The 79th Annual Membership Meeting of the Whetstone Valley electric Cooperative, Inc. was held on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in the Milbank High School in Milbank, SD. Attendees were invited to attend the meeting in the Theater or in their vehicle via FM radio in the High School parking lot. Registration opened at 5:00 pm and voting polls opened when a quorum of 50 members had registered.
At 6:00 pm, voting closed and the meeting was called to order by President Bill Tostenson.
President Tostenson stated that more than 50 voting members had registered and were present, creating a quorum.
Tostenson invited everyone to stand for the singing of the National Anthem.
Tostenson introduced the Board of Directors, former directors and employees, and special guests.
Tostenson noted that the annual meeting of 2020 was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He also noted that there were no contested elections nor bylaw amendments in 2020. He then called on Secretary Strasser to give notice of the meeting.
Secretary Darren Strasser also stated that the annual meeting of 2020 had been canceled due to the pandemic, affirmed that the Notice of Annual Meeting had been mailed to the membership and the unapproved minutes of the 2019 Annual Meeting had been delivered to those attending.
Tostenson called for a motion to waive the reading of the Notice of Annual Membership Meeting and to approve the minutes of the 78th Annual Meeting as presented. A motion from the floor was seconded and carried.
Tostenson called on Treasurer Krista Atyeo-Gortmaker to present the Treasurer’s Report.
Atyeo-Gortmaker reviewed the 2020 Operating Statement, Balance Sheet, History of Capital Credits Paid, and list of Taxes paid in 2020. Her report showed that 2020 revenues were $10,294,776 and operating expenses at $10,083,006. Total operating margins were $277,768. The cooperative’s balance sheet showed assets of $36,982,924, liabilities of $24,180,715 and equity of $12,802,209. Members were informed that capital credits in the amount of $333,154 were credited to members in May. A motion from the floor to approve the Treasurer’s Report was seconded and carried.
Tostenson called on Whetstone Valley General Manager, Dave Page to introduce the employees and present the service awards.
General Manager, Page welcomed the members to the Annual Meeting of the Cooperative. He introduced all of the employees and presented seven employees with service awards. Gene Sass for 35 years of service, Jack Hoeke for 25 years of service, Eric Pederson for 20 years of service, Brandon Schmieg for 15 years of service, Kenne Dailie for 15 years of service, Jessica Schuchard for 10 years of service and Ryan Dunnihoo for five years of service.
Tostenson called on the Cooperative’s General Council, Harvey Oliver, to announce the election results.
Districts with open seats were districts 3, 4 and 6. Only one candidate for each of the districts was submitted; Darren Strasser, Tom Berens and Scot Niedert respectively. With no other members nominated for these districts, the candidates were duly elected.
The proposed bylaw amendment voted on by the membership is below where words
stricken are deletions and words underlined are additions.
SECTION 1. Annual Meeting.
During the first one-half of each calendar year, beginning with the calendar year 1959, tThe annual meeting of the members shall be held at such place in the counties of Grant or Roberts, State of South Dakota, as shall be designated by the board of directors in the notice of the meeting, for the purpose of electing directors, passing upon reports for the previous fiscal year and transacting such other business as may come before the meeting. The board of directors may prescribe any conditions, procedures or limitations of such elections or voting subject to the provisions of the bylaws. At the annual meeting, business may be conducted and voting may commence upon the registration of a quorum. It shall be the responsibility of the board of directors to make adequate plans and preparations for the annual meeting. Failure to hold the annual meeting at the designated time shall not work a forfeiture of dissolution of the Cooperative.
As a result of public health or safety circumstances, unless prohibited by South Dakota law, an annual meeting may be postponed or canceled due to the lawful order of the governmental official, or by decision of the board of directors.
Mr. Oliver presented the Credentials and Election Committee report of the ballot count for the proposed bylaw amendment. With 66 ‘Yes’ votes and 10 ‘No’ votes, the amendment passed.
Tostenson called for any unfinished or new business from the floor. With no further business, and a motion and second from the floor, President Tostenson adjourned the meeting.
The winner of the $500 cash drawing was Clee Brakke of Milbank.