To the editor:
To those of you that say one person can’t make a difference any more, I would like to direct your attention to Charlie Carter and what started out as a one man crusade against the poor decision making of the Carroll Electric Co-op Board of Trustees and the Co-op’s current management. The Board of Trustees and Co-op management would like the members of the Co-op to believe that Charlie is just a singular disgruntled member who has no real backing with the members or the community. This letter is to set the record straight that there is a groundswell of support for Charlie and his cause. To date, the only support I have heard for the Board and their chosen manager has been from the Board.
I have lived in Carroll County most of my life and I am the sixth generation to farm our little plot of land in Carroll Co. I call many of the Co-op linemen, other Co-op employees, as well as dismissed employees, my friends and neighbors. There seems to be a lack of respect for the employees, Co-op members and also the community as a whole from the current Co-op management. I have tried to talk with different Board members about some of my concerns and have been met with a well rehearsed defense of the current management and the Board’s actions. One board member went so far as to tell me that long-time line clearing contractor, Lt. Col. Tim Brooks of the USAF, should have been grateful to have a job waiting for him after returning from flying overseas combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Board member informed me that Tim was just a contractor and by law the Co-op didn’t need to keep his contracting job when he was away serving his country. This response also seemed like a well rehearsed response from the Carroll Electric Co-op Board of Trustee member. Almost like Lt. Col. Brooks’ military service and work duties had already been the topic of Board discussion. It strikes me as interesting that Tim and his local crew were fired just as soo
n as he was retired from the Air Force. Coincidence?
The Co-op should have been proud to have an American hero working for them, but it seemed more of a burden. Some would say that I don’t have a dog in the fight, as I am not a current Co-op member, but that may change before the August annual meeting.
In closing, I urge all Co-op members and Carroll Countians to listen to Charlie and the others who are concerned enough to get involved. Write a letter to the editor. Go to one of the district’s planned meetings and ask some tough questions. I would ask for disclosure of the salaries of the current Co-op management and whether they would be willing to take pay cuts in the interest of keeping electric rates down. I further urge members to go to the annual meeting and vote to bring respect back to the Carroll Electric Co-op and restore it to the great place to work that it used to be. Get involved, because what is going on with management decisions at your local electric Co-op is very disturbing to this local boy and many others. Thanks, Charlie Carter, for getting this thing going. I still believe that John F. Kennedy’s words still ring true. “One person can make a difference and every person should try.”