Doing Things Differently

The Wharton County Electric Cooperative board decided the annual meeting will be drive-up only due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured (l-r front row) are directors Heath Radley, John Roach, General Manager/CEO Gary Raybon, Jim W. Harton, Frankie Peter (l-r back row) Paul Phillips, Peggy Glaze, Leroy Kaspar, Rick Graff and A.J. Kresta.

Wharton County Electric Cooperative is asking members to drive by rather than planning on dining in for this year’s annual meeting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting generally draws more than 800 people to the El Campo Civic Center each year. But with the uncertainty on when COVID-19 guidelines will allow for a large gathering, directors decided a drive through would be the best and safest option. 

“This was not an easy decision for the board to make,” WCEC GM/CEO Gary Raybon said. “Many ideas were discussed at length. Ultimately, it came down to keeping our members safe and healthy while at the same time adhering to our bylaws and keeping the board election time line intact. The drive through method met all the criteria.”

The non-traditional meeting will be from 4:30 - 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17 at the El Campo Civic Center.

Members will be directed to stations throughout the parking lot to be registered, receive a copy of the annual report and ballots, pick up an attendance gift and turn in completed ballots for board representation and business reports.

A meal will not be served, but all members casting a ballot will receive a $20 bill credit and will be entered in the prize drawing.

Proxy voting is not allowed, so members must be present in the vehicle to vote. Voting will end at 7 p.m. sharp.

“On behalf of the board, we want to thank our members for their patronage and their understanding of the method of this year’s WCEC Annual Meeting,” President Leroy Kaspar said. “Once this passes, and it will, we look forward to seeing you in person at next year’s annual meeting.”

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