Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Co-op to schedule meetings to educate public on issues

By John Severance
SOCORRO -- The day, time and place have yet to be determined, but the Socorro Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees wants to educate its members about the resolutions they have passed this year.
“We want to have an informational meeting prior to the general meeting (scheduled for April or May) to educate members on resolutions passed in the past year,” said Board of Trustees president Paul Bustamante.
Donald Wolberg, who was elected to the board in October and will begin his term Jan. 1, said: “There is no ulterior motive. Communication takes care of a lot of problems..”
Tom Frank and Jan Gibson of the AON Corporation, who Gibson said is a consulting firm for the co-op, were in attendance to discuss health insurance for the trustees and the employees.
Frank urged the co-op to go on a stand-alone basis. If they renewed the plan as is, there would be an 18 percent increase of $136,000, Frank said. If they go with the stand-alone plan, which would be Presbyterian, it would be a 4.2 percent increase of $31,000, Frank said.
The co-op pays for 12 individuals’ and 36 families’ health insurance, which includes employees and board trustee members.
Trustee Charlie Wagner asked how much time does the co-op have to get another bid?
Gibson responded by saying the drop dead date was Dec. 12. She also said the co-op can enroll in the plan and cancel within 30 days if it finds another service.
“I will not be here after Dec. 31 but I make a motion to accept Presbyterian,” trustee Juan Gonzales said. “This is a valuable thing for employees and members are the ones who voted to give this to the trustees and employees.”
Wagner asked to amend the motion and check with the NRECA (National Rural Electric Co-operative Association) about another bid. His concern was that this was the first time he and the trustees had a chance to go over the insurance figures.
“We were under negotiations to stay in the pool,” said Socorro Electric Cooperative General Manager Leopoldo Pineda Jr. “It was on the agenda so the trustees knew it was coming up. We got a real good rate. The insurance is always up for renewal at this time of year.”
The trustees voted to accept the Presbyterian insurance plan 10-1 with Wagner casting the lone no vote.

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