June 21, 2012

Grueneich voted to the MEC board

Grueneich voted to the MEC board

There was a hearty turnout for the McLean Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting Tuesday evening. Among those who attended the 67th annual meeting were several guests, including Gov. Jack Dalrymple and his wife Betsy. 
While the majority of the meeting seemed typical, there were a few surprises during the business portion of the meeting. When board member Alvin Myers asked patrons to choose a District 6 director, Don Gackle, a co-op member and longtime newsman, asked to speak prior to the vote. When his request was denied, Gackle insisted. After being told he was out of order, Gackle got up to leave. Changing his mind, he approached the platform saying, “I don’t care; I want the floor!” Advised he would be heard after the vote, Gackle accepted the offer. As promised, after the vote, Gackle was given an opportunity to speak and, in doing so, touched on a variety of subjects, including his support of Manager Marty Dahl.
After votes had been tallied, Ernie Grueneich, Turtle Lake, claimed the District 6 seat that’s been held by Don Sorge for the past nine years.  Incumbent Orvin Ravnaas, District 4 director, was re-elected. His seat had not been challenged. Terms are for three years.
There were other challenges, however. When the floor was opened for questions and comments, Marshall Maxwell, Turtle Lake, put the MEC board and management on the defensive. Maxwell asked why the co-op recently constructed a cold storage building instead of using the former MEC Services building for storage. He questioned why the co-op advertises and why the co-op has an increased debt load.
Sorge and Dahl provided brief answers to each question. Answers included: contract for storage building was signed before MEC Services was shut down: advertising “is part of the business we’re in,” and the increased debt is a result of growth and the costs associated with growth.

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