The 83rd annual meeting of the members of Raft River Rural Electric Co-op Inc. was duly convened at the Raft River High School Edris Sears Auditorium at 55 N. First W., Malta, Idaho, on April 12, 2022, pursuant to the official notice of the annual meeting, addressed to each member at the member’s address as it appears on co-op records.
Call to Order
Board President John Campbell called the annual meeting of the members to order at 7 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
The American Legion Albion Post 124 led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
A video of the national anthem was played.
Determination of a Quorum
President Campbell declared a quorum was constituted with more than 150 voting members.
President Campbell welcomed the members in attendance as well as special guests, including Northwest River Partners Executive Director Kurt Miller, legal counsel David Shirley and auditor Mike Burton.
The appointments of a parliamentarian and recording secretary were announced. Those appointments were attorney David Shirley as parliamentarian and Communications Manager/Executive Assistant Mandi Hitt as recording secretary.
Reading of the Annual Meeting Notice & Minutes
President Campbell entertained a motion to abstain from the reading of the notice of the 83rd annual meeting of the members. A motion was made from the floor by Nolan Branch to dispense with the reading of the notice and was seconded by Dennis Poulsen. A voice vote was taken; the motion carried unanimously.
President Campbell entertained a motion to abstain from the reading of the minutes from last year’s annual meeting on May 11, 2021. A motion was made from the floor by Sherry Southern to dispense with the reading of the minutes and was seconded by Stan Spencer. A voice vote was taken; the motion carried unanimously.
President Campbell introduced the current board of directors: District 1, John Campbell; District 2, Sherrie Erickson; District 3, Blaine Tanner; District 4, Krinn McCoy; District 5, Lindsey Manning; At-Large, Larry Henson and Jason Harper.
Election Committee Report & Introduction of Candidates
Election Committee Recording Secretary Lee Matthews introduced the election committee: Chairman Cordell Sheridan, Lee Matthews, John Zollinger, Roger Crane, Tony Rigby, Kip Egan, Tammy Jones, Rosilyn Jones, JoAnn Kimber, Carol Patton and Juel Hurst. Matthews read a brief summary of the minutes of the Election Committee meetings, which covered the committee’s objectives, responsibilities and duties. He announced that at the February 16, 2022, committee meeting, the applications received for board candidates for the 2022 directors election were reviewed as to qualifications, and all nominations were certified and accepted. The candidate seeking election for District 1 was incumbent John Campbell. Candidates seeking election for the At-Large seat were incumbent Jason Harper and George Darrington.
Matthews introduced the candidates to the members and asked them to stand and be recognized.
Election Committee Chairman Sheridan declared registration officially closed, called for the ballots and asked the election committee members to collect ballots. Election Committee then retired to begin counting ballots.
President Campbell talked about some problems that have plagued other cooperatives and was grateful Raft River Electric had options that allowed the co-op to remain financially strong and well-managed, able to provide an employee environment that has the strength, depth of knowledge and experience to draw upon to keep the co-op running smoothly, and build good relationships with other entities and cooperatives that respect, listen to and are willing to work with Raft River Electric.
President Campbell thanked members for the options they provided to Raft River Electric; for being understanding of maintenance power outages in order to help keep lineworkers safe and for being involved in the co-op and willing to have open dialogue that allows for growth and fosters a better understanding.
Mike Burton with DeCoria and Company PC, an independent auditing firm, gave the financial audit report, explaining the audit process. Burton reported to the membership that the co-op is in good financial shape and his staff performed an audit in accordance with the United States of America Government Auditing Standards. He certified that the financial statements are correct, and the financial information provided was accurate, in good order, and a fair and accurate representation of the co-op’s balance sheet as of December 31, 2021. He reported a clean unmodified opinion, with no disagreements with the cooperative. He reported all material and information his firm requested was provided without hesitation.
General Manager Report
General Manager Chad Black thanked members for their attendance at the meeting and the board for its support in ensuring Raft River Electric maintains a safe, reliable and sustainable system for years to come. Black explained the cooperative remains financially strong and efficient and effective at holding costs down, while providing members with exemplary service. He thanked cooperative employees for their dedication and continuing commitment.
Black reported that when rates were adjusted in the spring of 2018, it was intended to span a 3-year period, but due to the drier than normal year in 2021, the cooperative was able to make it a fourth year without adjusting rates. He went on to discuss the difficulty to plan and project costs for the future due to increasing prices and supply chain issues.
He talked about challenges the world, industry and Raft River Electric are facing and the ability to change in order to manage and meet those challenges, to ensure the cooperative can continue to serve the needs of its communities.
Black congratulated Heath Higley and Carl Boden on their retirements and thanked them for their years of dedicated service to the cooperative and wished them the best in the future.
Special Guest Speaker
Kurt Miller, executive director of Northwest River Partners, gave a presentation on saving the Lower Snake River Dams and why it matters to Idaho.
Call for Unfinished Business & Call for New Business
President Campbell called for unfinished business; there was none. President Campbell called for new business; there was none.
Drawing of Door Prizes
Director Krinn McCoy and Raft River Electric employees drew member names for the door prizes. The grand prize winner of an $800 energy credit was Dennis Poulsen.
Results of Election
Election Committee Chairman Sheridan took the floor and announced the election results as follows:
District 1: Incumbent John Campbell ran unopposed and was reelected for another three year-term.
At-Large: Incumbent Jason Harper ran against George Darrington and was reelected for another 3-year term.
The proposed amendments to the Raft River Electric bylaw, Article III-Directors, was approved by the membership.
Chairman Sheridan thanked the candidates and all who participated in the election process.
President Campbell reported the next annual meeting of the members will convene in 2023, on a date and time as designated each year by the board of directors, according to the bylaws.
There being no other business, President Campbell declared the 2022 Raft River Electric annual meeting of the members adjourned at 9 p.m.
Mandi Hitt, Recording Secretary