[Watchdogs] More Evidence of Texas Electric Cooperatives' (and the PEC Board Majority's) Fight against Member/Owners' Rights
jawatson at hughes.net
Mon Apr 13 11:53:32 CDT 2009
Just a couple of comments.
First, they label Rep. Rose as a Senator. Merely sloppy I suppose.
Second, the claim that co-ops are ³taxpaying corporations² is true in a
narrow sense that they pay property taxes. It sort of leaves a misleading
impression that these ³corporations² pay a corporate income tax as well,
which is not true.
This reinforces the advantages insiders management and board members
enjoy over regular members. They can and do use co-op resources, including
access to means of contacting members, that aren¹t available to members. In
fact, PEC has consistently taken the position that it will not share its
member addresses and contact information with other members. I would guess
Co-Serv would take the same position.
As the Statesman editorial forcefully pointed out today HB 3820 is written
by and for the co-op insiders, including TEC, directors and managers, at
best a few hundred people. The 3 million co-op members are being given the
back of the hand and told to keep quiet. A sorry state of affairs, indeed.
From: Milton Hawkins <mhawkins at tstar.net>
Organization: Hawkins Creek Ranch
Reply-To: <mhawkins at tstar.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 11:34:59 -0500
To: <watchdogs at pec4u.org>
Cc: Kathy Scanlon <kathy at planningworks.biz>, 'Patrick Cox'
<patrickcox7 at gmail.com>, "Sen. Troy Fraser"
<troy.fraser at senate.state.tx.us>, James Williams <fromthisdesk at yahoo.com>,
Cristi Clement <clemoore at gmail.com>, 'larry landaker'
<larry.landaker at gmail.com>, "Rep. Patrick Rose"
<patrick.rose at house.state.tx.us>
Subject: [Watchdogs] More Evidence of Texas Electric Cooperatives' (and the
PEC Board Majority's) Fight against Member/Owners' Rights
I just copied this from the CoServ (CoServ Electric, Corinth TX
[www.coserv.com <http://www.coserv.com> ]) web site. It illustrates what
we member/owners are up against as we fight the co-op directors and
management and their hired guns for our rights. (The emphasis some of you
will see is mine.)
Notice how clearly the description below makes the limitations placed on a
member/owner¹s right (or even a reporter¹s right) to attend meetings. And
who do you think would be deciding whether or not your request for
information was ³proper²!
This is the bill that six of our seven directors voted to support, rather
than the Fraser/Rose bill.
Note the plea at the bottom, asking for CoServ member-owners to contact
their state representative about supporting HB 3820. We must rally, now,
behind the Fraser/Rose bill (HB 1390 and SB 921).]
CoServ has a responsibility to keep you, our member-owners, informed about
industry issues that affect your membership benefits
<http://www.coserv.com/LinkClick.aspx?link=64&tabid=252> . . . . As
decisions hang in the balance on Capitol Hill and in the Texas legislature,
affordable energy can be threatened by costs and unreasonable regulatory
demands. As citizens of the largest energy-producing state in the nation,
Texans must be on our toes. . . .
We may be contacting you personally to touch base with your state
legislators in a variety of ways (i.e., attending forums, making phone
calls, writing letters, commenting on political blogs, etc.). . . .
On a state level, bills introduced by Senators Fraser
Rose <http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist45/rose.htm> (SB 921 and HB
1390) were scheduled for April hearings. These bills involve state oversight
of cooperative business practices with regard to open meetings/records and
elections. Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC) <http://www.texas-ec.org/>
oppose the Fraser and Rose bills and supports HB 3820, a bill introduced by
Texas Representative David Swinford
<http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist87/swinford.htm> . This bill
serves as a common sense approach to addressing and preventing the issues
that surfaced at one electric co-op Pedernales over the last two years.
Electric co-ops are taxpaying corporations and not governmental entities,
and HB 3820 reflects this in its approach to elections, meetings and
HB 3820 would:
(2) Put fundamental requirements into state law for providing notice of
board meetings, posting of agendas, and establish the right of a co-op
member to attend a board meeting at a time specified on the agenda.
Require three days¹ notice of the date, hour, place and planned agenda of
all board meetings by posting notice in a prominent place at the co-op¹s
offices and Internet site.
Establish the right of a co-op member to attend a board meeting at a time
specified in the meeting notice to comment on any matter on the meeting
agenda or related to co-op business. This right would extend to co-op
(4) Establish in state law the right of a co-op member to inspect and copy
the books and records of the co-op for a proper purpose.
It is critical that cooperatives continue to be empowered to make decisions
that support low costs that result in low rates for our members. Continued
local governance and the provisions of HB 3820 complement these strategies.
Please contact your Texas House Representative to voice your support for HB
Milton Hawkins mhawkins at tstar.net 830-868-9075
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