To the Editor:
I am a member of the Board of Trustees for Carroll Electric Cooperative. Thank you for allowing me space to address what appears to be a misunderstanding about what trustees are required to do in their capacity as a governing body.
Because we are elected by the co-op members, we must reflect fiduciary responsibility which simply means we are legally responsible to make decisions in the best interest of members. We, as a body, have a legal mandate to be fiduciary trustees of the co-op assets.
Much has been written and said about the vegetation management contract. Your board authorized the senior staff to develop the contract. Then it was bid out. The trustees would have ignored their fiduciary responsibility if they had allowed emotion, friendship, old loyalties or personalities to enter into the decision-making process.
The amount of work completed and its cost became the main determining factors. As a result, we have saved, by our projections, approximately $234,000 the first year. We also project your co-op right of ways will be on a more orderly trimming cycle of four or five years. This should save co-op members even more money by reducing power outages. This was an exercise of fiduciary responsibility and the only thing we could have done within the legal stewardship constraints under which we operate as a board. If we had not taken advantage of the savings opportunity, then the membership truly would have a reason to ask, “Why?”
I have a neighbor who read about this and asked me to help her understand. When I explained exactly what I have written here, she asked another, “Why ?” Why are they upset with you for saving us money?”