More than 2,400 people turned out for the 68th Annual Meeting of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), held Wednesday, August 30, 2006. During the event, members voted for SMECO Board directors and enjoyed food, music, informational displays, and prize giveaways.
Despite the cloudy skies and mild rain, more than 1,250 members registered to vote at the meeting; an additional 292 members voted by absentee mail-in ballot. Re-elected for three-year terms were incumbents Samuel "Jack" Hammett of Calvert County; Fern Brown and Kenneth Dyson of Charles County; and Samuel "Bo" Bailey, Jr. and W. Rayner Blair III of St. Mary's County. Members also voted to make modifications to SMECO's bylaws.
SMECO president and chief executive officer Joe Slater, who trimmed his remarks because of the rainy weather, introduced the evening's guest speaker, Eric Hubble. Hubble participated in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Youth Tour in June. He described the event, which hosts participants from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, and the impact that visiting a senator, a congressional representative, and significant memorials had on him. Slater also recognized the young singer who performed the national anthem, Rachel Escolopio, a sixth-grade student from St. Mary's County.
Before turning the members' attention to the prize drawings, Slater made mention of SMECO's dedication to safety. He said, "this year we were awarded the highest rating on record from our national association's Rural Electric Safety Accreditation program. This rigorous examination of SMECO's operational and administrative safety program reveals our total commitment to working at the highest industry standards." The evening's program also included a Hot Line demonstration conducted by the co-op's safety division to educate members about staying safe around electric lines.
Entertainment included music from the band Country Memories. Displays for several law enforcement agencies were also at the Annual Meeting, as well as SMECO-sponsored exhibits on customer education. And sales of hot dogs and nachos raised more than $1,400 for this year's selected charitable organization, the ARC of Southern Maryland.
Members who registered in person at the meeting were eligible to win 25 electric bill credits and 25 small prizes, plus six grand prizes, including two gas grills, three U.S. Savings Bonds, and a used SMECO vehicle. The prize winners were:
* Virginia Wood, Prince Frederick $500 U.S. Savings Bond
* Justine Seyfried, Charlotte Hall $500 U.S. Savings Bond
* Doris Lyles, Waldorf gas grill
* Kimberly Reaume, California gas grill
* Gordon and Janet Davison, Waldorf Used SMECO Vehicle
The winner of the $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond, Regional Electrical Contractor, Inc. of Brandywine, has generously offered to contribute the prize to Project Match. This year, SMECO will match contributions to Project Match up to a total of $50,000. Contributions go to the Tri-County Fuel Fund, which is administered by the Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee.
Below are the results of the director elections.
Calvert County (One seat up for election)
Samuel "Jack" Hammett 1,132
Charles County (Two seats up for election)
Victor Allen 329
Shelby Bowles 642
Fern Brown 757
Kenneth Dyson 928
St. Mary's County (Two seats up for election)
Samuel "Bo" Bailey, Jr. 1,015
W. Rayner Blair III 836
George Michael Thompson 621