For some unknown reason, after years of asking, the Cobb EMC has posted some of the financial information about Board of Director benefits. They receive:
$600 per board meeting
$500 for a committee meeting or a conference
$50.00 for a conference call
$211,200 in retirement benefits ($1,100 per month for a "volunteer" position)
If the full Board meets once a month, it costs the co-op $6,000. At one meeting a month that is $72,000 just in costs to pay the Directors to "manage" the co-op. If 10 Directors receive the full amount of retirement benefits they cost the co-op, which is supposed to operate as a non-profit as a service to the members, $2,112,000. Yes, over $2M!
I am willing to go out on a limb and guess that because they were supposed to hire a new CEO to begin working on March 1, 2011 (they didn't), and the CEO was re-indicted with four additional charges of witness intimidation for a grand total of 35 counts, that board met more than once in person each month.
Maybe they meet when they prepare to appear in court as required by a judge (the newspapers said where they sat when they entered the courtroom last month looked planned). It adds up to a lot of money out of co-op members' pockets (and that doesn't even include the estimated $10M+ in legal fees that the co-op has spent in a protracted court battle with the members they are supposed to be serving).
Cobb EMC members stepped up to the plate years ago to re-gain control of their co-op. They have done it at considerable personal expense (good lawyers are important when you are fighting some of the most expensive lawyers in Georgia, like former Gov Roy Barnes and King and Spalding). They have also spent days, weeks, months researching to understand just how serious the problems plaguing their co-op are.
With today's revelations on how much is now known about benefits for the Board of Directors, it looks like more fuel has been added to the fire. Members are determined to wrestle the co-op back from the people who have gotten it mired in money losing projects for over 14 years. You can find out what they are doing by visiting Take Back Cobb and Cobb EMC Owner's Association. I wish them the very best of luck in continuing the work that is necessary to do this.