July 1, 2016
by Great Lakes Energy President/CEO Bill Scott
The presidential election has taken center stage for many months now, and soon it will be time to cast your vote. But voting for politicians is not the only way we, as co-op members, can practice democracy.
Voting is also something you can do as a member and owner of Great Lakes Energy. It’s your right as a member to elect a board member in your geographic district.
Every co-op, whether it’s your credit union or a farm co-op, follows the basic principle of one member, one vote. Most often you are asked to vote to elect fellow members who will represent you on the board of directors. These folks are your friends, neighbors and fellow residents of our community.
For members living in districts 6, 8 and 9, this is your year to vote for a board candidate. For all other members, your opportunity to vote will next come in 2017 or 2018. You can also view information on the board candidates online at countrylines.com.
Members vote for a director once every three years. In my case, I’m a GLE member from Emmet County. My next opportunity to vote will come in 2018.
Do you live in one of the following counties?
Allegan ● Barry ● Clare ● Kent ● Lake ● Mason ● Mecosta ● Montcalm ● Newaygo ● Osceola ● Ottawa
If you answered yes, you will find candidate profiles in this election issue and a ballot on the outer cover. Simply cast your vote from the comfort of your home and drop the postage-paid ballot in the mailbox. Voting is that easy and convenient. If you lose or accidentally throw away the ballot, contact us and we’ll send you another one.
Part of the value of being a cooperative member is everyone’s vote carries equal weight. Whether it’s a business with several owners or a small home with a single owner, each has one membership and one vote. In the case of a husband and wife, their joint membership entitles them to one vote.
The nine directors on the board are elected from each district for a three-year term.
Co-ops believe in the power of human connection and encourage your participation in the board election. If you live in districts 6, 8 or 9, please exercise your right to vote. It’s the cooperative difference.