Update on Cobb EMC Elections, Now Underway

Please see our earlier post, Critical Cobb EMC Elections Begin This Weekfor more details and recommendations for challenger candidates to vote for.

Members (i.e., all customers) of Cobb EMC are eligible to vote this month for three seats on CEMC’s Board of Directors. All members by now should have received a paper ballot in the mail. On-line voting is also available now. Members who are signed up to receive CEMC emails have received an email with instructions for on-line voting.

The deadline for submitting your online vote and for receipt of paper ballots is 5 p.m. (EDT) September 12, 2018.  If you use a paper ballot, you should mail it in time to be received by September 12.

You may also vote in person at the Annual Meeting on September 15, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Please note that once a vote is cast by paper ballot or on-line voting, it cannot be changed at the Annual meeting.

If you require assistance, please call Election Services Co (ESC) toll-free (866) 720-4357 during business hours Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ET) or send an e-mail to: cemchelp@electionservicescorp.com.

Please see our earlier post, Critical Cobb EMC Elections Begin This Week, for more details and recommendations for challenger candidates to vote for.

Comment:  CEMC Moving Back to Days of Dwight Brown

IndieDems received the following from Patrick Thompson, an activist in the successful campaign a few years ago  to end the malfeasance under chairman Dwight Brown and to replace the Directors who served under him.

The recent history of ex-CEO Dwight Brown at Cobb Electric Member Cooperative demonstrates what happens when you run a member association as a personal bank with no accountability. This month, the Director election cycle has started again.

(Some Issues members should address are:)
  • Meetings on critical issues have moved to committees where there’s no visibility or input from members.
  • Filming Board meetings so all members can at least see Board proceedings has been struck down along with a member Bill of Rights.

Also, the Board recently chose a new CEO to replace Dwight Brown’s CFO, who remained at the company to help with the financial forensics of a broken organization. The new CEO was chosen after a supposedly exhaustive process but did not involve membership input. The resulting hire, Peter :

  • Is an executive with no real CEO or electrical utility experience who started his career at Enron running risky derivative models.
  • His main experience is with oil and gas at the CFO level and has resulted in bankruptcy after bankruptcy.
  • His last company was one where the main shareholder was a now-jailed Russian oligarch.

In accepting the position, Heintzelman stated he looks forward to growing the organization. Cobb EMC is not shareholder-owned nor is it a growth company. Who would choose this person to run a member-owned organization? And the new CFO’s experience is essentially in gas.

(CEMC’s relation with Gas South needs examining)

Gas South is a competitive shareholder business, so Cobb EMC members aren’t privy to any information on that subsidiary. (One result:) A community solar third-party arrangement, where the stated goal is not to help lower energy costs for members, was chosen without member input and with the personal investment interests of a Board member.

The energy mix of the company is still dependent on dirty energy.  These energy choices strap many retirees, renters, low-income members, and all members on a path to high energy bills. Members can pay an equal amount each month, but the cost is set at the highest billing rate, not a billing average. There is no Upgrade to Save program like other EMCs.

CEMC relies on traditional loan programs for those interested in purchasing more energy efficient equipment and upgrades – restricting improvement to those that can best afford it, not those who could most use it.

180,000 members own this company and they should vote for Directors that will actually work for openness and accountability. Vote the incumbent Directors out – they’ve proven unworthy of managing your utility budget for the long run.

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