In June, cooperative members will be asked to consider and vote on four issues addressing various proposed changes to the Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative Code of Regulations. These changes were recommended by the Code of Regulations Committee and the co-op’s legal counsel and approved by the board for membership’s consideration.
View a complete list of issues members will vote on here.
Below is a synopsis of some of the recommended changes. The following brief summary of the issues is not intended to be all-inclusive. Please refer to the red-lined version of the code to review all changes or the document above.
Change gender-specific language or reference job titles instead of him/her. (Currently, the code reference is “The President… He shall…”. This change will make it be “The President… The President shall…” The purpose is to show that either a man or woman can serve in this role and to prevent misunderstandings in the future about who is being referenced in the code.
Remove the language requiring the issuance of membership certificates. This unnecessary item only adds costs and time to cooperative employees. Certificates are electronic and can be given at a moment’s notice.
Update titles to match state code references and other co-ops. Add the ability to remove all trustees by the membership if necessary (change from two only). Create a procedure for naming new trustees in this event. Restrict close relatives from being employees and how they are defined.
Add language for electronic meetings, voting, and notices.
Remove the $400 limit for capital credit payouts. This will allow the co-op to clean up the books and reduce administrative costs with issuing small annual checks to former members that still have capital credits.
Change joint membership definition from husband and wife to all legal-age residents in the household. This allows the co-op to prevent roommates from defaulting on a bill and changing the bill into someone else’s name that is living in the house and never having to pay the first person’s bills.
WHY THESE UPDATES ARE NEEDED NOW
The intent of the proposed changes is to bring the document up to date and uphold governance best practices based on recommendations from our national organization, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and our statewide association, Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives (OEC). Similar Code of Regulations changes have been made by cooperatives throughout the nation.
A redline version of the Code of Regulations outlining all of the proposed changes is available for review at the link below.
AN EVOLVING GUIDE FOR THE OPERATION OF YOUR CO-OP
The Code of Regulations, also known as the cooperative’s bylaws, is considered a living document and should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it serves the needs of cooperative members and meets all applicable laws.
The Code of Regulations contains the rules under which the cooperative operates. It addresses key issues such as memberships, annual and special meetings, board nominations and elections, corporate officers, patronage, mergers, indemnification rights, and more.
WHEN TO VOTE
All LMRE members will have the opportunity to vote beginning June 7. Paper ballots will be mailed to each member, however, online voting will be available and encouraged as the quickest and simplest way to cast your vote. Members will have until 11:59 p.m. on June 21 to cast their vote on the proposed Code of Regulations changes. The results of the voting will be announced at the LMRE annual meeting on July 11.
If you choose to vote by mail, please use the prepaid envelope included with your ballot. Do not return your ballot with your monthly bill, or place it in the night drop at the LMRE office. All balloting is completed by E Space Communications and Co-op Ballot, an independent, third-party election management service. Ballots delivered to the LMRE office may not be deemed valid.
Additional information regarding the election and voting process will be delivered to members in the coming weeks.
To view the Code of Regulations in its entirety, please click here or visit: www.lmre.org/membership-documents-forms
To view a redlined version of the code showing all of the proposed changes, please click here: 2023 Code Changes Redlined