Pioneer management unconcerned with members

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

To the editor:

Have you seen a platform or a plan by the Pioneer Electric Cooperative Trustees, now in control, as to how they will manage in the future? I have not. That is probably because the decision makers haven’t told them yet. In the months since questioning began about the outrageously out -of-line cost of members’ electricity, moves to obligate, influence, and even control the membership and elected political officials, have been greatly multiplied. The publicity, and outright propaganda they have so expertly used, is very expensive. The questioning and limited investigation of the Co-op’s financial condition and activities, has revealed many involvements that have led to a debt, as of mid 2003, of $70.6 million. I believe this is much more than the value of the Co-op. The statement notes no income from management of water systems, or any involvements other than members’ electric charges. The electric sales show an income of $2.7 million, before debt payments, in the first 9 months of 2003

Instead of management working to reduce the outrageous cost of members’ electricity, they appear to be spending more on propaganda about their great contribution to religious, charitable, and civic causes. They almost always have TV and newspaper coverage of those good deeds.

Email newsletter signup

Please realize, that the cost of all of this must be paid for by Co-op electric members use of electricity.

Management’s friends, “Friends of Pioneer,” are certainly not friends of Pioneer members. They claim great accomplishments in the Economic Development and job creation area. We have no idea how much Co-op money was used, but they have stated there has been $5.5 million tax payer grant money used with another $3.5 million request in process. The insinuation that there are 540 employees in their Park does not say that these are new jobs.

This is one example of how misleading information is continuously presented. I believe it dangerous and undemocratic for nonprofit cooperatives, under little or no governmental control, to be able to use tax-payer and members’ money to create praise and power for themselves.

If the present Pioneer Management believes that it is the one to fill a great need in welfare, and economic development, it should leave the Co-op to the members and use it’s record to get the Government to fund a special bureau so it can fill the needs those agencies must be ignoring.

Francis T. Middleton