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Grady EMC election committee meeting Nov. 8 to discuss run-off

It could be December or later before the race for the District 3 seat on the board of directors of Grady EMC is decided.
Grady EMC President and General Manager Thomas A. (Bo) Rosser Jr., reported this week that the EMC’s election committee has scheduled a meeting for Nov. 8 to finalize plans for the run-off election between B. Hestell Donaldson Jr., and incumbent H. Lamar Carlton. In the Oct. 20 election, Donaldson received 1,189 votes with Carlton garnering 563 and challenger Richard R. (Ricky) Smith coming in third with 547 votes.
The run-off is expected to be conducted by mail-in ballots similar to the system used for the absentee ballots in the Oct. 20 election.
Carlton has served on the board for 39 years.
The other incumbent on the ballot two weeks ago was Robert E. Lee, a 33-year veteran director, who was unseated by challenger Gordon Clyatt.
Rosser also released the breakdown of the election results. Based on the information provided to The Messenger by Rosser:
District 3
Donaldson received 177 in-person votes and 1,012 absentee votes for a total of 1,189.
Carlton received 145 in-person votes and 563 absentee votes for a total of 708.
Smith received 61 in-person votes and 486 absentee votes for a total of 547.
District 6
Clyatt received 95 in-person votes and 1,154 absentee votes for a total of 1,249.
Lee received 178 in-person votes and 864 absentee votes for a total of 1,042.
Interestingly, there were 383 in-person votes cast in the District 3 race and only 273 in-person votes in the District 6 race. A total of 424 members were present and were registered as qualified to vote on Oct. 20 at Family Worship Center. Absentee ballots were mailed to all of the approximately 13,200 members of Grady EMC but only 2,444 votes were cast in the District 3 race and 2,291 in the District 6 race.
All members are eligible to vote for directors in all seven districts.
This was the second year in a row that incumbents did not fair well in the election. In the 2016 election incumbent District 2 director Caylor Ouzts was defeated by Ronald Sellars and incumbent District 5 director Lamar Strickland was defeated by Earl Stuckey.
In 2018, Grady EMC directors in districts 1, 4 and 7 will be up for election. District 1 director Dewey Brock Jr., was narrowly reelected in 2015 when he was challenged by John P. Bell Jr.
Bell, Sellars, Stuckey, and Clyatt are all involved or were supported by a group of Grady EMC members who organized themselves as the Take Back Our Grady EMC committee.
The Take Back group has brought to light details about a loan made by the board to former Grady EMC President Thomas A. Rosser Sr. The former EMC head used that loan to buy United National Bank stock owned by Grady EMC. Rosser Sr. was a founding director of UNB and had recommended the board use EMC funds to purchase the stock in the bank when it was organized in 2000.
Take Back Our Grady EMC also discovered that the board reduced the interest rate on the loan by nearly half, did not require Rosser Sr., to meet the requirements of the loan agreement, and purchased used vehicles and equipment from Rosser Sr., in lieu of the former EMC president making payments on the note. It was ultimately learned through Clyatt that the board had also approved $35,000 in annual bonuses to Rosser Sr., over and above his salary and other bonuses, which were the equivalent of his annual loan payments. Take Back Our Grady EMC has also raised issue with the $3.8 million renovation of the EMC headquarters, the purchase of land by the EMC board, as well as Rosser Sr.’s sports car collection being worked on by EMC mechanics and stored in EMC warehouses, among other alleged questionable decisions.

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