I think we all can recognize how COVID-19 has changed the way we do business the past few years. We have had to close the Douglas Electric Cooperative (DEC) office multiple times, been masked, unmasked, and masked again, and now we are in the middle of another surge.
Losing the opportunity to interact with our members at the 2021 annual meeting was one of the worst COVID-19 side effects for us at DEC. Meeting with you is something we look forward to every year, but the traditional meeting was not possible due to state mandates restricting attendance numbers at in-person meetings. Because our bylaws were not written to allow for a virtual meeting, we were forced to cancel the annual meeting altogether.
We are hopeful we will be able to have our annual meeting in person this year. However, it will likely look a bit different than in years past. Currently, food is not available at the fairgrounds. With the changing nature of the pandemic, food may not be available for the annual meeting in April. Instead, the co-op likely will offer a voucher to be used at a participating restaurant.
Rather than having booths and guest speakers, we will focus on the business meeting. Along with the presentation of financials and the state of the co-op, we will examine and potentially modify the bylaws for situations such as the pandemic. We would like to add some language that allows us to hold virtual meetings in times of emergency, and add an option to vote electronically as well as by mail and in-person.
A copy of our current bylaws and our proposed changes can be found on our Bylaws page.
Right now, our meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I hope to see you soon.