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EMC nominating committee passes on Sellars and Stuckey

The nominating committee of Grady EMC refused to nominate Ronald Sellars and Earl Stuckey for the upcoming District 2 and District 5 board of directors election, but the two men gained a spot on the ballot by petition.
The nominating committee, which is composed of eight EMC members appointed by the board of directors, met last Thursday at the EMC headquarters to make nominations for candidates for the board seats up for election at the EMC annual meeting on Oct. 21.
The committee nominated incumbent Caylor Ouzts for the District 2 seat and incumbent H. Lamar Strickland for the District 5 seat. The committee had been lobbied by both Sellars and Stuckey seeking to be nominated and given the chance to challenge the incumbents for seats on the board of directors.
EMC attorney M. Claire Chason sent letters to Sellars and Stuckey notifying them of the committee’s decision. In her letter Chason wrote, “The committee expressed its satisfaction with the current directors, and they praised those at the Co-Op who worked tirelessly during Hurricane Hermine to restore power.”
After being notified of the nominating committee’s decision, Sellars and Stuckey on Monday presented EMC Chief Financial Officer Pat Reed with petitions signed by 100 EMC members and 135 EMC members, respectively, supporting their efforts to be placed on the ballot for the upcoming election of directors. EMC bylaws only require the signature of 50 EMC members, regardless of whether they live in the district or not, on a nominating petition. Voting in director elections is also “at-large” and is not restricted to members in the respective districts, according to the by-laws.
Grady EMC President and General Manager Thomas A. (Bo) Rosser Jr. reported late Tuesday that the nominating petitions filed by the two challengers had been certified and that both Sellars and Stuckey will appear on the ballot having been nominated by petition.
When asked to comment on the action of the nominating committee, Rosser said the committee is “an independent group of members who are tasked with considering nominees for election to the board of directors.”
The members of the nominating committee are Douglas Roddenbery, Cole L. Prince, James Robert Maxwell, Lowell E. Dollar, Robert L. Gainey, Freddie Bryant, Ronald W. Smith and Julian E. Robinson. Freddie Bryant is the chairman and Lowell Dollar the secretary.
Sellars and Stuckey announced in August their interest in running for election to the EMC board of directors.
Sellars is seeking the District 2 seat currently held by Caylor Ouzts. He has been a member of the EMC since 1958 and was one of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against the EMC and its management over some of its business practices and alleged mismanagement, which was settled earlier this year.
Sellers retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1995 after a 30 year career. From 1996 until 2003, he worked as a federal crop insurance adjuster before retiring a second time.
Ouzts was appointed to the board in Feb. 2014 to fill the unexpired term of the late Donald Cooper. He is the owner and operator of Ouzts Cattle Company.
Stuckey is challenging H. Lamar Strickland for the District 5 seat. Stuckey has been a member of the EMC since 1972.
Stuckey works with his son in their family owned concrete construction company, but on a part-time basis.
Strickland was appointed to the EMC board in Feb. 2012 to fill the unexpired term of the late Lee O. Maxwell III. He then ran unopposed in Oct. 2013 and was elected to a three-year term. Strickland is a farmer and is retired from the Georgia Boll Weevil Eradication Program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to Rosser, the bylaws were amended by the membership in 2007 that allowed the nominating committee to nominate only one candidate for open seats, which has eliminated contested elections for board seats.
Rosser said the change was made because members were being nominated who had no interest in serving.
Last fall, John P. Bell Jr., broke that drought of uncontested races when he challenged longtime director Dewey Brock Jr. Bell came up 66 votes shy of Brock, who has served on the board since 1997.
The election for the two seats on the EMC board will take place at the EMC annual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21. This year’s annual meeting is being moved to Family Worship Center, 1760 U.S. Hwy. 84 W.
Rosser had said previously, “This location will provide better parking, safety and overall comfort in the case of inclement weather.”

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