cost of power to remain very stable. And there is the possibility power costs could decrease, thanks to lower fuel costs for generation.”
Board of Trustees President Laura Dean told members she’s proud that Clay Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative. Mrs. Dean said the co-op returned $5.25 million in Capital Credits to entitled members this month.
Davis presented the co-op’s annual Employee Recognition Award to John Bennett, member relations representative for the Salt Springs District. Bennett has worked for the co-op for 40 years. He is well known to members around his district in Marion County and beyond.
Davis also mentioned that Clay Electric will be introducing its Co-op Connections discount card program in May. Members will receive their Co-op Connections Card with their May Kilowatt newsletter. The card can be used to obtain discounts with a variety of participating merchants.
“I would like to thank all of our members who took time out of their busy schedules to attend our annual meeting on Thursday,” Davis said. “It’s an important day for Clay Electric, and we appreciate everyone who attended.”
In photo: Debbie Lazic of Keystone Heights accepts the keys to the 2006 Chevrolet Colorado she won from Henry Barrow, Clay Electric director of Member Public Relations, at the Co-op’s 74th Annual Meeting. With Lazic is her daughter, Alexandra Lazic, and her friend, MaryJo Peters.