The MEC General Manager responded to my requests for information. On November 28, 2022, I received three emails from the MEC General Manager. Each email addressed the emails I previously submitted.
First was his response to my inquiries about the rate increases cited by the Board President. I am happy to write that the information I’ve received appears pretty accurate. The General Manager’s email read the MEC has increased rates four times since 2011.
The increase noted was in 2011, and he described this as a “revenue-neutral increase due to TVA.” I presume the MEC did not gain any financial benefit from this increase and the increase went solely to the TVA.
The General Manager wrote there was an approximate 1% rate increase in both 2018 and 2019. These increases were described as “MEC increase to create approximately 1% more revenue. Then there was this year’s increase, described as a MEC increase to create approximately 2% more revenue.
From 2011 until September 2022, the Board of directors voted to increase revenue for the MEC by approximately 2%. To clarify, the approximate increase for the previous 11 years equals the increase instituted for 2022.
Remember what members told me. An independent consultant told the Board of Directors. They would need to increase rates by a minimum of 2% per year for the next three years, or the MEC could face bankruptcy. What do you know? An approximate 2% increase occurred in 2022, the first year of the cited three-year recommendation.
Most importantly, the Board of Directors increased rates by only 2% during the preceding eleven years. How much do you think the business costs have increased over that period? Consider the prices for materials, labor, insurance, etc. Think about the increased living expenses you’ve experienced in the past 11 years.
I think the writing on the wall is pretty straightforward. What I’ve heard about the Board’s financial decisions has been accurate. That’s why they don’t want to provide me with any records.
Secondly, the General Manager emailed a response to my request for the member information. That email response read, “I am not able to grant this request for reasons of customer privacy.” That’s it! No regard for the law as I understand it.
Lastly was the General Manager’s response to my request for records. He wrote, “Your concerns regarding legality must be addressed by MEC’s attorney, Mr. George Wright,” and in parenthesis wrote (copied on this email.) That was the end of that email.
Now just so you know, as I created this episode on December 3, 2022, I have yet to receive any response from Attorney Wright. He did not respond to my letter addressing the inaccuracies of his denial letter. I also did not receive a copy of the “formal opinion letter” he said he would write. You know, the one he reported he would send to the Board and me if the Board authorized him to do so.
I responded to the General Manager’s emails. My only email response included a statement about my disappointments, especially concerning the member information. After all, Tennessee law appears to clearly indicate the information should be made available upon a member’s request. I plan to address this more specifically in a future request, so I thanked the General Manager for his time and effort and ended my email.
In a nutshell, they’re still refusing to provide me with the requested corporate records. The MEC attorney refuses to communicate with me in any way, as does the rest of the Board members. They deny me access to the member information Tennessee law indicates I am entitled to receive.
I guess the saga continues!