Annual Meeting FAQ
If you have any questions about the proposed By-law amendments, please submit them here or call Talquin’s office at (850) 627-7651 by Friday, September 18. Questions and answers will be posted promptly as they are received and reviewed.
For regular meetings, not involving extraordinary circumstances, are cooperative members able to physically attend at the place of the meeting? (Submitted by Deborah Kearney)
Yes, Members are permitted to attend all Talquin Board of Trustee meetings in person. For electronic Board meetings, such as those being held during the current emergency situation, Members who wish to attend Board meetings are able to attend the meetings in person at Talquin’s Headquarters facility in Quincy with select staff members.
Talquin Bylaws can be viewed on the website at talquinelectric.com/resources/documents.
What defines a member? I assume anyone who has an account and pays an electric bill is a member? A member who has one account has one vote, but does a member who has 10 service location bills to pay have 10 votes? (Submitted by Virginia DuBree)
Membership eligibility is defined in Article I, Section 1 of Talquin’s Bylaws found at https://www.talquinelectric.com/resources/documents/, as follows:
SECTION 1. REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERSHIP.
Any person, firm, association, corporation or body politic or subdivision thereof may become a member in Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. (hereinafter called the “Cooperative”) by:
(a) Filing a written application for membership therein;
(b) Agreeing to purchase from the Cooperative utility services as hereinafter specified;
(c) Agreeing to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of the Cooperative and any rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Trustees; and
(d) Paying the membership fee hereinafter specified. NO MEMBER MAY HOLD MORE THAN ONE MEMBERSHIP IN THE COOPERATIVE, and no membership in the Cooperative shall be transferable.
Anyone that meets the eligibility requirements can become a Member.
A Member with multiple accounts is limited to one vote. According to Article III, Section 5 of Talquin’s Bylaws, only one vote per Membership is allowed:
SECTION 5. VOTING.
Each member shall be entitled to only one vote. All questions shall be decided by a vote of a majority of the members voting thereon in person, except as otherwise provided by law, the Articles of Incorporation or these By-laws. No voting by mail or by proxy shall be permitted.
Ballots have no reference thereon to prove membership. What is required at hand in time to prove membership? (Submitted by Virginia DuBree)
All Members have received an Annual Meeting Notice and ballot in the mail. Each Notice and ballot have a unique bar code identifier on them for each Membership ID. These bar codes will be scanned at the Annual Meeting during the registration process to identify the voting Member. For Members that do not bring one of these items, Talquin staff will verify membership status using name, service address, and a government-issued photo ID.
Although I live in District 5, should I mark my ballot for the incumbent Trustees for Districts 3, 6, and 9 for submission at the Annual Meeting? (Submitted by Winfred Infinger)
Yes, we ask that all Members, regardless of their district of residence, vote for one trustee in each district. We also ask that all Members vote on the proposed Bylaw changes.
I will be out of town on the day of the annual meeting. I would like to cast my ballot so can I have my TEC member neighbor who will be doing the drive-by drop off my ballot too? (Submitted by Deborah Waters)
Sending a ballot with someone else is not allowed. Talquin’s current Bylaws require Members to vote in person. Please see Article III., Section 5 of Talquin Bylaws, which states: Each member shall be entitled to only one vote. All questions shall be decided by a vote of a majority of the members voting thereon in person, except as otherwise provided by law, the Articles of Incorporation or these By-laws. No voting by mail or by proxy shall be permitted.
Reading the proposed changes, ARTICLE III - MEETING OF MEMBERS, SECTION 5. VOTING: proposed paragraph 5 (page 4) describes ranked choice voting when there are three or more nominees for Trustee in a single district. In ARTICLE IV – TRUSTEES, SECTION 3. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF TRUSTEES, subsection (d): “Each member may vote for one (1) candidate per district.” The latter stipulation from the current version of the by-laws appears to be in conflict with ranked choice when there are at least three members to be voted on. (Submitted by Scott Hardin)
Although Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank all candidates in a single District in order of preference, a Member is technically only voting for one candidate in each round of voting. Only one vote will be counted per Member, per round of voting.
