After three years of declining attendance at Golden Valley Electric Association’s Annual Members’ meetings in Fairbanks, GVEA officials have decided to bring the meeting to the members: Golden Valley will provide a live online stream of tonight’s meeting to community centers in Healy and Delta Junction.
GVEA’s Annual Members Meeting hasn’t drawn a quorum of at least 650 members for the past three years.
“We realize that the days are gone that we’re going to get a large crowd of 650 or more at our annual meetings,” says Golden Valley spokeswoman Corinne Bradish.
She says in response, the co-op last year approved a change in bylaws to reduce the quorum to 100. The year before, GVEA downsized the venue and switched from the Carlson Center to Lathrop High School’s Hering Auditorium. She says that’s where meetings were held until the early 1990s, when the crowds got too big.
“When we reached close to 1,200 people at the Hering Auditorium in the early ’90s, it was just too compact, too tight,” she said. “People just weren’t comfortable.”
Only 267 members showed up at least year’s meeting, down from 329 in 2015, and 398 the year before. This year’s meeting at Hering will begin at 6:30 p.m. But Bradish says members won’t have to show up there to follow the proceedings, because GVEA’s meeting committee members came up with another way to bring the meeting to the members.
“They thought ‘Let’s try streaming our annual meeting into Delta and Healy community centers this year, and see if we can increase participation for those (who) don’t want to drive all the way into Fairbanks.’ ”
Bradish says members in Delta and Healy should show up at their community center at 5 p.m. to register. “We’ll have it projected up onto a large screen in each of the community centers.”
She says GVEA will offer the live stream over Facebook for anyone else who wants to follow along at home – and who lives in an area with adequate broadband to accommodate video streaming. The co-op live-streamed meetings from 2009 to 2011, but only a few logged-on back then.
The agenda for Thursday’s meeting is available on the co-op’s website, gvea.com.