Fall River Electric’s annual meeting of members was conducted virtually for the first-time ever in the Co-op’s 82-year history. This was because of a decision made by the Cooperative’s board of directors to safeguard the members and staff from effects of the coronavirus. Owner-members cast their votes via online, mail-in and in-person to select representatives for three board positions from a total of seven candidates. Despite not holding their traditional in-person annual event, a record setting number of 2,427 ballots were cast this year, which represents nearly twenty percent of the total number of eligible voters.
Incumbents Georg Behrens in District 3, East Victor, Jay Hanson from West Victor which is District 2 and Jeff Keay of District 8 in northern Island Park were all re-elected for new three-year terms beginning this month. Here are the vote totals for each candidate:
Board of Director – District 2 West Victor
Jay Hanson 1,619
Nolan Boyle 794
Board of Director – District 3 East Victor
Georg Behrens 1,629
Alan Thompson 517
Rod Gust 281
Board of Director – District 8 Northern Island Park
Jeff Keay 1,782
Robert “Bob” Stantus 617
Voters overwhelming approved a number of minor changes to the Co-op’s bylaws but nearly split evenly on how board members should be elected in the future. The ballot had provided for an advisory vote as to whether to retain the current plurality voting method for directors or put to a member vote next year the option of requiring a candidate to win by a majority of votes. Owner-members voted to retain the current plurality method by a vote of 1,264 versus a switch to the majority method with 1,087 votes.
The traditional business meeting which included the announcement of over 30 scholarship awards, a report on the Co-op’s financial audit as well as a management report from CEO/General Manager Bryan Case was held online and can be viewed here on the Cooperative’s website under the heading of “Video News” on the home page.