Dear Concerned Carroll Electric members and supporters,
On Monday, April 11th, Marcie Brewster delivered to the Carroll Electric Berryville headquarters, petitions with 1,300 signatures in support of Marcie’s nomination for the CE board of directors. She was told by CE Director of Corporate Communications, Nancy Plagge, that the petitions would be verified by a team of CE employees and validated by John Burrow, a Fayetteville attorney, past election commissioner and friend of CE attorney John Everett. Plagge said the petitions would be verified and validated by Wednesday.
This afternoon, Thursday, April 14th, Marcie received phone messages from both Burrows and Plagge and rather than return their calls she went to Carroll Electric to meet with them in person. Marcie was informed that of the 1,300 signatures submitted, 1,076 were valid. Of those, 242 were from District 6. The bylaws require 250. Marcie was told that she failed, by 8 votes, to meet the requirements for being placed on the ballot.
Marcie made a plea with Nancy Plagge to accept her nomination based on the fact that 1076 valid signatures, and 242 signatures from her district demonstrates “substantial compliance with the by-laws”. Marcie also stated that 8 signatures falls within the statistical margin of error. Nancy Plagge said she was completely confident about the accuracy of that 242 count. Marcie asked her to do what she could to please get her name on the ballot because it would demonstrate willingness to allow democratic participation. Plagge left the room saying that she would talk to Boaz, but did not indicate whether she would get back to Marcie. This all happened about 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Since 1983, CE has steadily, and with careful calculation, raised the requirements to make it increasingly difficult to challenge incumbents. 30 signatures were required for ballot petitions in 1993. Now 1% of the membership (693) must sign petitions and, of those, 250 must be from the district with a vacancy. In this case that’s almost 10% of District 6 members. It is ridiculous for CE to deny Marcie a slot on the ballot when there clearly is a solid base of members who support her candidacy. Remember that these signatures were collected by dozens of volunteers who committed hundreds of hours and in only 30 days without the benefit of a membership list. This arbitrary number, 250, is now a part of the bylaws and in spite of the fact that the total signature count was almost 75% more than required, Marcie is being denied a ballot slot because of 8 votes. This is ludicrous and because the numbers are so close.
We are demanding a recount!
This is uncooperative, undemocratic and a flagrant disregard for the will of the membership .
CE cannot continue to disregard the interests of an increasingly dissatisfied membership. The board and management must be held accountable.