Like most members, i seldom have time or money to go to the Annual Meeting, especially since it is far from our home. Therefore, I appreciate the change in the by laws to allow voting by mail. But the proposed revisions do not go far enough. They leave the issue of voting by mail up to the Board instead of the members. If you truly want to empower our community and every member, then modify this proposal to allow voting by mail by everyone for any future elections. After all, if I can vote for my elected officials by mail why can't I do that for matters pertaining to my electric cooperative? Power to the members not the Board. (Submitted by Eric Livingston)
We encourage Members to contact the Cooperative’s elected Trustees to express their preference on the designated method of voting under the Bylaws. Future amendments to Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s Bylaws to address the method of voting would be made pursuant to Article XII of the Bylaws.
What defines a quorum for a Membership meeting? (Submitted by John Bennett)
The quorum is one percent of all Members. That requirement is established by Florida Statute, Section 425.09(6) and Talquin’s Bylaws Article III, Section 4.
What does “per centum” mean? (Submitted by John Bennett)
This term is the same term as percent.
Why are all the proposed changes on the ballot under all or nothing? And why even vote on board members if there isn't an opponent to them? Could someone explain those situations for me? (Submitted by Janet Olin)
The proposed Bylaw amendments address issues which have arisen due to the current global COVID-19 pandemic. They involve the voting procedure and are related to each other, except for one Bylaw amendment which authorizes the Board to meet by video or telephone conferencing when necessary. Because almost all of the Bylaw amendments are interrelated, they are being presented to the Members for approval in their entirety.
Talquin’s Bylaws require that all Trustees be elected by a majority of the Cooperative’s Members at the Annual Meeting. Traditionally, Talquin has presented all elections to the members for a vote whether they are contested or uncontested.
At the Annual Meeting, can Members discuss reliability concerns in their service area?
The Annual Meeting is regarded as an opportunity for Members to address governance issues, such as the election of Trustees and proposed changes to Bylaws. We prefer to handle service-related concerns directly with Members via immediate contact as issues occur. Please private message Talquin with your contact information and service address so that we can properly address any service issues.
What do I need to do if I have not received my ballot in the mail? My mother has not received hers either. Neither of our addresses have changed. (Submitted by Frances Johnson)
Replacement ballots can be provided in several ways. Members can print ballots directly from the website at https://www.talquinelectric.com/annual-meeting/. This link contains all of the content that was mailed to Members including proposed By-law changes, Trustee election information, a letter from the Board of Trustees, registration notice, and a map of the Gadsden County High School voting area. If requested, Talquin can print a replacement ballot and mail to the Member’s mailing address. Additionally, Members can visit any Talquin Member Service office drive-thru location to request a printed ballot or any other Annual Meeting information.
Please note that replacement ballots will contain a watermark and are still valid in the voting process. Members are encouraged to complete their ballots prior to voting on September 26 at the Gadsden County High School. Each Member that brings a completed ballot will receive an additional $10 bill credit.
How do we vote without driving two hours?
Talquin’s current Bylaws require Members to vote in person. Another person may not submit a Member’s ballot on their behalf. Please see Article III., Section 5 of Talquin’s current Bylaws, which states: “Each member shall be entitled to only one vote. All questions shall be decided by a vote of a majority of the members voting thereon in person, except as otherwise provided by law, the Articles of Incorporation or these By-laws. No voting by mail or by proxy shall be permitted.”
Our two daughters and we have Talquin service at our homes...three separate locations. May we as a family, come in one car for the drive-thru meeting on Saturday, the 26th, or must we come in three separate cars? (Submitted by Pat Wright)
Yes, Talquin encourages Members to carpool if they choose. In this example, if there are 3 Members in the vehicle, each Member will be allowed to participate in the voting process.