This issue of the Nodak Neighbor includes an invitation to our Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 10, 2010. We hope you understand the invitation is more than a compliance move “we sincerely want you to attend the Annual Meeting of the cooperative, and we promise to make it worth your time and effort.
We have a goal each year to keep our meeting short, but meaningful. The board chairman, Roger Diehl, and I will give a business report, which contains pertinent information that affects the cooperative from the past year. We take very seriously our obligation to share in a transparent manner any issue or event that has had a significant impact on the cooperative.
Coupled with our printed Annual Report, which will be mailed out next month, this is essentially our State of the Cooperative Report. As always, we will reward those who attend the Annual Meeting with coffee, cookies, and entertainment prior to the meeting, many door prizes during the meeting, and a great meal prepared by the Alerus staff following the meeting.
One of the most important parts of our Annual Meeting is that three of our nine board positions are up for election each year. The ability to choose who governs your electric utility is a privilege you should not take lightly. You will have the opportunity in April to either vote for the directors of your choice by mail, or in person at the Annual Meeting. At the very least, you should not pass up the option to vote by mail. Better yet, come to the Annual Meeting and meet the candidates. They have always been available and willing to talk to members before the meeting, and they will address the membership during the meeting.
Almost as important as the director election, I believe, is the opportunity for members to be heard during the question and answer period toward the end of each meeting. We, as employees and directors, fully understand we work for you, and it is our duty to give you an answer to any business-related question. If you stump us, we will get an answer to you following the meeting, and you may actually give me material for a later issue of the Nodak Neighbor.
In summary, if you are the type of person that likes good food, likes to win prizes, and needs to get out of the house, a great option on April 10 is to come to our Annual Meeting in Grand Forks.
During the third week in January, we once again had significant ice buildup on our overhead power lines in the western part of our service area. Fortunately, the wind stayed relatively calm, and our outage problems, while extensive, were minor in comparison to many other parts of the state.
After three long days of repairing wire breaks and nuisance outages, we received requests for help from other cooperatives who were suffering with hundreds of broken poles and thousands of members without power. We were able to send six men to KEM Electric Cooperative headquartered in Linton, North Dakota and six men to Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative headquartered in Flasher, North Dakota, along with lift trucks, digger trucks, and pickups. These men left their families and personal responsibilities to spend another week working in harsh conditions restoring power to appreciative members of those cooperatives.
We also are appreciative of the willingness of our men to extend themselves beyond our service territory, as often the roles are reversed and we need help from sister cooperatives to assist during ice storms in our service area.