In 1951, over ten thousand people attended Powell Valley Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting in Jonesville, Va. Though the size of PVEC’s membership has since quadrupled, only 528 members voted at their annual meeting in 2017.
Electric cooperatives are not regulated like other utilities — it’s up to the members to carry out checks and balances. Across the country, electric cooperatives with low member involvement have fallen to mismanagement and corruption.
Powell Valley Electric is currently facing several lawsuits from members whose properties were sprayed with herbicide, unannounced, by contractors that the co-op hired. The damages include loss of honeybee colonies, loss of crops, and personal injury. A former employee, who claims she was fired for exposing financial corruption, is also suing the utility for wrongful termination. The same leadership has been in place at PVEC for roughly 20 years and board meetings have been closed to members, despite honest efforts to open these meetings by a grassroots group called PVEC Member Voices.
ATTENTION Powell Valley Electric Cooperative Members!
It’s your right to vote for three board directors at PVEC Annual Meeting on Saturday, September 15 at the Hancock County High School in Sneedville, Tenn.
For the first time in recent memory, all three board seats at PVEC will have a choice for who members can vote for. Voting at the annual meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, followed by a business meeting. Members can also partake in free food, games and music by Tennessee 90. Members can only vote if their name is on the bill, so be sure to check the name if you’re a married couple. The notice and list of board candidates for the 2018 annual meeting can be found here.
Everyone deserves the right to make decisions about the cooperative they own. Don’t miss your chance to participate on September 15!