YVEA board considering first bylaw changes since given that authority by members last summer | SteamboatToday.com

YVEA board considering first bylaw changes since given that authority by members last summer

Co-op members approved bylaw changes in June that allows the board to make further changes without a member vote

Yampa Valley Electric Association members and employees attended the annual meeting of the member-owned, nonprofit co-op on June 28 inside the Craig YVEA equipment garage. The YVEA Board is currently reviewing changes to its bylaws ahead of its February meeting, and has said it will likely have more changes in future meetings.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

For the first time since members OK’d changes to the bylaw approval process last summer, the Yampa Valley Electric Association Board will consider its first round of changes at its February meeting.

YVEA spokesperson Carly Davidson said the changes come after staff and external groups reviewed bylaws and recommended updates. After changes to articles one and eight, the board will continue to review changes to other bylaws.

“In some cases it is just updating verbiage or reorganization,” Davidson said. “Instead of doing that all in one fell swoop, we thought it was better to have a more meaningful discussions with the board going article by article.”

Prior to last summer’s changes, bylaw amendments would need to be approved by the co-op’s members in the annual voting process used to elect board members.

While some longtime members expressed concern about giving the board that authority, YVEA officials said it puts them in line with how a “majority” of other power co-ops operate across the state. Members approved giving the board this authority by a wide, 1,299-628 margin in the June mail election.

This allows the co-op’s board to make changes as long as members are given at least a 30-day notice. That notice was posted on YVEA’s website Jan. 20.

Davidson said the board is working to review all of its bylaws and that more changes would be coming in future meetings. The nonprofit Tax Council, YVEA’s independent auditor, co-op staff and general council recommended the bylaw changes.

The main change with article one is the addition of another section related to how members are compensated if the co-op were to dissolve. This bylaw used to be part of article eight and the language didn’t change.

Get the top stories in your inbox every morning. Sign up here: steamboatpilot.com/newsletter

The changes in article eight are broader, with several sections being rewritten and definitions altered. Davidson said members probably wouldn’t feel the changes if the board approves them, rather, they put the bylaws in line with recommendations from experts

“Nothing will effect them at this point, it is more for future flexibility,” Davidson said. “Defining patron in there was the biggest thing and providing flexibility around that.”

The board will consider changes at its meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. Feb. 28 at YVEA’s headquarters off of Elk River Road in Steamboat Springs. Public comment will be allowed at noon, with the vote on the proposed bylaws changes expected shortly after that.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.