Manager’s Message: Co-op Bylaws Provide Structure, Continuity
Spring could be considered “co-op season,” because it’s the time of year when several cooperative principles come to life here at HomeWorks Tri-County Electric.
With 2012’s financial statements closed and audited, your board of directors will authorize allocation of the margins, or profits, back to your membership account, based on your energy purchases during the year.
Our final margin was slim this year, but there will still be an allocation, the details of which we’ll report in Country Lines magazine. These allocations are paper transactions that build your capital credit equity in HomeWorks.
Following our policies, the board will also decide whether the co-op’s financial position is strong enough to allow for a cash retirement of capital credits. If they do authorize a retirement, most members will see it as a credit on their energy bill, and again we’ll report it to you in Country Lines, as well as with a special notice included with your bill.
Two other big co-op events coming up are the district membership meetings in May, and director elections which take place at those meetings. This year, board seats in District 1 at Charlotte, District 5 at Fulton, and District 7 at Remus will be voted on by those members.
All of these co-op activities are not only covered by the cooperative principles, such as democratic member control and members’ economic participation, they are also spelled out in your co-op’s bylaws.
A copy of the bylaws, updated by the board of directors last fall, is included in this issue of Country Lines for your reference. Think of it as the instruction manual for HomeWorks. You can also find a copy of the bylaws on our website, at homeworks.org.
Some people like to read instruction manuals, and some people don’t. But it’s good to know the information is available to you when you do need it.
The bylaws outline our structure and provide continuity as the board and staff change over the years.
Bylaws cover everything from the basics of membership (Article II), to the business agenda of district meetings (Article III).
They describe the board of directors, the qualifications necessary to serve as a director, and how directors are elected (Article VII).
Our non-profit operations, including the allocation of margins and retirement of capital credits, can be found in Article XIV.
Whether you ever get around to reading our instruction manual, as a member-owner of HomeWorks you will continue to benefit from the structure they provide.