Happy New Year, everyone! I sincerely hope each of you had a great holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time of year that brings families together to enjoy one another and share wonderful memories of holidays past. It’s an amazing time with decorations, gifts and food. Yes, good ol’ home cooking is always a favorite of mine. Now, is it me, or do the holidays seem to come around faster than they used to?
Speaking of celebrations, this year your cooperative is marking its 80th birthday. We’ll celebrate all year, but will bring a special focus to our history and progress at the annual meeting in August.
We want members to be involved in this special occasion, too. If you have Little River memorabilia, such as pictures of our crews through the years or from annual meetings past, please share them with us. Stay tuned to your South Carolina Living for announcements.
In 2019, the General Assembly passed governance reform legislation for the state’s electric cooperatives. The bill, known as Act 56, focused on cooperative trustees, elections, meetings, transparency, self-dealing and oversight. It was signed by the governor on May 16 and will require cooperatives to consider several bylaw and policy changes, as well as new voting practices. The legislation contains numerous deadlines and effective dates, and Little River will need to consider these timing provisions in conjunction with our annual meeting schedule.
Our board’s bylaws committee has been working on changes and will have to incorporate the new legislation into the new revision as well. This will require a vote at our next annual meeting for approval of these changes. Some of the changes in Act 56 are already effective as of May 16, 2019. These include trustee employment, trustee self-dealing, board campaigns, board petitions and conflict of laws. Although they are in effect and are state law, these will still have to be voted on by the membership. Deadlines have been set for other parts of the act as well. We are working to be in compliance with all of the changes and will keep you updated on the progress.
For your consideration
Prior to the next annual meeting in August, you will have an opportunity to review each of these changes and consider them for approval. We appreciate your support in this time of change. If you would like to view the entire law, it’s on the State House website. Search for Act 56 (R76, H3145).
Mike Ellis, General Manager