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VEA Bylaw Revisions Pass by Huge Margin

Yes – 1,702 (90%)
No – 187 (10%)
Total Votes – 1,889

Revisions to Valley Electric Association’s bylaws passed by a margin of 9-1 April 28 when voting concluded at the VEA Annual Meeting.

Member participation in the election was more than double the last time bylaw revisions were considered in 2011.

“The revisions reflect the natural evolution of our Cooperative and were necessary to protect our members,” said VEA CEO Thomas Husted said. “The bylaw revisions helped clarify the relationship between Valley’s family of brands and the parent company and will pave the way for Valley to serve others throughout the state and, in the process, benefit our members.”

The revisions were suggested by outside auditors with input from the VEA Ambassador Program. The changes were then approved by the VEA board of directors. The changes to the bylaws required a “yes” vote from two-thirds of members voting in the special election.

“The drastic increase in voter participation compared to 2011 is incredibly encouraging,” said Cassandra Selbach, Executive-VP and Chief Evangelist. “It shows that members are actively engaged. Furthermore, the overwhelming support as displayed by a 9-1 vote is humbling as it is a reflection of the trust members have in VEA and its vision.”

Revisions in Article I clarify that membership is open only to those who interconnect with VEA’s system within its service territory, as opposed to those who might receive only broadband service but not electricity.

Revisions to Article VII were aimed at protecting Valley Electric’s tax-exempt status now that broadband is among the services provided to members as well as consumers outside VEA service territory.

Other revisions help assure that members who take electric service retain control and voting rights of the Cooperative. The revisions define a patron as a member or a non-member purchasing electricity, other utility services – such as broadband and Internet access, and other cooperative services – to maintain the tax-exempt status of VEA and its subsidiaries.

“I read the bylaws changes and they made sense to me, and I voted for them,” said VEA Member Steve Filarowski. “I had no problem voting for it because it protected my rights as a member, and it put the members still in charge. …”

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