Thursday, April 15, 2010

Voting At SEC Annual Meeting Will Be By Hand

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- The Socorro Electric Cooperative will hold its annual members meeting Saturday at 7 p.m. at Finley Gym and voting will be done by a show of hands. Registration begins at 5 p.m.
The annual meeting committee met Tuesday and that was its recommendation. The board, which met Wednesday night, voted 8-1 to accept the recommendation with trustee Charlie Wagner voting no.
Wagner read a statement, saying it was his opinion that the SEC Trustees had exceeded its authority and failed in its fiduciary duty to present the vote for the members. Wagner also wrote that the board failed to provide proper notice and to provide for voting members with a secret ballot on which to vote either yes or no to adopt, amend or repeal the bylaws. He also said the notice contained false or misleading comments and contrary propositions which the Board has no authority to propose.
“We need a legal opinion on this,” said trustee Don Wolberg, who spent about 15 minutes earlier in the meeting criticizing Wagner and his tactics.
“Mr Wagner’s protest is noted,” attorney Dennis Francish said.
Wolberg, then asked if anything has been done against state law.
Francish replied, “No.”
Leroy Anaya, the new head of the annual meeting committee replacing Manny Marquez who resigned effective April 1, said Robert’s Rules of Order will be followed and judges will be assisted by SEC employees. Wagner then stood up and asked the board to consider an expert in parliamentarian procedure to run the meeting, saying he had little faith in Trustee president Paul Bustamante’s ability to do just that.
“I totally object,” Wolberg said. “I resent the way Mr. Wagner uses innuendo to get his point across.”
Francish told Bustamante, “You have handled meetings regularly just fine. You don’t need a parliamentarian.”
Wagner made one last comment. “He doesn’t know parliamentarian procedure,” Wagner said of Bustamante.
“I’m not afraid of Mr. Wagner and his tactics,” Bustamante said. “Maybe we can get things done around here.”
Members will vote on resolutions involving number of trustees on the board, redistricting, compensation, term limits, voting by mail, open records, open meetings, Capital Credits and the number of meetings per month. In order for voting to take place, three percent of the membership has to go to the meeting and vote. If there is no quorum, there will be no changes to the SEC bylaws.
Reform group member Audrie Clifford handed out a petition stating the propositions passed by members of District 3 and 5 should be listed separately and presented in its entirety without Trustee comment. Clifford said there were 173 signatures.

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