YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED.
Providing you with the information you want and need about your Grady EMC is important to us. We are proud to keep the lights on for our community and empower those we serve through reliability, affordability, and accountability.
EMC Personnel and Board
How do you decide which candidates to hire for management positions?
We employ a rigorous yet fair hiring process that includes a number of factors, such as resume and cover letter review, competency testing, one-on-one interviews and staff discussions. We select candidates based on their qualifications and experience and how those align with the specific role they are applying for. There are no simple, straightforward metrics – like total number of years of service or number of years in their current roles. We believe our process ultimately results in us hiring the best, most qualified candidates who can effectively serve our members and our EMC.
Did Bo Rosser demand that Ronald Sellars leave a board of directors meeting?
No, Mr. Sellars announced he needed to be recused in a prior meeting when an issue he had been involved with was being discussed. Mr. Rosser let the board know this issue was being discussed in an executive session and since Mr. Sellers had asked to be recused, it would be inappropriate for him to be present. He was simply asked to leave based on his own request for recusal and he left the meeting without any questions to or from the board.
Why did Grady EMC sue Gordon Clyatt?
The EMC sued Gordon to protect personal and private/confidential information such as social security numbers, birth dates and account numbers.
Did Tommy Rosser have EMC employees work on his sports cars?
All employees had access to the shop for their vehicles to be worked on whether they were trucks, cars, or tractors. This was a company benefit open to all employees and used by many. That practice has been stopped in order to avoid even the appearance of special favor.
Did Tommy Rosser store his sports car collection in a climate-controlled warehouse on Grady EMC grounds?
Grady EMC does not own a climate-controlled warehouse. Vehicles were stored on the premises and at times within the shop. Other employees used this privilege as well.
Did Grady EMC spend $40,000 on granite countertops?
The total cost of granite countertops was $39,000. This included countertops in our customer service area, 15 bathrooms, three employee break areas and one large kitchen. We decided to use granite because of its long-term durability.
Did Grady EMC spend over $4,000 for carpet in Bo Rosser’s office?
This cost isn’t reflective of carpet in Bo Rosser’s office alone. The total cost encompasses carpet for three separate rooms and an adjoining hall. We believe the price per square foot is fair and in line with current market values.
Why was concrete, Stamped Concrete, and Rebar work listed at $80,566.68?
The building is over 22,000 square feet, and since one of the parking lot areas is a critical area we decided to use concrete rather than asphalt to ensure longevity. This includes all sidewalks and porch areas as well as an area where we raised the floor to ensure adequate ingress and egress.
Why was stucco and Installation work listed at $22,200?
This is for the overhangs and includes the drive-thru area and other areas in the back of the building.
Why was air Conditioner, Duct Work, and A/C Related work listed at $59,854.27?
This is a large building with over 22,000 square feet. We needed new A/C units and all necessary components. This is a fair price for the equipment and the work it took to install the system. We recognize these costs are significantly higher than those of a single-family home, which is what most folks are accustomed to seeing.
What is in an $85,000 transportation expense?
Transportation expenses reference the use of construction equipment, forklifts, backhoes, excavators, tractors, and vehicles for transporting materials and employees. This is a standard line-item cost for development projects.
Loan to Tommy Rosser
What are the facts around this stock purchase and loan?
Grady EMC made 50 percent margin on stock sale. While this is an unusual circumstance, when the board voted to do this, it was focused on the communities need for a local bank. The loan was for $375,000, which is $125,000 more than original purchase price of the stock ($250,000). There have been no loans to any executives since, and the board codified this rule into its policies recently. The board wanted to avoid even the appearance of any wrongdoing even though the loan and its payment was legal in every way and, in fact, beneficial to the EMC.
Were any payments actually made? Were they made on-time and for the correct amount?
All payments were made, and the loan was paid in full ahead of schedule in 2014. During the course of the loan, the payment plan was altered through a unanimous vote by the board.
Which board members voted to give Tommy Rosser a bonus equal to his loan payments? Explain why Tommy Rosser was given a $35,000 bonus… and his loan payments were supposed to be $35,000? Did the board gift him this loan and money?
The bonus amount was determined separately from the loan payments. They are the same, but the bonus was not added to offset any loan commitments. It was a reward for very good work related to the large-scale SOWEGA project and for the overall performance of the EMC. All board members voted on this bonus. The amount of his annual bonus was subject to federal income tax, so he could not apply that amount directly to the loan payment which was for a full $35,000.
Did the board cut the interest rate on Tommy Rosser’s loan? Why? And did they make it retroactive and pay him $47,000?
The board reduced the interest rate and made it retroactive as an additional recognition of the work done on SOWEGA. This type of project has not even been attempted by many EMCs that are comparable in size to Grady EMC. The board thought the complex planning and work it took to put this in place deserved recognition because it puts Grady EMC in a very good position related to power needs for many years to come. This decision was also based on an annual compensation review comparing the executives of similarly-sized EMCs.
Did Tommy Rosser trade three vehicles in lieu of paying cash on the loan in 2006? Did he trade a piece of equipment in 2007? Was he late on each of the 10 payments?
He traded a piece of equipment and a vehicle and was credited for those transactions. In addition, the EMC credited him for a trade-in allowance on another vehicle the EMC needed. These transactions all involved third-party appraisals and unanimous board approval. The board reviewed loan transactions annually and accepted alternative payments. Based on that mutually agreed arrangement, there was never a late payment.
