SMECO holds 72nd Annual Members’ Meeting
More than 1,500 people turned out for the 72nd Annual Meeting of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), held September 1, 2010.
This marks the second year that SMECO held the Annual Meeting at the Blue Crabs Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. During the event, members voted for SMECO directors.
The Cooperative had 1,045 members register to vote, with 204 of them voting by absentee mail-in ballot. Incumbents were re-elected for three-year terms to SMECO’s Board: W. Michael Phipps of Calvert County; Gilbert O. Bowling and Richard A. Winkler of Charles County; James A. Richards of Prince George’s County; and P. Scott White of St. Mary’s County.
SMECO’s president and CEO, Austin J. Slater, Jr. reviewed the co-op’s activities of the past year and responded to questions from the audience. Slater touched on the construction of a new building in Hughesville, EmPOWER Maryland energy-saving programs and rebates, and renewable energy.
Slater discussed SMECO’s proposed rate adjustment, the construction of power lines and substations to improve reliability, and the co-op’s plans for an automated metering infrastructure pilot project. Slater also described how SMECO has reduced expenses by having fewer employees, by ending the defined benefit pension plan for employees to save more than $40 million over the next ten years, and by enlisting 34,000 customer-members who each save SMECO $5 a year by paying their bills online.
The evening’s program included a hot line demonstration that the Co-op’s safety division conducted to educate members about staying safe around electric lines. SMECO linemen also demonstrated a hurt-man rescue. Entertainment included the Port Tobacco Players’ Encore Kids, the Southern Maryland Boot Scooters, and Sam Grow, a local performer and the son of a retired SMECO employee. The Reverend John Howanstine of Christ Church in Port Republic gave the invocation, the Great Mills High School Navy Junior ROTC presented the colors, and SMECO employee Theresa Dorsey sang the national anthem at the beginning of the meeting.