UPDATED 6/18/20 – Link to minutes now available below
A year already pegged for change will undergo further modifications as SVEC’s annual business meeting becomes a telephone town hall-style event on Thursday, August 13.
The meeting will begin as originally planned at 7 p.m. However, for the safety of the community in response to the pandemic virus, the meeting will not have an in-person component at Stonewall Jackson High School. Members interested in participating will register through SVEC to be included on a call list the night of the meeting.
Twelve door prizes in the form of $250 bill credits will still be offered for those “early birds” whose signed proxy cards are received by mail or online by August 10, 2020. Proxy forms and ballots for electing the board of directors will be mailed at the end of June, as described below.
As part of the transition to a telephone town-hall style business meeting, the option to vote in-person for the SVEC board is removed this year. As explained further in the next section, online and mail-in voting options are the methods available for participation in the election.
During the Aug. 13 call, the business meeting will feature speeches from co-op leadership about the state of the organization, an announcement on the results for two board of director seats and opportunity for members to ask questions. A routine item on the agenda for the annual business meeting is the consideration of approval of the minutes of the 2019 meeting. Because cooperative members will attend the 2020 meeting by telephonic connection rather in person, a paper copy of the proposed minutes cannot be distributed during the registration process as has been done in past years. Instead, a copy of the proposed minutes is available in the link below and a hard copy upon request by calling the cooperative.
Last year, SVEC’s board of directors decided that 2020 would be a year of measured change for the annual meeting. These changes included adding more convenient methods for members to elect directors and the move away from a larger event held at James Madison University to a brief business-only annual meeting. It just so happens COVID-19 had additional changes in mind.
Online and mail-in voting for directors is available for the first time this year, and they are the only ways members can vote. Please do not drop the ballot or proxy that you received in the mail at one of the co-op offices. Staff will not be able to process the documents and must discount them.
The primary order of business for the annual business meeting is the election of board of directors, one of the advantages of co-op membership. You, as a recipient of electric service from SVEC, can vote for directors – all of whom are also members just like you.
This year’s mailed ballot lists three names running for two Rockingham County seats. Stephen W. Burkholder, an incumbent, is running unopposed for one seat, while Vice Chair Suzanne S. Obenshain, also an incumbent, is running against Sally Newkirk for the other seat.
All co-op members may vote for the directors, even though the seats up for election this year are designated for members residing in Rockingham County.
Profiles of all three candidates are available here: Candidates 2020
As instructed on your mailed ballot, you may vote online with the code provided or return the ballot via mail to be received by August 10, 2020. Remember—your signed proxy received by mail or online by August 10, 2020, qualifies you for early bird prize drawings!
One of the advantages of electric cooperative membership is local governance. Every member receiving service has a vote in director elections, and all directors who serve on the board are members, making decisions on your behalf. All voting this year will take place through each member’s choice of online ballot or postage-paid mail-in ballot (no in-person voting or proxy delivery for 2020) due to cancellation of the in-person annual business meeting.
This change is due to precautions chosen by the board of directors to prevent spread of COVID-19 because we do not know what phase of health our region will be in by the time of the annual meeting. Voting will open on June 25, 2020 for online and mail-in ballots and proxies. Members may mail in proxies and ballots together in the same postage-paid envelope or enter both online.
Ballots are mailing to all members the last week of June. Voting closes on August 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. for online ballots and at the end of the day’s mail delivery to the receiving post office for mail-in ballots. Any mail-in ballot not received by the end of postal business or online by 11:59 p.m. on August 10 will not be counted in the election.