KIUC Power Play Meeting

SOURCE: Ken Taylor ( SUBHEAD: Unelected President Bissell to appoint staff as voting members of elected Board Committees.  

By Michael Shooltz on 24 April 2012 in Island Breath -

[IB Editor's note: This is a raw effort by the old guard at KIUC to nullify the recent election that resulted in a moderately progressive majority on the board of directors. Bissell is stacking the committees with non elected appointees. What a shame.]

Image above: David Bissell introduces new voting staff to KIUC Board Committee. Actually this is a scene from stage play of "Enron" by Lucy Prebble. From ( Mashup of Bissell's head on Enron executive and new KIUC logo by Juan Wilson.

Just home from today's KIUC Board/CEO meeting. Lots of good testimony. Some enthusiastic sign waving before hand. And lots of "more of the same" in terms of testimony from concerned citizens in the face of a clear commitment by KIUC to "roll out" the smart meters.

I want to let you know about a startling (to me) event that occurred late in the meeting (around 6:00 PM) when the Board got to item 15 on it's agenda for the gathering....."New Business".

In the agenda handout item 15a is called, "2012 Staff Member Appointments to Board Committees (Admin Action Item) I think that by that time there were only four members of the community still present at the meeting. This item was about the "staff" (i.e. David Bissell) having the right to appoint members of his staff to the various Board Committees. That was startling enough.

But part of the discussion included the possibility that these staff members of KIUC that would be appointed to the Board of Directors Committees would have VOTING RIGHTS on the committees. What?!?!?

We the members of the KIUC Coop are already struggling to get our viewpoints expressed to, and acted upon by our Coop. The ONLY voice we currently have is through electing the Board Members to their three year terms and hoping that their votes represent our opinions. The membership of each committee is already formed by the sole authority of the Chairman of the Board.

This years Committees are already slanted against the so-called progressive minority (5-4) with never more than one of the minority on any Committee. One of the existing Board Members made the comment that it doesn't matter if staff gets to vote in committee because all of the decisions are made by the votes of the full Board of Directors which the staff would not have voting rights on.

However, I understand that last year Ben Sullivan was quite frustrated with his inability to get his suggestions in front of the full Board for consideration due to the fact that he couldn't even get them voted out of his committee.

So, if all of a sudden, members of the Staff, who have not been elected to the Board by we the members, and who are beholden to their boss for their paycheck, are assigned to a committee and given a vote on matters in the committee, the minimal voices of "we the people" in the running of our Co-op, will have been even more seriously diluted.

Our voting in elections for Board Members will become somewhat meaningless. Since members of the staff are already always available to share their expertise and opinions with the members of the Board of Directors, there seems to be no other purpose for the idea of assigning staff to Board Committees other than blatantly further skewing the voting process within the power structure at KIUC. Fortunately Board Member Pat Cegen spoke up about his concerns about the Board being the elected representatives of the members.

When Chairman Tacbian read the bylaws regarding this maneuver it sounded as if the appointed Staff members would have voting rights. But Legal Counsel Proudfoot stated that the bylaw was ambiguous and that the Board should study them further and then make their decision as to whether or not the staff should have voting rights.

Of course, since the current make up of the Board of Directors is already skewed in favor of the management perspective, it seems pretty likely that they would favor this new wrinkle which would strengthen their hold on all decision making.

At the break I spoke with one of the Board Members, who shall remain nameless. When I asked, "Wow, what was that all about?", the Board Member responded, "Now you see how the power works around here."

I suggest that any who might have concerns about this issue speak out loudly and clearly on this issue before a final decision is made. It might not do any good, but it will shine some Light on the dark.


  1. KIUC is one big racket, has been since the day it was bought for too much money and debt.

  2. And Bissell is a cor--pt S-B!