Nothing Quite Like The Cullman Electric Annual Meeting
There is nothing quite like a Cullman Electric Cooperative annual meeting.
The event is a combination cookout, street festival, musical concert, business meeting and election all rolled into one 3 hour gathering attracting thousands of people.
The 81st edition of this annual business meeting for paying members of Cullman Electric Cooperative commenced Saturday morning at Northbrook Baptist Church.
The outdoor cookout/festival portion of the event was of primary interest to the majority of attendees. There were countless child-friendly activities and inflatables with the bucket truck ride being the most popular … and scary.
There were plenty of hot dogs, popcorn, and cool drinks available FREE for everyone.
Indoors at Northbrook, things were a bit more somber. The main lobby was set up as a polling place complete with election officials and electronic voting machines. Over 6,000 member/customers voted for their favored candidates to the board of trustees.
After a brilliant concert performance by the Mark Trammell Quartet, the full annual business meeting began at 11 am:
Cullman Electric Cooperative CEO Grady Smith was the keynote speaker at the meeting.
His message was all about rapid, profound changes in the rural electric industry and how his cooperative was on the forefront of those progressive, 21st Century innovations and practical improvements:
“We currently provide electric service to 43,000 electric accounts across portions of Cullman, Winston, Lawrence, and Morgan counties.
The systems we use to deliver safe and reliable electric service to our members and to restore power after an outage is quicker, more accurate, and more efficient than ever before.
We have an influx of bright minds and new ideas combined with the knowledge and experience of our existing employees. This advantage puts Cullman Electric in the best possible position to address the new challenges of our industry as well as meet the evolving needs of our members,”
Smith also announced an approximate 1.5% wholesale rate increase from the Coop’s electric supplier, the Tennesse Valley Authority (TVA).
The cost increase will be passed through on member’s monthly electric bills with no additional margin added by the Coop. The Coop will not retain any of the increased revenue. Instead, it will all go directly to the TVA. The rate rise will increase the average bill – on average – by $1.90 per month.
Next up at the meeting was a member drawing for twenty $100 bill credits.
Finally, the grand prize – a 2006 Chevy Colorado truck – was drawn. James E. Chaney is this year’s big winner!
In the important Trustee elections, District 7 candidate David Hembree and District 8 entrant Chad Alexander ran unopposed and were thus elected as Trustees.
The only contested race pitted Lynda Carter against Steve McSwain for an at-large Trustee position. Carter won this election easily: 3,748 votes to 2,388. 1,006 votes were required to establish a quorum; that number was easily attained.
A total of 6,570 Coop member votes were cast in the election. 362 people voted in person on Saturday; 6,208 mailed in their ballots previously.
Northbrook Baptist Church