Regional Virtual Forums Deliver Answers to Members
Co-op leadership discussed broadband through member regulation in detail
Like so many other activities that were changed due to the COVID-19 precautions, Choptank Electric Cooperative’s regional member forums were held virtually in June. The advertised topic of discussion was Member Regulation and our ballot initiative. But the most popular issue was broadband. Members want to know when it is coming.
Members joined the webinar over the internet or by calling in. Pre-registrations for the June 10th event had 107 members logging in. The June 11th meeting registered over 130 members.
Between the two, more than 100 different questions were asked and answered live.
The Board of Directors listened in both nights to make sure they fully understand member priorities. Members of our management team, including CEO Mike Malandro; General Counsel Sarah Dahl; VPs Tim McGaha and Valerie Connelly; and Manager of Government Affairs, Matt Teffeau, talked through slides that explained member regulation, broadband and next steps.
The forums are just one of the requirements set forth in the legislation passed this year to allow Choptank to become a “member regulated” cooperative (HB 999). The change will eliminate duplicative regulation by the Public Service Commission and, more importantly, allow Choptank to develop a broadband subsidiary that can use economies-of-scale to offer internet service to rural members.
In addition to the forums, Choptank Electric must hold a member vote, which is currently underway. The mandated Special Meeting of Members will be held on August 13th, when the final vote count will be announced.
To watch the forum presentations, read through the Top 30 Questions Asked & Answered, and to get updates on our broadband project, check out the Broadband tab on our website at www.choptankelectric.coop/broadband.