Why did Bo Rosser not disclose information about the Tommy Rosser loan and $35,000 bonus? Also, why didn’t he tell members that the director’s cut the interest rate on the loan by more than half, made it retroactive and issued a refund to Tommy Rosser?
The loan was publicly disclosed on our annual Tax Return known as Form 990. The bonus was disclosed as well. Generally, there had not been an inquiry until 2014 at which time Grady EMC began explaining some of those details publicly while seeking legal guidance on the extent of what could be shared when the EMC was threatened with litigation and ultimately sued. In that suit, the EMC provided all of the documents related to this question and many other documents. Those documents corroborate all the details we have shared.
EMC Pay & Benefits
Do you pay board members $300 per hour?
No. Board members are not paid by the hour. Board members are paid based upon a survey of similar boards or similar EMCs. These individuals are responsible for the operational policies and rules of the organization. We believe – as do other EMCs across the state – they should be compensated for their time, counsel and leadership. Our board members receive approximately $475 per board meeting and typically meet once a month with additional state and national conferences they are encouraged to attend.
Why is Bo Rosser’s contract for 4 years and one month?
It’s not. Bo Rosser has a standard three-year contract. The previous executive, Tommy Rosser, had a contract for this length. There was no special reason for it. The length of the contract was determined and approved by the board.
Does Bo get his insurance for free? Do board members get insurance for free? What about retirement?
All employees and the board have the option to receive insurance from the company at no cost to the employee or board member; however, dependents are not covered under this and must be added to coverage based upon premiums. All employees and board members cover costs for their own dependents.
After serving for 20 years and upon reaching the age of 65, board members are entitled to medical insurance paid for by the EMC. This insurance is meant to supplement Medicare coverage. However, retired board members are still required to cover the cost of insurance for their dependents.
What are board members paid and how is that determined?
Board members are paid approximately $475/board meeting, and it’s determined based upon a survey of similar sized utilities and their boards.
Did the EMC pay for Claire Chason Willet’s medical and dental insurance before she was hired as board attorney?
The EMC pays for its general counsel’s insurance instead of paying a separate retainer for this individual’s services. Since Mrs. Chason has been part of the counsel team for several years, she was included in this practice. Surveys are completed to insure her pay is in line with general counsels of similar-sized EMCs.
Is Donnie Prince riding around in a new $60,000 Tahoe?
The truck Donnie Prince drives was one of the few new vehicles the EMC purchased. Many factors contributed to our decision for buying the new Tahoe at a market price of $54,000. For instance, we worked to find a used Tahoe to replace the one Donnie was driving, which had 200k miles on it. However, we could not find a suitable replacement that justified the purchase of a used vs. new vehicle.
Additionally, Mr. Prince’s daily responsibilities require he has a safe, reliable vehicle. He represents the EMC at various functions and meets with members out in the field on a daily basis while performing energy audit reviews. He is also responsible for several student-focused events and often travels with other employees and members. A Tahoe provides the extra space and capacity required for these types of events.
We believe the purchase of the new vehicle was in the best interest of our members and our team members in both the short and long term.
EMC Operations & Financials
Why do we partially own three power companies and don’t purchase power from any of them?
We purchase power from all of these companies – GEC, Green Power EMC, SEPA, and OPC. Baconton is under a long-term contract but our members are benefiting from this arrangement as well by receiving bookkeeping payments, energy sales, and ownership cost reductions.
Is the SOWEGA Baconton power plant off line? Why aren’t we using it? What’s the purpose of spending all our money if we aren’t going to use it?
SOWEGA and Baconton are not offline. It is a peak generating facility, so it does not necessarily run every day but rather when demand is high in a peak situation. We currently receive 25% of the capacity of SOWEGA (approximately 24 megawatts) for our energy needs, and Baconton is under a long-term third-party contract, which helps reduce our ownership costs and is beneficial to our membership. In addition, we sell retail electricity to the facility, which represents one of our largest electrical loads due to the demands of the chillers on site. As a side note, our largest increase in kwh sales over the past decade is entirely contributed to this generating facility. Large kwh sales like this help keep rates low for all members.
What is Sugar Cane LLC?
Sugar Cane LLC is wholly owned by Grady EMC. It owns land for the use of Grady EMC whether through operation expansion for future growth, staging areas, solar production, or other generation production. It is a long-term investment for the members of Grady EMC.
Why was SOWEGA Power LLC, owned by Grady EMC, gifted to Georgia Energy?
SOWEGA was not Gifted to GEC. It was a transaction where Grady EMC sold SOWEGA to GEC but retained 25% of the capacity of the plant. In addition, it gave Grady EMC access to economies of scale by entering the GEC power purchasing group that Three Notch and Grady did not have on our own.
Why did Grady EMC pay $39,000,000 to Georgia Energy during the years of 2012, 2013, and 2014?
We received energy during these years. It was included in our energy from OPC due to the way our billing and reporting is done on our Form 7 for RUS.
Explain how the membership capital credits are accumulated and not paid out and why can this money not be returned to members.
It can be, but doing so would require a rate increase, for members or alone that would require a rate increase to pay back. This is something the board is considering.
Is Grady EMC broke?
Our financial health is strong and can be compared to every utility in the country. For our size and with the territory we serve, we are slightly better in terms of financial outlook than other EMCs in the nation. Our equity is at 45%. Our total assets represent financial strength based on our history, territory and size, and our liabilities have the lowest blended interest rate among all EMCs in Georgia, which means lower costs for our members. Every EMC in Georgia has long-term debt, and it’s based upon their size and equity levels.