WCEC To Hold Non-Traditional “Drive Thru” Annual Meeting
Due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions, Wharton County Electric Cooperative will hold a non-traditional, drive thru Annual Meeting of Members on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at the El Campo Civic Center from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
The WCEC Annual Meeting generally draws well over 800 people to the El Campo Civic Center each year. At this time, COVID-19 guidelines would not allow a gathering of this size. With no set timeline on a full lifting of precautions available, the WCEC Board of Directors determined that a drive thru method would be the best and safest option.
“This was not an easy decision for the board to make,” WCEC GM/CEO Gary Raybon says. “Many ideas were discussed at length. Ultimately, it came down to keeping our members safe and healthy while at the same time adhering to our bylaws and keeping the board election timeline intact. The drive thru method met all the criteria.”
The drive thru meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the El Campo Civic Center parking lot. Members will be directed to stations throughout the parking lot to conduct meeting business. They will be registered, receive a copy of the Annual Report and ballots, pick up an attendance gift, and turn in completed ballots. Two ballots will be used this year - the Director Election Ballot to vote for board representation and an Approval Ballot to approve business reports from the previous year.
A meal will not be served, but all members casting a ballot will receive a $20 bill credit on their account and will be entered in the prize drawing to be held at a later date. The prize drawing will still include the same variety of fabulous prizes with a grand prize of a $300 electricity credit.
As proxy voting is not allowed in WCEC bylaws, members MUST be present in the vehicle to vote. Voting will end at 7:00 p.m. sharp – no access to the parking lot will be allowed after 7:00 p.m.
“On behalf of the board, we want to thank our members for their patronage and their understanding of the method of this year’s WCEC Annual Meeting,” President Leroy Kaspar says. “Once this passes, and it will, we look forward to seeing you in person at next year’s annual meeting.”
As a cooperative, WCEC is an independent, private, and not-for-profit organization owned by the members it serves. Members are represented through a democratically elected board of directors which are voted on at the Annual Meeting of Members each year.