Blachly-Lane offers multiple ways for members to get involved! Want to be part of making big decisions? Maybe meetings aren’t for you?
There are opportunities for everyone, regardless of your level of commitment, there are ways you can get involved in the local community!
Have you ever considered running for the Blachly-Lane Board of Directors? How much do you know about your co-op board? Does it matter who is on your co-op board? If you care about the future of your co-op, would like to represent your district in the overseeing and decision-making process and the ongoing conversation about the direction of our Co-op, and can attend monthly meetings as well as spend some time preparing for these meetings, consider running for a seat on the board.
Behind the scenes of every incorporated institution is a very important group of people – the Board of Directors. The board members of Blachly-Lane Electric Cooperative, elected by the membership, are entrusted by the membership with ultimate responsibility for the co-op’s success. Success for a co-op means that the business thrives financially and equally importantly, that staff and members properly implement the purpose, mission, and principles of the co-op.
Board members as a group:
- Hire a competent manager, outline the duties and authority of the position, and formally review his/her performance.
- Develop and adopt long-range business strategies.
- Adopt broad, general policies to guide the manager. It is the manager’s job, rather than that of the board, to make the detailed decisions on how to implement the board’s policies. Once established, the board needs to monitor and review policies annually and make changes when necessary. Board members make policy decisions; they do not assume responsibilities that are part of day-to-day operations.
- Review written monthly financial reports and operating statements to be informed of both favorable and adverse trends.
- Review the operating budget for each upcoming fiscal year. The budget should estimate the expected volume and gross income, expenses, and net income expected. This constitutes necessary forward planning on the part of the board and management.
- Employ a qualified auditor to make an annual independent audit to determine the accuracy of financial records and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and budget. The audit provides insight into the effect of past decisions and the need for new ones and is the primary method the board uses to report the financial condition of the co-op to its members.
- With the aid of the manager, plan and conduct the annual meeting.
- Determine the patronage refund allocation, weighing legal requirements against the need for reinvesting refunds to provide money to retire old equities and still meet current capital needs.
- Obtain competent legal counsel.
- Keep a record of the board’s actions.
Blachly-Lane’s bylaws Articles III and IV outline the duties and responsibilities of the board of directors. Board members as individuals:
- Become familiar with the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the cooperative and conduct the business in accordance with their provisions.
- Attend regular and special meetings of the board.
- Understand the terms of all contracts into which the co-op has entered by the authority of the board — leases, loan agreements, membership and marketing agreements, supply and other contracts.
- Are familiar with the state law under which the cooperative was incorporated.
- Understand the general legal responsibility of serving on the board of directors.
- Are responsive to innovative ideas and changes that are in the best interest of the membership at large.
- Commit to participate in training programs to better understand the cooperative’s operations and the director’s role in it.
You may nominate yourself by filing a petition signed by at least fifteen members who reside within your district. This is all spelled out in the Blachly-Lane bylaws, Article II, Section 8.
If you care deeply about our co-op, would like to represent your district in the overseeing and decision-making process and the ongoing conversation about the direction of our Co-op, and can attend monthly meetings as well as spend some time preparing for these meetings, you should consider running. The board election is held in April, so we’ve found it wise to start this process in the winter. The final date for submitting applications is typically mid-February.
Maybe you’re not sure you want to be a director, but you still want to be involved? Then you might consider the Blachly-Lane Aware Committee. The Aware Committee is to help members engage and stand for the cause of rural electrification. Our founders knew that they wouldn’t have electric service if they didn’t start it themselves. The same is true today — without engaged and unified member-owners, the electrification of our rural area is at risk.
The Blachly-Lane’s Aware Committee began in 1982 at the encouragement of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to build grassroots advocacy for rural electrification. The mission stated, “Aware will be a direct line for the voice of rural people – rural electric members and their neighbors – reaching from back home to the statehouse and Capitol Hill.”
In short, the Aware committee is to help members engage and stand for the cause of rural electrification. Our founders knew that they wouldn’t have electric service if they didn’t start it themselves. The same is true today — without engaged and unified member-owners, the electrification of our rural area is at risk.
The board of directors appoints up to 20 Aware members for a one-year term. Each director may appoint up to 4 members, of which at least two must reside in the director’s district. As it was in 1982, Aware members make these commitments to:
- Facilitate communication between Blachly-Lane and its members; solicit views of neighboring members, and share the information provided at Aware meetings with other members
- Be willing to attend meetings, up to 6 times per year. (Typically the committee meets 5 times per year in September, November, January, March, and May.)
- Agree to become informed about the rural electric system – how it came into being and why; how it is governed and operated; its cost-based rate structure; and the scope and nature of the co-op and its importance to the welfare of the entire community.
- Seek to understand the special challenges involved in delivering reliable rural electric service; and the state and the national legislative and regulatory role and impacts on the local rural electric system.
- Identify, discuss, and agree to make others aware of the concerns of rural electrification.
If you would like to serve on the Aware Committee, please reach out to a director or call the office at (541) 688-8711 and we will pass along your information to the director of your district.
You can’t fit meetings into your busy schedule, but you would still like to support Blachly-Lane and other rural co-ops?
Then you may be interested in Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative (ORECA) Action. For more than 8 decades, Oregon’s rural electric cooperatives have delivered clean, renewable, reliable, and affordable electricity to their members. It is a record of which we are extremely proud. Yet, each legislative session, Oregon cooperatives are subjected to mandates or other proposals that challenge our ability to deliver the electricity you need – when you need it – at a price you can afford. Cooperatives across Oregon are encouraging their members to come together to promote common-sense solutions by way of our grassroots program; Voices for Cooperative Power. Voices for Cooperative Power gives you a platform to talk about the many ways your electric co-op supports your community. Join thousands of other Oregon electric cooperative members who are already part of this vital program. Visit the Voices for Cooperative Power website to learn more and to get involved!