by General Manager Steve Stroshane
It's powerful to know that Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative is one of 895 rural electric co-ops across America. We find strength in numbers and the cooperative principles that guide us.
One of our cooperative principles is Democratic Member Participation, which means we are governed by a board of directors elected by you, the members. Co-ops have much in common, but each is different, based on the unique needs of its community. Here at Polk-Burnett, we have nine directors, representing nine districts. Directors serve three-year terms and attend monthly meetings, generally the fourth Monday of each month.
Board responsibilities include:
• Setting the co-op's mission, vision and values
• Developing policies
• Maintaining legal, regulatory and internal compliance
• Setting electric rates
• Approving the annual budget and system improvements
• Hiring the general manager and evaluating performance
Directors represent the best interests of all members when making decisions for the co-op, and our leaders respond to local issues–such as economic development and renewable energy–with hometown values.
When decision makers are elected by local peers, you can be certain our local community is represented. Co-op directors live in the communities we serve and want to see our local communities thrive.
Polk-Burnett directors receive education and training, just like our employees, to understand and be successful in today's complex energy environment. In addition, all directors pledge to act ethically, with fiduciary care and loyalty.
Having the right people at the table creates a powerful force with a unified purpose. A successful co-op needs stewards who bring reason and a measured approach, as well as visionaries who dream of possibilities before us.
Make your voice heard in co-op director election
Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative holds elections each spring for co-op board directors. This year, board positions in co-op districts 1, 2 and 3 will be on the ballot. Members residing in those districts have an opportunity to get involved in co-op decision making by running for a seat on the board. Applications for the 2020 board election are now being accepted from co-op members in districts 1, 2 and 3. The deadline to apply is March 6.
DISTRICT 1: Farmington and Somerset townships, and parts of Osceola, Alden and Garfield townships. The incumbent director is Cindy Thorman of Osceola.
DISTRICT 2: St. Croix Falls, Eureka, Sterling, Laketown and Milltown townships, and part of Osceola township. The incumbent director is Mike Morris of Luck.
DISTRICT 3: Lincoln, Blackbrook, Clear Lake, Vance Creek, Star Prairie, Forest and New Haven townships, and parts of Garfield and Alden townships. The incumbent director is Ed Gullickson of Amery.
All co-op members in districts 1, 2 and 3 will have the opportunity to cast their votes in the 2020 board election. Ballots mail in early May and members can vote by mail or online. Election results will be announced at the co-op’s annual meeting June 5. New director terms begin June 22.
Co-op members have the opportunity to make your voices heard and represent your neighbors by taking an active role in cooperative governance. Democratic member participation is one of the greatest advantages of a cooperative. I encourage you to consider participating in our 2020 board election.
Co-op members interested in running for a board position to represent district 1, 2 or 3 may contact my office for an application, 800-421-0283, ext. 313. You can also learn more about Polk-Burnett’s board of directors and see a map of co-op districts on our board webpage.
Electric co-ops are unique because we are owned and governed by the local members we serve. Co-op leaders are members, just like you. They live here and understand the community.