A MESSAGE FROM YOUR GENERAL MANAGER/CEO
New Year, Same Principles
January is a good time for us at Wharton County Electric Cooperative to reflect on the past year and make plans for the new one while keeping our Seven Cooperative Principles in mind.
2020 had its challenges. Electric cooperatives across Texas were affected by natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty. To get through, we leaned on our values of helping one another and caring for the community, just as we have since our founding many years ago.
The past year also had its successes. Among them, WCEC celebrated 82 years of serving you, our members, with reliable electricity while hopefully improving your quality of life. The annual meeting may have looked different last year, but we kept our democratic process intact with record numbers.
For 2021, we resolve to maintain the same—or even better—the quality of service to our members as we have over the years.
As we enter the new year, it’s a good time for us to review the Seven Cooperative Principles. These principles are timeless, and we resolve to continue to uphold the values in ways that are relevant for 2021.
Voluntary and Open Membership: Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control: Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected board of directors is accountable to the membership.
Members’ Economic Participation: Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; distributing capital credits according to co-ops’ individual formulas; and supporting other activities approved by the members.
Autonomy and Independence: Co-ops are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
Education, Training and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Concern for Community: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies and activities accepted by their members.
With resolute values like these at the center of all that we do, we are ready to take on the new year.